Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Nightcrawler is Certified Fresh

Plus, Before I Go to Sleep is well-crafted but too slack; Saw gets a 10th anniversary rerelease; and we tell you what's Fresh on TV.

by | October 30, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a crime reporter (Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo), a troubled amnesiac (Before I Go to Sleep, starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth), and a sadistic killer (the 10th anniversary rerelease of Saw, starring Cary Elwes and Danny Glover). What do the critics have to say?. What do the critics have to say?



A creepy, tense thriller about a nocturnal obsessive or a satire of the 24-hour news cycle? Critics say Nightcrawler is a terrific blend of both, with a live-wire performance from Jake Gyllenhaal and an evocative, sinister sense of place. Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a freelance TV journalist who sells lurid crime footage to a local station. But as his career progresses, and his scoops become ever more explosive, Bloom’s shaky ethics threaten to overwhelm him. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Nightcrawler is so taut, atmospheric, and well-acted, you might not even notice the leaps in narrative logic.

Before I Go to Sleep


Before I Go to Sleep boasts an intriguing premise, a top-notch cast, and slick, sleek production values. So how could it miss? The answer, say critics, is that the film’s fine performances are in service to a plot that starts strong but strains credulity as it goes along. Nicole Kidman stars as a woman who wakes up every day with no memory of her past — the tragic result of an accident. But when she makes a shocking discovery, our heroine delves into the secrets of her past while trying to determine who she can trust. The pundits say Before I Go to Sleep often gets by on chilly atmosphere and the strength of Kidman’s performance, but it doesn’t quite achieve the chilly heights it’s aiming for.



Ten years ago, before the term “torture porn” had even been invented, Saw hit theaters awash in Sundance buzz and comparisons to Se7en. The critics were split: some found it to be brutal and clever, while others simply found it depraved. Half a dozen sequels followed, but none could approach the original Saw in terms of novelty or (moderate) critical acclaim. If you’ve ever wanted to enter the twisted world of diabolical killer Jigsaw in a darkened roomful of screaming strangers, now’s your chance: Saw is hitting theaters to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

What’s Fresh on TV:

Critics are still mixed on Gotham‘s overall tone, but most found “The Spirit of the Goat” (67 percent) to be a step in the right direction, thanks in part to much-needed character details about Oswald Cobblepot and Detective Bullock.

Creepy atmosphere, high-stakes action, and splendid special effects combine with a welcome touch of humor to overcome narrative flaws and present a version of Constantine (69 percent) that’s close to his comics counterpart.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Revenge of the Mekons, a rockumentary about the cultishly adored British indie band, is at 100 percent.
  • Jean-Luc Godard‘s Goodbye to Language 3D, an atmospheric meditation on the nature of communication, is at 89 percent.
  • The Great Invisible, a documentary about the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, is at 84 percent.
  • Point and Shoot, a documentary about a Baltimore man whose five-year tour of the Middle East included a stint in the Libyan Revolution, is at 71 percent.
  • ABCs of Death 2, a 26-chapter anthology horror film that takes another crack at alphabetical terror, is at 68 percent.
  • Private Peaceful, a period drama about two brothers whose loyalties are tested amidst the fog of World War I, is at 65 percent.
  • Magical Universe, a documentary about an eccentric octogenarian outsider artist, is at 60 percent.
  • Horns, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple in a fantasy thriller about a man who’s been accused of a crime and finds horns with astonishing powers growing out of his head, is at 48 percent.
  • Missionary, a thriller about a woman who tries to break off her extramarital affair with a missionionary when she reunites with her estranged husband, is at 38 percent.
  • Hit By Lightning, starring Jon Cryer and Will Sasso in a comedy about a guy who meets the perfect woman only to discover she wants to kill her husband, is at 14 percent.

Tag Cloud

Britbox Captain marvel Music Quiz cats Walt Disney Pictures crossover Heroines Action LGBTQ Trailer RT History discovery Ghostbusters MSNBC VH1 The Arrangement Spring TV 2019 harry potter WarnerMedia Mudbound Dark Horse Comics aliens Awards Tour Grammys Film Festival what to watch Sneak Peek USA YA 2016 Character Guide APB Best and Worst anthology Universal Winter TV Cannes GLAAD TIFF zombie TCA Tarantino TruTV cults Disney Channel NBC boxoffice WGN FX Netflix singing competition thriller BBC war Masterpiece spider-man blaxploitation Watching Series sitcom richard e. Grant Box Office Superheroes psycho 2017 Nat Geo travel Winners Musical GoT Ellie Kemper 2015 Trophy Talk dramedy Pride Month Mary poppins E! technology Vudu Tomatazos dceu YouTube Red historical drama HBO Mary Poppins Returns Interview Spike Cosplay docudrama Animation Lucasfilm AMC Chernobyl Disney 21st Century Fox based on movie unscripted 2018 anime Kids & Family mockumentary Drama natural history space CMT FXX ratings green book OWN Reality Competition CBS Elton John DC streaming service festivals ABC History Amazon Prime psychological thriller Premiere Dates Valentine's Day Holidays Amazon Lifetime Comics on TV LGBT 007 HBO Max Western NYCC award winner GIFs The CW First Look sports SundanceTV binge USA Network 20th Century Fox adventure strong female leads Esquire nature Fall TV game show Emmys Stephen King Rocky San Diego Comic-Con Mary Tyler Moore spy thriller RT21 Oscars Year in Review Comedy Calendar 45 teaser true crime facebook miniseries Paramount Extras IFC Films Cartoon Network transformers Biopics adaptation mutant SXSW TLC Ovation Election CW Seed Black Mirror casting El Rey supernatural Rocketman Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Rom-Com FOX CBS All Access Shudder Super Bowl Tumblr TCA 2017 comic political drama Video Games robots comiccon E3 diversity crime X-Men dc TBS IFC Set visit YouTube Premium Spectrum Originals Musicals A&E TCM Emmy Nominations vampires President Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Brie Larson Adult Swim Marathons Horror Lionsgate Country talk show ESPN Nickelodeon Martial Arts BBC America Schedule Sony Pictures DC Comics Opinion cinemax Song of Ice and Fire disaster DC Universe Sundance Now SDCC jamie lee curtis Freeform Reality Crackle politics Writers Guild of America MCU cops elevated horror golden globes PaleyFest Rock Marvel The Witch National Geographic romance TV Acorn TV Thanksgiving Bravo Showtime TV Land ABC Family Comic Book animated DGA streaming television Summer Teen TNT spinoff Mystery American Society of Cinematographers Nominations medical drama CNN biography Fantasy New York Comic Con Warner Bros. crime thriller 24 frames Comedy Central theme song doctor who Toys serial killer Shondaland Apple justice league Starz Food Network See It Skip It Women's History Month Creative Arts Emmys Fox News Pet Sematary Countdown hist Columbia Pictures Polls and Games DirecTV composers social media Star Trek Trivia Photos crime drama Sundance Logo MTV witnail zombies finale Star Wars dragons Superheroe VICE BET Christmas period drama Pixar science fiction cooking ITV police drama Anna Paquin toy story Red Carpet sequel Hulu zero dark thirty Sci-Fi PBS Epix Syfy Pop Awards Certified Fresh Infographic Paramount Network Pirates Mindy Kaling Podcast