starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton
written and directed by Dan Gilroy
by Angelo Muredda What would we do without Jake Gyllenhaal, who's grounded every self-serious and thinly-sketched high-concept Movie About Something he's appeared in since Rendition at least? The committed star pulls off the same magic trick to even more impressive effect than usual with Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy's directorial debut after toiling away as a screenwriter on less pedigreed fare like Real Steel and Two for the Money as well as big brother Tony's most recent Bourne franchise effort. The Nightcrawler partisans--and they'll be numerous and vocal--will likely downplay such hacky origins along with the filial leg-up that producer Tony no doubt provided. (How many first-timers get to work with DP Robert Elswit?) But why should they when Gilroy's own film is about nothing so much as the corrosive effects crony capitalism wreaks on that heretofore-unsatirized American institution (certainly not covered more intelligently and presciently by a nearly forty-year-old film whose title rhymes with get work) of headline news?