Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler is a compelling suspense rollercoaster, but it is not for the lighthearted moviegoer. The film combines car chases and crime scenes with moral questions like, “Where does the media cross the line in crime journalism?” With these two factors in mind, Nightcrawler will keep you thinking after you leave the theater.
The story follows Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a low-profile thief who turns toward capturing footage of crime scenes to sell to news networks in Los Angeles. As he improves his craft in the crime journalism world, the time between the police’s arrival and his arrival to the crime scene shrinks until he becomes the first person at the crime scene, which is where several ethical and moral questions are overlooked by our protagonist.
The movie moves along at a steady pace all the way until the climax of the movie, but that doesn’t mean there are dull moments. Nightcrawler is well paced and has action-packed moments but the best parts are found on the opposite spectrum. The quiet, dialogue-driven moments of the film may be dull for anyone who walks in on the middle of the film, but for audiences who have invested time in the movie, the suspense is pleasingly stressful. Those moments are filled with the audience’s questions screaming in their own heads, thanks to the amazing editing, cinematography and music.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays the crime journalist with a flawless performance. From how he talks to people directly without sugarcoating, to his pale, bony face, Lou was a convincing character both mentally and physically. Jake is supported by a solid cast with different reactions to the protagonist’s questionable methods. The audience will not identify much with the main character, but they will definitely understand the perspective of several of the supporting characters.
Nightcrawler is an original concept strongly told through the eyes of a crime journalist perfectly played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Most of the movie is saturated with suspense to keep the audience at the edge of their seats and the movie is so immersive that they will start to question the protagonist’s motives as if his were their own. This is a compelling movie to watch, just don’t expect to leave the theater light-hearted.