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Nightcrawler (2014, 1hr 57, rated 15) 

This week’s Streamers Film Club movie is thriller “Nightcrawler”, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.  We have high hopes for this one so we’re excited to see it ourselves and hear what you think.  Officially speaking…

NIGHTCRAWLER is a thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles.Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling – where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

Anyway enough talk, here’s the trailer:

And, as always, if you have an Amazon Prime subscription you can watch the whole film for free here. Enjoy.

Why we chose it

  • Thriller? Drama? Satire? Sounds ripe for discussion.
  • We love a complex lead – and Empire called Lou Bloom “‘the antihero of 2014“.
  • It was pretty much top on our watchlist and brand new to Prime.

The critics thought…

Empire5 stars  Total Film: 4 stars  Metacritic score: 76  IMDB user score: 7.9/10 

…but what about you?
Popcorn timeLet us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.  Please remember that any comments are likely to contain spoilers.

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11 Comments

  1. I watched this one on Friday with my girlfriend and we both really enjoyed it. I’m not sure I’d describe Lou Bloom (the lead character) as an antihero but he’s certainly one of the most confusing and interesting characters I’ve seen for a while. I’ll try to keep it short here and maybe come back to a full review at some point. Should you watch it? Absolutely. Will you like it? Well…

    I agree the movie was definitely disturbing but not at all in the way I had expected. What really disturbed both of us (but also why I think it worked so well) was just how much we ended up liking Lou, despite it being clear that he is totally unhinged, lacking in any empathy and is incredibly dangerous. We’ve all known people who leave a trail of destruction (emotional, physical or both) and somehow get a pass because they “meant well” but here I found myself feeling the same about a total sociopath. How is that even possible? I think massive credit has to go to the writers, director and particularly Gyllenhaal. He’s creepy but sympathetic, intense but never menacing.

    I’ve seen Nightcrawler compared to Drive a few times and I can see why. However, while I thought that film was excellent, this is a less violent and much more complex beast (e.g. the question of how far should anyone go to cover a story). I’d honestly say it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before – it’s exciting, funny and I’m still thinking about it a few days later. Highly recommended.

    1. Interesting that you use the word sociopath – I think he’s much more in the line of psychopath as evidenced by his blackmailing of the TV producer rather than seducing her.

  2. Two things: it’s certainly not like anything I’ve ever seen before (I said as much whilst watching, and totally agree with you G). Secondly I absolutely didn’t like the lead character.

    But of course we’re not supposed to…

    😉

    JG did an amazing job thre I think. Creepy as hell, really well played when he had his confrontations with the KWLA news editor and also with his “employee” (the former relationship I just didn’t like at all, it was slightly disturbing). The latter was really well done I thought, and it was interesting to see how it went and ended predictably badly for the little guy.

    What was going on with the plant watering? Was it his only friend? A metaphor? Also why keep lingering on the watch that he stole?! Weird.

    I wanted to stop watching the film two or three times. The only thing that kept me going was that hopefully he’d get his comeuppance. Sadly he didn’t, but I’m glad I kept watching for the incredibly tense penultimate scenes culminating in the car/police chase. That was just brilliant.

    The film came across as low budget and reminded me a bit of Taxi Driver. But I’m pretty sure I need to check my facts. Whilst both leads are totally unhinged, this one seemingly had absolutely no moral boundaries.

    Great pick. We meant to watch this at te cinema, didn’t get round to it. Glad we’ve seen it now.

    1. Interesting. I’m starting to feel even more confused why I (actually we) liked him – I’m a sucker for a try-er but there have to be some limits right!? 🙂 To be honest, I didn’t actually notice about the plant (I just saw it as part of his somewhat obsessive nature) or the watch but I’ll be looking out for them next time. One for you, did you notice how rarely Lou blinks in the film? Incredibly freaky once you notice but I guess that was exactly the point.

  3. I didn’t notice how rarely he blinked! But it sounds quite apt. I looked on a couple of blogs and it seems that was a frequently-spotted trait. Good stuff.

  4. I was really looking forward to this but for me Louis was just too shallow a character to keep my interest. There was no backstory and no personality outside the filming activity. I didn’t have a problem with the scenes where he was filming accidents (although I didn’t really understand the comment about one person being alive in the house when he got there) but the scenes where Louis talked to the TV staff or asked for jobs were really uncomfortable. I don’t think I’ve been so disappointed in a film for a while!

    1. I’m finding this one fascinating, such different reactions from everyone. It’s a shame you were disappointed but I’m really surprised it didn’t didn’t at least keep your interest. I found it totally engrossing which is fairly rare for me these days. I wonder if Blue Jasmine will divide us as much…

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