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Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

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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: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jun 5, 2014
    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
    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
    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: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 26, 2014
    Night Moves is an unexpected pleasure, offering more than what we expect and taking its time to deliver.
  5. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    May 21, 2014
    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
    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
    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 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Oct 29, 2014
    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 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. Expand
  2. Jun 11, 2014
    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
  3. Sep 18, 2014
    Not nearly enough material to make a full-length movie out of this. So extremely boring. The message of the movie is fine and the acting and directing is good enough as well, but quite frustrating to get through the whole thing, and I'm usually a big fan of laid-back slow movies. Expand
  4. Jun 9, 2014
    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
  5. Sep 20, 2014
    All was good, I was willing to wait as the plot unfolded, and love that tension is built by what doesn't happen as much as by what does. My biggest disappointment is the ending, which is nonsensical, unbelievable and out of character, given how the lead actor's role is handled. Perhaps this is a flaw in direction, or in Eisenberg's artistic choices, but it spoils the film for me. It feels like a "then I woke up" ending. Expand
  6. Sep 4, 2014
    This film doesn't go anywhere. The characters are flat, the plot is thin and Night Moves ends up stalling in the driveway. Call a tow-truck before watching this one. Expand
  7. Oct 1, 2014
    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. Expand