Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Nightcrawler


Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95% (Critics) / 87% (Audience)
Directed By: Dan Gilroy
Written By: Dan Gilroy
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed and Bill Paxton
Studio: Open Road Films

Synopsis: When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran. – (Source)


The Good:
Jake Gyllenhaal was amazing as Lou Bloom, an ambitious young man looking for his path to “The American Dream” but being devoid of any talent aside from being a sociopath. Once he keys in on a line of work that can lead to success, Lou stops at nothing to get what he wants and watching Gyllenhaal coldly go about Lou’s machinations is one of the best performances of the year.
Rene Russo brings a bit of sad desperation to her brassy turn as a TV new producer who has aged out of being in front of the camera and latches onto Bloom to heighten her own professional standing.
The direction stands out too with the staging of tragic crime scenes and a really invigorating car chase scene.

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The Bad:
I would have really liked to have seen more screen time being given to the professional rivalry between Gyllenhaal’s Bloom and Bill Paxton’s more seasoned nightcrawler.

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The Ugly
Jake Gyllenhaal never sprouted blue fur, a tail or the ability to teleport. That was a bit of a bummer.

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Final Verdict: Jake Gyllenhaal is utterly captivating in this look at the darkness that resides in one amoral, ruthlessly ambitious man who will do anything to become a success. Coupled with slick direction and supporting performances that strive valiantly to keep up with the film’s star, NIGHTCRAWLER is wonderful character study that harkens back to movies from the 70s that didn’t need likable leads or happy endings to create an enjoyable viewing experience.

Grade: A

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