Nightcrawler:  Gyllenhall looking like a month long coke binge helps being fantastically manic.

You have Jackass crazy with Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O kicking each other in the dick repeatedly. You have Beyonce's “Crazy in Love” and there's Gnarls Barkley's “Crazy” that makes your girl shake her ass. You have awesome crazy with Kiefer Sutherland and Charlie Sheen who if put together in the same room, would end the universe with their drunken shenanigans. You have racist Mel Gibson crazy and the scientologist representative Tom Cruise pulling out the cult crazy. There is Gary Busey crazy, Lindsey Lohan slutty crazy, and the standard Nicolas Cage flipping his shit crazy. A lot of actors have pulled off crazy on screen surprisingly well, but while Jake Gyllenhaal has shown that he has a decent amount of range, he still has some of the creepiest, most disturbed portrayals of crazy that I have ever seen. Nightcrawler sells the story through a very disturbed man, and with Gyllenhaal in the driver's seat, his madness throughout the film is nothing short of fascinating.


Gyllenhaal plays one of the most disturbed characters ever. Don't get this asshole started on his business plan.

Taking place in LA and mostly at nights, we are introduced to Louis Bloom who immediately sets the stage by being a liar, a thief, violent, and an almost programmed way of interacting with people. Seemingly thieving his way through existence and desperate to find a job to get out of it, he happens upon an accident in the middle of the night where two cops are pulling a woman from a burning car. Freelance cameramen appear on scene to film the wreckage while Louis's eyes take note. You can almost hear him pulling everything together and calculating how he can step into this as he takes mental notes from Bill Paxton leaving the scene with his camera crew. Through the film, you see him lie, cheat, and steal in his struggle through an already competitive field. He worms his way to Nina (Rene Russo), a TV producer struggling to keep ratings up. With that, Louis digs deeper past any sort of moral convention while trying to climb his way into his vision of a successful life. It really helps set the drive for Louis to get creepier and creepier the further down (up) he goes.

No stairs are too tough for this guy to film.

This movie is shown and driven through Louis's actions. We are shown from the get-go that this is a man that will stop at nothing to get what he wants while maintaining his disconnected behavior to manipulate everyone around. His eyes are always thinking. His mouth announcing rehearsed and recited business practices.  Rene Russo seems like an odd choice until you figure out this is the director's wife. Luckily, it makes for a believable setup for Louis to manipulate. There is one scene where Louis and Rene's relationship seems off, but for the most part, it works.

"That dead guy was out of frame, so I did what his family wanted and made him a star!"

Thinking Gyllenhaal's character is crazy is only secondary to his intensity on screen. The eyes never lie and they are always thinking. His actions are the only clue to Louis's mania and how far he would go to get to the top. “I will never ask you to do anything that I wouldn't do myself.”, his words echoing to his latest acolytes. A liar. A thief. A manipulator. What wouldn't he do to get where he wants to go. The title Thriller gets dumped on just about any crime story on film, but Nightcrawler has earned it as Louis's eyes following the next chase make you question what line he is going to cross next.