Movie ReviewsThe Killing of a Sacred Deer – A Weirdly Tense Thriller

Keith NoakesNovember 3, 2017

ICYMI: My earlier review of The Killing of a Sacred Deer from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, originally found here.

Synopsis: Dr. Steven Murphy is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife Anna and their two exemplary children, 12-year-old Bob and 14-year-old Kim. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin, a fatherless teen who Steven has covertly taken under his wing. As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family’s life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter the Murphy family’s domestic bliss. (a24)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Barry Keoghan

Writers: Yorgos LanthimosEfthymis Filippou

Director:  Yorgos Lanthimos

Rating: 18A (Canada)/R (United States)

Running Time: 109mins


For showtimes and more, check out The Killing of a Sacred Deer on movietimes.com.

From the writer of the incredibly weird The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos, comes the equally weird The Killing of a Sacred Deer. While the former seemed gratuitously weird with no real story, this new film also has some of that trademark strangeness but with an actual story this time around. 

The story was suspenseful and compelling to watch thanks to the lead performances by Farrell as Dr. Murphy, Kidman as his wife Anna, and Keoghan as Martin. Farrell and Kidman were their usual selves here with their great chemistry making them a believable couple but it is Keoghan who stood out above both experienced actors, standing on his own and stealing scenes. Over the course of the film, he manages to go from charming to downright sinister with relative ease.

Overall, this was an excellent thriller with all the weirdness you’d expect from Lanthimos but with a compelling story and great performances to nicely tie it all together.

Score: 9.5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, follow me on Instagram, and also like me on Facebook.



  • CineMuseFilms

    November 12, 2017 at 8:29 PM

    I agree with your assessment Keith. This absurdist arthouse film is tantalisingly ambiguous; most viewers will not be sure if they are watching a supernatural horror, a psychological thriller, or a black comedy. Thats its greatest strenght.

    • Keith Noakes

      November 12, 2017 at 8:32 PM

      The Lobster was too weird for me but this one at least had some semblance of a purpose for everything. The weirdness here just fit with the unusual story.

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