A loose-cannon cop pursues a personal vendetta.
“I never thought I’d see Nicole Kidman pistol-whip somebody,” said John Powers in Vogue.com. That’s just one of the many surprises delivered by the 51-year-old star in Karyn Kusama’s “extreme and extremely divisive” new movie, a violent neo-noir thriller that “leaves even those who don’t like it raving about how good Kidman is.” The 2003 Oscar winner plays Erin Bell, a brutal, boozy, dead-eyed LAPD detective who’s out for revenge. The action “seesaws between time frames,” often flashing back to Erin’s work with a partner, played by Sebastian Stan, in a dangerous undercover drug operation, said Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times. That job ended tragically, but before we can find out how, Destroyer almost succumbs to “dour, leaden portentousness.” Still, it’s bracing to watch a movie whose heroine “doesn’t ask you to like her, just to follow her lead,” said Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. Though Kusama isn’t pushing any finger-wagging lessons about gender, “she has a singular unapologetic idea about what women can and cannot do on screen.”
Universal PIctures, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Annapurna Pictures