Rent Nightcrawler (2014)

3.6 of 5 from 1229 ratings
1h 53min
Rent Nightcrawler Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Down on his luck Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) stumbles upon the dangerous, cut-throat world of underground world of freelance crime journalism - discovering that filming murder and mayhem can be a quick way to make a buck. Aided by Nina (Rene Russo), a ruthless veteran of TV news, Lou combs LA's seedy underbelly for the city's most sensational news footage. He soon discovers he's uniquely suited to his new job, but events begin to spiral out of control as one dark choice leads to another.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , Leah Fredkin, , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal
Writers:
Dan Gilroy
Others:
John Gilroy
Studio:
E1 Entertainment
Genres:
Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
02/03/2015
Run Time:
113 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary with Dan Gilroy, Tony Gilroy and John Gilroy
  • Behind the Scenes
BBFC:
Release Date:
02/03/2015
Run Time:
117 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary with Dan Gilroy, Tony Gilroy and John Gilroy
  • Behind the Scenes

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Reviews (14) of Nightcrawler

Both gripping and slick - one of the best films I've seen so far in 2015 - Nightcrawler review by RP

Spoiler Alert

Nerdy, obsessive loner takes up video news reporting and sells his footage to the local TV station. Err, that's it.

But this film is far more than that. It's a cross between a psychological thriller and a character study of a driven, disturbed, delusional, amoral individual, almost a con-man. The film follows Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he decides that he can make a fast buck by ambulance / police car chasing and intrusively videoing assorted bloody events. He sells to a local TV station, desperate to improve its ratings. The veteran news director (rather well played by Rene Russo) is also desperate - to keep her job - and Louis uses this to blackmail her into sleeping with him.

So far, so average. But photographed against a noir vision of LA and with a pulsing soundtrack, we follow the rise of Louis Bloom from a man desperate for a job to a high earning freelance video newsman, desperate now for the next story - the bloodier the better. He finds it, and crosses the line from observer of a crime to invading a crime scene and withholding evidence that he then uses to create the next, even bloodier, crime scene.

I very much enjoyed Jake Gyllenhaal's previous film 'Enemy' and this is equally as good. From his early days when he played 'Donnie Darko' he has matured into an excellent actor. Rene Russo I remember playing opposite Clint Eastwood in 'In the Line of Fire' and as she is married to the writer/director of 'Nightcrawler', Dan Gilroy, I wondered if she was cast in a sort of vanity role. But no - she turns in a good performance, and spars well against Jake Gyllenhaal's character as he spouts his semi-comic distance-learned bogus management-speak lines.

There's a fine car chase leading to a perhaps inevitable conclusion that demonstrates beyond any doubt that Louis Bloom is a morally vacant person. If there is a flaw in the film, it's the final scene with Louis briefing his new employees. It's as if the writer/director didn't really know how to wrap up the story. That apart, I found it both gripping and slick - this is one of the best films I've seen so far in 2015.

Great stuff - I enjoyed this. 5/5 stars.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

A brilliantly cynical swipe at the amorality of the television industry (esp US TV news) - Nightcrawler review by PV

Spoiler Alert

This is a brilliant movie.

First off, there is a towering Oscar-worthy performance by Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom, the amoral, psychopathic, sociopathic, manipulative, soundbite-spouting, ruthlessly driven and charmingly optimistic small time thief who stumbles on a career as a 'nightcrawler' - someone who photographs and videos crime scenes, sometimes before the police get there, in late night LA, the sells the footage to the early morning TV news. Other characters are also interesting and well-played.

Second, the satire is sharp and true to life, with not only the TV industry exposed for what it can be at its worst, but also human ambition itself - and the American Dream too, which the Louis Bloom character is focused on chasing as he reaches for the top (and this character can only really be American in his ruthless optimism learned from internet get-rich-quick and succeed business courses). It's easily the best movie satire on TV new since Network in the 1970s.

The presence of 4 or 5 real-life US newsreaders must make this even more real for US audiences. But all viewers will at some stage realise, perhaps with horror, that what the sick amoral psychopath says is actually true - people (i.e. us) - do want more and more extreme footage on TV, and ratings go up when such 'corss-the-line' amoral videos are shown (on TV or online, where beheadings and other horrors are watched by millions).

Third, this is a really effective nail-biting thriller, where all violence is necessary to the plot and not gratuitous. I was hooked to the screen here.

One enormous plot hole, however, arrives when the police interview Bloom but do not seize his laptop, video camera, or check internet records. In the UK the police do this for trivial non-crimes (such as squabbles on Facebook, Twitter and email) - but then our police are becoming a bit like the Stasi as they crush free speech in order to boost their arrest stats. But I am sure in the USA the police are more draconian. There is no way therefore that Lou Bloom could hide his tracks.

Interesting name too, Lou Bloom - because this character is blooming in his life as he achieves the American dream by owning a TV company.

This is probably the best movie Jake Gyllenhaal has ever made. It's intelligent, slick, thrilling and a wickedly brilliant satire on the whole TV industry, especially the one in the USA - but it's also much more than that: it is a satire on our media-infused always-on news-junkie society itself, and especially the amorality of the American Dream and cut-throat ambition which over-rides any sense of morality to get what it wants. I have known people, some in the TV/media industries, who are like this and would sell their own grandmothers and watch their friends die to get ahead - so this is all frighteningly true.

A brilliant movie and a must-see. (It should win Oscars but probably won't due to its release date). 5 stars.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Darkest Satire, film at 11... - Nightcrawler review by Mikey C

Spoiler Alert

In short: unpleasant person lucks out at every stage, learns nothing but prospers.

It looks beautiful, but it's a hollow, bleak world. Everything you ever suspected or feared about the vacuity of LA and TV news is here, and Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is a masterclass in underacting. Only occasionally do you get flashes that his apparent self delusion and self-help/management mantras might mask a true evil.

You might want to shower after watching, it leaves that kind of corrupt scent on you....

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Nightcrawler review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler is a twisted journey of one man’s ascension into a world of scum. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a desperate and devious individual smart enough to cheat the system for some cash. If he had a better sense of morality, he could become a legitimate success, but the seedy world of invasive crime scene photography was just far too glamorous. Strolling past a car crash with a cameraman poking his lense into the faces of the victims and paramedics, he knows at that exact moment what he wants to do with his life. Absolutely nothing will stop him in his quest for news footage fame no matter the cost fiscally, legally or morally.

Lou wastes no time researching a means of entering into the news capturing industry. He quickly pawns some stolen merchandise to acquire a camera and police scanner to get in on the action. He faces some stiff competition with a veteran of filming violence for the news played by Bill Paxton. Learning the limitations of the game, Lou begins making calculated and efficient moves to become the top dog of selling videos. He hires an intern with GPS so that he can focus on speedily getting to the crime scenes first. He slowly starts negotiating his fees with the station until it appears as though Lou is running a legitimate video production company. But with his competition having multiple cars and better equipment, Lou ends up taking a less legal route of shooting more exclusives. He sneaks into crime scenes, tracks down leads on potential criminals and keeps crucial evidence from the police so that he can arrive at an incident before it even happens.

Jake Gyllenhaal gives a frighteningly effective performance as an analytical madman. This is a man who knows exactly what he wants and hardly ever lets emotions get in the way or even show them. At one point he attempts to sexually pursue a news station director, but doesn’t even waste time trying to woo her with romantic words. He wants to sleep with this woman and literally attempts to negotiates his way into the relationship as if it were a business transaction. The few times we actually see him show some signs of humanity is when he becomes overly frustrated with his intern or starts slipping in his work. In a private moment, he screams in his bathroom mirror and smashes it to pieces. Later on when Bill Paxton’s character tries to coax the up-and-coming cameraman into joining his crew, Lou calmly states how he wants to beat down this man for bothering him with such a prospect. Lou has the calm face for people of the lunatic that dwells within.

What’s even more shocking than Lou’s behavior is how he’s actually one step ahead of other smarmy individuals. The world he delves into is filled with directors who will put anything on television for ratings, cameramen who will chew each other out like dogs and pushy investigators who watch the news people like hawks. And Lou has the brains to play every single one of them like a fiddle. He knows every trick in the book to get what he wants and narrowly avoids being prosecuted with every dangerous turn he takes. His timing is incredible as he seems to know when to start calling the shots on his fees, when to call the cops and when to conceal evidence.

The final thrill of Nightcrawler isn’t the expected conclusion that the character dies by his own sword, but that he actually gets away with it all. Every lie, deception and immoral choice he makes is crafted just finely enough so that it won’t come back to bite him. What’s so striking about this performance is that Gyllenhaal’s character never displays the fear of his very dangerous job. He witnesses first hand that those involved with this scene can easily be injured or murdered in the line of duty. At which point, you are fair game for another cameraman to get in your dying face. Even after witnessing this twice with people he knew, Lou continues his sleazy methods to get the best and bloodiest footage on television.

This type of character may face a horrible death in the future relating to his business, but he’s intelligent enough to survive longer than most intriguing movie-centric villains that rise and fall. This is a film all about the rise with no bloody shootout or going down in flames. We’ve seen that story before, but I’ve never seen a movie this intriguing that has enough faith to let the bad guy get away with his deeds. In a strange way, you want to see him succeed because he’s just so darn good at manipulating others. This is one of Gyllenhaal’s best performances of his career and certainly one of the most mesmerizing movies of the year.

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