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Night Moves


Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Logan Miller, Alia Shawkat, Katherine Waterston, Kai Lennox, James Le Gros

Director: Kelly Reichardt

This monumentally slow eco-tragedy has nothing to do with the (far superior) Gene Hackman film of the same title, save that a boat plays a key role in both films.

The movie opens on a mass of effluent being discharged into a body of water. Above it stands the hydro-electric dam which two bleeding-heart environmentalists (Eisenberg, Fanning) - and a loose cannon (Sarsgaard) who will build the bomb - plan to smash with a boat-load of explosive.

Fanning is the high society dropout whose money buys the boat, Eisenberg an organic-farm worker at what would once have been called a hippie commune and the brains behind the project. On the big night, things go not entirely to plan, with tragic if scarcely believable consequences.

Alas the film, like the boat on the night, drifts on and on, contributing little in the way of original dialogue - 'You said no one would get hurt' snaps Fanning, in a line dating back 80 years - to a backdrop of slow piano music.

The director, unwisely doing her own editing, pads the anecdote with endless tracking shots, pans over or across inanimate objects and shows a fixation with ceiling lights that would make Terence Davies proud. The colour scheme, with its emphasis on turquoises, oranges and browns, is an up-market version of Hollywood's old Cinecolor, but the film it embellishes is pretty deadly.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Soda. Colour (unspecified).
112 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 25 Aug 2014