Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning in Night Moves


Kelly Reichardt, the director of Wendy and Lucy, Old Joy and Meek’s Crossing, is known for her collected and measured filmmaking, and her ability to attract fantastic talent to her projects (like Michelle Williams in two of the above mentioned). With her latest feature, Night Moves, those eerily calm undertones leftover from her previous work are still present, but the stakes are higher in a more nervewracking plot.

Reichardt has again attracted a wealth of talent to star in her new film, this time gathering Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard as a group of ecological activists (whatever you do, just don’t even think about calling them ecoterrorists — Sarsgaard isn’t too keen on that label) who hatch a plot to bomb a hydroelectric dam.

The first (French-subtitled) trailer for Night Moves (which, if we’re being honest, sounds like a groovy dance flick about an up-and-comer in 1970s NYC and less like a high-stakes ecodrama) has launched, and it shows something different than the average heist or crime thriller. It’s about what happens after the crime has been committed and the bomb has gone off.

The trailer shows the trio devising their plan and then doing exactly what the rest of us would be doing after committing a large-scale crime: separately freaking out about getting caught while trying not to let the others know exactly how worried they really are about their potential life behind bars. The original idea is to commit their grand plan of decidedly not ecoterrorism and go their separate ways, never to speak again about their wild weekend at the dam. Not even for a reunion 20 years later at Dave and Busters or anything (“Man, Blowing up the Dam 2014 was a riot, wasn’t it?”). But even the best laid plans fall apart, and as they each begin to get paranoid in the aftermath of the plot, their paths start to cross once again.

It’s one thing to work together on a bomb, but it’s another to trust each other when it’s time to fear capture.

Our own Kate Erbland reviewed the film at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and praised it for “coolly effective performances from all three leads, a solid and evocative score from Jeff Grace, a wonderfully tense middle half, Reichardt’s sparse dialogue works to great effect.” A climax “that could be described as something ripped from the page of Dostoyevsky” is clearly something, if not bleak, to look out for as well.

Check out the trailer below:

Night Moves will play at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival and is in theaters May 30th.

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