Action Crime

TIFF Review: ‘Destroyer’

September 12, 2018Ben MK

Inspired by the cop films of the 1970s, like Serpico, director Karyn Kusama's Destroyer is grounded by a stunning performance from Nicole Kidman, as you've never seen her before.

In this gritty and genre-defying crime thriller, Kidman plays Erin Bell, a grizzled LAPD cop who still bears the physical and emotional scars of an undercover operation gone sideways 17 years earlier. Now, virtually estranged from her teenage daughter, Shelby (Jade Pettyjohn), dogged by a bad reputation at the precinct, and haunted by the memories of her former partner, Chris (Sebastian Stan), Erin must not only revisit the case that destroyed her life — she must also confront her own inner demons as well.

Deserving of multiple viewings in the same way as a film like Christopher Nolan's Memento, Destroyer also features daring turns from Tatiana Maslany and Toby Kebbell. However, it's Kidman who unquestionably owns the screen from start to finish. As a woman who's been to Hell and back and who won't rest until she's taken those who've wronged her back with her, this is one of Kidman's most indelible roles to date.

Destroyer makes its international premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 3 min.

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