• James Rutherford

'Nightcrawler': A Darkly Twisted, Razor-Sharp Indictment of Modern News Media Culture


Movie poster for the film Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed

“Nightcrawler” (2014) is a razor-sharp thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom, a con man and petty thief who stumbles into the world of underground crime journalism—soon finding himself blurring the line between professionalism and dangerously over-the-top sensationalism.


Happening upon the scene of an automobile accident and cueing in on the presence of “stringer” freelance photojournalists, Bloom is immediately inspired to purchase recording equipment of his own. He is soon scouring the streets of Los Angles, capturing footage of similarly news-worthy crime scenes that he then sells to local news outlets for increasingly sizable monetary rewards. Gyllenhaal is stunningly assured as the frenzied and sociopathic rogue of a newsman, who ultimately manipulates colleagues and law enforcement alike, taking every opportunity to capture or altogether manufacture increasingly exaggerated fodder ripe for public dissemination.


Written and directed by Dan Gilroy (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”, ”Velvet Buzzsaw”) “Nightcrawler” is a genuinely dark and riveting affair, with a gaunt Gyllenhaal going the full mile to thoroughly embody the relentless, twitchy Bloom. It’s bold, timely and strikingly unapologetic—ultimately serving as a wonderfully twisted and perfectly savage indictment of modern news media culture.

 

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