TIFF 2018: Destroyer Is Nicole Kidman’s Gritty Second Shot At Oscar Glory


Who’s Behind It

Filmmaker Karyn Kusama (Æon Flux, Jennifer’s Body), a veteran TV director who’s worked on series like Masters of Sex, Billions, The Man in the High Castle, and Halt and Catch Fire.

Who’s In It

Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Toby Kebbell (Black Mirror, War for the Planet of the Apes) and your Clone Clubbing girl Tatiana Maslany. Wynonna Earp’s dearly departed Dolls (Shamier Anderson) has a cameo, too.

Who’ll Love It

Fans of dark, gritty, noir-ish crime movies like L.A. Confidential or The Usual Suspects. There’s no good cop/bad cop vibe here, nor will you find any buddy cop camaraderie. From the first frame, you’ll already know not to expect any happy endings.

What It’s About

Kidman goes undercover as a non-glamorous LAPD detective (think: Charlize Theron in Monster or Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich) who herself went undercover for a case years ago. Despite the passing of nearly two decades, the unexpected consequences of the investigation still haunt her. And since she can’t seem to get past, around, or over it, Kidman’s character is hellbent on going straight through it, regardless of the cost.


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We will all miss you @imsebastianstan. I just loved working with you. Farewell Palmdale! #destroyer

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Why You Should See It

Kidman’s physical transformation and Oscar bait performance actually rank second on the lists of reasons to catch this film. It’s Kusama’s storytelling that really shines here—save for a few superfluous moments near the end, after the plot has wound down and been sufficiently wrapped up, this is a taut and tension-filled film that will have you clenching your teeth for the entire two-hour run time.  Also, it doesn’t hit regular theatres until Christmas.

When You Can See It

Monday, September 10 at 9:30 p.m. at the Winter Garden Theatre, Wednesday, September 12 at 1:30 p.m. at the Elgin Theatre, and Saturday, September 15 at 9:45 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The film opens in theatres across Canada on December 25.