Night Moves

Night Moves

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard


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Kelly Reichardt's drama Night Moves stars Jesse Eisenberg as Josh, a young man who is immersing himself in the concept of eco-terrorism. Along with Dena (Dakota Fanning) and an older man named Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard), Josh hatches…  See more details below


Kelly Reichardt's drama Night Moves stars Jesse Eisenberg as Josh, a young man who is immersing himself in the concept of eco-terrorism. Along with Dena (Dakota Fanning) and an older man named Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard), Josh hatches a plan to blow up a dam in order to strike back at the capitalist forces that he believes are ruining the land. After their efforts end up triggering some unexpected results, Josh begins to wonder if can trust his cohorts to keep quiet, and worries that he may soon be confronted by the authorities. Night Moves screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The landscape always matters in Kelly Reichardt's movies. From the seemingly welcoming Oregon woods in Wendy and Lucy to the rugged Old West of Meek's Cutoff, her unhurried films have a distinct sense of the outdoors. Night Moves continues this trend, focusing on two young eco-terrorists who strike back against the capitalistic forces that have perverted nature. It's a thriller, but one filtered through Reichardt's singularly deliberate pace. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Josh, who, along with his friend Dena (Dakota Fanning), begins attending local presentations from environmental-advocacy groups willing to resort to extreme measures to get their point across. They prove themselves to be worthy acolytes, and soon make contact with an older member of the group named Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard); together, the three of them plan to blow up a nearby dam. When there are unexpected complications to their plot, the three split up and agree not to contact each other. Later, Josh discovers that their activities may not have been as effective as he'd imagined, and he gets word that Dena is struggling with the guilt she feels over their actions. If you are at all familiar with Reichardt's previous work, Night Moves is unmistakably hers. Along with talented cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt, she establishes the majesty of the Pacific Northwest without succumbing to storybook pictures. They make it feel like a real and vivid place, and if the movie were primarily about environmental concerns, the images would do more to convince viewers of the importance of that topic than anything else. However, Reichardt and her frequent co-screenwriter Jonathan Raymond are more interested in getting inside Josh's head than inside a particular political mind-set; this is a film about living with guilt, not saving the world. To that end, the casting of Jesse Eisenberg makes more sense as the movie goes on. He's an actor who gives off a big-city vibe -- there's something initially incongruous about seeing him in L.L. Bean gear. But as the second half of the film develops into an increasingly unsettling psychological drama, he's a compelling presence whose dead-eyed stare indicates the emotions roiling inside of Josh, even though the character remains outwardly placid. The biggest disconnect in the movie, however, is the section in which we witness the attack on the dam. It's a straightforward, men-on-a-mission thriller sequence, but Reichardt's style doesn't naturally build tension. Her editing rhythms are so measured that it's hard to overlook how purposefully she's trying to create and maintain suspense. You can appreciate what she's trying to do here, especially in her use of sound during this sequence, but you don't really feel tense. That holds true for the movie as a whole. Reichardt has once again made something that mixes the majestic with the mundane, telling a small human story that hints at much broader and grander themes without ever addressing them in a direct manner. As a psychological exploration of guilt and paranoia, Night Moves works well enough, but as a thriller, it inevitably disappoints.

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jesse Eisenberg Josh
Dakota Fanning Dena
Peter Sarsgaard Harmon
Traber Burns Felix
Autumn Nidalmia Mable
Barry Del Sherman Corser
Jason Rojas Activist 1
Clara Mamet Activist Filmmaker
Mikey Kampmann Activist 2
Matt Malloy Boat Owner
Paddric Fitzgerald Busboy
Jeff Rowles Feed Store Customer
Scott Patrick Green Feed Store Customer
Joel Polinsky Goose
Bart McCarthy Farmer 1
Ernie Ephraim Farmer 2
Gavin MacCartney Kid at Campground
Jonah Goergen Kid at the Lake
Oliver Goergen Kid at the Lake
Lew Temple Wandering Camper
Nate Mooney Driver with Flat Tire
Jennifer Snook Cop
Jackie Apodaca Woman at Spa
Christopher Liam Moore Librarian
Kaiti Zemet Sports Store Employee
Griffin Newman Middle Manager
Alia Shawkat Actor
Logan Miller Actor
Kai Lennox Actor
Katherine Waterston Actor
James LeGros Actor

Technical Credits
Kelly Reichardt Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Mark Bennett Casting
Chris Blauvelt Cinematographer
Chris Carroll Asst. Director
Almitra Corey Art Director
Tarra Day Makeup
Alejandro DeLeon Executive Producer
Vicki Farrell Costumes/Costume Designer
Larry Fessenden Executive Producer
Jeff Grace Score Composer
Elliott Hostetter Production Designer
Kent Sparling Sound/Sound Designer
Saemi Kim Producer
Saerom Kim Executive Producer
Neil Kopp Producer
Chris Maybach Producer
Glenn Micallef Sound Mixer
Jon Raymond Screenwriter
Laura Rosenthal Casting
Lourenço Sant'anna Executive Producer
Vincent Savino Co-producer
Anish Savjani Producer
Rodrigo Teixeira Producer
Todd Haynes Executive Producer
Sheila Trujillo-Gomez Makeup

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