Like I said, I like Jake Gyllenhaal a lot. Early on he did October Sky and that was always the movie I knew him from growing up, but along the way he's done so many other excellent roles in movies such as Zodiac, Source Code, and last year's Prisoners. Despite all this, after looking closely at his whole filmography I can confidently say that I believe this is his best role yet. I have never seen him so crazy and so insane. He really gets lost in his character and it is just super impressive. All he cares about is finding work. Once he finds his niche, he just wants to get better and better. Normally this is a positive thing, but when you get to the point where you have no moral compass or no regard for the law, that definitely crosses the line. He's crazy. He's insane. He's a snake. He's rude. He's manipulative. He's genius. But for some weird reason, you find yourself rooting for him to succeed. At least I did for much of the movie. Pretty soon I was asking myself if I was crazy as well. If this guy is so bad, why am I cheering for him? That's why this movie is so brilliant. You become so invested in Gyllenhaal's character in a dark and twisted sort of way.
But enough about Gyllenhaal for now, the movie as a whole provides a whole lot of interesting themes. The first one surrounds journalism itself. Like I said earlier, I myself am currently studying journalism and thus I've gotten an inside look at what happens behind the scenes. The role of the journalist is to provide the community with the news that is happening. But honestly, there's a lot of news that happens everyday and it's impossible to report on every single story. In the case of broadcasting, you often have 30 minutes to tell all the news you can. And in that 30 minutes, you have an even shorter amount of time to snag your viewers. And while I want to say all journalists have perfect intentions, the honest truth is that it's a business. You need to provide stories that will get people's attention and cause them to actually watch your broadcast. And you need to compete with the other stations or else you're not going to succeed. It's a tough business, especially now that there are so many ways for the public to access news with internet and social media dominating the scene.
In the end, Nightcrawler is a very intense thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time, and this is led by Jake Gyllenhaal giving the performance of his career. I think it may be too soon to start saying that Gyllenhaal needs to be nominated for an Oscar since I haven't since many of the big contenders yet. But I will say this is definitely an Oscar-worthy performance. Gyllenhaal has set the bar so high that it's going to have to take some amazing performances for me to come to the opinion that there are five more deserving actors. But either way, Oscar or no Oscar, Gyllenhaal's performance is one of the best of the year so far. It's one that I'll probably remember for quite some time. Concurrently, Nightcrawler is also one of my favorite movies of the year so far. I'm going to have a really hard time coming up with my top 10 best movies of year list, but you can probably bet that you will see this make an appearance. My grade for Nightcrawler is a 9.5/10.