Night Moves (2013 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kelly Reichardt|
|Produced by||Saemi Kim
|Written by||Jonathan Raymond
|Music by||Jeff Grace|
|Edited by||Kelly Reichardt|
Maybach Film Productions
Tipping Point Productions
Night Moves is a 2013 American drama film directed by Kelly Reichardt and written by Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat, and James LeGros. The film follows three radical environmentalists who plot to blow up a dam. It was shown in the main competition section of the 70th Venice International Film Festival, at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and at 2013 Deauville American Film Festival, where it won Grand Prix of the festival.
Radical environmentalists Josh and Dena buy a boat and tow it long-distance to meet Harmon, an ex-Marine. The three plan to bomb a dam which they believe is harming the environment. They buy fertilizer, assemble a bomb and load it onto the boat. At night, they take the boat to the dam, arm the bomb, and escape. After the explosion, Harmon says goodbye and drives away. Josh and Dena are stopped by the police, but evade suspicion.
Josh returns to the farm where he lives and works. The other people living on the farm discuss the explosion; the media reports that a man who was camping near the dam is missing. Harmon calls Josh and tells him that Dena is worried. Concerned that she will go to the police, Josh agrees to talk to her. Dena admits her feelings of guilt and when pressed by Josh, she does not rule out talking to the police or the camper's family. They argue and she leaves. Harmon tells Josh that Dena needs to be silenced.
The other people living on the farm suspect Josh of involvement with the bombing and ask him to leave. He learns that the man was found dead after drowning from the flooding caused by the explosion. He then surprises Dena at the spa where she works; he tries to warn her, but she attacks him and runs. He finds her in a sauna and strangles her to death.
Josh calls Harmon in tears to tell him that Dena is dead. Harmon says they cannot communicate again and tells Josh to disappear. Josh destroys his phone and asks for a job in a camping supplies store.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Josh
- Dakota Fanning as Dena
- Peter Sarsgaard as Harmon
- Alia Shawkat as Surprise
- Logan Miller as Dylan
- Kai Lennox as Sean
- Katherine Waterston as Anne
- Barry Del Sherman as Corser
- James LeGros as Feed factory clerk
Edward R. Pressman Film filed a lawsuit in September 2012, demanding that filming cease because of too many similarities to Edward Abbey's novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, planned to be adapted into an authorized film by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. The lawsuit charged: "By way of example only, both works feature the targeting of a dam for destruction by means of ammonium fertilizer-laden boats. In the Novel, the principal bomb-maker is a beer-guzzling veteran who served overseas as a Green Beret, where he acquired his knowledge of explosives. The bomb-maker in Night Moves is a beer-guzzling veteran who served overseas as a U.S. Marine, where he acquired his knowledge of explosives. Both the Novel and Night Moves also feature a 20-something woman who starts out as a companion of another member of the group but develops a sexual relationship with the bomb-making veteran, despite his initial objections to her participation in the group's illegal activities."
Night Moves received positive reviews, currently holding an 86% "certified fresh" rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 132 reviews; the consensus states: "A uniquely character-driven thriller with a finely composed cast and some outstanding direction from Kelly Reichardt, Night Moves bolsters its thought-provoking themes with compelling drama." On Metacritic, based on 36 critics, the film has a 75/100 rating, signifying "generally favorable reviews".
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- "Toronto film festival 2013: the full line-up". The Guardian. London. July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
- "'Night Moves' Wins Deauville Grand Prize". Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- Gardner, Eriq (September 14, 2012). "Producer Launches Legal War Over New Eco-Terrorist Film Starring Jesse Eisenberg". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
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