Movie Review: ‘Nightcrawler’ A Whirlwind of Near-Perfection

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Preston Barta // Film Critic

NIGHTCRAWLER, 117 min.
Director: Dan Gilroy
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed and Marco Rodríguez

Take the coolness and suave of DRIVE, mix it in with the sharp wit and dialogue of Aaron Sorkin’s THE SOCIAL NETWORK, and you get something moderately close to NIGHTCRAWLER. Filmmaking and acting do not get much better than Dan Gilroy‘s tightly-pieced and bone chilling thriller.

The storyline is rather simple– a man named Louis Bloom (a knockout Jake Gyllenhaal) stumbles upon the world of freelance crime journalism. Louis cruises the streets of Los Angeles to find crime scenes that he can film and sell to news networks.

Make this your mom's desktop background.

Make this your mom’s desktop background.

NIGHTCRAWLER is a haunting movie with a stilted atmosphere. Great character studies punctuated by violent action scenes keep the audience immersed in this gripping film. Some powerful performances (especially Gyllenhaal at the front, next to Rene Russo), stylish direction and intricate plotting, complete this whirlwind of near-perfection.

NIGHTCRAWLER probably won’t deliver box office gold, though it will certainly be paying long-term dividends as a reference point for future film noir directors, writers and fans alike.

NIGHTCRAWLER opens in theaters tomorrow.

Our interview with writer-director Dan Gilroy

0:33 | How personal of a film NIGHTCRAWLER is.
2:21 | The starting point of the film
3:37 | Gyllenhaal’s complex character
5:39 | How we are gravitating towards rough around-the-edge kind of characters
7:01 | If he could teach a class on parenting

We apologize if the audio falls out of sync. The camera and audio equipment recorded at different bit-rates; we adjusted the best we could.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.