Night Moves, film review: Alfred Hitchcock haunts this explosive thriller
(15) Dir. Kelly Reichardt; Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, 113mins
Thursday 28 August 2014
Night Moves is the most plot-driven film to date by the US indie film-maker Kelly Reichardt. Fans of the determinedly low-key minimalist treasures Old Joy (2006), Wendy and Lucy (2008) and Meek's Cutoff (2010) will know that this isn't saying a lot.
And there certainly isn't any extraneous action in Night Moves. But it is precisely its leanness and the tight focus of its storytelling that make it such a tense thriller.
Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard play three eco-warriors who plan to blow up a hydroelectric dam outside Portland, Oregon. Their motives are largely unspoken and opaque, but their determination is clear.
The first half of the film details, with Hitchcockian precision, the execution of their plan, which involves procuring the right amounts of industrial fertiliser with which to stuff the boat that gives the film its name, and turn it into a bomb. The second half is about the repercussions of the explosion.
What begins as a merely watchful drama grows paranoid and dark, as psychological stresses fracture the group and they are isolated by their respective self-righteousness, naivety and anti-social tendencies. It isn't much of an advert for direct action, but it is a powerful reminder of that most fundamental rule of narrative cinema: that actions have consequences.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre