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Looneymanthegreat's Movie Reviews (125)

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Nightcrawler 
One of the Best Movies I’ve Seen this Year
4/4 stars

Did you know that Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the greatest actors working today? I sure didn’t before I saw Nightcrawler. I really liked him in Enemy, but I didn’t know he was as talented as all this. His performance in Nightcrawler changed my perception of him as an actor all together, and it will probably change yours as well.

Nightcrawler is one of the best movies that I’ve seen this year so far, and while there are a lot of contributing factors that lead me to that conclusion, Jake Gyllenhaal’s marvelous performance is the biggest among them. He becomes a whole new person in this role; transforming himself from the handsome deadpan serious Gyllenhaal we know from other productions into a manic psychotic Woody Allen like character. Everything from his posture to his facial expressions is different here. He went the extra mile to create a wholly unique and memorable character, and without his performance I don’t think Nightcrawler would work nearly as well as it does.

Do not be fooled by the dark moody advertisements you see on television, Nightcrawler is almost entirely a dark comedic satire. It pokes fun at business, news media and capitalism and entraponureship as a whole. It’s actually really smart and (unsurprisingly) skeptical, though perhaps not as subtle as it could have been. The movie uses its blunt force parody to comedic and dramatic effect in the most delicious of ways.

Even as I call Nightcrawler a comedy, I admit that it is the darkest, most disturbing kind of comedy that you’ll see in mainstream cinema. I laughed many times during the viewing, but winced almost as many times. Lou, Gyllenhaal’s character, is just as creepy and disturbing as he is funny and that tightrope walk between light and dark is the tonal theme through out the film.

Everything here is in its right place. Using an insane murderous psycho as a metaphor for the “American dream,” is nothing new in cinema, but the concept is shown in an incredibly unique way. The acting, cinematography and direction are all fantastic. It is clear that the people who made this film really put their all into it.

Writer/director Dan Gilroy is making his directorial debut with Nightcrawler, and I’ll definitely be looking forward to his follow-up. He has been a screenwriter for a handful of really crummy films in the past but, assuming that Nightcrawler isn’t a fluke; he works much better as director.

Everything here is in its right place. Everything from Gilroy’s direction to the wonderful performances elicited from Gyllenhaal and Paxton (who is slowly re-establishing himself as one of the best character actors working today,) to the monumentally strange script. If you can watch Nightcrawler without becoming profoundly moved to laughter, horror or insight; then you might be an emotionless alien from another world.


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