Mixed up media
“Nightcrawler” (R, Universal), an impressive directorial debut from screenwriter Dan Gilroy, creeps under the viewer’s skin much like the predatory title character, who restlessly cruises through this modern-day allegory. Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a mercenary margin-dweller who scrapes by as a petty criminal and listens to business self-help tapes in hopes of scoring big. The film’s most sobering point isn’t that soldiers of misfortune such as Lou exist, but the degree to which mainstream media have jumped into bed with them, pandering to the public’s shameful appetites. The film turns its rancid gaze on the audience itself, questioning the bull market for lurid true-crime tales.