• Studio:
  • Release Date: May 30, 2014
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jun 5, 2014
    100
    It’s a richly engrossing drama, so long as you understand that it’s aiming for the head, not the gut.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 30, 2014
    91
    Night Moves may have a soft, almost dreamy feel, but at the core it’s crucially hard-headed. In its own quiet way, in how it pulls together our utopian ideals and home-grown fears, it’s the zeitgeist movie of the moment.
  3. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Sep 16, 2013
    91
    Eisenberg does an enormous amount with what he has, proving to be sinister and vulnerable virtually within the same breath, and expertly putting across the torment he’s going through.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jun 12, 2014
    88
    This is a quietly gripping gem.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 30, 2014
    88
    Night Moves eschews traditional tension-building through plot twists and betrayals to focus on its characters, as Reichardt uses her increasingly impressive sense of composition and intuitive pacing to slow burn the audience into a state of anxiety instead of manipulatively pushing them there.
  6. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jun 5, 2014
    83
    All three leads give effective, low-key performances. (I don’t remember a single character raising a voice.) Their acting fits the tone of this movie and all the ones Reichardt directs: Her camera moves slowly, and she accumulates tension by showing detail after detail.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 16, 2013
    83
    No stranger to crafting excessive anticipation, Reichardt has funneled that skill into thriller clothing. However, like all of her output, nothing is as simple as it looks.
  8. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Aug 25, 2014
    80
    Gripping, smart and well-tooled, this greenies-on-a-mission movie gives terrific build-up and a riveting central set-piece, with only a slight dip at the end. If she is looking for another genre to subvert, a Reichardt superhero movie would be a sight to behold.
  9. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 26, 2014
    80
    Night Moves is an unexpected pleasure, offering more than what we expect and taking its time to deliver.
  10. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 31, 2014
    80
    A slow-burning suspense thriller about a trio of eco-terrorists conspiring to blow up a dam, it’s directed by Reichardt with the concision and elegance of a chess master.
  11. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    May 31, 2014
    80
    The influence of early Alfred Hitchcock is all over this movie, translated in unusual and original fashion.
  12. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 29, 2014
    80
    What happens when a seemingly righteous operation goes wrong and anxiety threatens to overtake ideals? It is the question Night Moves asks and answers in chilling ways.
  13. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    May 28, 2014
    80
    Night Moves is a film of deliberate, gnawing intensity and focus, built around a Jesse Eisenberg performance that doesn’t give much away, at least not easily.
  14. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    May 27, 2014
    80
    That patience of Reichardt's, and her dedication to showing us exclusively the things that we must see, makes the scenes of preparation — boat parking, fertilizer buying — hypnotic and suspenseful and practical all at once.
  15. Reviewed by: David Denby
    May 26, 2014
    80
    What happens at the dam, filmed at night, with only shimmering light, is the most nerve-racking sequence in recent movies. Reichardt, despite the film’s absences, has achieved an impressive control over the medium.
  16. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Sep 16, 2013
    80
    After a terrific first hour that crescendos in an extended sequence of quiet yet potent white-knuckle suspense, the film loses some traction in the more challengingly paced second half. But it remains an engrossing reflection on radical violence and its fallout.
  17. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Sep 16, 2013
    80
    Kelly Reichardt blends her lucid observational approach with a topical-thriller format to engrossing effect in Night Moves.
  18. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Sep 16, 2013
    80
    This director, in the past, has shown herself to be an ace with the teasing, hanging ending and Night Moves saves the best for last.
  19. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Sep 16, 2013
    80
    This is mesmerically assured and tensile film-making, with two complex and plausible performances at its core, and the shin-stinging kick of a Chaucerian moral fable.
  20. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 4, 2014
    78
    Night Moves doesn’t give us much reason to like or empathize with its protagonists, but neither does it discount their activism. In this way, the film spurs contemplation. If it’s food for thought you’re looking for, you won’t go hungry with Night Moves.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jun 5, 2014
    75
    Though at times it threatens to become too generic to be original, or too original to be generic, it retains enough indirection to frustrate those looking for thrills and to engage those willing to be challenged. And by the time the bottom drops out in a characteristically enigmatic ending, Night Moves distinguishes itself as a genuine Reichardt movie.
  22. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jun 5, 2014
    75
    The movie's centerpiece and peak is the operation itself, which Reichardt depicts with the pulse-pounding patience of a classic heist sequence like that in "Rififi."
  23. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 5, 2014
    75
    Don’t expect Hitchcock or De Palma here — Reichardt is much too low-key and modest for such crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics — but one long, sustained shot near the end seems to suggest that people who are convinced they are doing the right thing are capable of great evil.
  24. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 29, 2014
    75
    Night Moves is a thoughtful, clear-eyed and provocative film that raises thorny questions but doesn't offer easy answers.
  25. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    May 28, 2014
    75
    There’s a certain muddled ambivalence to the movie; one gets the impression that Reichardt is more interested in these people than their ideas, but she never quite cracks Josh, who’s much more impenetrably aloof than the beleaguered travelers of "Meek’s Cutoff", her masterpiece. Night Moves is a portrait of outsiders that leaves its audience on the outside.
  26. Reviewed by: Matthew Kassel
    May 28, 2014
    75
    You will take pleasure in the performances of three top-notch actors — Dakota Fanning, who has matured into a fine young film star, Jesse Eisenberg, frighteningly brooding, and the always excellent Peter Sarsgaard.
  27. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    May 21, 2014
    75
    While the first hour is evocative and suspenseful, the second doesn’t quite muster the depths of paranoia and doom you’re led to expect.
  28. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Apr 22, 2014
    75
    Like Michael Cera's two recent films with Sebastian Silva, Night Moves reveals the dark core contained within an actor's nice-guy neuroticism.
  29. 70
    The movie is a cunning piece of storytelling, but it’s thin.
  30. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 29, 2014
    70
    Some of the climactic turns seem to follow the kind of narrative rules that this film, and this filmmaker, have otherwise defied.
  31. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 28, 2014
    63
    The second half, though, is chilling, as the trio’s actions come into sharp, painful focus. Too bad Reichardt has no ending.
  32. 63
    Reichardt hangs her film on Eisenberg, who subtly suggests a loner whose primary gift for the cause is he whole in his soul where a longing or human contact should be. It’s a terrific performance and it holds the movie together even as Night Moves stumbles toward its foregone, and rather poorly handled, conclusion.
  33. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    May 29, 2014
    60
    So be forewarned: What admirers will consider measured may read, to the unimpressed, as merely slow-moving.
  34. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    May 27, 2014
    60
    As a procedural study, Night Moves is undeniably effective: The buildup is slow, painstaking and intense, the fallout inevitable but still shocking...But the soul is somehow missing.
  35. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 5, 2014
    50
    Night Moves, which shows her at her best and worst, also shows two roads, right and wrong, that Reichardt can choose to pursue. As someone who likes this filmmaker even when I don't like her movies, I hope she takes the harder road.
  36. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    May 29, 2014
    50
    The story is a shallow-draft bark with flat characters on board: Josh, in particular, is de-energized to the point of entropy. Night Moves suffers from a lack of mystery and a deficit of motion.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Oct 29, 2014
    9
    If you know activists, as I do, these characters are not as flat as some have suggested. The quiet moments in the truck while rehearsing orIf you know activists, as I do, these characters are not as flat as some have suggested. The quiet moments in the truck while rehearsing or reflecting on their plan, the lack of dialogue sometimes, seemed very realistic to me after seeing many young idealists convinced they are acting for the greater good and trying to be cool while doing it. I never knew anyone who went as far as murder, but you can see how the unchecked self-righteousness of people isolated from their families and the wider society and in a group-think situation could lead to unintended wrongdoing. Full Review »
  2. Dec 30, 2014
    9
    I wasn't sure what to expect with this film as I have mixed personal feelings about the subject. What I came away with is all life is sacredI wasn't sure what to expect with this film as I have mixed personal feelings about the subject. What I came away with is all life is sacred and even if intentions are good, actions always have consequences. Full Review »
  3. Oct 1, 2014
    3
    Holy cow, the critics are dead wrong on this one. Dakota Fanning is a bomb, even next to Eisenberg and Sarsgaard she is as flat as a board,Holy cow, the critics are dead wrong on this one. Dakota Fanning is a bomb, even next to Eisenberg and Sarsgaard she is as flat as a board, it's a wonder she didn't bring those two down. The cinematography is redeeming, the shots are very well composed if not a little lacking in interest and prolonged. The plot tries to be full, but doesn't drag itself out of the hipster art-kid theme it sets up in the first act. Not worth watching. Full Review »