Kid­man a dark, gaunt avenger who’s no an­gel

StarMetro Calgary - - DAILY LIFE - AP Full re­view at thes­tar.com/movies

Nicole Kid­man’s per­for­mance in De­stroyer may haunt you. Bound­less re­morse and an un­slak­able thirst for vengeance.

These are the two pri­mal forces driv­ing po­lice of­fi­cer Erin Bell, twin en­gines that have pared her body (and soul) to the bare min­i­mum, leav­ing her a dessi­cated shell of a woman. It is an as­ton­ish­ing per­for­mance by Nicole Kid­man that shows she’s the peak of her skills.

It is a per­for­mance that trans­forms De­stroyer into a sear­ing and com­pelling film­noir mas­ter­piece. Kid­man’s per­for­mance and the film it­self will leave your mouth dry and make your bones ache. It may even haunt your dreams for a time.

The film opens with Bell (a nearly un­rec­og­niz­able Kid­man, as lean and mangy as a stray dog) at­tend­ing a crime scene where the other of­fi­cers re­gard her and draw back with an al­most in­stinc­tual fear and loathing. The vic­tim’s body and a sub­se­quent clue — a stained $100 bill — take Bell back to a tragic episode from her past while reignit­ing a lust for ret­ri­bu­tion against an old ad­ver­sary that has dom­i­nated her life since.

With lit­tle re­gard for the rules, Bell sets out on a re­lent­less cam­paign to track down those who can bring her face to face with Si­las (Toby Kebbell), a nearly mes­sianic bank rob­ber who stole ev­ery­thing from her when a heist went bad so many years ear­lier, ev­ery­thing ex­cept a daugh­ter she has strug­gled to raise.

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