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The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

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Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.

Director:

Yorgos Lanthimos
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Popularity
348 ( 11)
4 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barry G. Bernson ... Dr. Larry Banks
Herb Caillouet Herb Caillouet ... Ed Thompson (Hospital Director)
Bill Camp ... Matthew Williams
Raffey Cassidy ... Kim Murphy
Denise Dal Vera ... Mary Williams
Colin Farrell ... Steven Murphy
Barry Keoghan ... Martin
Nicole Kidman ... Anna Murphy
Drew Logan Drew Logan ... Principal
Alicia Silverstone ... Martin's Mother
Sunny Suljic ... Bob Murphy
Michael Trester Michael Trester ... Elderly Man
Ming Wang ... Doctor (Abdominal)
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Storyline

After the untimely death of 16-year-old Martin's father on the operating table, little by little, a deep and empathetic bond begins to form between him and the respected cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Steven Murphy. At first, expensive gifts and then an invitation for dinner will soon earn the orphaned teenager the approval of Dr Steven's perfect family, even though right from the start, a vague, yet unnerving feeling overshadows Martin's honest intent. And then, unexpectedly, the idyllic family is smitten by a fierce and pitiless punishment, while at the same time, everything will start falling apart as the innocents have to suffer. In the end, as the sins of one burden the entire family, only an unimaginable and unendurable decision that demands a pure sacrifice can purge the soul. But to find catharsis, one must first admit the sin. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

R for disturbing violent and sexual content, some graphic nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Facebook [UK] | Instagram [UK] | See more »

Country:

Ireland | UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

3 November 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Killing of a Sacred Deer See more »

Filming Locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$115,120, 22 October 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,291,901, 28 December 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's title comes from the ending of the tragedy Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Martin: You know, not long after my dad died, someone told me that I eat spaghetti the exact same way he did. They said what an extraordinary impression this fact had made on them. Look at the boy, look how he eats spaghetti. Exactly the same way his father did. He sticks his fork in. He twirls it around, around, around, around, around. Then he sticks it in his mouth. At that time, I thought I was the only one who ate spaghetti that way. Me and my dad. Later, of course, I found out that everyone eats ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Half in the Bag: 2017 Movie Catch-up: Part 2 (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Carol of the Bells
Performed by Lachey Arts Choir
Written by Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (as Mykola Leontovic) and Peter Wilhousky
By permission of Carl Fischer Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lanthimos walking on the slippery paths of ancient tragedy and Hollywood
27 February 2018 | by folon2008-100-319305See all my reviews

Having watched the Dogtooth and Lobster, I realize to my disappointment that Lanthimos's choices on plots and their transfers on screen follow a downward spiral. It is a great waste of cinematographic and acting talent to spread misery and pain without an attempt to awaken people's minds towards noble thinking and way out of the purpose of the notorious but didactic nature of good old ancient greek tragedies. And in this case, borrowing and twisting the ancient myth regarding the original plot and purpose, once more proves to be a very dangerous undertaking that leads knowledgeable audience to inevitable comparisons almost surely to the loss of the borrower and people ignorant of the context in front of an uninterpreted mess (as I often hilariously found out by reading previous reviews of the film).

Stretching situations to the utmost ends may be a strong demonstrative tool for expressing views on bad reality but somehow, this has to drill down to the causes according to the creators' view. I was able to follow the line on Dogtooth and Lobster, easier in the first case, harder in the second but here, I really can not figure out an original and innovative view on causes. If that was not the purpose of the film, then it is just a plain useless, flat and twisted representation of the old myth. I recommend you to choose instead, films of Lars von Trier, even the Antichrist. In those films you can also delve into despair but at least with far more poetic ways.

Being myself an existentialist and often cynical on my views on humanity and people's behavior on situations beyond their abilities, I personally prefer Tarkovsky's God-seeking world or even Tsafoulias's recent work Eteros Ego (The other me) with its struggling characters and their attitudes as opposed to the ever film-by-film evolving deadlocked and suffocating Lanthimos's micro-cosmoses that teach us (with often needlessly graphic enstantanees) less and less.

A piece's of art impression is about provoking minds to think forward. In that sense this piece is a failure.


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