Destroyer (2018) Poster

(2018)

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8/10
Nicole Kidman is the star!!
benjaminsolomon3412 September 2018
Nicole Kidman is an absolute beast in this movie. Her performance in Destroyer is truly enthralling, and quite frankly, the highlight of the entire picture. She submerges herself in the character both physically and emotionally. You can easily feel her pain and bleak persona. Even her joyous moments- as scarse as they are- were well interpreted by Kidman.

The movie is a fine movie, at least to me, though many don't feel that way. It is a must-see.
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8/10
NICOLE KIDMAN.
kingsgrl201021 November 2018
Erin Bell is a brutal character that is driven with revenge, she can't seem to fix the world around her and she's not even trying to fix herself. Nicole Kidman (who is unrecognizable other than her tall frame) gives one of her greatest performances yet. Her chemistry with Sebastian Stan is fantastic and makes you understand why she is where she is now. The way she goes about solving the crime in this noir-thriller, is unrelenting, she is a character that is trying to do right by her child, but is so lost she doesn't know how. While you shouldn't feel bad for her character, you do, because Nicole is that. good. Big props to Karyn Kasuma, great direction, and the ending of this film is beautifully shot and completely heartbreaking. Overall a good thriller and a powerhouse performance by Ms. Kidman, a female director and female cinematographer - showing women can be strong, complicated, messed-up, and still filled with utter passion. see this one, so we can get more movies like this.
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9/10
Driven by Kusama's Brillaint Vision and Fueled by Kidman's Breathtaking Perfomence, Destroyer is a Classic in the Making
Harun_Karali18 October 2018
Erin Bell was a detective that was pushed over the edge, broken by a sting gone terribly wrong. The story takes place in the disdainful background of Los Angeles, where criminals scatter away like cockroachs and thrive in the cracks of the Justice system. Destroyer is a slow-burning crime film that keeps you guessing. Masterfully helmed by Karyn Kusama and brilliantly pieced together by Plummy Tucker. It's odd that this film flew under so many people's radars, as it is one of the finest movies to come out this year. As good as the direction and Cinematography was, it's Kidman's perfomence that take's the cake, if she doesn't win an Oscar from this, she will have been robbed, as Kidman gives the perfomence of her career. Destroyer might very well be the biggest surprise to grace the silver screen this year. As excellent as this film is, the lack of pace might be a turn-off for some certian viewers, although the building tension will keep you white-knuckled and gasping for air. there are moments in the first half of the film where Kusama takes her feet of the gas pedal, in all fairness, it's to add depth to Kidman's character.

The less you know going into this the more you'll enjoy it, as the first half of the film unravels, you will be inclined to question Kusama's direction, but as she peels back the layers of the film you will recogonize the sheer talent that is behind this movie.

8.6 - Oscar worthy
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7/10
Grimly intriguing, slightly overlong revenge saga
PotassiumMan26 December 2018
Nicole Kidman is the epicenter of this bleak crime thriller in which a veteran LAPD officer confronts her long-ago past in which she was part of an undercover operation aimed at a vicious gang of bank robbers. Here, she gives one of her best performances ever.

Kidman's disheveled look in this film is meant to reflect years of anguish and burn-out, in short the psychological toll of her job. An absolutely desolute view of Los Angeles is seen through her exhausted, but still enraged eyes. Another plot layer deals with her challenging relationship with her teenage daughter who has gone astray. Those around Kidman's character rarely see things her way, but that's because she has a past of her own to resolve.

Recommended as slow-burn material that gradually earns one's respect, even though I think a better editor would have made this a tighter film.
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10/10
The cast is fantastic
bakerjr15 December 2018
The performances in this film are incredible. Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, and Tatiana Maslany are all outstanding and take advantage of every second of their screen time. Nicole Kidman stands out though, and was able to create a character filled with sorrow, regret and desperation. Kidman makes you feel all of those feelings right along with her. The director and cinematographer coordinated really well on this film to create an atmosphere that is enthralling and tragic and the locations and sets chosen perfectly show the depravity and misery that is the backdrop for most of the film. I hope this film, the actors, and director receive the attention they deserve.
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3/10
So disappointed in this movie!
strewth-112 January 2019
I was looking forwatd to seeing Nicole play such a different role and ended up walking out. Aside from the totally confusing timeline, the dialog was absurd and it was painful to watch Nicole grapple with the role. She was as unbelievable as an LA cop as Elizabeth Olsen was as an FBI agent in Wind River.
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10/10
An interesting Indie Film, but far from perfect
frondutom29 December 2018
DESTROYER, despite suffering from some pacing issues and logical confusion, devilets a compelling, nonlinear story carried on the backs of some excellent performances.

While at times the film felt as if it was hitting all the beats you would expect in an Action/Revenge story, but without spoiling the third act, it did its best to add some unique twists to the otherwise conventional story.

Some characters remain underdeveloped and seem to exist only to serve Kidman's arc, and the film almost comes to a grinding halt whenever it focuses too heavily on Kidman's relationship with her daughter. Also, during the daytime, the film is almost shot like a procedural crime drama.

Overall though, the result is a thought provoking action film with plenty of redeeming qualities. I would rate it either a 6 or a 7.
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3/10
This movie sucked!
elizabeth-logan124 November 2018
First of all the story was convoluted when it didn't have to be. Secondly Nicole Kidman's aged character was way over-the-top and lacked any real substance and because of this her character distracted the viewer from the actual story being told. I've experienced more interesting stories in an episode of Law & Order SVU. In addition the person who did the make up for Nicole needed to be slapped in the face because it was so bad. There wasn't a need for her to wear that stupid wig and talk with that stupid Clint Eastwood vigilante accident. I spent most of this movie laughing at The stupidity or hoping it would end soon. In addition I am aware this film was shot in LA but there was no need to include so many car following scenes it was a waste of film in my opinion.
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A stock thriller with a fierce Kidamn.
jdesando3 January 2019
My grade of B- is all for the A-list Nicole Kidman showing us she can act like Charlize Theron in Monster. Destroyer is her film, and she does her best to show us she can be badass L.A. PD detective Erin Bell with years on her face and chips on her shoulder. It's just that the vehicle for this iconic actress is a middling thriller with a jumbled plot about her being an undercover cop, a heist gone wrong, and her annoyingly disaffected daughter, Shelby (Jade Pettyjohn), for whom Erin suffers much.

Kidman is made up to look like a beaten woman, but we do get a few too many flashbacks to show us how beautiful she was as a young brunette cop with a future. Director Karyn Kusama keeps the camera close on Kidman, as if she were begging us not to forget that underneath some neat makeup beats the heart and face of a super movie star.

Beyond Kidman's overpowering presence, some solid performances emerge, for instance Sebastian Stan as Chris, her loving partner; and Beau Knapp, as the boyfriend Jay no one would want for your daughter. Myriad other minor characters reflect the complex world of LA, real and romantic. It's the best city I know for attractive crime and fetching diversity.

Perhaps the awareness of glamorous Kidman as a squinting Dirty Harry is what steers the film and her performance to mediocrity. This observation may condemn Kidman to playing courtesans and rich mothers, but the reality is that she has over the years crafted an enviable persona relying partly on her unusually good looks. Perhaps this rough detective will allow us to forget that image as she plays in more gritty roles that display, without distraction, a world-class actress.

If you are a Kidman fan (I became one after Moulin Rouge), see Destroyer, which just may pleasantly erase your picture of perfection.
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1/10
So Boring I Left Before the End
grega-9134815 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Just unbelievably boring. Everything builds up to the event that broke her as a character and when they finally showed it, I had enough and left. Just couldn't take it anymore. Here's every scene in the movie:

'Give me the info I need to move the plot along' 'No' 'Give it to me' 'No' 'GIVE IT TO ME' 'Ok'

Plus Kidman looks comical and stiff with all that makeup on.
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6/10
Nicole sans glamour
ferguson-69 January 2019
Greetings again from the darkness. The rogue/burned-out cop obsessed with an old case or particular criminal nemesis is something we have seen many times before. Ordinarily there would be no reason to seek out yet another movie on the subject; however, this time the reason is obvious ... Nicole Kidman.

Ms. Kidman, an Oscar winner for THE HOURS (2002), is an excellent actress and has had a wonderful career, but this is something altogether different for her. She plays LAPD Detective Erin Bell, a worn-down, emotionally shattered shell of the idealistic cop who, 17 years earlier, was part of an undercover operation that went tragically and violently wrong. Director Karyn Kusama (JENNIFER'S BODY, 2009) bounces back and forth on the timelines - sometimes we are viewing Erin's undercover work with her partner Chris (Sebastian Stan), and others we get the haggard Erin of present day. The contrast is stark.

The ghost of case past has returned, and we witness what has haunted her these many years. Past decisions and actions have rotted her spirit, while alcohol has since destroyed her body. She is a wreck - physically and emotionally, and her reputation within the force is shot. It wouldn't be totally accurate to describe her as self-destructive since she has already destructed. The only thing keeping her going is booze and a desire for revenge.

Flashbacks take us through her early work with the crime gang led by Silas (Toby Kebbell), a master of psychological manipulation (think Charles Manson). We also see Erin's too-close connection to partner Chris, and a terrific bank heist scene explains how things went down. Now it's 17 years later, and Silas has resurfaced. Erin wonders why. We also see Erin's feeble attempts to be a mother to her 16 year old daughter (do the math) Shelby, played by Jade Pettyjohn. The two have only a sliver of a relationship as Shelby lives with Erin's ex Ethan (the eternally underutilized Scoot McNairy).

Other support work is provided by Tatiana Maslany as one of Silas' gang, and Bradley Whitford as a scummy defense attorney. Erin has a sequence with the latter that emphasizes just how alone she is. When asked where her partner is, we realize she has no partner with her and no back-up on the way ... she is a lonely, desperate, rogue cop with a murky plan and a head clouded by booze.

Writing partners Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (known for CLASH OF THE TITANS and RIDE ALONG) deliver very few surprises with the script, leaving the burden on Ms. Kidman to keep us interested. And despite her character's train wreck of a life, the performance is quite something to behold ... her look, her gait, and even her whispered voice - all point to a woman hanging on by a thread and lacking basic daily energy to show any signs of hope. Director Kusama adds texture by showing many non-touristy areas of Los Angeles, and filming the two timelines in such a way that the structure works - although the Erin in shambles is far more intriguing than the younger one. On a separate note, there should be a special Oscar for the make-up team that managed to make the usually glamorous Ms. Kidman look realistically shattered.
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its Karyn Kusama what else can you expect
guinnan18 January 2019
And I liked Aeon Flux of all her films she was ridiculed for Jennifer's Body. I'm not sure what Nicole Kidman was thinking taking on an edgy cop role. Perhaps its time to rethink taking on so many roles in any given eyar and leaving the quality on the table? Kusama over dramatic use of cutting away and flare is simply over the top and predictable. One would think that perhaps JJ Abrams was involved making this film.
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Spotty crime drama with an effective Kidman performance
gortx17 January 2019
Karyn Kusama's crime drama follows a lot of familiar beats: The broken down drunken cop who has to confront a dark secret from their past. The beat partner who is left in the dark. The resentful ex. The bitter child who feels abandoned. That past catching up in the present. What keeps the movie above the ordinary is Nicole Kidman's performance as said cop. More that just 'Going ugly', Kidman drops her often icy veneer to play an officer on the ropes. She knows it, but she can never be whole again, no matter her efforts.

Tatiana Maslany is solid in a small, but, crucial role. The other supporting players are fine, even if they are mainly given stock parts to play. Much of the movie comes off as an extended pilot for a limited cable/streaming series. Too much of the distended runtime is given over to exposition with some scenes are edited in the loose manner of a TV series rather than a feature, with several dragging on well past the point of any plot or character development necessary. Theodore Shapiro's driving score tries its best to keep things moving, and Julie Kirkwood's cinematography adds some stylish moments. Despite its limitations, DESTROYER is decent drama which works mainly as a character piece. Some tightening and a few more original concepts would have made the whole equal to Kidman's performance.
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stupid rates while the movie is not out yet
d_e_l_t_a_crack17 January 2019
How on earth you rate a movie which is not out in cinemas yet ? u so stupid
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8/10
Grim, Challenging Neo-Noir with a Haunting Performance From Kidman
Videoverdose14 January 2019
Drove an hour to the nearest theater see this and it was totally worth it. A grim neo-noir slow burner with a haunting and fierce performance from Nicole Kidman, who plays a devastated LAPD detective with nothing left to lose beyond her rage-filled vendetta. This film is sorta marketed as a revenge actioner a la Death Wish, but don't go into this expecting a high octane revenge flick-there's a lot more going on with its arduous non-linear narrative and layered main character. This is a dark, challenging film that takes its time as its broken deadeyed anti-heroine stumbles through LA's seedy criminal underworld on the scent for an elusive killer, but there's several satisfying bursts of bloody violence, scuzz, and excellent performances from Tatiana Maslany, Jade Pettyjohn, and Toby Kebbell. Kidman is definitely this film's strongest aspect, but it's totally worth your time if you dig grim neo-noirs, revenge films, and misanthropic detective tales. If I absolutely had to compare it to two other films, think Death Wish meets Department Q but with a gender role reversal and an original narrative twist. You won't love it, you probably won't hate it, but I bet you'll be gripped from start to finish. And if not, so be it, I dug it.
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1/10
Do your homework
Another_Critic25 November 2018
This film indicates that Kidman is an LAPD Detective, however in the trailer it shows a personnel file of her wearing a sheriff deputy's uniform. To any film maker, when making a movie about LAPD please go out and get a technical advisor that perhaps worked for LAPD so you can avoid the embarrassment.
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It's NOT out Yet!
the_nephilim7111 January 2019
How and why are people reviewing this movie before it has even premiered? Some are over the top who gave it high scores and obviously people involved with the movie. Then there are those who have given it extremely low scores before they've seen it. Knock it off and give honest reviews!
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2/10
Very Confusing...who WERE those guys???
mamlukman16 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
My wife and I saw this at the Palm Springs Film Festival in mid-January.

Yes, Nicole Kidman goes against type and plays a down-and-out policewoman. Good for her. Now that Nicole's got it out of her system, let's go back to roles she can play better. And Tatiana Maslany shows up and gives an inspired scene. Of course.

HOWEVER....The movie shifts mercilessly between the present and 17 years before. Just as you figure out (if you're lucky) what's going on in the segment you're watching, poof, you shift times. Nicole is the focus, which is fine, and it's easy enough to keep track of her despite the time shifting. But the men....was it my imagination, or did they all have beards? Some guys (I'm guessing here, since I couldn't keep them straight) showed up in just one segment in one time period; others seemed to show up in a past and then a present segment. Every time the movie shifted times, it plopped you down in a new situation, so you had to figure out who was who and what was going on. Frankly, this was beyond my feeble abilities. I couldn't keep either the plot or the men straight.

The director, Karyn Kusama, was at the screening. (I had never heard of her before, nor had I ever seen any of her other movies.) I asked her about the time shifting, the confusion, and who all the guys were. She said she sympathized ("poor feeble-minded idiot...") but stuck to her "vision." She talked about a "rhythm" of the past vs. present segments. As chance would have it, she was standing outside the theatre afterwards, and I expanded on my question: How 80% of my attention was spent trying to figure out which guy was which, and how the time shifting made it all unnecessarily confusing. I suggested (not very tactfully, I admit) that she made the movie for film school students, not the general public. Her answer to that was revealing: "If you watched it two or three times, you would see the richness...." Excuse me!! Hello!! who watches a movie two-three times and analyzes all the details? The general public or film school students? She confirmed my point.

Was I alone in my confusion? After she answered my question in the Q&A, the guy behind me tapped me on my shoulder and said, "You're right." In line for another movie the next morning, there was a group of six people who had seen "Destroyer" the night before. I simply asked "What did you think of the movie?" They all thought it was confusing. And a few days later, I met a very famous and experienced actress (no names, I don't want to get her in trouble) and asked her if she had seen "Destroyer." She had. "What did you think of it?" I asked. "It was very confusing," she said. I rest my case.

Now another thing that bothered me was Nicole saying "Silas is back." Unless I'm more confused than I realize, I think she says that BEFORE she gets a dyed bank note in the mail from Silas. So HOW does she know he's back??? It that a mistake in continuity???

I'm left wondering why they didn't show this to two separate focus groups: First, the movie as is, with constant time shifting. Then a second version that is linear--it starts at the beginning and goes to the end. No time shifting. In my opinion, a linear movie would have just as much suspense, but eliminate all the confusion. Why don't studios do that? Because they're making movies for film school students?
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6/10
I was pleasantly surprised
caseyrcook14 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
First off I want to say this is not noir, not LA noir, not sunshine noir....not noir. The soundtrack alone almost makes this clear. But it is a very well done film set in a gritty LA underworld of white person felons and murderers.

Of the complaints I noticed before buying a ticket anyway, the ones that most worried me were as follows:

1. Nicole Kidman's makeup wasn't believable - False. Looks fine.

2. Nicole Kidman's accent wasn't believable - False. No accent. Seriously whoever said Clint Eastwood must have meant Dirty Harry, but even then there was very little to complain about.

3. The story was unbelievable - Disagree, but there are some questionable plot devices. Still don't make it unwatchable or decrease ability to suspend disbelief.

All in all this was a pretty good movie. Some minor changes could have made it more tight but I was a fan up until the final, stupid, unnecessary sequence that spent about 10 minutes on unnecessary flashbacks and views of the protagonist dying in her car as we got closeups on skateboarding kids under an overpass. Totally random and if they had left that last 10-15 minutes out, my rating would have been an 8.
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3/10
Predictable
kswiss-9479131 December 2018
The movie is an obvious smear campaign. No on screen chemistry to speak of, granite I could only stomach near twenty minutes of the film. The dialogue was astonishing bad probably due to the set design. Cinematography lacked patience and vision. The coustmes if they can be referred to as that were atrocious, how could some one agree to such a film, felt like debt surrounded the film. I gave it three stars simply to indicated that I'm not speaking just from byas. I feel that a large budget should somehow someway not impead artistic aspirations of all involved in cinema. Might be know as a beginner film into artistic expression. Do not be afraid to pull off of any film. You are the star and a major reason as to why people attended the film, speak up for creativity.
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6/10
Nicole Kidman's 'Monster'
dromasca17 January 2019
I like the way Nicole Kidman chooses her roles lately. Of course, after 35 years of career, 84 roles, and one Academy Award she has less need to prove anything to the world and she can just search for interesting roles, scripts, and film directors and work for fun and for the pleasure of walking unexplored paths. The role in 'Destroyer' seems to be inspired by a similar casting decision made 15 years ago by Charlize Theron with her role in 'Monster' which brought an Academy Award to the beautiful South-African born actress for a role in which terrific make-up disfigured her to the brink of being non-recognizable in a role of a prostitute turned into a serial killer. The film directed by Karyn Kusama also disguises Kidman for part of the time, but the transformation she undergoes is not only physical. Unfortunately, from many points of view 'Destroyer' does not succeed to the same level achieved by the film that made Patty Jenkins famous (fame renewed recently by the new 'Wonder Woman' series).

The story. LAPD detective Erin Bell looks and behaves like a walking dead in the huge and violent city. She actually may have virtually died 16 years ago, when an undercover mission she took part in went wrong. Nothing seems to raise positive feelings in her, not even the relationship with her teenage daughter who prefers to live with her ex-husband, and seems to be making some bad choices in her own life. The only feeling that may motivate her is a desire for revenge which is awaken when a murder that seems to be related to her past happens. There are two story lines in the film and the action oscillates between the two: one is the very unorthodox murder inquiry which Erin is conducting merely in order to find the man behind the destruction of her life, and the flashbacks that will gradually clarify the reasons of her behavior in the events that turned upside down the path of her life.

What I liked. Film director Karyn Kusama succeeds to make clear both the psychological thriller story and the action scenes. Nicole Kidman's acting is convincing, and her make-up in the present day is excellent.

What I liked less. While the script is well-written and we slowly discover the dark past of the character, there is one big flaw that makes the whole story less credible. I believe that even in the crime-ridden LA described in the film, a police officer with such an erratic behavior would be suspended on the spot, not trusted to bear a gun and a badge of law officer. For a film that aspires to be realistic, this is a huge mistake in my opinion. There is also nothing likeable in this film, not even the lead character, certainly not the reality around her. Despite its ambitions the film is hard to watch, maybe also lasts a bit longer than necessary. Getting back again to 'Monster', that film had a social and moral messages. In 'Destroyer' it's just one bad choice in the past that seems to impact everything, the rest is pulp fiction and very grim reality.
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