Nightcrawler (2014) Review

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Nightcrawler (2014)

Directed by Dan Gilroy

Starring:
Jake Gyllenhaal
Rene Russo
Riz Ahmed
Bill Paxton

Running time: 117 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Nightcrawler tells the story of a driven young man who stumbles upon the underground world of Los Angeles freelance crime journalism.

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My Opinion:

I’m not sure how to go about reviewing this one. I did think it was good but, unfortunately, not quite as good as I was expecting. I’ll say this isn’t necessarily my usual “type” of movie plus I’ve never really been a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal. I think I was just expecting much more of a hard hitting drama and something even darker? This feels like a “movie”. It’s pretty & glossy just like the news shows in the film. So maybe that was the whole point? I don’t know. We all know the issues raised in this film – people who may be willing to go too far in their pursuit of what they want and sensationalist journalism, etc. It’s not really anything new so the concept was totally believable. However, too many things in the film really weren’t very realistic so it made it feel too much like a “movie” as some of these things wouldn’t actually happen in real life. I can’t get specific as I have to avoid spoilers.

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I know a lot of people have praised Gyllenhaal’s performance. He’s definitely very good at playing the subtle creepiness of his character. I think it’s another case of a performance being better than the film itself. Man, why do I always sound so negative in my reviews? Am I too picky?!

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Here’s what I liked: I loved the look of the film and all the shots of the city at night. I’m a small town girl and big cities stress me out but I do love the look of all the city lights at nighttime. I far prefer London after dark! Like I said, Gyllenhaal is very good in this and it was also nice seeing Rene Russo in a movie again plus I really liked Riz Ahmed’s character. Oh, and Bill Paxton! Who doesn’t love Bill Paxton at least a little bit thanks to Aliens and Weird Science?? I also did really like the story overall and thought they did a good job keeping it interesting the whole time. Even though it’s pretty predictable, I was happy with the conclusion of the film and the final half hour is gripping.

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Summary:

Nightcrawler is a good film and if it looks like your type of thing or if you’re a fan of Gyllenhaal, you should definitely check it out despite my lacklustre review. It’s not a perfect film but I think my expectations were just a little too high. It’s thoroughly entertaining and perhaps it’s meant to be slightly shallow as it’s making a statement on our society being this way. Yeah… I probably just missed the point!

My Rating: 7/10

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38 thoughts on “Nightcrawler (2014) Review

  1. I LOVED this movie. Maybe it was a case of the performance negating any kind of message but I was absolutely sucked into Lou Bloom’s orbit.

    • I can see that – I think a lot of people are liking this one because of his performance. I’ve heard him compared to the character in American Psycho. Are you a fan of that one? Because I hated that movie! So maybe this character just isn’t my sort of thing. But I’ll admit Gyllenhaal was good… 🙂

    • I couldn’t say in the review because of SPOILERS (in case anyone is reading this) but what I found not very realistic was that Gyllenhaal didn’t get in ANY trouble at the end. There’s no way he wouldn’t have been arrested in real life. I totally believe the disgusting lengths the media will go to, though…

  2. I felt the same way. I really enjoyed Gyllenhaal’s performance, but other than that I wasn’t drawn into the movie like i expected to be based on the praise it was getting.

      • Yes!!! Two people who aren’t signing this film’s praises – I thought it was just me! I thought the film was OK, and Gyllenhaal’s performance was great, but I kind of didn’t care.

      • Oh… Yes! Nope, not just you I guess. 🙂 Yeah, the film is just okay. I enjoyed it but it’s not like it’s some masterpiece. I just expected a bit more due to the positive reviews & really high IMDB rating…

      • Yea, I enjoyed it, but besides Lou, I didn’t care about any of the other characters. One of the comments I made in my review was that I didn’t have that “on the edge of my seat” feeling I like to have when watching thrillers.

  3. This is a very nice review. I’m new to this website and I’m not sure if indirectly self advertising is as frowned upon as it is else where, but you mentioned the sort of unexpected lack of “hard hitting drama” and the overall very movie-like feel of the film, and I actually had a theory that this whole feeling was intentional and I did my best to explain it entertainingly here:
    http://armandthemovies.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/nightcrawler-movie-review-and-non-spoiler-analysis-810/#more-19
    Of course it’s my first one and I’m not very good at this yet. We did disagree on some aspects of the film but I’d very much appreciate to hear what you have to say on the theory I sort of summarized here in a very convoluted fashion.

  4. I haven’t seen this yet (and I don’t know if I’m going to), but I have a feeling we’d probably feel the same about it. I might give it a go just for Gyllenhaal…we’ll see. Well done, Mutant!!

  5. You like what you like Mutey!!!

    I’ve always said that Gyllenhaal gives me the creeps, but the creeps in a way that’s addicting. He has never been more unsettling than as he was as Lou Bloom.

    Thematically, I think you’re right that Nightcrawler isn’t that exceptional. It is basically about blurring the lines between healthy and unhealthy ambition. How far should one go to get ahead? And when they have reached that point, then what is there to do? Is it just get more and more more stuff, more infamy, more popularity, whatever. . . or do you slowly realize that nothing is ever the same all the time. Like, Gyllenhaals’ character — how far can he take this mentality? Will he end up doing more shit like this?

    The ending of the movie frustrated me a little bit too but I’ve since come to accept it. This was probably one of my favorites of the year, not to put the pressure on that 7/10 or anything! 😉

    • Thanks, Tom! 🙂 I love your comments. It’s like an extra review on my blog! Lol 😉 I guess I just felt that the issues in the film were too obvious in a way. It’s pretty obvious that, these days, plenty of people are willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead. I’d still take Gyllenhaal’s character over a Kardashian – at least he has somewhat of a talent. 😉 Hey! Tom! Do you have an e-mail address? There’s this project I’d like to start and was wanting to discuss it with you.

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