Movies

Peter Suderman Reviews Nightcrawler

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Open Road

Here's the opening bit of my review of Nightcrawler from today's Washington Times

In "Nightcrawler," Jake Gyllenhaal plays Louis Bloom, an aimless Los Angeles misanthrope who finds the perfect gig: freelance TV news photographer on the vampire shift, capturing the nocturnal horrors that lead the morning.

Mr. Gyllenhaal looks more than a little like a vampire himself, with his bugged-out eyes, his slicked-back midnight hair, and his sharply angled facial features, as if too-little skin has been stretched around too much skull.

He rarely blinks, and when he smiles, or scowls, or expresses anything with his face at all, it has the feel of a too-well practiced maneuver, a simulacra of emotion rather than the real thing.

Mr. Gyllenhaal's Bloom is the heart and soul of "Nightcrawler," which is to say that it hasn't got one. Instead, it is fascinatingly empty — a dark, shocking, bitingly funny profile of a person who is not really a person.

Bloom is an anti-hero in the tradition of both Patrick Bateman in "American Pyscho" and Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver," a movie that "Nightcrawler" coyly references in its opening moments.

But writer-director Dan Gilroy gives Bloom's alienation a distinctly modern twist: Instead of learning by watching and imitating, he studies by using the Internet.

Read the complete review.

Check out Kurt Loder's review for Reason here