Home » Streaming Flicks » Nightcrawler


When it comes to ranking the best performances of 2014, it is difficult to choose one actor and proclaim that they are the absolute king.  While most pundits would agree that Eddie Redmayne (THEORY OF EVERYTHING) and Michael Keaton (BIRDMAN) are the clear frontrunners, there march2015-vidiots-posteris another performance that is every bit as outstanding as the two aforementioned turns. In Dan Gilroy’s dark and enthralling NIGHTCRALWER, Jake Gyllenhaal plays the profoundly disturbed Louis Bloom. The audience is given no tidbits or morsels about his past, and the very first time he appears on the screen, he attacks an unsuspecting security guard who catches him stealing from a construction site. After the assault, he heads to a scrapyard where, after selling stolen wire, he attempts to procure a job from the foreman. Though he denied employment (“I don’t hire thieves”), we learn that Louis is sharp, deceptive, and profoundly persuasive.

Bloom’s life changes forever when he passes a car accident on his way home. After pulling over to mull the wreckage, he is surprised to see a van pull up, and cameramen spilling out. They run over to the twisted metal, film some of the gore, and make their way back to the van. Louis asks one of the men, Joe Loder (Bill Paxton), what he is doing. Loder explains that he sells the footage to whichever news agency will pay the highest price. It is in this moment that the twisted Bloom discovers his true calling. Emboldened by an entrepreneurial spirit, Louis steals a bike, and then trades it at a pawn shop for a video camera and a police scanner. He begins to film the aftermath of accidents, and immediately finds some success. His footage is raw, gruesome, and unsettling, which is exactly what overzealous news producer Nina Romina (Rene Russo) is looking for. Realizing that further improving the quality of his work will result in higher paydays, he enlists the help of a strapped-for-cash assistant named Rick (Riz Ahmed). Rick is initially very uncomfortable with the work he becomes involved in, but sees Louis reaping the benefits of his spoils, and reluctantly stays on-board. As Bloom grows evermore engrossed and obsessed with his work, he begins going to extremes to get the footage he needs. Unaffected by trivial matters such as morals and ethics, he is not above altering a crime scene in order to get the shot that he needs.


Not only does Gyllenhaal deliver one of the best performances of the year, but he makes Louis Bloom one of the most interesting and slimy protagonists in recent memory. Quick-witted, calculating and highly intelligent, he is the epitome of the sociopathic antihero. Far from likable and genuinely creepy, he is a character that settles under your skin and resides there long after the film reaches its conclusion. NIGHTCRAWLER isn’t just a condemning commentary on the media’s incessant search for sensationalism, but a clever take on society as a whole. Whereas rubber-necking used to be a mere unfortunate inevitability of tragedy, now, in the cell phone era, people don’t just witness events, they chronicle them. Louis takes this to the extreme, yet his actions never seem wildly unrealistic. This only further illustrates the brilliance of Gilroy’s thriller.

march2015-vidiots-tvsDespite the deplorable decisions made by Bloom, he remains engrossing and compelling at every turn. This only enhances the overall production and allows the film to be far more frightening and impactful than it could have been if it had gone in another direction. As far as Gyllenhaal is concerned, he continues to illustrate why he one of the most intriguing stars working in film today. While Bloom is devoid of redeemable qualities, there is rarely a moment in which you wish him to see him fail. There are shades of Travis Bickle in Louis Bloom, and trust me when I say that any comparison made to Robert DeNiro’s legendary turn in TAXI DRIVER is not taken lightly. When 2014 becomes a mere memory, and most films from this year fade into obscurity, thanks in large part to its star, NIGHTCRAWLER will remain one of the most memorable, and easily one of the best.




Brian Miller

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *