Panorama | Special Presentations
The moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell (a ferocious Nicole Kidman) who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results, is the tough subject here. When the leader of that gang (Toby Kebbell) re-emerges many years later, Bell must work her way back through the remaining gang members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past.
"Nicole Kidman is at the center of every scene in Destroyer and she becomes progressively more badass as it moves along. As Los Angeles detective Erin Bell, she’s broken, angry, and hellbent on revenge from the very first frame. The rest of the movie explains how she got that way, but Karyn Kusama’s fiery L.A. noir doesn’t need much backstory for Kidman’s attitude to register as genuine. For the first time since her gritty boxing drama Girlfight launched Michelle Rodriguez nearly 20 years ago, the filmmaker has delivered a movie propelled by the ceaseless energy of a woman wrestling to take control of her circumstances, no matter the physical toll…
Destroyer maintains a fascinating thematic focus. Kusama doesn’t bend the rules of the genre, but the movie features a structural complexity that becomes increasingly clear… Kidman’s such a furious engine of rage… think Sam Spade by way of Charlize Theron in Monster… This unapologetically pulpy drama benefits from her relentless ability to wrestle control of every situation…"—Eric Kohn, IndieWire