Destroyer Takes Its Characters On a Journey into Darkness

Director Karyn Kusama and co-star Sebastian Stan shine a light on their brooding new crime thriller, Destroyer.

Nicole Kidman in Destroyer
Annapurna Pictures

Yes, you’ve probably seen Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, the Queen of Atlantis, in Aquaman once already this weekend and you may even be on your way to a second visit. But after watching her fight majestically for her life and that of her son in her relatively brief screen time in that film, you should consider seeing the other movie that Kidman stars in and absolutely owns: Destroyer.

Directed by Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, the chilling The Invitation), Destroyer is the story of Erin Bell, a burned-out LAPD cop who is tormented by her efforts to reconnect with her estranged daughter and haunted by an undercover FBI sting that went disastrously and tragically wrong some years ago. When an enemy from the past (Toby Kebbell) resurfaces, Erin embarks on a dangerous quest to take him down and finally silence the demons of memory and grief consuming her.

Further Reading: Destroyer Review

Kidman is nearly unrecognizable in what is clearly one of the best performances of her career. She’s guided by the steady, stylish hand of Kusama, who has fashioned Destroyer into a paradoxically sunlit noir and psychological drama set in some of the more off-the-beaten-track corners of Los Angeles.

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Den of Geek recently spoke with Kusama and co-star Sebastian Stan (Avengers: Infinity War), who plays Erin’s former partner in the movie, and both director and actor discussed the way the characters evolve in this dark, gripping thriller. “I was just drawn to a character that we get to witness go through a long and somewhat harrowing process towards taking a look at herself in the mirror,” says Kusama.

Destroyer also stars Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Scott McNairy (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Bradley Whitford (Get Out). It opens on Tuesday (Christmas), December 25.

Don Kaye is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist and associate editor of Den of Geek. Other current and past outlets include Syfy, United Stations Radio Networks, Fandango, MSN, RollingStone.com and many more. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @donkaye