A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.


Karyn Kusama
2,029 ( 279)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicole Kidman ... Erin Bell
Toby Kebbell ... Silas
Tatiana Maslany ... Petra
Sebastian Stan ... Chris
Scoot McNairy ... Ethan
Bradley Whitford ... DiFranco
Toby Huss ... Gil Lawson
James Jordan ... Toby
Beau Knapp ... Jay
Jade Pettyjohn ... Shelby
Shamier Anderson ... Antonio
Zach Villa ... Arturo
Natalia Cordova-Buckley ... Det. Gavras
Colby French ... Det. Kudra
Kelvin Han Yee ... Lt. Oshima


Destroyer follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past. Written by Annapurna Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You can't run from yourself. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, violence, some sexual content and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Sebastian Stan originally auditioned for the role of Silas, but director Karyn Kusama told him she felt that he'd be better for the role of Chris. See more »


When Bell changes the magazine of her HK MP5 during the firefight in the bank, the sub-machine gun's safety is set to S (Sicher = Safe). During magazine changes (especially under fire) you leave it at the setting that you had: E (Einzelfeuer = Single Shot) or F (Feuerstoss = Full Automatic). See more »


Jay: She'll never love you.
Erin Bell: She doesn't have to.
See more »


Referenced in Estrenos Críticos: Enero 2019 (2019) See more »


Performed by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
See more »

User Reviews

17 February 2019 | by dschmedingSee all my reviews

I seriously do not get half of the reviews about this movie about it not having a plot and being slow or about the editing being confusing. "Destroyer" has a very straight forward plot that is not even using cheap twists but rather telling a straight story in a hypnotic trance way and cutting up the timeline to reveal information at the time the director considered it necessary. I loved Karyn Kusamas "The Invitation" and "Destroyer" is a well made movie, no matter how you look at it. Nicole Kidman carries the movie along with the perfect choice of music that sucks you in and watch the plot unfold. This is not an action movie and if you fell for that its not the directors fault. Its a slow drama about a cop that made wrong decisions and tries to right her wrongs when her past with a bank heist gone wrong gets back to her 17 years later.

I know people today have attention spans like moths but seriously... if you can't accept a slow drama for what it is, that says more about you than about the movie. And come on, its 2019... if you are confused by a non-linear timeline and can't wait till the movie clears up the confusion.... thats on you too.

Don't expect this to be a violent revenge movie... its not. Well, at least its not the focus of "Destroyer", although the movie does not hold back when things go down. The drama elements are well played and the ending was quite touching to me. At its core this movie is about the desperate longing for escape from a cold, grey world and its quite obvious from the choice of locations and flats that always give off a bleak, worn down feeling. Music and cinematography make this work perfectly and the editing helped spice up a rather straight forward plot. If you liked Kusamas previous movies... go for it. The key ingredients of haunting atmosphere and slow unveiling of information to the viewer are there although this is a completely different movie than "The invitation". So don't fall for all the moths swarming IMDB. I can't put my finger on all those silly 1star ratings but honestly, it reeks of gender insecurity.

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Release Date:

27 December 2018 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Destroyer See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,347, 30 December 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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