A Near-Perfect Jake Gyllenhaal Movie Just Hit Netflix

By Douglas Helm | 4 weeks ago

Jake Gyllenhaal 

Netflix has been adding a lot of great movies lately, but today they added one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s best with Nightcrawler. This neo-noir thriller came out in 2014 and gave us a creepy Gyllenhaal in peak form. If you haven’t checked this one out yet, it’s definitely worth a watch. It’s also pretty dark, so be forewarned.

Nightcrawler tells the story of a petty thief named Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) who decides to get a police scanner and a camera. After getting footage of a grisly car crash and selling it, he takes increasingly drastic measures to get footage to sell to a local news station. The cast is rounded out by great performances from Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed, Ann Cusack, Kevin Rahm, and Michael Hyatt. The script and directing duties are handled by Dan Gilroy, who was honored by the Academy that year with a nomination for Best Original Screenplay for his efforts. The movie was also Gilroy’s directorial debut, so he definitely came out of the directing gates swinging.

Jake Gyllenhaal streaming netflix

The Academy wasn’t the only one impressed by Nightcrawler. The movie managed to pull in $47.3 million worldwide. Which doesn’t seem like a ton until you learn the movie was made with a budget of $8.5 million. Jake Gyllenhaal also loved the script, going out of the way to transform himself into the character of Lou. He lost almost thirty pounds for the role by running 15 miles per day and eating nothing but gum and salad. His dedication definitely led to a mesmerizing performance, as he gives the gaunt Lou a sense of hunger and desperation throughout the film.

Audiences and critics loved Nightcrawler too. The film has great reviews across the board, pulling in a stunning 96% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and 86% from audiences. Critics and audiences lauded Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance, along with the script and the dark-noir tone of the movie. The movie feels like it takes place in perpetual night, giving it a unique and foreboding feeling.

Though Jake Gyllenhaal has had some great performances since Nightcrawler was released, you could certainly make the argument that it was his best performance of the 2010s. An argument can also be made for his back-to-back Denis Villeneuve roles in Enemy and Prisoners in 2013, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

nightcrawler streaming netflix

For Jake Gyllenhaal’s most recent performance, you can head to theaters and see it today. He plays the co-lead role alongside Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the latest Michael Bay blockbuster Ambulance. The two play adoptive siblings who hijack an ambulance after a bank heist goes awry. The ambulance happens to have a severely wounded cop and EMT worker in the back, so they have to escape the law while also saving the man in the back of their stolen vehicle. While not quite as critically acclaimed as Nightcrawler, initial audience reactions are very positive, with an 87% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. This movie is obviously a very different experience than Nightcrawler, but if you’re looking for a nuanced indie Gyllenhaal performance followed by a blockbuster Michael Bay flick, the two might make for a good double-feature.

Though Ambulance might be Jake Gyllenhaal’s most recent project, there are no worries for fans who want to see a lot more of him in the future. His IMDb page currently lists not one, not two, but 11 new movies and TV series for the actor. It seems like we’ll be getting plenty of Jake Gyllenhaal performances soon. The next time we see him should be in the movie The Division, which is set to come out sometime in 2022. The Division is based on the video game series of the same name. The movie tells the story of bio-terrorists attacking NYC with a smallpox strain, causing chaos and disorder. The Strategic Homeland Division is activated to keep the peace while a cure is invented. Rawson Marshall Thurber directs with a screenplay by Rafe Judkins. Jessica Chastain is also on board to co-star.

With the number of projects Jake Gyllenhaal has in the pipeline, it’s likely that you won’t have to wait too long before seeing more great performances from him. But, in the meantime, Nightcrawler is right there and waiting on Netflix. Definitely give it a try if you’re looking for an engaging thriller to watch this week.