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Released in 2014, Nightcrawler didn’t break any box-office records, but it did go on to become a critical success and went on to gross almost 50 million dollars on just an 8.5-million-dollar budget.
The story, written and directed by Dan Gilroy, revolves around con man Louis Bloom, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, and is set in the dark and steamy underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Lou is desperate for work and stumbles upon the degenerate but high-paying world of L.A. crime journalism.
After discovering a group of camera-wielding freelancers, Lou muscles his way into the extremely cut-throat and dangerous world of night crawling. In this realm, police sirens, screams, cries, and gunshots are signs that money is about to be made.
With the help of Nina, played wonderfully by Reno Russo, a veteran of this cruel and sadistic world Lou finds himself in, Lou starts to interweave the lines between observer and participant.
The movie is extremely well done, to the point where you can almost feel the dinginess of the environment that Lou has become a part of. It’s the Los Angeles featured in pulp and crime novels of the ’20s and ’30s, where no one is to be trusted and everyone is out to get their little piece of the Hollywood pie.
Why do psychological moves intrigue us so much? It is the idea of implanting your view into the eyes of another or just a way to escape our mundane lives? Well, you’re contemplating that thought, check out these other incredible phycological movies that are perfect for fans of Nightcrawler.
Movies to Watch for Fans of Nightcrawler
This incredibly unique movie released in 2014 gained quite the reputation after its release. It was well-received by audiences and critics, and it even won an Academy Award!
Not too shabby for a movie that some people thought was “too weird”. Birdman is the story of actor Riggan Thomas, played perfectly by Michael Keaton.
His biggest role was playing superhero ‘Birdman’ and is now struggling to distinguish reality from fiction, as he starts to believe that he is superhuman. Riggan throws all of his savings into a Broadway show that he is set to star in and direct. Of course, this doesn’t go smoothly and several hilarious situations arise.
The unique plot, characters and background score all come together to create a movie experience not seen before. It’s a must-watch, especially if you’re a Keaton fan like I am.
Bringing Out the Dead
Before Nicolas Cage went crazy or maybe he always has been, he stared in the criminally underrated thriller-dark comedy, Bringing Out the Dead. Cage plays burnt-out paramedic, Frank.
Frank is starting to see the ghosts of the people he failed to save, so he tries his best to get fired. He calls in sick, ignores calls or takes his sweet time getting to accident scenes just so can delay having to deal with these ghosts. But for whatever reasons, Frank cannot quit on his own.
Like Nightcrawler, Bringing Out the Dead is a dark movie both visually and in tone. Frank and Lou both have their demons that they’re trying to exercise, while also just trying to exist.
This movie shows what a force Cage can be when he has a good script to go off of and doesn’t try to eat up every scene. Plus, it has John Goodman in it.
I feel like Joaquin Phoenix is an acquired taste. Those who love his work, really love his work. I get it. He’s a weird dude, but I can’t get enough of him. Inherent Vice was a blink and you’ll miss it movie from 2014. It wasn’t advertised overly much, but it is a wonderful piece of cinema.
Like Nightcrawler, Inherent Vice is a neo-noir crime/drama flick, only this one is set in the ’70s. Phoenix plays pothead detective only known as ‘Doc”.
Doc is approached by his ex-girlfriend who believes that her new boyfriend was a victim of a planned abduction. After Doc’s ex goes missing, he is thrust into the dark underbelly and dangerous world of politics, prostitution, cults and more.
Although set in different periods, both Inherent Vice and Nightcrawler are set in Los Angeles and do a great job using the city as an additional character in the movie.
This movie might seem out of place on this list, but hear me out. Both Nightcrawler and Foxcatcher revolve around the ideas of obsession and being cutthroat no matter who your actions hurt.
Foxcatcher tells the tragic real-life story of U.S. Olympic wrestling champions and brothers, Mark and David Schultz. They join “Team Foxcatcher”, which is lead by eccentric millionaire, John du Pont, played unbelievably well by Steve Carrell.
As the brothers train for the 1988 Olympics Games in Seoul, Korea, but John’s self-destructive and frightening behavior is destined to ruin them all. Foxcatcher is a sad movie, but it’s a story that had to be told. This is Steve Carrell like you’ve never seen him and is definitely worth a few hours of your time.
No Country for Old Men
If you’re a Coen brother’s movie lover like myself, then this will come as no surprise to you that this movie is on this list. Featuring one of the most intense and scary villains to ever appear on screen, No Country for Old Men is a slow burn flick that once it gets ramped up, you won’t have time to catch your breath.
No Country for Old Men stars Javier Bardem as the aforementioned villain, Anton Chigurh and the always great, Josh Brolin, as Llewelyn Moss, a hunter who stumbles upon a bunch of dead bodies and a big bag of cash. As Llewelyn decides on what to do with the money, the owners of the said big bag of cash sends Anton to retrieve it.
What follows is a violent and bloody game of cat and mouse, as Llewelyn tries to avoid Anton, who kills anyone who gets in his way without so much as a grimace. Anton has the coldest stare to maybe ever grace the screen and this movie needs to be seen by anyone who enjoys the action-suspense genre.
If you’ve been thinking about getting into gambling for some reason; this movie will most likely scare you away from even thinking about entering a casino. Animal World is an adventure-suspense Chinese adaptation of a Japanese manga.
The story circles around a young man named Kaisi, who has racked up a debt of several million dollars that he has borrowed from his friends.
Lured away from his ailing mother and childhood sweetheart with the promise of writing off his debt, Kaisi boards a ship called Destiny to enter a high-stakes gambling party that is run by the mysterious Anderson, who is played by Michael Douglas.
All of the participants hold daggers behind their back in anticipation as they plot against their opponents. This movie gets bonkers but in a cinematic and wonderful way.
Jake Gyllenhaal shines again in this 2016 crime drama. The plot of Nocturnal Animals focuses on Susan, played by Amy Adams, who is sent a copy of a manuscript written by her ex.
He has asked for her opinion on the manuscript, while revolves around a man who goes on a family vacation where things turn deadly. Susan is affected by what she has read and believes that there is something more sinister at play.
The performances in Nocturnal Animals are outstanding. Plus, it has Michael Shannon in it as well, who has one of the most intense stares in Hollywood. The pace and mood of this thriller are what make Nocturnal Animals such an intriguing watch.
You will probably start to notice a trend with these movies, and Drive is no different. Like Nightcrawler, 2011’s Drive is heavily focused on characters and the way they interact with the world around them.
Ryan Gosling is beyond cool as a Hollywood stuntman and garage mechanic by day, and a getaway driver at night. The title character that Gosling portrays is only referred to as ‘Driver’ and doesn’t say much or show any emotion, but Gosling is so good that he can make a scene memorable with just his eyes.
Drive has some other insanely talented actors as well. The always great Bryon Cranston plays Driver’s best friend Shannon and Carey Mulligan is fabulous as Driver’s neighbour Irene who falls in love with him, even though she has a husband who is incarcerated.
He gets out, and Driver finds himself thrust into a situation that he cannot control. Deep characters, vibrant car chases and Gosling being badass make this a must-watch.
The Assassination of Richard Nixon
I’m not a huge fan of politically motivated movies, but this one is different. Starring the always intense Sean Penn, The Assassination of Richard Nixon at its core is about loss and who we choose to blame when bad things happen to us.
It’s 1974, and Sam Bicke (Sean Penn) has lost everything that matters to him. His wife has left him and taken their three kids, he gets fired, his brother turns his back on him and the bank won’t loan him any money to help him get back on his feet.
He looks for someone to blame and settles on the current president, Richard Nixon, who he decides he wants to murder.
This is a heavy watch, as it does deal with some sad and all too real situations that any of us could experience. But I think it’s that fragility that makes us human, and with so many people struggling in the world, this movie is more relevant than you may think.
Based on a novel of the same name, Gone Girl might seem different than other movies on this list, and at its core, it is. But there are some similarities between characters in this thriller drama and Nightcrawler.
Both movies have a person who will do whatever it takes to get what they want. No matter who they hurt along the way.
Gone Girl is the story of Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, whose wife Amy goes missing and a pool of Amy’s blood is found in their kitchen, and Nick becomes the main suspect.
What transpires next is one of the most intense journeys into deception that the suspense genre has seen in years. Sharp twists and turns keep the viewer in a state of uncertainty, which makes it a fascinating watch.
What makes the idea of being in space so frightening? Is it floating around in the darkness, the extreme silence or the feeling of being alone? Probably all three if we’re honest with ourselves. These ideas are played within 2018’s Origin.
A group of troubled passengers wake up on a spaceship that has been damaged and abandoned in deep space. Each character has left behind a dark past on earth in search of a new life on a recently colonized planet.
Paranoia starts to kick in amidst vivid realizations that everyone aboard the ship starts to have. Where are they going and will their troubled pasts follow them to where they end up?
I put this on the list because it features a baby-faced Jake Gyllenhaal in a unique and entertaining story. Donnie Darko has gone on to become a cult classic, but audiences weren’t quite ready for it when it hit theatres back in 2001.
Gyllenhaal plays Donnie Darko. Donnie has some mental health issues and starts to hallucinate a person in a bunny suit who asks him to do things of an illegal nature. The line between reality and the hallucinations that Donnie experiences becomes harder to distinguish as the movie progresses.
This movie is such an entertaining watch, even though it does deal with some dark content. It’s also set in the ’80s and features an awesome soundtrack.
No list of movies revolving around characters who begin to emotionally breakdown is complete without Taxi Driver. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you finish reading this and go watch it immediately.
Taxi Driver was directed by the legend Martin Scorsese and stars one of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro. De Niro plays Travis.
A war vet is becoming increasingly more disturbed and angrier at the world that he sees at night while driving a cab. He believes that New York is a cesspool and needs to be cleansed of all the filth in it.
Taxi Driver also starts a then 12-year-old Jodie Foster as a young prostitute, as well as the always entertaining Harvey Keitel as her pimp. This movie is so gritty and showcases what New York was like in the last 70’s so well that you start to almost see and feel the way Travis does.
Although I enjoy all of the movies on this list, I think you need to go back and watch Donnie Darko if you haven’t seen it already. It’s a great introduction to Jake Gyllenhaal and has an extremely original plot and a killer soundtrack.
Fans of Nightcrawler are sure to love Donnie Darko for its dark undertones and unique cinematography. Also, like Nightcrawler, Donnie Darko has a wonderful cast of both popular and unknown character actors.
Question: What are the best crime dramas to watch?
Answer: Finding the right crime drama to watch can be tricky. There are so many to watch, but here are a few great ones to check out. Nightcrawler, Inherent Vice, Gone Girl, Nocturnal Animals and Drive.
Question: How old is Jake Gyllenhaal?
Answer: It may be hard to believe, but the baby-faced Jake Gyllenhaal is 40-years-old.
Question: What are Jake Gyllenhaal’s best movies?
Answer: Jake Gyllenhaal has been in a ton of great movies, but his most popular movies are Zodiac, Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain and Nightcrawler.
Question: What are the best crime thrillers to watch?
Answer: There are a ton of inducible crime thrillers to check out. A few of the most popular ones include – Pulp Fiction, The Silence of the Lambs, Nightcrawler, Reservoir Dogs and Seven.
There you have it. Thirteen movies to watch if you’re a fan of Nightcrawler. Crime, thriller and psychological movies are such a treat to watch.
You can watch them multiple times and always catch something you didn’t the last time around. I hope you enjoyed this list. Take care, be safe and happy movie watching.