'Destroyer' tries too hard to defy our expectations

Nicole Kidman plays a gritty, semi-disgraced Los Angeles police detective who seems hollowed out by rage in Karyn Kusama’s film.

Sabrina Lantos/Annapurna Pictures/AP
Nicole Kidman stars in 'Destroyer.'

Nicole Kidman plays a gritty, semi-disgraced Los Angeles police detective who seems hollowed out by rage in Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer,” and if the film’s title evokes an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie rather than a typical Kidman vehicle, that’s probably intentional.

This is one of those radical change-your-image performances that tries too hard to defy our expectations. Kidman has indeed proved in the past to be quite versatile, but this muddled, scabrous, neo-noir procedural does her no great favors. Grade: C+ (Rated R for language throughout, violence, some sexual content, and brief drug use.)

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