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Nightcrawler (2014) Movie Review

There are films like Doctor Strange or Ben-Hur that thrive on the main character's rise from downfall. During a typical three-act structure plot, the lead experiences a low point in the story but develops to finish their struggles.

2014's Nightcrawler does not need the character development necessary for its lead to thrive. It's perfectly inserted into the storyline because if his demeanor changes, the story suffers.

This may be one of Jake Gyllenhaal's movies that makes you hate his character.

Plot Overview

Nightcrawler follows a small-time thief named Lou, who steals a watch from a security guard one night. He sells the look at a scrap yard and persistently asks the foreman for a job, but he declines. Lou sees a car crash while driving home and sees some freelance photojournalists taking a scoop while a police officer rescues a woman trapped in a car. One of them tells Lou that they do this to sell something to news agencies.

Inspired by the acts of the photojournalists he just met, Lou steals a bicycle and pawns it for a camcorder and a police radio scanner. He had a few unsuccessful first attempts after selling a car crash footage at KWLA 6 to a news director named Nina Romina. She tells him the station is more interested in videos with graphic footage of violent crimes. Lou soon hires Rick, a homeless young man looking for a job. He becomes desperate and starts tampering with the crime scenes to give a more cinematic look. Lou gains more money, upgrades his equipment, and buys a car.

Lou gets more desperate as he competes against other photojournalists as Nina and the news station pressure him for more.


Nightcrawler's small cast features the talents of Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, and Riz Ahmed. Dan Gilroy, who worked with Jake and Rene in Velvet Buzzsaw, also directed this film.

Nightcrawler is a fast-paced film that indulges you with its harrowing themes of modern-day media and getting stuck on what consumer wants. We see this not only in Lou, who wants to be first in capturing the scoop that will earn him a lot of money but also in Nina, who thinks of news footage as a way to gain viewership. Their relationship is mutual because they both want something from each other.

A massive clap of hands to the astounding performances of Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. Lou's character starts as a douchebag and ends the same way. He didn't choose to improve. as a human because that's the point of the story.

Overall, Nightcrawler shows a grim reminder of the effects of modern-day media and technology. This is a film that contains a lot of message that needs to be understood by everyone.

A good 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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