The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Rated 3.0

Iconoclastic Greek director Yorgos Lanthismos (Dogtooth) makes his second English-language film with The Killing of a Sacred Deer, following up last year’s The Lobster. Colin Farrell again stars here as Dr. Steven Murphy, a skilled and successful surgeon with a beautiful and successful wife (Nicole Kidman), two accomplished kids and a dark secret from his past. That dark secret takes the form of Martin (Barry Keoghan), a gawky teenager who gloms on to Steven, inserting himself further and further into the surgeon’s family life before finally revealing the vicious magnitude of his plan. Lanthimos specializes in caustically, even sadistically absurd satires on human behavior, and while The Killing of a Sacred Deer certainly fits that bill, it mostly feels vapid and mean. In adapting his singularly airless style to slightly more conventional material, Lanthimos only exposes his own limitations. I still ate up all the Kubrick-ian camera moves, of course. D.B.