Predestination is a time travel period piece movie starring Ethan Hawke, some guy in a bar, and a cute redhead who wears glasses and lives in the past. It is based on a Robert A. Heinlein short story and is pretty faithful to the original text. It is very good. The end.
That is all you should need to know about this flick before seeing it. You don't want to read any further down this page, nor do you want to read any other reviews or any wiki articles about this movie or about the short story it's taken from. (Feel free to read the original story in its entirety though, as Heinlein is a goddamn master and his original work is art.) The twists, paradoxes, and time tripping bends that come about naturally in this film are best to be witnessed first hand, and not with any sort of spoilers already implanted in your brain. Trust me.
Okay, for those of you who might need a little more convincing, I'll tell you the basic plot. So Ethan Hawke is a time travel agent whose job is to stop horrific crimes before they happen, after they originally happened. Currently he's on the trail of some evil asshole known as The Fizzle Bomber (they all know, it's a dumb name, but the press stuck with it) who is planning to blow up 10 city blocks in New York City in 1975. While back in early 1975 in his cover job as bartender, Agent Ethan Hawke runs across a guy who claims to have the worst and most terribly unfair and shitty life story that Hawke has ever heard. Hawke bets the gent that he's probably heard or lived worse, but if this guy can convince him that his existence is the most fucked up, Hawke will put up a bottle of expensive whiskey. Then we hear the guy's tale. Then we hear Agent Hawke's tale. It's really a toss up as to whose is the worst, but goddamn they're both pretty shitty, but they're also both extremely entertaining from the outside viewer's perspective.
And that's all I can really tell you. The story takes place entirely between the years 1945 and 1985, and the writing, editing, cinematography, and acting is absolutely fucking unbelievable. If I made it sound boring in the least, that's my bad. I simply cannot tell you anything more without destroying Predestination's beautiful narrative. The tone and pace of this thing are constructed so breathtakingly well.... There's such love and care put into this thing. Any asshole who spoils any of it should be shot. In the head. Then have somebody time travel back to right before they spoiled it and shoot their younger self in the head too.
If you still need any convincing, I'll tell you just a little bit more... So help me God, I'll do my bestest not to blow anything for you. Everybody else, all you guys who already plan to watch this movie, stop reading now and just watch it. Please.
SPOILERS. FOR SERIOUS. JUST GO AHEAD AND WATCH THIS THING ALREADY.
Anyway, it appears that Agent Hawke needs to recruit this guy in the bar in order to get him to assassinate the Fizzle Bomber, and then when he takes him back in time to do so, well, shit... Shit... SHIT.... No. I really can't say anything more. I tried. Really, I did. I tried writing and rewriting this paragraph 6 times already, but no matter what I do I give away too much. I even tried lying about what happens, but that's no good for anyone. Fuck it. FUUUUUUCK it.
This is not light sci-fi here. This is more akin to Primer and Terminator than to Back to the Future, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, or (shudder) Time Cop. But if you can handle tense situations and horrible circumstances, and if you can follow paradoxical time theory decently enough, you will love this movie. Come on now. It's HEINLEIN! It's not a crappy, sloppy story! This is GOOD sci-fi! Trust Papa Rossman here! I would not steer you wrong... Well, not when it counts.
20th and 21st Century movies and TV series about time travel are so cute. "Oh no! We changed the past!... Now we fixed it! Yay!" I hate to break it to you, friends, but it's never that easy to fix a hole in the space-time continuum caused by the destruction of New York City due to an evil robot's master plan of using nuclear fusion-powered cleats to step on everybody's skulls. There's planning, several attempts to basically get the lay of the land and build up an army of yourself (I usually like to have about 25-30 other me's on my side before attacking a homicidal nuclear-powered automaton in the past or future), and of course there's the radiation treatments in order to counter all the meta-gamma-rays from all the time traveling that causes lungs to rot, spleens to explode, and brains to hemorrhage.
They don't show Kyle Reese spilling blood from his eyes and ears as he runs to rescue Sarah Connor. And in this Predestination movie they don't have an army of Ethan Hawkes hustling through the eras as he tries to... Wait... Maybe they do, I don't know. This movie was confusing even to me and I was the behind the scenes consultant to Robert Zemeckis for Back to the Future Part 2. I know my way around a good 4th dimensional paradox.
From what I could piece together of Predestination's plot, I enjoyed it. I think. I don't fully understand how that guitar case/time machine works, but it was creative enough for me. That girl from the past, the cute one with the red hair and glasses, I liked her a lot more than the rest of the main characters in this thing. They were all assholes.
Wham, bam, thank you ma'am, have yourself a baby and call me Sam! Now, my homies, I love the space and time traveling Doctor as much as the next manly nerd out there, but he's never done anything as crazy, creepy, dangerous, and wrong as what Ethan Hawke and company pull in this crazy tale of time traveling agents from the future... Or the past... Or whatevs, G! I was blown over sideways, then it felt like I was blown by a Tijuana hooker during a donkey show while watchin' this thing, G! It's all cray-cray while snortin' the yay-yay!
So first there's this guy, see, and he's Ethan Hawke, and he stops a mad fuckin' bomber who's trying to bomb shit and kill people, yo. Then he goes back in time to find the bomber in the past, but then he finds this dude in a bar, and he gets the dude to find and kill the bomber even more in the past, then there's this baby, then some chicks trying out to be chick astronauts in the 60s in order to really just be sluts in space, then that one guy.... wait, did that one guy do that thing to the chick before this, or was that after? Maaaaan... I spent most of this movie inadvertently quoting Towlie. "I have no idea what's goin' on here." But yo, this thing was as dope as Bill & Ted, Back to the Future, and Steins Gate combined. For serious, foo'!