The rich vein of unsettling darkness and psychological unease that ripples like a treacherous underground stream beneath the absurdist humor of Yorgos Lanthimos’ work becomes a brooding requiem of domestic horror in his masterfully realized fifth feature, The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Reaching back to classical Greek tragedy for inspiration, this hypnotic tale of guilt and retribution provides an even more riveting role for Colin Farrell after his collaboration on the director’s English-language debut, The Lobster. He’s flanked by a never-better Nicole Kidman and a performance of chilling effectiveness from emerging Irish talent Barry Keoghan in a thriller that frequently invites comparison to vintage Polanski.
Mirroring the way that pivotal scene plays out, the escalating horror as the action continues is magnified in its power by being so muted. This is a movie that closes its grip on our fears by infinitesimal degrees, demonstrating that bone-deep, tightly clamped anxiety can be scarier than screaming terror. […] The performances across the board are expertly gauged demonstrations of restraint under extreme duress.
The Greek director here further cements his position among the world’s most interesting contemporary filmmakers […].
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter