Review – Nightcrawler


…Old news or criminally good?

Crime films are all the rage but can a television news angle create anything new for the genre?

When Louis Bloom sees someone recording a roadside accident for money he decides he can do it better. And as a skilled thief he’s not afraid to manipulate crime scenes and get his hands dirty.

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Bloom and has seemingly lost a few pounds to fit the boots of the resourceful and persuasive thief. The character himself is a complicated one, not naturally at sync with people in conversations but able to cut his way manipulatively through their defences to get what he wants. Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of this delightfully dark character is memorising; his phrasing, mannerisms, and the danger he emits creates a character that is one of the most memorably complex and intriguing of the last decade.

The film has been compared to Nicholas Winding Refn’s 2010 film Drive and it can certainly sit beside that in visual style due to its retro music sounds, exciting late night car chases and cool character portrayals. But where Drive’s character and style builds suspense from drawn out silences, Nightcrawler is infested by Bloom and his talkative ways.

But it’s the subject matter that really sets Nightcrawler apart from its contemporaries. Not since Sidney Lumet’s 1976 film Network have we had such an insightful look into news broadcasting and what drives it. We’re introduced to Rene Russo’s character, Nina, who tells Bloom sharply that blood, crashes and crime sell on morning news more than anything else. News is shown as a business that cares little for a fair representation of what’s going on. What’s more, Bloom’s passion for recording, is shown intimately and at times is extremely unsettling, especially when he takes a more hands on approach with his shooting.

Nightcrawler is a unique and brilliant piece of news broadcasting fiction with a stellar character and performance in Louis Bloom and Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s definitely one to watch if you enjoy a splash of intelligence with your crime films.

Author – Matt, Cardiff store