When Lou Bloom, desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.
|Release Date||:||October 23, 2014|
|Genres||:||Crime, Drama, Thriller|
|Production Co.||:||Bold Films, Sierra / Affinity|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Dan Gilroy, Scott Peterson, Richard L. Fox|
|Writers||:||Dan Gilroy, Warren Drummond|
|Casts||:||Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton, Kevin Rahm, Michael Hyatt, Ann Cusack, Kathleen York, Carolyn Gilroy, Price Carson, Michael Papajohn, Kent Shocknek, Marco Rodríguez, James Huang, Sharon Tay, Rick Garcia, Bill Seward, Rick Chambers, Jonny Coyne, Kevin Dunigan, Eric Lange, Kiff VandenHeuvel, Christina De Leon, Myra Turley, Jamie McShane, Dale Shane|
|Plot Keywords||:||journalism, underground, tv station, sociopath, home invasion, car chase, tv news, employer employee relationship, ethics, stringer|
- A razor sharp satire with Gyllenhaal in top formby 24 October 2014on
293 out of 362 people found the following review useful:
If you take the slick look of Drive and the satirical wit of Network, you get Nightcrawler. This film is a genius first film for director Dan Gilroy, it is darkly comedic, surprisingly disturbing and is brilliantly acted. The film tells the story of Lou Bloom, a freelance videographer who covers the crime world in LA for a local news station and ruthless editor played by Rene Russo. It isn't before long until Bloom's demented job overtakes his life, making him colder and colder the deeper he goes. The film plays like a twisted bloody version of Network and has the satirical wit to back it up. Jake Gyllenhaal is utterly fantastic in this film. Lou Bloom is a role that he is completely submerged in and it oozes through every frame as our dislike for Bloom intensifies throughout the film. But what this film does best is not make us particularly like Bloom but it makes us wonder what he is willing to do next. And trust me, his actions get as sick and as shocking as they come. Bloom is a depraved individual and Jake Gyllenhaal deserves a hell of a lot acknowledgment for this role because he pulls off the tricky task of making the audience care about a character that is truly unlikeable and does so with not one false note. It is truly mesmerizing to see. The supporting cast including Rene Russo and Bill Paxton are absolutely great in this film and deliver career bests here. The cinematography also is top notch here, blending the awesome pallets of Drive with a bitter cold makes for an engaging view and makes it hard for you to peel your eyes from the screen. Writer/Director Dan Gilroy is someone to watch, especially coming out of the gates with a film filled with sheer and raw velocity like this one. It is not only an impressive first film but a brilliant film all around. I highly recommend it.
- Jake G's Blinks in Prisoners are Only Rivaled by the Weaslely Grin In Nightcrawlerby 9 September 2014on
264 out of 327 people found the following review useful:
This movie was both fun and terrifying. Jake Gyllenhaal's performance as Lou Bloom will certainly frighten you. He is brilliant when paired with the amazing monologue style rants written for him.
Lou Bloom is a driven man reminiscent of a sociopath who finds he has a talent as "nightcrawling" in that he takes videos of true crimes as they are happening to be broadcast on the news. His motivation and seeming lack of empathy allow him to break through and take the controversial images, and sell them with a strong aptitude for negotiation.
As a character, he grows more and more "motivated" and seems to learn his business in such a way to bring him amazing success, but to the determinant, perhaps, of his assistant and the victims of these crimes.
The writer/ director of this movie (making his directorial debut) certainly understands fear and comedy. The simplest scene was made into a laugh by the angles and cuts.
It's funny, and enjoyable, but still terrifying enough to feel like a real horror thriller.
- The only thing worse than a nightcrawler is the coroner in the eyes of a victimby 3 November 2014on
206 out of 258 people found the following review useful:
"Nightcrawler" is the kind of film that will catch audiences by surprise with its painstaking thoughtfulness, and features the kind of lead character that will be discussed in film circles who don't detest American cinema and actually give it the benefit of the doubt. The film plunges us into the dark, seedy world of a nightcrawler, somebody who, often working freelance with his or her own equipment and schedule, patrols the streets of crowded cities with multiple police scanners searching for recently-committed crimes in the neighborhood, like rape, shootings, murders, car accidents, and so forth. The object of a nightcrawler is to get candid and intimate shots of the ugliness that plagues these scenarios as quickly and as neatly as possible and sell them to news stations or eyewitness programs to turn quick profit. Job requirements include possible insomniac, lack of emotional connection or any immediate empathy to tragedy or horror, exceptional navigational/driving skills, and a load of free time.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a man at rock-bottom living in Los Angeles, selling scrap metal to get money before eventually turning to the nightcrawling business. He teams up with Rick (Riz Ahmed), a young man desperate to make money to keep a roof over his head, who helps navigate Lou's routes as a nightcrawler and learns of numerous police codes to help Lou decipher the police scanner jargon. Together, the two make for an amateur nightcrawling team, turning profit by selling the footage expertly shot, analyzed, and even occasionally manipulated by Lou to Nina (Rene Russo), the station manager of a severely failing news station that is in dire need to regain viewership.
Ultimately, "Nightcrawler" juggles two tricky but immersing features with its material, simultaneously giving us a look into a grimy and often dirty gig as somebody who is essentially a voyeur into the most vulnerable time of the people he meets and posing frightening commentary on contemporary news. The nightcrawler is not looking to help or to provide encouragement; he's there to get his shots and move on, hoping to turn as large of a profit as he can. We see Los Angeles in the light of what could be classifiable as a contemporary film noir, in dark, sometimes shadowy-photography and dingy environments that reveal an ugliness to a city that is normally captured as very beautiful and ideal in terms of climate. Director Dan Gilroy and cinematographer Robert Elswit (a frequent collaborator of Paul Thomas Anderson) do everything in their power to subvert our ideas of Los Angeles and focus on transitory locations that show the ugliest of human events in such a way that is beautiful and captivating thanks to crystal-clear photography.
The other feature "Nightcrawler" toys with is the contemporary exploration of journalistic ethics and how, with local cable news competing with so many twenty-four hour news stations, who, in turn, are also battling more rapidly-updated social media websites, the manipulation of news is ever-present on Television. News programs, like sitcoms, reality shows, and sports events, are a game of numbers and those numbers are ratings something that "Nightcrawler" makes depressingly clear to us. A crucial scene to this message comes into play when Lou has shot and sold the defining tape of his career and has worked to manipulate it for personal gain. He watches as Nina plays the tape on the air, directing the news anchors in such a specific way in terms of language and mannerisms that we see the fear-mongering happen right before our eyes.
On top of all the social commentary, we see amazingly realistic crime scenes and car accidents to boot. Perhaps it's the lack of intimacy many directors lend to these situations, often showing a car accident, and characters limping and trudging along with little bloodshed, but "Nightcrawler" details these scenes with an incredible eye for attention and realism. Gilroy makes us the voyeur and gives the window into these car accidents that we glance over to see but not entirely anticipate or really want to see. The attention to detail in these seems is simply exquisite and uncommonly believable.
"Nightcrawler," in addition, features a wonderful performance by Gyllenhaal who, like his co-star Paul Dano in last year's "Prisoners," plays detached and empty with such conviction, and channels something of an inner-Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Owning Mahowny," showing his character's complete fulfillment when obsessing over his job and his work. Even Riz Ahmed shouldn't be overlooked here, playing the overworked and under-appreciated assistant to Gyllenhaal's Lou in a role that could've been an empty, and even distracting, side role. The entire project is rich in commentary, performances, and environmental beauty that it could easily be one of the most complete films of the year.
- THE Film of the yearby 22 October 2014on
227 out of 308 people found the following review useful:
This is one of the few films that has held me in my seat from beginning to very end even when half way through I desperately needed to visit the bathroom . The storyline, script, filming and acting combine into the perfect storm of a brilliant film. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a character, on what I can only describe as at the higher end of the autistic spectrum and deserves an Oscar nomination for this role. His character is perfectly matched by Rene Russo playing the role of her career as the success seeking ageing news editor. And a shout too for Riz Ahmed as Rick, Gyllenhaal's assistant. What a contrast to "The Judge" which I saw last week, "Nightcrawler" is superior on every level, go see !
- Stylishly Scary Tour de Forceby 9 November 2014on
136 out of 166 people found the following review useful:
From Welles to De Niro to Hanks to Bale, Hollywood has a history of actors going through extreme body transformations. While Gyllenhaal's intense weight loss will easily fit this trend, to only focus on that part of his commitment to Nightcrawler would be overlooking how impressively gone he is as Louis Bloom, the focus of this intense character study about an overlooked and disturbed individual. It's not a particularly "pleasant" film, and the pacing is far from quick, but the tension between Louis and his world progresses so beautifully as to pin you right to your seat. Nightcrawler is an effectively scary, uncomfortably funny, and stylishly gritty tour de force. The premise, plot and protagonist are truly unique: a sociopath becomes a freelance news-cameraman, stopping at nothing to succeed. Though his arc seems implausible, Gilroy crafts it smoothly, and Gyllenhaal's disturbed perfection make it hard NOT to believe. His unsettling bug-eyed expression and breathtakingly inappropriate smile are magnetic. Much like Scorsese's Rupert Pupkin, Bloom seems to believe he is the star of his own story: delusional, bull-headed, and respectably determined. Luckily, there is more here than just Gyllenhaal; powerful set-pieces resound, and the beautifully cool ambient guitar score is among the best of the year, complimenting Gyllenahaal's uneasy intensity. Even the camera consistently reminds us where Bloom stands in the deeply LA locale. At the heart, it's smartly calling out our propensity for praising characters for their desires, reminding us that compassionless ambition is extremely dangerous. For our fame-starved culture, Nightcrawler is a good message within a great movie with an even greater lead performance. A true don't-miss!
- Gyllenhaal impresses as the least likable character you've seen in a long time.by 31 October 2014on
168 out of 238 people found the following review useful:
You leave the movie theatre with a slightly sick feeling of guilt after watching Nightcrawler. Guilt that you actually enjoyed this rather original movie-making set in an ethical and moral vacuum. In that sense the movie is entirely ironic. You shouldn't be enjoying this stuff.
It's an exposition of entirely greed-induced (financial and ego driven) naked ambition that rivals Wolf of Wall Street for it's blithe abandon of normal ethical practice.
Gyllenhaal, as Louis Bloom, almost cadaverous after his dramatic weight loss for the part, is as unsympathetic a movie character as you've seen in a very long time. His back story, which is precisely zilch, renders him a character in search of a meaning. A loner, a drifter, a thief, unemployed (unemployable is the truth) and entirely without remorse - emotion for that matter - stumbles upon a freelance career as an, at first hapless then really rather good, ambulance chasing 'scene of the crime' news cameraman.
Starting with motorway crashes and graduating to suburban crime scenes (where the threat of middle America being intruded upon by 'Hispanics' and other Liberal American ethnic minorities) he captures more and more challenging newsreel material that feeds the sensation-lust of an LA loser News Station's News Editor, Nina Romina, played deliciously by Rene Russo.
Romina's sponsorship of, and belief in, the expert blagging of Bloom feeds his desire for greater success and indeed for Romina herself. In a toe curling 'date' at a camp Mexican restaurant Bloom lays it on the line with Romina in a scene of toe-curling embarrassment. It's as if Gyllenhaal is playing for laughs, but he's deadly serious.
Throughout, Gyllenhaal commands the screen. The Nightime lighting constantly picking out his skeletal, eye bulging look that makes him look like the devil incarnate. This truly is an evil character and Gyllenhaal's trademark smirk only adds to the perverse sense of evil pleasure he is gaining as his success mushrooms.
A recurring theme in the movie is his watering of a pot plant in his flat. It's as if it's the only living thing he cares two bucks about. Certainly his hapless sidekick/assistant Rick, played by Riz Ahmed, has next to no chance in this little hothouse world of emotion-free ambition.
Gyllenhaal's faux management style 'development' of Rick is at times darkly amusing but usually just plain vacuous and ironic given that he draws from real world self help and management lingo that's bad enough in the corporate world, but downright bizarre in this micro universe.
The car chases are gripping edge of seat affairs, the plot, although it has holes in the final reel (quite big ones I felt) is nevertheless highly original and unfolds at a steady pace.
The conclusion was, to my mind at least, a little disappointing, but aside from this a good, dark, star vehicle for Jake and possibly a step towards another best actor nomination.
- Gyllenhaal at his Bestby 2 November 2014on
123 out of 151 people found the following review useful:
Nightcrawler from the very beginning is not a traditional Hollywood film. It certainly does not follow the narrative of one and even though it has the three-act structure we are all familiar with, it spins them around. This is particularly evident in the third act, incredibly suspenseful with a brilliant, almost anti-climax. Suspense is the main key to this film's success, it build and builds to the point where the last twenty minutes of the film are completely unpredictable. Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut here has shown a real understanding of how to keep an audience engaged and following a character who isn't an easy man to spend a great deal of time with. Gilroy's screenplay is fast paced and one of the finest this year. The script focuses the audience on the characters, Louis Bloom particularly yet the supporting characters are just as impressive by Bill Paxton and Rene Russo alike. It doesn't follow the rules of a typical script, we are introduced instantly to a criminal and this man is supposed to be our protagonist. Yet what becomes clear is that there is not a protagonist in Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal's Louis Bloom is the antagonist. He can be described as nothing less than a psychopath and his portrayal by Gyllenhaal is one of his greatest performances. He is very gaunt here, losing a lot of weight for the role, however that is not the main reason for his impressive performance. Gyllenhaal is an actor who continues to impress me; his work in Enemy from earlier this year was just as brilliant. He has chosen excellent roles in films such as Zodiac, Prisoners and End of Watch. The cinematography is also fantastic, night-time LA has not looked this good since 2011's Drive. All these elements come together to make a captivating piece of filmmaking, a film I expect will be discussed more as time goes on.
- All in a Night's Workby 13 November 2014on
111 out of 137 people found the following review useful:
Nightcrawler seems like a satire to modern television news about how they choose their leads or often seek for more ratings by entertaining their viewers rather than aim straightly to the facts. But there is a much interesting story beneath here and that is the main character, Louis Bloom. The guy that easily manipulates people with his sinister tricks of persuasion. Everything else may just be the natural world of crime and accidents, but in the eyes of this character, the experience is made far stranger and oddly fascinating. This provides a compellingly menacing and provoking piece of commentary which results to such engrossing film.
What the plot mostly does is to fully absorb the viewers into the character of Bloom by studying his sociopathic behavior and the words coming out from his mouth. He is a charming young man with a dark intention hidden behind his grins. He pushes the limits of the law and his own safety, only to accomplish on what he must do in the job, even if it risks many people's lives. The actions of this antihero is ought to feel terrifying on how it affects to both the business he's working on and the society he is watching. The media's side however is more of a picture of cynicism on how they broadcast the scariest stories of the city, giving the people fear so they could earn more viewers out of the concern. It just breaks down on how the evil of their success is disguised as their own ethics.
The filmmaking perfectly captures their night's work. You couldn't clearly see the scenario they shoot unless you watch them on a video footage. The violence and peril they witness are shown without any hint of sympathy, since they only use them for the news show. The horror of these gritty scenes once again belongs to the nightcrawler. Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the biggest highlights here. His character obviously has the personality of a psychotic villain; he is mostly bluffing, and by the dashing enthusiasm he shows to the people around him, you probably may not know when his inner total madness will burst out from his frightening eyeballs, and that provides more tension than you expect. This is one of the Gyllenhaal performances that will be remembered for his career.
Out of common sense, this story may lead its main character to a moral about how much he is taking this job too far, probably destroying his humanity. But no, this guy is relentless, almost inhumane, and his style in fact helps his career grow bigger, which turns out we are actually rooting for a villain. And that probably pictures to some oppressive ambitious beings out there behind some system. This is where things go in the end, bringing an outcome to a social satire. You can spot a lot of relevance even when some of the situations get a little out of hand. Nightcrawler is something else than a sentiment, what we must focus here is Lou Bloom: a new, possibly iconic, movie vigilante, except the only skin he is purposely saving is himself and his career.
- Crossing the Line Through Sheer Ambitionby 2 November 2014on
118 out of 155 people found the following review useful:
Whereas Gone Girl explored the wild misconceptions and dangerous influence of the media, Nightcrawler explores another even more corrupted facet of the entity's nature: shamelessly capitalizing on the popularity of crime televisionviolence, murder, blood, gunshots. The program's ratings continue heightening along with the network's desire for even more thrilling footage. Nightcrawler follows Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he climbs up the ladder of success and builds a career through rash ambition. Lacking a formal education and adequate work experience, he's truly a victim of the unfair modern job market/unemployment. So, he says "screw it" and takes matters into his own hands, acting with sheer desperation and eagerness to reach that level of power and affluence America so often glorifies.
After personally witnessing a car accident on the freeway as snooping reporters close in, the scene lights a fire inside Louis and inspires him to give the job a try. Soon afterwards, he purchases a camcorder and a radio scanner, persistently discovering new crime scenes to capture on tape as intimately as he possibly can. Thus, his extensive coverage grabs the attention of a morning news channel, and a special relationship forms therein: a consistent supply of new gruesome/entertaining crime footage for an increasing sum of money. As we see the frightening lengths Louis is willing to strive towards in order to prove himself as a proficient workingman and elevate his value above and beyond, this grave thriller intermittently surprises us with effectively mocking twisted humor, but the incredibly deranged human psychology on display keeps us startled and tense throughout regardless.
Gyllenhaal arguably gives the absolute best performance of his career in a role that substantially differentiates from his earlier work. His creepy, relaxed composure hides the true inner scariness and ferocity. Publicly, Louis is a professional, polite, and upstanding citizen who's just looking to work hard. Privately, he violently yells in front of a mirror until he shatters it, as well as blackmails a TV news director to further his career. Rene Russo also impresses as the morning news directoralmost as daring in her lust for more provocative violent imagerywho's beguiled by this eccentric and only (mistakenly) fuels Louis' psychotic drive. In addition, Riz Ahmed's Rick serves as Louis' gullible, clueless "employee" who just wants to escape the dispiriting state of homelessness and finally earn a living, completely unaware of the perilous and unethical situations he'll be cast in along his employer's selfishly ruthless path.
This isn't the kind of film whose quality solely relies on a central performance because the narrative is just as cruelly gripping. Unfortunately, the film industry is stocked with so many safe crowdpleasers and compromising thrillers that it's wholly refreshing to see these uncompromisingly grim, chilling psychological character studies occasionally pop up. The film becomes more morally repulsive and disturbing as it proceeds while the satire on the American Dream and merciless ambition becomes that much more brutal. Nightcrawler is deeply unsettling as well as it is honest in its portrayalLos Angeles is actually the perfect setting, beautifully shot in its alluring and deceptive nighttime scenery. After all, it is probably the #1 destination for the unrelentingly audacious and reckless individuals of the nation in search of a prosperous career.
- A No Spoiler Review - A Fantastic Unique Thrillerby 23 November 2014on
112 out of 144 people found the following review useful:
Nightcrawler is slang. I will not ruin or spoil anything in this review. Jake Gylenhall has never been better. His character must have been incredibly hard to play, and you will see why. There is a reason this Thriller & Drama opened on Halloween. His character is ambitious to a fault & highly intelligent. He interacts most often with Rene Russo & a man he calls his intern. If you thought Julius Caesar was ambitious or Alexander the Great, this character must have the same motivation to succeed minus the goal of conquering the world. Needless to say he is driven. Russo is also ambitious, so they make a good team. The difference is how far each is willing to cross the lines of morality, legality & humanity.
The movie is original in every sense. There has never been a movie similar in the character or the situation, and the movie makes an open commentary about an important but not political aspect of American society. To say it was gripping would be literal. I looked down at one point, and I was clutching my outer thigh. The movie is tense & intense. Every move seems known to Gylenhall but not to anyone else. If you like entrepreneurs, this movie will appeal to that in one aspect. Overall, it is definitely a Thriller full of danger & illegality. It is Gylenhall versus the world, if he were a diplomat & the world represented achieving his goals. That's his character around others. When left unwatched, even for a moment, he devolves into a character that does whatever it takes.
See this movie for the originality. See it if you enjoy thrillers. See it because he gives the best acting performance of his life in a character with many sides. See it for fun. See it for a cool fast car. Or, the fact it is tracking above 8 stars out of 10 which is about as good as it gets on IMDb, considering that is the average of thousands & thousands of ratings by people as diverse as patrons watching on a Washington, D.C theater. From that number you can safely predict it's very likely you will find it as highly entertaining as the international average (plus or minus 1 star). In my estimation, I reserve a 9/10 rating for the best of the best. 10/10 stars are for the greatest movies. This is easily the best of the best.
One friendly tip: If you are on heart, or anxiety medication, take it as scheduled or if it's as needed, make sure it's within reach.
Knox D. Alford, III
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