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2018, Crime/Drama, 2h 3m
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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. Read critic reviews
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Destroyer videos, destroyer photos.
As a young cop, Erin Bell went under cover to infiltrate a gang in the California desert -- with tragic results. Bell continues to work as a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department, but feelings of anger and remorse leave her worn-down and consumed by guilt. When the leader of that gang suddenly re-emerges, Erin embarks on an obsessive quest to find his former associates, bring him to justice and make peace with her tortured past.
Rating: R (Language Throughout|Brief Drug Use|Some Sexual Content|Violence)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery & thriller, Action
Original Language: English
Director: Karyn Kusama
Producer: Fred Berger , Phil Hay , Matt Manfredi
Writer: Phil Hay , Matt Manfredi
Release Date (Theaters): Dec 25, 2018 limited
Release Date (Streaming): Apr 23, 2019
Box Office (Gross USA): $1.5M
Runtime: 2h 3m
Distributor: Annapurna Pictures
Production Co: Automatik Entertainment, 30West
Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)
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Kelvin Han Yee
Eric Jihwan Jeon
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In the new crime thriller "Destroyer," director Karyn Kusama has an intuitive feel for Los Angeles, its sun-blasted concrete, its overpasses providing shade for skateboarders—seen only in silhouette—the sidewalk churches covered in murals, the little unfashionable neighborhoods in stark contrast with the rolling greens of the mighty and corrupted rich. It's Los Angeles as diverse wasteland.
"Destroyer" is about a detective ( Nicole Kidman ) who, 20 years before, had such a traumatic experience during an undercover operation that she never bounced back. "Destroyer" shares many similarities with the spate of films in the 1970s about the corruption of law enforcement, and frustrated cops who resort to vigilante justice since good old law and order doesn't move fast enough. Erin, the cop in question, is a wreck of a human, her life destroyed, her career and reputation on the rocks. Climbing uphill, she sets out to make the past right. This is a pretty rote story, and many of the plot points beggar belief, but Kusama's flourishes help somewhat to elevate the material into something more meditative, a character study of a woman in ruins.
Flowing back and forth in time, "Destroyer" shows the past in flashes, the unfolding of the undercover gig, and the choice Erin made which still haunts her. Erin does not manage her guilt. She drowns it in alcohol. She has no relationship with her teenage daughter Shelby ( Jade Pettyjohn ), and any "motherly" concern she shows about Shelby dating a much older man is greeted with a mixture of scorn and rage. Early on, Erin shows up at a crime scene, such a hungover wreck her colleagues tell her to go home and sleep it off. But Erin knows that this dead body is a message to her from the past, from Silas ( Toby Kebbell ), the scary criminal heading up the gang she had infiltrated many years before. Nobody believes her when she describes the threat. She has burned every bridge. She sets out on her own to unweave the tangled web of money laundering, drug dealing, and bank robbing. In the process, she confronts her past. It's not a pretty sight.
Neither is Kidman, whose haggard appearance in "Destroyer"—compared often to Charlize Theron's transformation in " Monster "—got press long before the movie even opened. Look how "bad" Nicole Kidman looks in her next movie! Kidman's choice to go as radical as she does with her appearance makes "Destroyer"—a pretty slight film, really—weirdly top-heavy. It's all about how "bad" she looks. Kidman is one of the most gifted actresses working today. She takes risks, big risks. I treasure that about her. Even her "failures" are more interesting than most actresses' successes. She does a lot of interesting things with Erin, in particular with her voice, which rarely rises above a near-whisper. You have to lean in to even hear her. Kidman's intuition about the voice is spot on. This is a character with no excess energy, no resilience, nothing to call upon. But the problem is she doesn't just "look bad" in "Destroyer." She looks like a zombie staggering out of a mausoleum. It's distracting. Sandra Bullock played a similar type of character in "Murder By Numbers" (one of Bullock's best performances), and she managed to suggest the wreckage of the character's life, her inability to experience emotions, her buried trauma and self-destructive coping mechanisms, through her performance, not a makeup job.
Erin's solo attempt to solve the crime has a propulsive drive, especially since everyone—colleagues, her daughter, her ex ( Scoot McNairy )—has had it up to here with her surly behavior and nightly benders. She has no comfort zone, no safe space. Erin's solitary struggles in "Destroyer" have a different feel than, say, "Serpico" or " The French Connection ," where the renegade cops breeze through the waves of suspicion almost untouched by all of it, certain in their righteous cause, almost charming in their amorality. But Erin is not seen as charming at all. How much of that is because she's a woman, written off as "too emotional" anyway? When she lumbers across the richly-manicured yard of a filthy defense attorney ( Bradley Whitford ), to confront him about his role in the crime, she looks both ferocious and vulnerable. She has no backup, literally and figuratively.
There are a couple of good sequences, in particular a bank robbery where Kusama shows a real gift for pacing and action, for careful placement of multiple characters (you always know where everyone is, even during the chaotic shootout). The sequence has a real electric charge, down to Kidman's authoritative flashing of her badge at the two cops showing up at the scene. The dreamlike sequences, where the action slows almost to a standstill, are beautiful and sad, drawing you in to her loneliness and despair (more than a dramatic makeup job can do). The final shots are stunning, although slightly overwrought. Like Kidman's transformation, it's a little "too much" for what is a fairly standard crime thriller.
Sheila O'Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .
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‘Destroyer’ Review: A Very Good Nicole Kidman Plays a Very Bad Woman
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By Manohla Dargis
- Dec. 24, 2018
Ho, ho, ho — nothing says the holidays like a beautifully ugly Nicole Kidman taking care of business with a submachine gun. But if you’re looking for counterprogramming, something to cut the “Mary Poppins” treacle , consider “Destroyer,” in which Kidman plays a very bad cop. Wearing a crust of disfiguring makeup and mousy hair that looks as if it has crawled out of a dumpster to take up residence on her head, Kidman is almost unrecognizable. The transformation is startling, and it forces you to scan her face and look, really look, at a woman you might otherwise turn away from.
When Erin Bell, the boozing detective and title character, first flutters her eyes open in “Destroyer,” she seems to have awakened from a 10-year bender. But she is nowhere near ready to quit drinking, instead surrendering to the oblivion it brings. With angry red lines spider-webbing the whites of her eyes, Bell seems most at home on a barstool or passed out in her car or on the floor of her decrepit, loveless house. A veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, she appears beyond the redemption that she slowly pursues in a movie that, bracingly, doesn’t ask you to like her, just to follow her lead.
The director Karyn Kusama makes that easy to do with a snaky, propulsive story that takes Bell across Los Angeles and routinely drops her back into her troubled past. The through line is provided by a murdered man found facedown on an embankment, a corpse-as-clue (and red herring). There are a couple of other detectives already at the scene and working the case; they groan when Bell approaches, eyeballs rolling. But for some reason Bell crashes the party. By the time she is shuffle-staggering into her precinct, earning more derisive looks and comments, her pariah bona fides are secure.
[ Read our reviews of other new movies. ]
Little of what Bell does next makes her more attractive or pleasant or remotely relatable, which is a relief. When female stars take on physically transformative roles that are also aggressively unlikable, it’s sometimes called brave (Charlize Theron in “Monster”); when male stars do the same, it’s called acting ( Christian Bale in “Vice” ). Kidman has played with her looks before, most conspicuously with the fake honker she wore as Virginia Woolf in “The Hours.” The makeup she wears as Bell at her most dissolute and beaten-down isn’t much more realistic. But its artificiality works because it looks like a disguise, like a rubber mask she put on long ago and eventually grew into.
That mask is dropped when the story flashes back to the past, when Bell was in her 20s and working undercover for the F.B.I. (Kidman’s reverse aging is persuasive and unshowy.) Along with another cop, Chris (Sebastian Stan), Bell joins one of those creepy drug gangs that infest the Southern California hinterlands (or at least movies about the same), the kind with chain-link fences, desperately barking dogs and junkyard detritus. Inside, as the characters and the camera creep through the eerie, diffused light, Kusama establishes an unsettling milieu that a sly-looking Bell eases into as if born to it.
Working with a script by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, Kusama navigates the past and present confidently. The three also collaborated on the claustrophobic thriller “ The Invitation .” “Destroyer” gives Kusama more to do, including explore Los Angeles, which she does with an appreciable lack of glamorizing. The most self-conscious beauty shot is dropped in a nighttime chase that takes Bell and her prey through scrubby greenery that’s framed by the jewel-like downtown skyline. The chase nicely distills the city’s contrasts (and nods at Michael Mann), reaching its apogee with an image of Dodger Stadium that is as lit up as the spaceship in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
As it switches between time frames, the story peels away Bell’s past in flashbacks while it teasingly reveals the mystery of her present. As history catches up with her, she checks in with her ex (Scoot McNairy) and has stern talks with her teenage daughter (Jade Pettyjohn), who has taken up with a sleazoid (Beau Knapp). Someone here must have liked the show “ Halt and Catch Fire ,” because McNairy’s co-star Toby Huss is here, too. The very good cast also includes a fantastic Tatiana Maslany as a nightmare personified and Bradley Whitford, who’s become a go-to duplicitous white guy. This one has a mansion with an ocean view and a belittling attitude that ends with Bell in one of her knockdown brawls.
Kidman handles herself convincingly in these fights, despite her slender frame. The black leather jacket the older Bell wears gives the actress some physical heft, as does a ponderous, borderline leaden walk. At times, her steps seem purely autonomic, suggesting both extreme exhaustion and freakish resolve, as if Bell were willing herself upright. Like a lot of movie detectives, she takes a pummeling while investigating. The brutalizing here feels startling, though, not only because of the performer — who elsewhere can seem ethereal — but also because it’s unusual to see a female character who isn’t in a horror flick endure this degree of punishment.
Kusama, whose first movie, “Girlfight,” was about a female boxer, is unsparing toward Bell. There’s warmth and feeling here, particularly in the younger Bell’s flashbacks with Chris, and some sentimentality, too. For the most part, though, Kusama asks you to take Bell on her own terms, which includes seeing a character who in her older years transcends either-or masculine-feminine dualism. Bell’s identity isn’t fixed to one gender: She’s both the brawling, boozing detective and the tough-talking, naggingly concerned mother. That she’s also a better detective than a mother makes her somewhat of an outlier, at least in American movies.
If Bell were a man and father, and played by, say, Denzel Washington, this wouldn’t be a big ask. And yet part of what’s pleasurable about “Destroyer” is that Kusama doesn’t try to turn the movie into a finger-wagging lesson about gender. Instead, she embraces genre and sprinkles in her influences: A Dodger game on Bell’s car radio registers as a reference to Abel Ferrara’s “Bad Lieutenant,” about a very different fall and redemption. Kusama is still figuring out how to balance form and pulp, but she has a singular unapologetic idea about what women can and cannot do onscreen, one she lets rip with verve and her superbly unbound star.
Destroyer Rated R for intense physical and gun violence. Running time: 2 hours.
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Film Review: Nicole Kidman in ‘Destroyer’
Nicole Kidman goes dark — and nearly unrecognizable — in a role that all but obliterates the idea that audiences require likable protagonists.
By Peter Debruge
Chief Film Critic
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Nothing Nicole Kidman has done in her career can prepare you for “ Destroyer ” — to the extent it’s easy to imagine someone wandering/tuning in to the film and watching for several minutes before realizing that the sunburnt piece of beef jerky up on screen is none other than the alabaster beauty from “BMX Bandits” and “Far and Away.” And that’s just the surface. “Destroyer” may as well be called “Nasty Woman: The Movie,” so committed is it to the idea of presenting a Don Siegel-style anti-hero who’s dirtier than Harry, deadlier than “The Killers.”
Going from fresh-faced FBI cadet to what looks like a roadie for the Rolling Stones, this is a transformation on par with Charlize Theron in “Monster” — not just in appearance, but in terms of her entire persona: the way her eyes move, like those of a skittish animal scanning the horizon for some unseen predator; the way she walks, dragging her feet, swaying under the influence; the way she holds a gun, like another one of the guys, or a character in a Michael Mann movie. Kidman has always been a chameleon, but in this case, she doesn’t merely change her color (or don a fake nose, à la “The Hours”); she disappears into an entirely new skin, rearranging her insides to fit the character’s tough hide.
The character is Erin Bell, a damaged-goods detective who suffered a nervous breakdown after a long undercover sting operation went off the rails. Picture Jodie Foster if Buffalo Bill had somehow gotten away with it in “The Silence of the Lambs,” haunted by the death of a partner and everything she could have done to save his life. This is the kind of psychic damage Brad Pitt’s left with after finding Gwyneth’s head in a box at the end of “Seven.” And yet, Erin is the closest thing this movie offers to a hero. You don’t go in expecting a happy ending from a movie that serves up such an unhappy everything-that-came-before.
“Destroyer” is “Girlfight” director Karyn Kusama’s “To Live and Die in L.A.” It’s a blunt, deeply cynical look at the idea of justice in a place like Los Angeles, where criminals burrow away like termites into the hidden cracks of the city, and where what passes for the law is corrupt beyond redemption. Drunk, disheveled, and all but unresponsive to her partner and superiors, Erin still has a job, but barely. She shows up at a murder scene looking like she’s just slept in her car (the actual explanation is more complicated, and will take nearly two hours to unravel). One can tell from the other officers’ faces what they think of her: They may as well be holding their noses, talking to her like her squalor could be contagious.
Erin whispers something about a man named Silas, who might as well be a serial killer, for all we know. Silas is clearly someone significant from her past, someone extremely dangerous whom she plans to bring to justice without bothering to involve her colleagues (until a spectacular shootout near the end). But in the long and somewhat garbled lead-up to that, audiences lean in as two separate mysteries unspool: First, there’s the question of what went wrong that transformed Erin into such a run-down wreck — the chicken-fried shadow of her former self. And then there’s the matter of how far she will go to stop Silas, who may as well be the Charlie Manson of bank robbers (played by Toby Kebbell).
The first thing Kusama shows of Kidman is her red-rimmed eyes, all but unrecognizable amid the alcohol-swollen lids, dark freckles, and rude bump atop what looks like a broken nose that was never set properly. Erin looks like she’s lost the will to live, which is pretty much the way she’s drifted through the last 17 years. That’s how long it’s been since she lost her undercover partner, Chris (Sebastian Stan). They’d been ordered to play a couple in order to infiltrate Silas’ renegade gang, but somewhere along the way wound up becoming one for real — and then he died, leaving her with an irreconcilable sense of guilt. For her, catching Silas is the only way she could possibly atone, although she also has her 16-year-old daughter (Jade Pettyjohn) to think of.
Somewhat clunkily scripted by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (who’ve created a great character, and a confusing narrative), the gritty, thoroughly unconventional thriller plays some wicked tricks with time, which serve to deliberately mislead audiences as to the sequence of events — which is odd, since it would’ve almost made more sense to open with an epic set-piece, rather than somewhat anticlimactically circling back to the opening scene. Through the power of makeup (overseen by “Deadpool” prosthetics designer Bill Corso) and the more invisible magic of Lola Visual Effects (the go-to shop for “digital botox”), not just Kidman but the entire cast undergo remarkable transformations before and after the botched bank robbery that changed all of their fates.
Kusama withholds that heist until nearly the end of the movie, but we can guess how it turned out, since Chris is gone, money left at the scene is stained purple by the dye packs, and Erin now looks the way she does. Seldom has a film succeeded in depicting the way a traumatic experience can turn cancerous like this, eating away at a young woman’s beauty, leaving only the dessicated husk of who she was before — and the distinct impression that she’s been punishing herself all this time, like one of those self-flagellating monks who whips himself nightly. The effect is staggering, especially considering the great lengths to which Kidman has gone to hide her wrinkles from her fans in the past.
Here, she looks almost Clint Eastwood-like, squinting through crow’s feet, marked by years of sun damage, and the comparison seems apt, since only men are typically allowed to play such tough, morally complicated characters — just as only men get to direct such scripts. But as helmers go, Kusama has consistently delivered the kind of intense thrillers that people typically associate with testosterone, nearly all of them starring women. “Destroyer” therefore obliterates the idea that it takes balls to make a movie like this. Daring, yes. But Kusama has something far more important: vision (not to mention a formidable accomplice in Kidman). And even though the film unravels a bit toward the end, it destroys the standard confines of what an actress can do on-screen, allowing her to be difficult, unlikable, and almost completely independent.
Reviewed at Telluride Film Festival, Sept. 1, 2018. (Also in Toronto Film Festival — Special Presentations.) Running time: 123 MIN.
- Production: An Annapurna Pictures release and presentation, in association with 30 West, of an Automatik, Familystyle production, in association with Rocket Science. (Int'l sales: Rocketscience, London.) Producers: Fred Berger, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi. Executive producers: Nik Bower, Nathan Kelly, Thorsten Schumacher. Co-producer: David Diliberto.
- Crew: Director: Karyn Kusama. Screenplay: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi. Camera (color, widescreen): Julie Kirkwood. Editor: Plummy Tucker. Music: Theodore Shapiro.
- With: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany , Sebastian Stan, Scoot McNairy, Bradley Whitford, Toby Huss, James Jordan, Beau Knapp.
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‘Destroyer’ Review: Pulpy Cop Thriller Is Pure Nicole Kidman Unleashed
By Peter Travers
Nicole Kidman strips away every trace of star glamour to play Erin Bell, an LAPD detective and boozy burnout trying to close the books on the cold case that ruined her life 17 years ago. The star and director Karyn Kusama ( Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body ) take no shortcuts to the dark night of this woman’s soul. Eyes red-rimmed and skin fried by the sun, this cop looks beaten. It’s easy to see why.
We first meet Erin in the present as she staggers out of her car and into a crime scene. None of the cops want to talk to this ragged loser even when she announces she knows the victim and who might have killed him. She also notices the three red-circle welts on the back of man’s neck — marks that indicate membership in the gang that she has been tracking.
Cue the flashbacks to Erin as a rookie, looking younger and less shut-down as she works undercover alongside FBI agent Chris (a stellar Sebastian Stan). The two are tasked with a dangerous sting operation, infiltrating a violent gang of bank robbers and then taking them down. Posing as experienced thieves linked by sex and drugs, Erin and Chris meet in private to work out the details of their supposed relationship. Kusama plays these scenes as a near parody of the ill-fated love stories inherent in pulp fiction. But then the duo begin to feel things for real, with Kidman and Stan creating a bond that is almost palpable.
During a bank robbery gone wrong, with purple dye exploding on the paper money to make it unusable, Chris is killed. Vowing vengeance, Erin hunts down the psychotic, sadistic leader of the gang, Silas (Toby Kebbell, skin-crawling creepiness personified), who might be back in town after all these years. The search takes the detective to the mansion of a sleazy criminal lawyer (Bradley Whitford) that ends in a brutal confrontation in the presence of his son. You’ve probably never seen a soap dish used so horrifically as a bludgeon. Later, during another robbery, Erin spots Silas’s female partner, Petra ( Tatiana Maslany ), and uses her to nail the master criminal. The scene in which the two women lie in wait for the monster who’s done them both wrong is a startling centerpiece.
There are times when Destroyer seems as confused as its protagonist about where it’s heading. The jumping back and forth in time can make a muddle of the script by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. And though cinematographer Julie Kirkwood ( The Blackcoat’s Daughter ) drenches the movie in a neo-noir aura, heightened by Theodore Shapiro’s jangly score, atmosphere is no substitute for coherence.
What ties it all together is the acting, which goes beyond the call of bang-bang duty to find the vestiges of humanity in its life-blasted characters — Maslany, an Emmy winner for Orphan Black, is particularly haunting. But this is Kidman’s show. She neatly negotiates every twist the script throws at her, even when the plot slams into too many dead ends. This is a movie star who knows how to stay the course, mo matter how twisty, tangled or down and dirty it gets. She’s dynamite.
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Common sense media reviewers.
Nicole Kidman is great in dark, violent crime drama.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters are motivated primarily by revenge, alt
Although Erin Bell is a fascinating, fully rounded
Dead bodies. Guns and shooting. Characters are sho
Main character uses her hand to sexually stimulate
Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "c--t," "d--k,"
Characters drink heavily in a bar. Cocaine snortin
Parents need to know that Destroyer is a crime drama starring Nicole Kidman as a former undercover police detective whose past comes back to haunt her. It's very smart and intricately designed, but it's also very dark and rooted in revenge, with adult themes and no clear takeaways. Violence is strong, with…
Characters are motivated primarily by revenge, although the main character does show an inclination toward sacrifice so that others can prevail.
Positive Role Models
Although Erin Bell is a fascinating, fully rounded character, she's far from a role model. She's reckless, bent on revenge.
Violence & Scariness
Dead bodies. Guns and shooting. Characters are shot and killed. Dangerous Russian roulette-style gun play. Main character is beaten up by bodyguards; she hits one of them back with a blunt object. Bloody wounds, face. Broken teeth. Bruises. Car crash. Bank robbery. Yelling, fighting, stomping.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Main character uses her hand to sexually stimulate a man. Graphic sex talk. Kissing between teens/young people. Main character kisses someone; he touches her crotch.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.
Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "c--t," "d--k," "bitch," "ass," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation). Middle-finger gesture.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink heavily in a bar. Cocaine snorting, smoking. Underage teen in bar. Minor character appears to be a drug addict.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Destroyer is a crime drama starring Nicole Kidman as a former undercover police detective whose past comes back to haunt her. It's very smart and intricately designed, but it's also very dark and rooted in revenge, with adult themes and no clear takeaways. Violence is strong, with guns and shooting, dead bodies, fighting/beating, bloody wounds, car crashes, a violent bank robbery, and a dangerous Russian roulette-style gun game. There's also fairly graphic sexual material (the main female sexually stimulates a man with her hand), as well as kissing and touching. Language includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and more. Characters drink heavily, smoking is shown, and a supporting character is a drug addict (cocaine). An underage teen is found in a bar.
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- Parents say (1)
Based on 1 parent review
Involves unpleasant sex
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What's the story.
In DESTROYER, bedraggled LAPD detective Erin Bell ( Nicole Kidman ) arrives on the scene of a murder and notices a familiar clue: bills from a bank robbery that are stained with pink dye. She goes looking for a man named Silas ( Toby Kebbell ), a bank robber and possible murderer. Viewers learn through flashbacks that, almost two decades ago, Erin worked undercover alongside a partner, Chris ( Sebastian Stan ), infiltrating Silas' mob. She visits the group's former members, one by one, looking for clues, but progress is slow, and her course is dangerous. Meanwhile, her 16-year-old daughter ( Jade Pettyjohn ) has been acting up, spending time with lowlife boys; though Erin wants to help, her parenting skills aren't exactly polished. Ultimately, Erin realizes that her entire existence hinges on a single act of revenge.
Is It Any Good?
Driven by Kidman's forceful, demolishing performance and a deliriously complex, snaky screenplay, this mature, intricately designed crime drama is more memorable and more haunting than most. Directed by Karyn Kusama and co-written by her husband, Phil Hay, and his writing partner, Matt Manfredi (they all made the excellent thriller The Invitation ), Destroyer is an awards-season showcase for Kidman's talents. She ages from the glow of youth to a shambling wreck, her face hardened, her narrow eyes reflecting agony and suspicion. It's an astonishing piece of work -- and, refreshingly, it's not all the film has to offer. Kidman is supported by, and part of, an equally impressive movie.
Destroyer has plenty of secrets, and it'd be a shame to give any of them away, but it's safe to expect many moments of gnashing suspense and gripping bittersweet. The movie's use of light and shadow turns Los Angeles into a modern world of film noir, from desolate, graffiti-tagged slabs of buildings to a slash of diagonal shadow under the bridge where Erin first appears. The intense sound design grabs everyday noises and twists them into a cacophony. And when it's not moving the plot forward and/or generating suspense and mystery, the movie zeroes in on Erin's character, her painful attempts to connect with her daughter, and the heartbreaking story of how she simply lost everything. Destroyer is a dark film, and it's not for casual viewing, but it is unforgettable.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Destroyer 's violence . How intense is it? How did it affect you? Does it seem appropriate for this story? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
How is sex portrayed? What values are imparted?
How are drinking and drugs portrayed? Are they glamorized in any way? Are there realistic consequences ?
What's the appeal of stories about revenge? Is it satisfying? Can it ever be a good thing? In what ways can it be bad?
Is Erin Bell a strong female character? Is she a role model ? How can these two things be similar? How can they be different?
- In theaters : December 25, 2018
- On DVD or streaming : April 16, 2019
- Cast : Nicole Kidman , Sebastian Stan , Toby Kebbell
- Director : Karyn Kusama
- Studio : Annapurna Pictures
- Genre : Drama
- Run time : 123 minutes
- MPAA rating : R
- MPAA explanation : language throughout, violence, some sexual content and brief drug use
- Last updated : April 3, 2023
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Destroyer Is Deliberately Frustrating
The first thing you’ll notice about Destroyer is Nicole Kidman’s face. That’s probably the second and third thing you’ll notice about Destroyer , too. Karyn Kusama’s moody vengeance policier opens in full-on, extreme close-up of its famous lead actress’s mug — but we might barely recognize her. Her eyes heavy and weathered, her skin pockmarked and hardened, this is not the Nicole Kidman we know. As Erin Bell, a cop whose many years of hard living appear to have gotten the best of her, Kidman droops, stumbles, and rasps her way through this bizarre, unsettling film. It’s an odd transformation. The makeup isn’t exactly realistic, which can be distracting. But I’m not sure that’s not intentional, because the performance itself is stylized, too, steering clear of anything resembling naturalism. My theory: Kusama and Kidman don’t want to immerse us; they want to confront us.
We first see Erin as she wakes up inside her car, disoriented, and staggers to the scene of a recent murder. The officers in charge don’t want her around; it’s not her jurisdiction, and she looks terrible. Nobody knows who the victim is, or why he was murdered. Erin tells the other cops, offhandedly, that she might know who did it. They don’t care; they just want her out of there. Her reputation for boozing, it seems, precedes her. But something else seems to hang over this woman, like a curse.
The homicide we see in those opening minutes, we soon realize, connects in some way to events that occurred 16 or so years ago, when Erin was an eager young sheriff’s deputy working undercover alongside a calm, professional FBI agent named Chris (Sebastian Stan) to help take down a violent gang of bank robbers. Though they barely know each other, we see Chris and Erin practicing their cover story for how they met; they will pose not just as seasoned crooks looking for action, but as strung-out lovers.
It seems the psychotic, sadistic leader of that gang, Silas (Toby Kebbell), might be back in town after all these years. Erin wanders through the present day, a vision of both self-loathing and an almost supernatural kind of persistence, trying to locate Silas by revisiting the remnants of their old crew. Along the way, she also tries to piece together her memories of what happened during their earlier encounter. These little story shards themselves are out of order, and at times contradictory. Erin and Chris were, after all, living a lie, pretending to be something they’re not. And it seems that some element of the lie stuck — that the false vision of life they projected became reality in some measure, in ways both good and bad.
Destroyer is a fragmented film, which will exasperate some. And there’s something fundamentally unrealistic, dreamlike about Erin’s encounters in the present day. Everybody has changed, and yet they all still seem haunted by what happened way back when. You’d think criminals would flee, change their identities, vanish off the face of the Earth — but it takes little effort for her to find them, as if they’re all inhabitants of the same psychological and spiritual limbo. Some of them are still taking down scores. (At one point, Erin finds herself in the middle of a robbery, and Kusama shoots it with an eye not on suspense or clarity but on the limitations and distance of the protagonist’s perspective — Erin can barely see what’s happening, and as a result so do we. It feels like a metaphor for the movie itself.)
Erin’s visitations to her old crew have a Stations of the Cross quality to them. Each seems to debase her further. The surrealism of these scenes, compounded by the choppily intricate nature of its flashback structure, makes Destroyer deliberately frustrating, but the anxious, unmoored tone pulls us along; we feel like we’re constantly on the edge of a revelation that never quite comes. And Kidman’s performance as this broken, obsessed woman is powerful. Breathless, rasping through her teeth, she conveys both vulnerability and intractability. She seems like she could drop dead at any second, and yet, we also sense that we’re watching someone who has already had to endure the worst life has to give her. At times, Erin actually resembles a corpse, with Kusama emphasizing her stillness, and the unsettling vacancy of her stare — unforgiving and indifferent.
And that’s where Destroyer got me. There is something almost Kabuki to Kidman’s face here. When she speaks, she seems to speak from beneath a mask. There might even be something symbolic to it, because this is ultimately more than just a woman who’s lived a hard life. She is death itself, the destroyer of worlds.
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- 2 out of 5 stars
Time Out says
Nicole Kidman shows off how grungy she can get, to the disservice of an undernourished police thriller.
And you thought the fake schnozz in ‘The Hours’ was distracting: Nicole Kidman drabs down considerably in a movie that seems to exist only to congratulate her for how unglamorous she can be – big bags under red-rimmed eyes, desiccated skin, deep brow creases. She’s playing a cop, but ‘Destroyer’, almost by choice, makes us wonder if she’s playing a corpse. Vigorously yet joylessly directed by ‘Girlfight’s Karyn Kusama, the Los Angeles-set noir ends up objectifying Kidman more than any other role she could have picked, which is a shame. While it will always be the baseline work of film critics to focus intently on faces, the problem here is a serious one – serious enough to call attention to itself in every shot, and a regrettable misuse of Kidman’s still-deepening talent, seen recently in ‘Big Little Lies’ and even ‘Aquaman’ (a blockbuster she steals away from the boys).
Meanwhile, there’s a crime thriller happening, one indebted to the work of ‘Heat’s Michael Mann, but you won’t notice it at all. Kidman’s detective Erin Bell is a wreck, sleeping in her car and haunted by an undercover sting from 16 years ago that Kusama continuously toggles to, so as to brew two upsetting narratives for the price of one. You wait for Kidman’s self-negating plunge to yield emotional dividends, perhaps in the scenes with her peppy partner on the force (‘I, Tonya’s Sebastian Stan) or her estranged teenage daughter (Jade Pettyjohn). But those supporting actors are playing against a brick wall, a façade, a stunt. ‘Destroyer’ is a movie that confuses Kidman’s unmodulated funk for actual depth. In fairness, a brooding depression may be the reality of much police work, but onscreen it plays like a two-hour murder of your patience.
- Release date: Friday 25 January 2019
- Duration: 121 mins
Cast and crew
- Director: Karyn Kusama
- Screenwriter: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
- Nicole Kidman
- Sebastian Stan
- Jade Pettyjohn
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Destroyer review: nicole kidman is a true detective, powered by kidman's fierce performance and kusama's deliberate filmmaking, destroyer makes for an effectively pulpy work of high-art storytelling..
Having already appeared in one major awards season contender this year (Joel Edgerton's Boy Erased ), Nicole Kidman returns with a dramatic starring vehicle of her own in the form of Karyn Kusama's grim crime drama, Destroyer . Kusama is perhaps best known for her work in the horror genre, with films like the cult horror-comedy Jennifer's Body , the "Her Only Living Son" segment of the all-female horror anthology XX , and the Hollywood Hills suspense-thriller The Invitation under her belt. It's perhaps no surprise then that Destroyer is a moody detective noir drama that feels like a horror movie at its core, and in a good way. Powered by Kidman's fierce performance and Kusama's deliberate filmmaking, Destroyer makes for an effectively pulpy work of high-art storytelling.
Kidman stars in Destroyer as Erin Bell, an LAPD detective who - along with a federal agent named Chris (Sebastian Stan) - went undercover with a gang in the California desert several years earlier, but to terrible results. Erin's struggle to make peace with her personal demons since then have left her wrecked both physically and mentally, and had a similar effect on her relationships with her daughter Shelby (Jade Pettyjohn) and now ex-husband Ethan (Scott McNairy). Barely able to keep herself together, Erin now spends most of her time at work... when she's not trying to drink herself to death at a bar, that is.
Everything changes when Erin learns that Silas (Toby Kebbell), the cruel leader of the gang she infiltrated all those years ago, has emerged from hiding and resumed his criminal ways. Searching for some payback, Erin begins to work through the remaining members of Silas' old crew one by one in an effort to find him, even as (often, painful) memories from her past begin to resurface along the way. But what will Erin do once she actually finds Silas... and is there even a future (much less, a happy one) for her, after all of this is over?
Written by Phil Hay (who's also married to Kusama) and his writing partner Matt Manfredi, Destroyer is comparable to something like HBO's True Detective ; not only in terms of its brooding atmosphere, but also in the way its storyline unfolds across multiple timelines. Like that anthology series, Destroyer continuously goes back in time in order to examine the corrosive effect that Erin's previous mistakes have had on her well-being over the years - in turn, offering more insight into her actions and choices in the present along the way. This also allows the film to work as a character study conducted through the lens of a hard-boiled crime narrative, with Erin's character arc serving to simultaneously ground and elevate Destroyer 's pulpier elements into something more substantial. The movie still hits a number of familiar beats for this type of crime noir story, but (as always) it's the execution and fresh ingredients that make the tried and true formula really work.
Kusama's strong direction is also a big part of why Destroyer thrives as much as it does. In terms of craftsmanship, Kusama has a firm handle on not only the film's quieter scenes and one-on-one character interactions, but also its white-knuckle action sequences and dramatically horrifying moments of suspense. Destroyer is further buoyed by A Simple Favor composer Theodore Shapiro's nightmarish and booming score, which can make scenes where Erin is just driving her car a long distance or walking somewhere feel unnerving and keeps audiences on-edges at all times. The film paints an equally desolate and squalid portrait of its California backdrop, with DP Julie Kirkwood ( The Monster ) photographing the scenery in a fashion that makes Los Angeles and the rest of SoCal feel as lonely, dangerous and worse for wear as, well, Erin herself.
As "destroyed" as Erin looks, it's the emotional aspects of Kidman's performance that really sell the character as being a truly grizzled detective, down to their hard-drinking habit and mess of a personal life. Destroyer never strays from Erin's point of view either, and that forces audiences to really empathize and understand how she came to be as hard-edged and damaged as she is. That also means that every other character in the movie is filtered through Erin's perspective, be they people she loves (or loved) or the seedy individuals that she encounters over the course of her investigation. Fortunately, Kusama provides her impressive supporting cast - which, in addition to Stan, McNairy, and Kebbell, includes Bradley Whitford, Tatiana Maslany, and even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 's Natalia Cordova-Buckley in a small role - with enough room to help fill in the blanks with their performances and really show (not just tell) what these various players represent to Erin.
The fact that Destroyer both stars and was directed by a woman is also important, and certainly impacts the way it tells this particular story. While the film is, in many ways, a pretty by the numbers detective noir drama, it's also subversive in the way it handles gender and, in the case of certain narrative threads, really explores the genre's more traditional themes from a feminine perspective. Had Destroyer gone even further with its approach in this respect, it arguably would have resulted in a truly ground-breaking and innovative piece of storytelling. As it stands, however, it's a well-made crime flick that succeeds in being unconventional in more ways than it doesn't.
Overall, though, Destroyer is worth checking out just for Kusama's direction and Kidman's performance alone. It might not be quite as revolutionary or daring as some of this year's awards season frontrunners (especially those that are led by women on either or both sides of the camera), but it's a rewarding piece of pulpy storytelling that deserves to be appreciated on its own terms. Heck, when you really think about, Destroyer is probably a better version of " True Detective starring Nicole Kidman" than the real thing would be.
Destroyer is now playing in select U.S. theaters. It is 123 minutes long and is rated R for language throughout, violence, some sexual content and brief drug use.
Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!
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‘killers of the flower moon’ review: leonardo dicaprio and lily gladstone lead martin scorsese’s searing true-crime epic.
Robert De Niro also stars in the epic adaptation of David Grann’s book about the Osage Murders, with a supporting cast that includes Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow and Brendan Fraser.
By David Rooney
Chief Film Critic
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'a brighter tomorrow' review: nanni moretti gets nostalgic about cinema, politics and himself in a meta-memoir strictly for fans, inside warner bros. discovery and air mail's starry cannes party with leonardo dicaprio, martin scorsese, killers of the flower moon.
Following the superbly crafted film’s Out of Competition Cannes premiere, Apple is planning a fall release (Oct. 6 limited, Oct. 20 wide) in partnership with Paramount ahead of its streaming premiere on Apple TV+, for which a date has not yet been set. That theatrical positioning seems ideal for a powerful drama that should figure notably among the year-end prestige crop.
Money and violence have been prominent themes in Scorsese’s filmography and for every facile charge ever lobbed at him of glorifying or glamorizing career criminals, he has usually delivered retribution to his antiheroes. But there’s a different, more chilling feel to the reign of terror depicted here, a trail of slaughter that weighs heavily on the heart and mind at every step. There’s also a suggestion of a filmmaker reflecting on guilt and atonement, a notion strengthened by a strategic — and unexpectedly moving — cameo from the director.
The severity of the killings is amplified by the contempt shown for the humanity of a deeply spiritual Indigenous American people, but also by the hypocrisy of the chief orchestrator of the precision-targeted, one-by-one genocide.
As good as those frequent Scorsese collaborators are, however, the revelation for many will be the wondrous Lily Gladstone as Mollie Kyle, the woman unfortunate enough to marry gold-digger Ernest. Many of us have been waiting impatiently for Gladstone to land a substantial part since her piercingly sensitive work as a lonely ranch hand in Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women . And it’s taken a director frequently criticized for his scarcity of fully dimensional female characters not only to provide one but to make her the wounded heart of the movie.
A strikingly direct woman surrounded by deceitful men, Gladstone’s Mollie conveys as much with her expressive eyes or the subtle shifts of her mouth as she does with words. She’s transfixing in her self-possessed dignity and alert intelligence as much as her encroaching sorrow, or her physical agony when amoral conspirators and her gullible husband push her to the brink of death.
The degree to which Scorsese seems revitalized by this material can be seen in the brisk backgrounding that opens the film. The solemnity of an Osage burial ceremony at the end of the 19th century gives way to a jubilant explosion when oil gushes from the cracked earth, and young tribesmen hurl themselves in slow-motion into the air, getting showered in black sludge to the electrifying sounds of Robbie Robertson’s century-spanning rootsy rock score.
By the time Ernest arrives in Fairfax in the early ‘20s, the government has begun policing the flow of money by deeming some Osage “incompetent,” assigning them a white “guardian” with the authority to approve or deny spending.
Mollie, one of four sisters, who takes care of their aging mother Lizzie (Tantoo Cardinal), endures that financial oversight with silently disdainful stoicism. But her full-blood family’s “headrights” over oil-rich tribal lands make her crucial to Hale’s plans. He puts his nephew to work for his cab company and when Ernest starts driving Mollie to and from town, a mutual attraction quickly develops between them.
Ernest makes no secret of his indolent nature, his love of money and whiskey, and while she calls him a coyote, Mollie is charmed by him. When Hale plants the idea that marrying her would be a “smart investment,” Ernest wastes no time proposing. He’s merely one of the countless white men who come “circling like buzzards” around easy money with what now seems like astonishing brazenness.
Hale points out the importance of channeling the estate of his nephew’s wife back to them. He explains that Lizzie is sickly and Mollie’s sister Anna (Cara Jade Myers), married to Ernest’s reptilian brother Bryan (Scott Shepherd), is a boozing good-time gal whose mouth and the pistol she packs in her purse inevitably will get her into trouble. That leaves only Mollie and another sister, Rita (Janae Collins), standing between them and the family’s oil wealth.
The intricacy of Hale’s planning and the ruthlessness with which he enlists his nephews and assorted lowlifes to do his dirty work is breathtaking in the most sinister way. He even has those scoundrels who might be inclined to talk iced to cover any trail back to him, all the while keeping his hands clean as a pillar of the community. Only later does he get sloppy, fuming when an insurance company balks at honoring a policy he took out on a vulnerable Osage “friend.” But even then, the town’s authority figures are either too corrupt or too indifferent to ask questions.
Where audiences familiar with the book might feel shortchanged is in the truncation of the chapters chronicling the birth of the FBI. Playing federal agent Tom White, who was dispatched by J. Edgar Hoover to lead the investigation after the Osage Tribal Council petitioned Washington to address the murders, fourth-billed Jesse Plemons only turns up in the final hour. Likewise, John Lithgow and a miscast Brendan Fraser as attorneys for the prosecution and defense, respectively, when the case goes to trial.
But without taking the limited series route, Scorsese and Roth make necessary choices in focusing on the steady buildup of treachery and dissemination of fear, planting a sense of horrified indignation that keeps you riveted throughout. Our investment in Mollie and the devastating losses she suffers makes the stakes in the courtroom scenes more tangible, with suspense expertly measured out in the haunting drumbeats of Robertson’s score.
All three leads are excellent, but it’s especially worth noting the complexity of what DiCaprio pulls off. Initially, Ernest seems a fairly standard character type, the cocky, dim-bulb guy of disposable moral fiber, easily influenced by someone much smarter. But he becomes more interesting as the anguish caused by his love for Mollie eats away at him, with the actor looking discernibly more haggard as Hale’s plot advances and he’s unable to extricate himself from it.
Indigenous Canadian veteran Cardinal is stirring as the mother appalled that her daughters keep marrying white men and thinning the bloodline. New York stage regulars Shepherd and Louis Cancelmi make slippery villains, the latter blithely acknowledging his intention to sacrifice children for material gain. (He also does some completely wild clog dancing at Ernest and Mollie’s wedding.)
Southern rocker Jason Isbell makes an impression as creepy opportunist Bill Smith, who’s barely been widowed a minute after Minnie’s death when he gets hitched to Rita, but then makes the mistake of rubbing Ernest the wrong way in a tense exchange. And Jack White makes a brief appearance as an actor in a true-crime radio show about the murders, complete with studio orchestra and foley artists.
Audiences unfamiliar with Grann’s book — or with the actual history, which draws a parallel early on with the Tulsa Race Massacre — might be at a slight advantage here given that each nasty turn this ugly chapter from America’s past takes makes its depravity more astonishing. Scorsese has made an impassioned film that honors both the victims and the survivors.
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The Delinquents review – beguilingly surreal slow-motion Buenos Aires heist tale
If Pedro Almodóvar and Eric Rohmer teamed up to compose a meanderingly long crime caper it might look like this
V ery few films make you ask “what just happened?” at the end – and also in fact “what is happening right now?” at various points during the running time. But this is what I said, out loud, in the course of this deeply strange, utterly distinctive, beguiling and fantastical shaggy-dog story about a bank robbery in Buenos Aires, from Argentinian director Rodrigo Moreno. If Pedro Almodóvar and Eric Rohmer teamed up to compose a meanderingly long heist movie it might look like this, but something in the film’s waywardness makes it very difficult to fit into the heist genre – or any genre.
The scene is a bank in the city, where Moran (Daniel Elías) has been joylessly working for years as a cashier; his long service and palpable dullness mean that he is entrusted with carrying large amounts from the tills to the safe. But Moran has worked out that he can with relative ease transfer sizeable sums into the strongboxes stored in cabinets behind the customer area, and from there into a humble backpack to take them home with him. Moran arranges to meet his similarly boring colleague Román (Esteban Bigliardi) for a drink in a bar and calmly makes him an offer, dumping a backpack bulging with cash at his feet: he will turn himself in to a police station, confess and do what he calculates will be a modest stretch of three-and-a-half years, while Román looks after the money. Afterwards, they will split the cash, enough to retire and quit the rat race. But if Román snitches, Moran tells him, he will tell the authorities they were in it together. Astonished, Román feels he has no choice but to take the bag of money home and hide it in the modest flat he shares with his music-teacher girlfriend, and begin his new secret life of crime.
But there are other narrative strands, surreally branching and subdividing. Moran and Román (the anagrammatic name-pairing hinting at a parallel universes and coincidences that they don’t even guess at) have a mean boss at the bank called Del Toro, played by veteran Argentinian actor Germán De Silva; and in jail, Moran is terrorised by a gang boss nicknamed Garrincha, also played by Germán De Silva.
While in prison, Moran tells Román that he in fact has also hidden some money near a stream in remote Alpa Corral in Córdoba province, and Román should get it. But the film loops off into a pastoral comedy territory when Román is distracted on his dangerous mission just when he should be tensely making his getaway, falling in love with a local woman, Norma (Margarita Molfino), who has a smallholding there and helping a friend make a film in the area. And an outrageous twist is to create another bizarre cosmic parallel.
It is at first possible to quibble about procedural implausibilities and plot-holes: could a bank robber really count on such a short sentence when the money hadn’t been recovered? Well, realist worries aren’t exactly the point here. This is a deadpan comedy which strides off down its own confident, eccentric path, and actually the whole heist trope is subverted from the outset by the purely un-tense way the robbery is shown. The seriocomic taste of this film has to be savoured, like some little-known fortified wine, and there is something so seductive in this unlikely adventure. It shows us that bank employees, like all the other human beings we meet briefly and incuriously, have vivid and intense inner lives, just like everyone else, and a capacity for poetically rewriting their own identities. This could be a cult classic.
- Cannes 2023
- Cannes film festival
- World cinema
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Movie Info. As a young cop, Erin Bell went under cover to infiltrate a gang in the California desert -- with tragic results. Bell continues to work as a detective for the Los Angeles Police ...
The dreamlike sequences, where the action slows almost to a standstill, are beautiful and sad, drawing you in to her loneliness and despair (more than a dramatic makeup job can do). The final shots are stunning, although slightly overwrought. Like Kidman's transformation, it's a little "too much" for what is a fairly standard crime thriller.
Film review: Destroyer. Nicole Kidman plays a badly behaved alcoholic detective in a grim new crime thriller. But the more despicable she is, the more you care about her, writes Nicholas Barber ...
Destroyer opens like a sand-blasted remake of Jeremy Saulnier's Blue Ruin, as a bedraggled Erin wakes up in her car.Her face is ravaged, as if it has been drowned in an ocean of pain, then left ...
Movie Reviews 'Destroyer': Film Review | Telluride 2018. Nicole Kidman plays a damaged Los Angeles cop tracking down an old nemesis in Karyn Kusama's pitch-black crime drama.
Destroyer is a 2018 American neo-noir crime drama film directed by Karyn Kusama, written and co-produced by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, and starring Nicole Kidman with Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Scoot McNairy, Bradley Whitford, and Sebastian Stan.The film follows a former undercover police officer (Kidman), who takes revenge against members of a gang, years after her case was blown.
A preview of the film. The director Karyn Kusama makes that easy to do with a snaky, propulsive story that takes Bell across Los Angeles and routinely drops her back into her troubled past. The ...
Film Review: Nicole Kidman in 'Destroyer' Nicole Kidman goes dark — and nearly unrecognizable — in a role that all but obliterates the idea that audiences require likable protagonists.
The star and director Karyn Kusama ( Girlfight, Jennifer's Body) take no shortcuts to the dark night of this woman's soul. Eyes red-rimmed and skin fried by the sun, this cop looks beaten. It ...
Destroyer has plenty of secrets, and it'd be a shame to give any of them away, but it's safe to expect many moments of gnashing suspense and gripping bittersweet. The movie's use of light and shadow turns Los Angeles into a modern world of film noir, from desolate, graffiti-tagged slabs of buildings to a slash of diagonal shadow under the ...
Destroyer is a fragmented film, which will exasperate some. And there's something fundamentally unrealistic, dreamlike about Erin's encounters in the present day. Everybody has changed, and ...
60. Kenneth Turan. Dec 24, 2018. Destroyer is simultaneously impressive and stand-offish. Persuasively directed by Kusama and convincingly acted by Kidman and expert costars like Toby Kebbell and Sebastian Stan though it is, its determination to live exclusively at the darkest end of the street pays disagreeable dividends.
Destroyer: Directed by Karyn Kusama. With Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan. A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.
She's playing a cop, but 'Destroyer', almost by choice, makes us wonder if she's playing a corpse. Vigorously yet joylessly directed by 'Girlfight's Karyn Kusama, the Los Angeles-set ...
Review Destroyer review - Nicole Kidman transforms for bitter noir dirge The Oscar winner takes on the role of a tortured detective in a grimy LA-set thriller that skirts around intriguing ideas ...
Peter Bradshaw's film of the week Destroyer. Review. Destroyer review - Nicole Kidman's cop on the skids is a raw, riveting revelation. In a smart and utterly absorbing performance, Kidman ...
The movie still hits a number of familiar beats for this type of crime noir story, but (as always) it's the execution and fresh ingredients that make the tried and true formula really work. Jade Pettyjohn and Nicole Kidman in Destroyer. Kusama's strong direction is also a big part of why Destroyer thrives as much as it does.
8/10. Self-Destroyer. dschmeding 17 February 2019. I seriously do not get half of the reviews about this movie about it not having a plot and being slow or about the editing being confusing. "Destroyer" has a very straight forward plot that is not even using cheap twists but rather telling a straight story in a hypnotic trance way and cutting ...
Destroyer (2018) Film Review from the 62nd Annual London Film Festival, a movie directed by Karyn Kusama, starring Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany,Bradley Whitford ...
By David Rooney. May 20, 2023 12:45pm. Robert De Niro (left) and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival. Late in the action of Martin Scorsese 's ...
About Dry Grasses review - Nuri Bilge Ceylan's absorbing drama of a teacher-pupil crisis 4d ago Cannes 2023 week one roundup - from Depp to Godard, the chaotic circus rolls on