Nocturnal Animals

Critics Consensus

Well-acted and lovely to look at, Nocturnal Animals further underscores writer-director Tom Ford's distinctive visual and narrative skill.



Total Count: 287


Audience Score

User Ratings: 29,910
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Movie Info

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival. From writer/director Tom Ford comes a haunting romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves in NOCTURNAL ANIMALS.


Jake Gyllenhaal
as Tony Hastings, Edward Sheffield
Amy Adams
as Susan Morrow
Michael Shannon
as Bobby Andes
Isla Fisher
as Laura Hastings
Armie Hammer
as Hutton Morrow
Laura Linney
as Anne Sutton
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Critic Reviews for Nocturnal Animals

All Critics (287) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (211) | Rotten (76)

Audience Reviews for Nocturnal Animals

  • Sep 22, 2017
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Jul 24, 2017
    Ford is clearly aiming for some kind of Cormac McCarthy/David Lynch mashup but he ends up with a pretentious, yet somehow also trashy, mess.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2017
    A very different Animal from a very distinctive visionary, this handsome beast of a film noir thriller is twisty more than tidy but the stirring performances and intoxicating tale dare you to look away. And you won't want to. In this R-rated thriller, a wealthy art gallery owner (Amy Adams) receives a draft of her ex-husband's (Jake Gyllenhaal) gritty crime manuscript and finds herself unable to put it down as she gets wrapped up in the narrative. Featuring a story within a story, one darker than the last, Nocturnal Animals is many things. Avant-garde like the artwork it's main character, Susan, sells. Steeped in darkness like the latter half of the title suggests. A challenging 'read' like the manuscript written by Susan's ex, Tony. Stylish like the designer-turned-screenwriter who also directed it. The term film noir gets tossed around a lot in movie reviewing, making it almost a catch-all for any flick that has a night scene and a criminal element. In fact, this style came about in post-World War II America and reflected the general pessimism and uncertainty permeating a great deal of the populace. Heavily influenced by the German expressionists (themselves no strangers to post-war cynicism), the style presented a shadowy world rife with fatalism and dread. So too does Nocturnal Animals, putting forth all-but-soulless Angelinos living in a pallid disconnected post-9/11 and banking crisis world where the only thing grimmer is a violent flight of fiction. The most menacing element for Susan isn't how realistic the harrowing experience at the center of the novel seems, however, but if it's an allegory for something cruel that she did to Tony. Indeed, Nocturnal Animals isn't so much as a Who-Done-It? as a Did-It-Happen-At-All? And that's the brilliance of this unique thriller which, frustratingly, isn't for all tastes. Having proven himself a sleek, and skillful storyteller with A Single Man, Tom Ford could have gone more mainstream for his follow-up (for most, the sophomore slump is a true concern). Instead, he smartly puts his gifts for atmosphere and casting to expert use, unraveling Austin Wright's novel as a fetching puzzle box that keeps puzzling you a week later. Adams, Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Isla Fisher all blend seamlessly into the dark palette of Ford's noirish frame, their characters sympathetic in their attempt to find a glimmer of love and/or redemption in a perpetually Nocturnal world. Because it challenges and makes you think, it's not for everybody. But it damn well should be. To Sum it Up: Bleak Beauty
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2017
    Meticulously crafted relationship / revenge drama with a very unusual narrative. Beautifully filmed, well acted and flawlessly directed the movie won't leave anyone indifferent, offering plenty of food for thought. Although the ending does not answer all questions the regular viewer might expect from his viewing experience, you still gotta admire the attempt to do something different here.
    Jens S Super Reviewer

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