Destroyer (2018)


Critic 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.


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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 (212) | Top Critics (39)

I have to say I found Kidman's performance superb: smart, committed, utterly absorbing.

Jan 23, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Kidman is one of our great screen actresses, but here she destroys everything in her path.

Jan 18, 2019 | Rating: D+ | Full Review…

In some respects, "Destroyer" plays like a movie that would ordinarily go straight to Showtime, and only a few things help it rise above that level to reach a state of mediocrity.

Jan 17, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

If there's a powerful performance here, it's obscured by the ludicrous Kabuki mask of pain in which Kidman is outfitted.

Jan 16, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

This is one of those radical change-your-image performances that tries too hard to defy our expectations. Kidman has indeed proved in the past to be quite versatile, but this muddled, scabrous, neo-noir procedural does her no great favors.

Jan 11, 2019 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

An astonishing and haunting performance by Nicole Kidman... demonstrates she is the peak of her skills as an actor.

Jan 10, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Destroyer

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 Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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