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Buried in makeup that accentuates her character’s hard-luck existence, Nicole Kidman brings such compelling conviction to her role as a tormented detective that she single handedly imbues the film with urgency and authenticity. That proves crucial, since director Karyn Kusama often miscalculates Destroyer’s sense of its own profundity.
Director Karyn Kusama shifts dexterously between the present and the past, unspooling a satisfyingly twisted piece of storytelling by writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who succeed in making both plots gripping. Kudos to Kidman for taking on an ugly role (both physically and morally) and for giving both versions of the character a convincing hardness.
As ambitious and sometimes unsettling as it is, the film, after crossing back and forth over the line many times, ultimately feels affected in its aspirations toward making some profound statement about self-abasement and sacrifice, making one feel like rejecting the whole thing despite some striking individual moments.
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Did You Know?
- While preparing for his role Sebastian Stan met an FBI agent in New York who was on a series, Inside the FBI in New York, that gave him some tips.