Review by Bob Ignizio
When we first meet Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), the protagonist of NIGHTCRAWLER, he elicits our sympathy. He's a young, smart, resourceful guy who, despite a being down on his luck, genuinely wants to work. To make ends meet at the moment, he's collecting scrap metal, and not always by legal means. So even when he punches out a security guard who catches him stealing some chain link fence, we're still kind of on his side.
Eventually Louis discovers the twilight world of freelance late-night crime photography. After asking veteran cameraman Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) for a job and being brusquely turned down, Louis finds his entrepreneurial spirit, gets a cheap video camera and a police scanner, and goes into business for himself. Learning the ropes without anyone to teach him is rough, but eventually Louis starts to get footage that interests Channel 6 news director Nina Romina (Rene Russo). He also gets an “intern” willing to navigate while he drives, another down on his luck guy named Rick (Riz Ahmed).