Destroyer

Critics Consensus

Destroyer's grueling narrative is as uncompromising as Nicole Kidman's central performance, which adds extra layers to a challenging film that leaves a lingering impact.

74%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 259

49%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,284

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Movie Info

Destroyer follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past.

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Critic Reviews for Destroyer

All Critics (259) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (191) | Rotten (68)

  • It sounds like a rote rote cop [movie], but the way that Karyn Kusama puts a spin on it: [Destroyer] is really about a woman who cannot deal with her own mistakes... I thought that this film had a real heaviness to it.

    September 13, 2019 | Full Review…
  • [Kidman's] collaboration with Karyn Kusama, who directed this film, is another example of her willingness to back a filmmaker still to peak.

    March 29, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • While the plot, in which the old case is brought back to life by the re-emergence of a villain involved in it, has a nice twist at the end, that doesn't make up for the fact that the story otherwise doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

    February 8, 2019 | Full Review…
  • This uneven and downbeat film will play to small audiences - but that it exists is kind of wonderful.

    January 25, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The film may be flawed and uneven but it provides a platform for its ever-versatile star to give one of her strongest and least characteristic performances.

    January 24, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Destroyer's grim and grubby vision of Los Angeles is a decent enough cover version of the fractured metropolis iconised by Michael Mann in modern noir classics such as Heat and Collateral.

    January 24, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Destroyer

  • Jul 02, 2019
    Despite the garish make-up, Kidman is remarkably understated and I like how Kusama plays with memory in the flashback sequences.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2018
    Honestly expected more from Kusama after The Invitation, but while Destroyer is still a very well put-together genre film it does little to exceed the boundaries of its given genre-even with a fully committed and totally de-glamorized Nicole Kidman performance. The structure tries to do something interesting with the crime thriller tropes as well, but even that twist feels somewhat rote at this point. Still, it's not not entertaining and I was just invested enough to care about where the story took our main character.
    Philip P Super Reviewer

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