Night Moves (2013)

Night Moves
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Writer: Kelly Reichardt, Jonathan Raymond
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, James Le Gros
Part of: Viennale

Josh (Jesse Eisenberg), Dena (Dakota Fanning) and Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) don’t really know each other a lot, but they come together for an act of environmental activism, if not to say terrorism: They plan to blow up a dam. But things like that aren’t that easy and nothing really works as planned.

I decided to give my… strained relationship with Reichardt’s movies yet another try. I’m not exactly sure why. But in this case, I actually liked half of the film which is more than I can say of her other films. But it’s still only half of it.


The first part of the movie was excellent. As the three people get prepared for their attack, the tension is palpable and you’re really not sure whether you should or want to root for them – but you’re definitely interested in what they’re doing.

But then that part is over and as the movie starts dealing with the aftermath, it starts to fall apart. The second part just wouldn’t fit with the first one and it all culminates in an ending that was just too stupid for me too enjoy it.


Generally the whole film, despite its interesting and polarizing (apparently rather zeitgeisty) topic, was a little blah. There could have been more to the ecoterrorism angle, but instead they decided to go with a wholly different story that I didn’t care for at all.

Which is just too bad because the cast is great, the first half is pretty close to perfect and then the movie just shuts the cardoor in front of your face and drives off into the distance, leaving you stranded and scratching your head, wondering what the hell happened to the trip you had planned with it.


Summarizing: Squandered opportunity.

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