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3.7
690 Ratings

Night Moves

Directed by Arthur Penn
United States, 1975
Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Synopsis

Former footballer and present private detective Harry Moseby gets hired on to what seems a standard missing person case, as an aging Hollywood actress whose only major roles came thanks to being married to a studio mogul wants Moseby to find and return her stepdaughter.

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Night Moves Directed by Arthur Penn

Awards & Festivals

BAFTA Awards

1976 | Nominee: Best Actor

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1975 | 3rd place: Best Actor

Critics reviews

Although close contemporaries The Long Goodbye (1973) and Chinatown (1974) are lauded more regularly today as exemplary New Hollywood re-imaginings of film noir, Night Moves sits comfortably in such exalted company. . . . The happy confluence of [Penn and screenwriter Alan Sharp’s] artistic interests and abilities on Night Moves marked a joint creative highlight before their respective careers took more uncertain turns.
December 11, 2017
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The plot is secondary to its temperament, desperate and paranoid in its dogmatic, post-Watergate pursuit of the Truth, whatever that may be. Any confusedness, however, is transmogrified by Penn’s direction, as is his style—his is an expression that conquers, even when the triumphs are more subtle than absolute.
December 01, 2017
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[Screenwriter] Sharp simultaneously honors and subverts the conventions of the private-eye flick, teasing out tantalizing story strands but restricting the audience’s perspective to that of the film’s generally clueless protagonist. He also gives Hackman one of the greatest roles of the actor’s storied career: a belligerent, proud, dangerously resourceful hunk of misdirected tenacity.
April 26, 2013
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Night Moves

    Excessive plot, much of it without rhyme or reason, gives this wonderful cast little chance to flesh out the supporting roles. Perhaps if this film had been twice as long, with fewer "plot twists" and more of that New Hollywood magic, it could have been something great. A much better 1970's film in this vein is Prime Cut, also with a stellar cast including Gene Hackman.

  • chanandre's rating of the film Night Moves

    "I saw a Rohmer film once. It was kind of like watching paint dry. " - could not be any wronger. But when i heard it i did laugh a bit.

  • Ethan's rating of the film Night Moves

    Gene Hackman gives a knockout performance in this gritty and cynical thriller that maintains its credibility by not being over the top and wearing its depression on its sleeve. You can practically feel the desperation on Hackman's face as he tries to get shit right but falls short every time. This is brilliant cynical filmmaking that could only be made in the 70s because people would douche it up these days.

  • Nicholas Gregory's rating of the film Night Moves

    The narrative dryness is upheld by the shattered marital-bliss drama, which gives Hackman a down-tuned bitterness. Few actors can do angry like him. Stiff in its mid-section due to its drama with the found teen not being as intense or emotional as what’s before and after. Night Moves is as equal as Chinatown due to its limitation and is as dour and dry as The Conversation. Good noir-dialogue, though.

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film Night Moves

    In the case of many director, their BEST work is often overshadowed by their most INFLUENTIAL work. Such is the case with Arthur Penn who will go down in cinematic history for Bonnie and Clyde and not for Night Moves. A brilliant homage to film noir that, by ironically covering old Hollywood grounds, manages to tell a story of change. It also offers a depiction of sleazy Hollywood that rivals Wilder's and Lynch's.

  • Filipe F. Coutinho's rating of the film Night Moves

    A brilliant twist on the more conventional PI mystery plot with Sharp and Penn more worried about studying the man than the narrative. It's a truly subversive and ultimately though-provoking character study, a backstage look at the life of a PI if you will. All the moral and ethical issues of a profession glorified by the movies are her portrayed in gut-wrenching fashion. Plus, it treated the audience with brains.

  • Francisco R.'s rating of the film Night Moves

    Poor Eric Rohmer never stood a chance against Harry Moseby's undeniably pedestrian gait about everything surrounding his life, a simple man working his way as a private eye while trying to get a hold of his tumbling marriage are the two elements in which this very memorable film edifies itself, but the real surprise lies not in uncovering the plot but in the withdrawal of understanding the real motivation of it all.

  • João Eça's rating of the film Night Moves

    "I saw a Rohmer filme once. It was kind of like watching paint dry", says Gene Hackman's character. That's the problem with Penn's movie, since he tries to do something arty with a Hollywood sub-genre (the detective movie) that has nothing of arty whatsoever. And he fails: the movie is a bore, the dialogues are pretentious and the twists are just silly. Though the ending is good, it is not enough to save the picture.

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