All the stuff everyone else is saying is right. The Lou Bloom character is a creation of sheer genius, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance in the role is beyond superb. The movie edges right up to the boundaries of the horror genre, and is also savagely humorous. Nihilism can produce high art, when it’s done right.
Nightcrawler approaches the topical subject of the relationships between the media, business, and law enforcement in a way that eludes conventional pieties. It deserves NRx endorsement just for that. In its darkness are strung subtle threads of possibility, in the working out of abnormal but powerful imperatives — of a supremely cynical kind — comparable in their diagonal subversiveness to a re-animated Scottish Enlightenment on ketamine, with all progressive hope burnt out so radically it doesn’t even register as a question.
These impulses are avatars of what is coming out of the collapse — tough, consummately disillusioned, and exploratory things.