Nightcrawler (2014)

NightCrawler review, film reviews, nightcrawler
NightCrawler US poster

‘He has huge eyes in this; all the better to see the crimes with.’

Director: Dan Gilroy

Released: 2014

Run Time: 117

Reel Time Rating: 2.8/5 cans of Guinness.

Post Author: Adam

NO SPOILERS (a ReelTime first!)

Nightcrawler (2014)

2.8/5 cans of Guinness

While I enjoyed this movie a lot, I have some issues with it and how it challenges a traditional ‘story’.

Before any of that I must comment on the exceptional performance by Jake Gyllenhaal he plays ruthless results driven character with no empathy and no regard for anyone else. He uses people as a means to an end and is the villain of the piece. Usually in a film with a lead like this – he’s the good guy and you route for him. But in this, you don’t… you’re just interested to see what happens to him, and what the consequences of his actions are. He really has developed into an exceptional actor and I’m very excited to see how he plays in Southpaw, coming out later this year.

He captures autism very well in this film, perhaps aspergers more so than autism but either way his performance and portrayal of a socially dysfunctional illness is absolutely astonishing.

One thing I couldn’t get over was his eyes- throughout the whole thing he has these terrifying bulging eyes-they’re sort of ruthless and empty.

My main issue, without getting into spoilers because we’re going to try and grasp on to some editorial and professional integrity with this review, which is ironic considering the overarching moral of Nightcrawler is the lack of ethics in modern journalism (he says through a mouthful of Erdinger), my main issue is that it is a film about ethics and journalism but it doesn’t have any consequences, at all.

While it is a very good film it isn’t good enough to break the traditional convention of the standard storytelling process where good beats bad in some way, or bad beats good. But in this, bad beats good…we think- no closure or context to his consequences is shown so it just kind of ends.

It’s dark in both colouring and theme as the name would suggest and shows off the ruthless and dangerous side of ambition. Fans of ‘End of Watch 2012’ or any real crime thriller will enjoy this, but be warned that it is not a film that holds your hand, the pacing is quite startling at times going from being an observer of the action to being thrust right into the frightening centre of it in an instant.

All in all it is enjoyable and makes you feel quite uncomfortable in the right ways and shows off the ethical lines that are danced over in news media every day. The cold hearted methods and detached demeanour he has in capturing his footage is only mirrored and amplified by the surgical cutting of the footage by his news team who see the value in the blood and disregard the law completely.

Author: Reel Time Flicks

Passionate about film and writing since 2015.

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