This is one of those movies that literally grabs you from the start as you simply have no idea where it's going or what it's even about. It's established pretty quickly that the main character Lou is not only highly intelligent, but more than a little psychotic. As he roams about at night, looking for new work, he comes across a car crash but more so, a 'nightcrawler' (Bill Paxton) whose rocked up to film it. This ignites a passion within him and he sets out to form his own business.Los Angeles denizen Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) survives by scavenging and petty theft. He stumbles into a new career as a cameraman and -- armed with a camcorder and police scanner -- begins nocturnal forays across the city in search of shocking and grisly crimes. When he catches the eye of a shopworn news director (Rene Russo) who welcomes the chance to raise her station's ratings, Louis goes to increasingly greater lengths to catch the "money shot."
As he learns the ropes and begins to understand which kind of crimes are the most sellable (ie murders in rich neighbourhoods as opposed to car jackings in Compton), he realises that it's not simply about getting to the location before other nightcrawlers, but the importance of capturing good footage - so much so that he begins to tamper with the victims so that they tell more of a story, or are in better lighting, culiminating him arriving even prior to police and stepping into an active crime scene which he manipulates for that perfect footage.
It's a dark and highly original movie with a superb performance by Jake Gillenhall as the nutty and highly unpredictable Lou. Some fantastic dialogue throughout.