It feels like Jake Gyllenhaal has been around forever, having made his big screen debut almost three decades ago in City Slickers before playing his first leading role in 1999’s October Sky, two years prior to Donnie Darko bringing him mainstream recognition. But the Academy Award-nominated star doesn’t even turn 40 until December of this year.
During his rise up the A-list, Gyllenhaal tackled a variety of different genres and excelled in them all, whether it was $125 million blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow, awards season favorite Brokeback Mountain, biographical war drama Jarhead or David Fincher’s acclaimed Zodiac. Like most rising stars, Gyllenhaal eventually signed up to a big budget epic with franchise potential, but after Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time sank at the box office and was dismissed by critics, he deliberately avoided major studio projects for the next decade and focused on establishing a reputation as one of the best actors in the business.
This new approach to his career reaped almost immediate rewards, with Gyllenhaal showcasing his range in the likes of Source Code, End of Watch, Prisoners and Enemy, but arguably the best performance of his reinvention came in 2014’s Nightcrawler. The low-budget thriller saw the leading man in incredible form, landing him Golden Globe, BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild nominations, and a lot of people were shocked that he was overlooked when it came to the Oscars that year.
The movie was a decent-sized hit at the time after raking in over $50 million at the box office against a budget of just $8.5 million, and now Nightcrawler is about to become available to a whole new audience when it arrives on Netflix next month, on August 10th. And for fans of both Jake Gyllenhaal and the dark comedy, noir or thriller genres, Tony Gilroy’s look at the scuzzy underbelly of Los Angeles is well worth checking out.