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Destroyer 2018



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About the Destroyer 💬

  • There's nothing to lose when you've already lost everything.

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.

  • It's all a part of the plan. Stick to the plan.

As a young detective, Erin (Nicole Kidman) and her partner Chris (Sebastian Stan) were placed undercover in the California desert to infiltrate a notorious criminal gang, controlled by their dangerously unstable leader Silas (Toby Kebbell), but the operation ends in tragedy.

  • Don't let the past repeat itself.

Years later, struggling to maintain a relationship with her daughter Shelby (Jade Pettyjohn) and still haunted by her past, she embarks on a mission for redemption and closure when it appears Silas has re-emerged.


DESTROYER is, at its core, a film about confronting your mistakes and making the brave decision to be accountable for your actions. Within the relatable frameworks of crime thriller and cop movie, it's also an insistent character study, hinging on the wounded but resilient psychic landscape of an LAPD detective named Erin Bell. The criminal underworld she investigates, alongside a storytelling structure that allows for a narrative surprise, recall films like Heat and The Usual Suspects. But the film also allows intimate access to her in a tradition of genre films as varied as Taxi Driver, A Prophet, or Nightcrawler. It's made more modern and relevant by its complicated female lead, and I can't think of a time when I've loved a character more.

The look and feel of the film reflect the world of extremes it inhabits: a seductive mirage of blasting Los Angeles sunlight and dreamy blankets of coastal fog, fueled by the sonic assault of 1990's desert-metal and the pop confections of today’s top 40 radio. Though DESTROYER moves between two distinct timeframes, it primarily occupies the Los Angeles of today, a 21st-century melting pot of corrupt lawyers and small-time crooks, gun dealers and local preachers, hard-working middle-class laborers, and charismatic charlatans. This vast city, connected by sprawling freeway systems and dotted with neighborhoods as diverse as its people - is itself a mirror of Erin Bell's divided soul: humming with secrets and lies, struggling to find what's real in a landscape of carefully cultivated surfaces. While much of the visual approach to the film should be undeniably visceral and raw, there are opportunities for unexpected beauty and lyricism. The moments of redemption, both visual and moral, should be rare but hard-won.

DESTROYER aims to uncover all kinds of primal ''destroyers'' - money, greed, hunger - but will also reveal the insidious qualities of memory, denial and the inexorable march of time itself. While society's destructive impulses seem to have reached an apocalyptic peak, it's still the peculiar will of an individual to sabotage herself that I find the most compelling and human to explore. In witnessing Erin Bell's self-destruction, we are forced to confront our own personal ''destroyers.'' In the end, she pays a terrible price for her redemption, but she finds it nonetheless. The audience experiences the spiral of regret and shame that powers her odyssey back into the past but also witnesses the heroic journey of a morally compromised character, a woman who eventually decides to right a wrong at any cost.

As a parable, DESTROYER is a bracing ''woman-against-herself'' story, a sustained howl whose story, I hope, belongs to all of us.

Karyn Kusama

Destroyer Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Karyn Kusama

Writing Credits

Matt Manfredi

Phil Hay


Nicole Kidman

Sebastian Stan

Toby Kebbell

Tatiana Maslany

Scoot McNairy

Jade Pettyjohn

Kenley Smyth

Bradley Whitford

Toby Huss

Shamier Anderson

James Jordan

Beau Knapp

Zach Villa

Music by

Theodore Shapiro

Cinematography by

Julie Kirkwood

Category: Golden Globes, Golden Globe Nominee

Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Country: United States

Editorial Note: The only thing that got Destroyed in this movie was our will to live.

Destroyer Official Trailer

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