Nightcrawler Information

Nightcrawler is a 2014 American crime thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal with Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, and Bill Paxton. Gyllenhall plays a psychopathic, driven young man who begins shooting footage of accidents and crimes in Los Angeles to sell to news channels.

The film had its world premiere at the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released theatrically by Open Road Films on October 31, 2014.


Caught stealing from a Los Angeles construction site, Lou Bloom attacks a security guard and steals his watch. After negotiating a price for the stolen material at a scrap yard, Bloom asks for a job, but the manager tells him he will not employ a thief.

Inspired by an amateur film crew he sees shooting footage of a car crash, Lou trades a stolen racing bicycle for a camcorder and a radio scanner, and shoots the aftermath of a carjacking to sell to a local TV station. The morning news director, Nina, buys the footage and encourages Lou to continue his work. She stipulates that the station is most interested in footage of violent incidents in affluent neighborhoods, since these attract the most viewers. Lou hires an assistant, Rick, a young man desperate for money.

To get better footage, Lou alters crime scenes, including moving a corpse. His work gains traction and he purchases better equipment and a faster car. He turns down a business offer from a competitor and sabotages their van, causing an accident which Lou films. He threatens to end his business relationship with Nina unless she agrees to sex, knowing her job depends on his footage.

Lou and Rick arrive before the police at the site of a home invasion in an affluent neighborhood. Lou records footage of the perpetrators leaving in their SUV and of the victims in the house. The news staff worry that airing the footage is unethical, but Nina is eager to break the story. In exchange, Lou demands more money and public credit.

The police become suspicious of Lou and ask for his footage of the home invasion. He gives them an edited tape, withholding footage identifying the gunmen, then locates the gunmen himself and stakes them out at a restaurant with Rick. Scared, Rick demands half the money Lou stands to make, or else face Rick going to the police. Lou agrees, calls 911 to report the suspects, and gets ready to film the confrontation. He demands Rick get out of the car to shoot a supporting angle; Rick complies when Lou threatens him with violence.

The police arrive at the restaurant and exchange gunfire with the suspects. One is killed and the other escapes in the SUV. The police give chase, with Lou and Rick tailing and recording. After the SUV crashes, Lou urges Rick to film the suspect, claiming he is dead. The suspect shoots Rick and tries to escape. More officers arrive and shoot the suspect dead. As Rick lies dying, Lou films him and tells him he cannot work with someone he does not trust.

Nina is delighted by the footage and expresses her devotion to Lou. The news team discovers that the "home invasion" was actually a drug deal gone wrong; Nina omits this information to maximize the story's emotional impact. Police try to confiscate the footage for evidence, but Nina defends her right to withhold it. Interrogated by police, Lou fabricates a story about the men in the van following him; the detective sees through it, but has no evidence. Lou invests in branded vans and hires a team of interns to expand his business.


  • Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom
  • Rene Russo as Nina Romina
  • Riz Ahmed as Rick
  • Bill Paxton as Joe Loder
  • Ann Cusack as Linda
  • Kevin Rahm as Frank Kruse
  • Kathleen York as Jackie
  • Eric Lange as Cameraman
  • Jonny Coyne as Pawn Shop Owner
  • Michael Hyatt as Detective Fronteiri
  • Michael Papajohn as Security Guard
  • Kiff VandenHeuvel as Editor

Various news anchors such as Pat Harvey and Kent Shocknek appear as fictionalized versions of themselves.


Gyllenhaal was the first actor to sign on in April 2013. The film was not one of the 31 projects originally selected by the California Film Tax Credit program June for $100 million in credits via a lottery from 380 applications, but it did receive a $2.3 million allocation. Bill Paxton and Rene Russo signed for the film in September 2013, followed by the casting of Riz Ahmed as Gyllenhaal's "driver and protege". Kevin Rahm joined the cast as a News Channel editor in October 2013. Principal photography began on October 6, 2013 in Los Angeles. Gyllenhaal lost 20 pounds for his role.


Critical response

Nightcrawler has an approval rating of 95% on Rotten tomatoes, based on 186 reviews with a rating average of 8.2 out of 10. The critical consensus states: "Restless, visually sleek, and powered by a star performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler offers dark, thought-provoking thrills." The film also has a score of 76 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 45 critics, indicating "Generally favorable reviews."

Box office

Nightcrawler opened on October 31, 2014 in 2,766 theaters and grossed $10.4 million with an average of $3,775 per theater and ranking #2 at the box office. The film has so far earned $28.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $6.3 million in other countries for a total of $35.1 million.


Award Date of Ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
American Film Institute December 9, 2014 Top Ten Films of the Year Nightcrawler
Boston Society of Film Critics December 8, 2014 Best New Filmaker Dan Gilroy
Gotham Awards December 1, 2014 Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award Dan Gilroy
Breakthrough Actor Riz Ahmed
Independent Spirit Awards February 21, 2015 Best First Feature Nightcrawler
Best Male Lead Jake Gyllenhaal
Best Supporting Male Riz Ahmed
Best Screenplay Dan Gilroy
Best Editing John Gilroy
National Board of Review January 6, 2015 Top Ten Films Nightcrawler
Los Angeles Film Critics Association December 7, 2014 Best Supporting Actress Rene Russo
Golden Globes January 11, 2015 Best Actor - Drama Jake Gyllenhaal
Screen Actors Guild Awards January 25, 2015 Best Male Actor in a Leading Role Jake Gyllenhaal
Satellite Awards February 15, 2015 Best Actor Jake Gyllenhal
Best Original Screenplay Dan Gilroy

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