The weekend reports are out and Nightcrawler appears to be a huge hit. Critics cannot seem to stop praising it and the movie has already cleaned up its (admittedly small) $4.5 million budget with its opening weekend earnings. Expect to see even more of the likable Jake Gyllenhaal, especially since this time he plays a really creepy character: a sociopath freelance news cameraman who goes to some lengths to get his footage.
Not that he goes around killing people… or maybe he does. The trailers for Nightcrawler apparently do it zero justice and other than seeing the film it is hard to know what it is all about. Many critic have noted that you can enjoy Jake’s sleazy portrayal or revel in the dark satire around modern media. Or you can take in the noir ambiance of nighttime Los Angeles, hinting at another surprise hit from not so long ago, Drive.
Nightcrawler is definitely on my list to see. Critics are loving it. Screenrant wrote that:
it’s Gyllenhaal’s flat-out spooky performance – the latest in a string of memorable and quirky character turns offered by the actor recently – that elevates Nightcrawler into something of a must-see for movie buffs.
There’s a lively satirical aspect, and it’s not confined to TV news or journalism in general, or even the modern, social media-driven culture of continuous surveillance and voyeurism.
The Atlantic compares Gyllenhaal to a young Robert De Niro, but does caution on the movie’s apparently more chaotic third act:
Tonally speaking, the movie never quite seems to make up its mind. I’m again reminded of a stitching together of elements from Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. The result is a very good movie—and a milestone in Gyllenhaal’s career—but one in which the excellent pieces don’t quite fit together.
Vulture is not as kind, noting the movie’s OTT behaviour:
Writer-director Dan Gilroy seems to think that Louis is a fascinating specimen — a symbol of conscienceless capitalism in an economically desperate society — and that the movie also functions as a macabre media satire. But after a few minutes you know everything about Louis you’re going to know; the only surprise in Nightcrawler is the level of grotesqueness it achieves.
Again I am reminded of Drive, the dark noir that you either loved or loved to hate. I personally felt it was over hyped, but looking at Nightcrawler I think I may have been a bit harsh. Drive makes sense if you get it and Nightcrawler appears to be the newest iteration to that line of thinking.
If anything Jake is set for a year of appearances and award murmurs. Unbelievably you may have to wait almost as long to see this: the latest schedule I studied only expects Nightcrawler to arrive next year March. That will hopefully change now that it appears to be a hit.
Last Updated: November 4, 2014