By Megan Bianco
In the middle of summer blockbuster season with films like Godzilla, X-Men and Maleficent topping the box office, independent filmmaker Kelly Reichardt’s latest drama, Night Moves, brings a very dark and chilling environment to the movie screen.
After spending her last two films aiding Michelle Williams’ tour-de-force performances in Wendy & Lucy (2008) and Meek’s Cutoff (2012), Reichardt now follows Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning through one of the best indie thrillers of the year thus far.
In this Oregon-based film, a trio of young, radical and well-meaning environmentalists aim to make a difference for the planet. Emotionally numb Josh (Eisenberg) and determined optimist Dena (Fanning) drive across state to meet up with Josh’s grungy friend Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) to plan a secret bombing of a hydroelectric dam, a decision with consequences and more dangers than they could predict.
Alia Shawkat and James Le Gros co-star.
Eisenberg follows The Double with a different kind of art-house feature, in one of the creepiest and subtle deliveries of his career. Fanning modestly continues to leave behind her childhood stardom for grown-up characters.
Reichardt sets an eerie and unnerving tone throughout the movie that keeps audience eyes anxiously fixated on the screen. She also successfully centers Night Moves around a political topic and avoids coming across as preachy or biased.