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75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: As organic farmer Josh (Jesse Eisenberg), high society dropout Dena (Dakota Fanning) and ex-Marine Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) plan, carry out and then witness the fallout of an attention-grabbing act of sabotage, they find their own personal limits tested.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  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: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 11, 2014
    5
    To have the word "moves" in the title is a misnomer, because the one thing this film doesn't do is move. This deliberately-paced drama features Jesse Eisenberg in almost every frame. He plays an organic farmer who sets out with Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard to blow up a damn in an act of eco terrorism. Their careful operation occupies the first half of the story, then the inevitable complications add to the impact. Eisenberg works against his usual fast-paced, neurotic delivery with this sullen, serious performance. While it's mildly interesting, the low-key pace and quiet lack of energy make it an exercise in patience. Expand
  2. Jun 9, 2014
    4
    I adored Kelly Reichardt's first film OLD JOY. So subtle, obtuse and winning. OLD JOY displayed a true feel for the awkwardness of contemporary American life. Three films later and I'm realizing that I don't really care for her aesthetic. With NIGHT MOVES, everything that seemed so intricate and complex, comes across as banal and contrived. The first 40 minutes are quite terrific but then NIGHT MOVES becomes everything it seems to despise. I always feel saddened when a filmmaker is clearly losing their way and Reichardt is clearly lost but I'll keep hoping for her return. We need distinct voices in film but she has lost hers at least for now. Expand

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