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Night Moves (1975)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

67

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 3,097

My Rating

Movie Info

Private eye Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman) is dedicated to his job, but his dedication does not make him happy or powerful in his personal life, and his wife (Susan Clark) is cheating on him. Aging actress Arlene Iverson (Janet Ward) hires Harry to find her trust-funded daughter Delly (Melanie Griffith), distracting Harry from his marital problems as he tracks the lascivious runaway teen to Florida. In the Keys, Harry has an affair of his own with Paula (Jennifer Warren), and he succeeds in

R,

Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics

Alan Sharp

Jul 12, 2005

WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (3) | DVD (5)

Night Moves is a paradox: a suspenseless suspenser, very well cast with players who lend sustained interest to largely synthetic theatrical characters.

July 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of Penn's best features; his direction of actors is sensitive and purposeful throughout.

July 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Essential viewing.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Arthur Penn's Night Moves is about an old-fashioned private eye who says and does all the expected things while surrounded by a plot he completely fails to understand.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An elegant conundrum, a private-eye film that has its full share of duplicity, violence, and bizarre revelation, but whose mind keeps straying from questions of pure narrative to those of the hero's psyche.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hackman perfectly embodies the faded knight errant being eaten up by the simple desire to know The Truth and thus somehow redeem his misspent life.

July 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

This excellent contemporary noir features some of the best work of both director Arthur Penn and actor Gene Hackman.

July 23, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It is all about atmosphere in this cult Arthur Penn work.

January 1, 2008
Video-Reviewmaster.com

A fine, steamy slice of noir.

August 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Now Playing Magazine

An exceptional neo-noir...In Penn's short-lived time among Hollywood's elite directors, Night Moves is perhaps his most assured film next to Bonnie and Clyde.

July 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

When the story sticks to character and action, it succeeds. When it strays off into philosophical and psychological rambling...it loses interest.

July 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

An unusual detective story that points out that in a world of rampant deception, we can't believe in winners anymore

January 18, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

a sad attempt to quickly knock off what made Chinatown great

September 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A seminal modern noir work from the 1970s about an innocent and lost soul making his way among liars and thieves...

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Night Moves

God, I love this film! I watched it last night for the first time in years. It's one that always gets an honourable mention in those lists of the great movies that nobody went to see on first release. Thirty-seven years on, it feels and is paced more like a small character piece than a thriller, but I imagine Warner Bros. had reasonably high commercial hopes for it when it was greenlit, just four years on from Gene Hackman's Oscar-snaffling turn in The French Connection, eight from director Arthur Penn's phenomenal - and phenomenally successful - Bonnie and Clyde.

Sometimes you see these neglected gems and it's completely baffling how they failed to find an audience at the time, but with Night Moves I can sort of understand how it slipped through the net. And it's not surprising that the film's critical stock began to rise with the advent of home video, when it became possible to re-examine atypically rich examples of cinema to ones heart's content. In my experience, if there's one thing an audience cannot stand it's a movie that makes them feel stupid, and, simply put - and I don't mean this as a criticism, as the effect is certainly intentional - Night Moves is probably the most forbiddingly opaque and ambiguous thriller of the 1970s.

Honestly, if you're one of those people who hates loose ends and likes a nice pat denouement, do yourself a favour and stay well clear of this because it will drive you up the wall! The first time you watch it, it's largely incoherent; the characters and their respective motivations emerge more clearly with each subsequent viewing, but there's still no getting away from the fact that no matter how many times you watch it, the movie remains a riddle without a solution, or rather a riddle with any number of different solutions.

R.I.P. Bruce Surtees, director of photography, 1937-2012
February 29, 2012
harrycaul

Super Reviewer

Everything is low key about this film, until the last thirty minutes when the plot violently unravels. As other great neo noirs of its type, it confronts a man with old fashioned morals and mentality with hypocrite modern day world. Gene Hackman gives another stelar performance.
December 18, 2011
pier007

Super Reviewer

An interesting neo-noir thriller but that is not near the masterpiece some critics make it be. Doesn't hold a candle to Arthur Penn's real masterpiece, "Bonnie and Clyde"
June 23, 2011
Matheus Carvalho

Super Reviewer

An interesting, but unfortunately predictable mystery movie. It has potential, but it doesn't go as far as it needs to.
January 2, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Die heiße Spur (DE)
  • Night Moves (1975) (CA)
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