Review: Nightcrawler


Director:Dan Gilroy

Cast:Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxon, Riz Ahmed

Running Time:117 Minutes


Welcome to the dark side of the media ratings race, where the best story is the one with a splash of blood. In Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler, we follow a former shell of a man in Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal), a narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, raging sociopath.

In the same vein as cult favorites Donnie Darko, Zodiac and Brothers, Gyllenhaal returns to his darker indie roots here and puts on a performance to remember as he flexes his acting chops, playing a manipulative conniving little punk who slithers his way into the underground world of crime journalism known as nightcrawling. Packed with just enough chilling smirks and forced laughs, Gyllenhaal teeters the line of a man who is desperate for attention and praise and that of a man who has found his new sexual appetite.  Enough cannot be said about his performance as he personifies Lou Bloom and encompasses the apathy for the people he is caught filming in the brink of tragedy"”it's surreal for the majority of the film.

Bill Paxton and Rene Russo costar here, but the main spotlight is on Gyllenhaal as they are more of a silhouette to his surroundings. The film shows the obsession of the 24-hour news cycle and the media outlets that stop at nothing for the most groundbreaking story, even if the facts haven't presented themselves yet. We live in a society where breaking news is the best news"”albeit accurate or not. This film is important in the fact that it's a sign of the times"”where everyone is fighting to become the next YouTube personality or reality star.

Overall I found Nightcrawler both cathartic and painful to watch.  With a standout performance by Gyllenhaal, a tightly woven script and excellent directing from Gilroy, the film works and is just in time for Halloween weekend. For those thrill seekers that are the ultimate voyeur in the most desperate of times and post videos on YouTube, Vine and Twitter in hopes of becoming a trending topic for their 15 minutes of fame"”this film is for you.  Translation? Everyone should go watch this film.


About Matt Kerwin

Matt Kerwin

Leave a Reply