Gyllenhaal at His Best in Creepy Nightcrawler

Actor gives a 'brilliant' performance alongside Rene Russo
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2014 10:32 AM CDT

Just about everyone is raving about Nightcrawler, a dark thriller from first-time director Dan Gilroy that currently has a 95% and 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and audiences, respectively. Jake Gyllenhaal shines as Lou Bloom, a freelance TV cameraman who finds himself immersed in crime journalism in Los Angeles. Here's what critics are saying:

  • "Jake Gyllenhaal creeped me out big-time. I mean that as high praise," writes Peter Travers at Rolling Stone. "Nightcrawler curves and hisses its way into your head with demonic skill. When the laughs come, they stick in your throat." Overall, "this is a deliciously twisted piece of work. And Gyllenhaal, coiled and ready to spring, is scarily brilliant."
  • Salon declares Nightcrawler its "pick of the week" as Andrew O'Hehir describes a film that brings "tremendous craft and cool" to a discussion of ratings-based news culture. Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo offer "two electrical, interlocking performances and undeniable erotic chemistry," and "what Dan Gilroy gets from Gyllenhaal here may be the best performance of a fascinating career."
  • Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times says Nightcrawler is "a smart, engaged film" and a "melodrama grounded in a disturbing reality," exploring what we value as a society. Russo is "in one of her best roles," Turan writes, while the film is "powered by an altogether remarkable performance by Jake Gyllenhaal," who plays a man bent on getting to the top no matter what.
  • Yup, the praise for Gyllenhaal keeps on coming. "Thirty pounds lighter, all cheekbones and bulging eyes," he "masterfully plays a creep who profits from other people's misfortunes" in what "may well be his best-ever performance," Claudia Puig writes at USA Today. The film itself provides "sleek visuals"—a car chase scene is "riveting," she says—as it debates race, class, and their role in TV news.
(More movie review stories.)

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