Movie Reviews

Review: Nightcrawler

 Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller Directed by: Dan Gilroy Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton   Written by: Dan Gilroy


Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
Directed by: Dan Gilroy
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
  Written by: Dan Gilroy

 

Synopsis: When Lou Bloom, a driven man 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.

 

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Lou Bloom isn’t your typical unemployed guy. He will kill for a job, literally. In Nightcrawler Jake Gyllenhaal goes to all the extremes to prove his worth. Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is a desperate man looking for any job. He trolls various places looking to latch onto a job. His approach is underwhelming. Lou finds his big break as he comes across a group of chasers, who are people who rush to crisis and capture video to sell to local news outlets. Lou immerses himself in the world by getting the footage at all costs. Lou latches onto local news director Nina Romina played by Rene Russo. The thrill and desire to breakout leads Lou to a dangerous path that puts people’s lives at stake.

 

This film relies heavily on using the city of Los Angles as a character. That’s a smart choice. The film does one of the better depictions seen on film of LA at nighttime. All those tourist buses in LA don’t come close to the sights that this film takes you through. You see the good, bad and unknown parts. Director Dan Gilroy does a fantastic job of building suspense from scene to scene. The editing is top notch. You get up close to the action and dangers. The car chase scenes are thrilling. The pacing is fast and smooth. The film is a thrill ride, that moves as fast as Gyllenhaal’s character rushes to the scene of the event.

 

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Mad Jake

 

 

Along with the editing the cinematography is the key to this film. Nightcrawler has a neo-noir feel to it. The LA nightlife is as lively as you could imagine. The characters don’t appear in the daylight much. All the action arises at night. Gyllenhaal’s character doesn’t seem to ever sleep. He’s up all night, watches the news at 6 am, does his research during the day, and back to work when the sun sets.

 

Gyllenhaal is terrific in Nightcrawler. He plays the most subtle of psychos. He’s the definition of a creep. The character has a lot of range. One scene you find yourself rooting for him, the next scene you want to get away as far as possible from him. Gyllenhaal has been on a roll the last few years. He has been taking up some great character roles. In End of Watch he dazzled as policeman Brian Taylor. Gyllenhaal followed it by giving an Oscar worthy performance as Detective Loki in the underrated film Prisoners. Gyllenhaal has entered a new phase of his career, taking up some interesting character roles that are showing off his talents. Making a return to the big screen in Nightcrawler was Rene Russo. Russo’s portrayal as news director Nina Romina reminds you how good of an actress she actually is. Bill Paxton has a small supporting role as the adversary to Gyllenhaal’s character. Their brief banters are fun to watch.

 

By no means is Nightcrawler a perfect movie. The characters lack likability and they are portrayed as attention seeking, money hungry, savages. Gyllenhaal is heartless and he does it in a wacky and dorky way. Gilroy doesn’t want you to sympathize with these people, he wants you to be shocked by what people are willing to do for some money and attention. Gilroy does a fine job of depicting the film as a commentary on today’s media in our society. The desire for chaos that these news story chasers have in order to deliver the best footage to the news station at all costs is perplexing. The news directors and production people are seen as ruthless authoritarians that will go to any length to show the most shocking footage, no matter how it affects the viewers or the people that are featured in the news stories. Today’s media is vicious and greedy.

 

Nightcrawler is a fun movie. It’s entertaining and stylish. The cinematography gives you the views of LA you might have not witnessed even if you live in LA. The LA night is scary, exciting, and mysterious. The film definitely exaggerates and magnifies each situation and it’s done to add more intrigue. It wouldn’t have hurt the film had it been more toned down, but by no means does the over-abundance of action deter the movie. The editing is equally impressive. Nightcrawler is Gyllenhaal’s film by all means. He is the driving force, and the wildcard that dangles throughout. The dark, mysterious, and exciting theme is good enough to have the moviegoers leave the theater satisfied. Gyllenhaal is in the prime of his career and he is soaring to new heights. Nightcrawler will keep you up wanting to take a midnight drive around Tinsel Town.

 

NIGHTCRAWLER – 7.5 out of 10!

The dark side of news

 

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