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Nocturnal Animals

 (1,599)
7.51 h 56 min201615
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.
Directors
Tom Ford
Starring
Jake GyllenhaalAmy AdamsIsla Fisher
Genres
SuspenseDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio Languages
English
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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More details

Supporting actors
Armie HammerMichael ShannonAaron Taylor-Johnson
Producers
Tom FordRobert Salerno
Studio
Focus Features
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

1599 global ratings

  1. 57% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 14% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 6% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Valerie J.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 March 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER
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Noctural animals begins with a stunning scene or extremely obese naked women dancing individually on a stage. For me, that did nothing to improve the movie and, actually, was quite unnecessary. Even so, we realise we are in an art gallery. It is owned by Susan Morrow (Amy Adams), who seems to have peculiar taste. Later Susan receives the manuscript of a book from her ex husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) whom she has not seen for 20 years. Susan’s present husband (Arnie Hammer) has had to go away on business, he told her. Their marriage is strained. Alone she reads Edward’s book and the story has meaning to her and brings out in her a feeling of loss and regret. It reflects the loss and regret of Edward himself. It’s a violent story and she is captivated by it. I found it so hard to write about this movie because it gives you so much to think about and the story in the novel is entwined with the movie’s story and we are taken from scene to scene into the novel and out again. It works magically and if you watch the DVD or BluRay (I saw the BluRay) then don’t miss the extra with Tom Ford, writer/director, talking about the meaning of it all and what he wanted the movie to be. Ford points out some of the little details that the audience may have missed. I admit I missed quite a few but when Ford talked about it, I recalled them. Missing the details does not mean, however, that the movie’s storyline cannot be easily followed. While I am not easily shocked, I did find the scene showing early on in the novel extraordinarily tense and found myself holding my breath. That, for me, is the sign of a really good movie, when I am made to forget that it is a movie and can empathise with the emotions of the characters involved. The movie has the whole works. The cinematography, the characters, the casting, the performances, the dialogue, the lot. And the soundtrack, that haunting soundtrack, should not be forgotten. For me, this movie is a winner. Strangely, the movie was only nominated for one Oscar, a nomination for Michael Shannon (who played a police detective) for best supporting actor. His performance was excellent but he didn’t get it. It went to Mahershala Ali for Moonlighting.

Finally, while the movie covers some violent acts, including rape (all in the characters novel), none of the scenes are particularly graphic and the rape scene is suggested rather than explicit. Mostly it was psychologically disturbing which is what thrillers often are.
12 people found this helpful
Legal VampireReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 January 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
‘clever’, serious film; two scenes are unpleasant to watch
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This is a ‘clever’, serious film which to me has some interest although is not compelling, with a couple of scenes I found unpleasant to watch.

A woman played by Amy Adams (a very talented actress although the parts she plays do not always make the best of her abilities) is prompted to re-evaluate the life choices she made some years ago, when to her surprise she is sent the manuscript of a novel by a writer whom she almost married and started a family with some years ago, when he was unpublished and had no sure career future.

At the time, partly on her parents’ advice, she left him to marry a businessman and make a career managing a pretentious modern art gallery. Reading the novel, about a family who suffer a grim fate when set upon by thugs one night in a remote part of Texas, she realises that it is in some sense about the family life she and the writer could have had together, and the writer’s feeling that she ‘killed’ it when she left him.

Personally I think the writer is overdoing things although I think we are supposed to sympathise with his point of view.

Some of the film is about Amy Adams’ character’s actual life; some of it is dramatised scenes from the novel. The ending of the film is surprisingly uneventful, but is meant to imply that writing or reading the novel has allowed them both to move on emotionally.

There were two parts to this film that I disliked watching.

The first is the opening scene which for reasons which turn out to be something to do with modern art, consists of fat, wrinkly, old women dancing naked. The sight of all that droopy old flesh may put young men who see this film permanently off the idea of marriage, if that is what their wife’s body will be like one day.

The second is when the family fall victim to violent thugs at night on a desert road in Texas, and the daughter and wife are snatched away to unpleasant fates. This is not a horror or blood and guts film and the bad part is as much what we imagine happening as actually see on the screen.

A well-made film that leaves the viewer with some vivid memories. Those who are not too squeamish and who like serious-minded films about relationships may well be enthusiastic about 'Nocturnal Animals', but it is not the kind of film I personally would particularly seek out again.
7 people found this helpful
artReviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 July 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Poignant layered drama
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Adams is unhappy with her life as she suspects her husband is having an affair as well as feeling unsatisfied with her current career. Out of the blue, she receives a manuscript from her ex-husband (Gyllenhall) who after a long struggle as a writer has finally managed to get his first book published. It is dedicated to her and called, ‘Nocturnal Animals’ which was a term he used to call her as she always had trouble sleeping. Her husband goes away on yet another suspicious business trip and she finally begins to read the book.

It turns out to be a bleak story about a married couple going on a trip with their teenage daughter. Their car gets run off the road by a group of crazy rednecks leading to his wife and daughter being taken from him and then subsequently raped and murdered. As she continues to read, Adams begins to have a lot of flashbacks of her former relationship with Gyllenhall as in many ways the story seems to mirror what happened in their marriage together. She left him for another man and then discovering that she was pregnant with Gyllenhall’s child, decided to have an abortion leaving him devastated.

Excellent performances from Adams and Shannon who plays the lawman that tries to bring the criminals to justice (in the book).
5 people found this helpful
PrimeCustomer007Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 August 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Disturbing, poignant and fascinating
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I knew this movie was adapted from the novel 'Tony and Susan' by Austin Wright and was curious to see how well the story-within-a-story bit would translate onscreen. The script is really great and the use of imagery is quite striking. I really enjoyed all the subtle nuances in storytelling and acting. Amy Adams is brilliant as usual - I don't understand why they haven't given her an Oscar yet!! On the whole, I'd say this is a must watch if you like stories to stay with you even after you're done watching/reading them. If it's merely thrills you seek, this might disappoint you.
BalvedaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 December 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
This film really gets under my skin, it’s dark ...
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This film really gets under my skin, it’s dark, depressing and completely messed up.

After my first watch i thought the film was ultimately shallow however on my second viewing there is more depth to it than i first thought.

Amy Adams is phenomenal as always, this and Arrival in the same year with no Oscar nomination, what the hell happened there?
8 people found this helpful
sarah fenwickReviewed in the United Kingdom on 06 July 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thrilling
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Watched this first at the cinema and had to watch it again. It's very strange but the acting is amazing and it's a great storyline. Definitely worth watching.
3 people found this helpful
cedricReviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 November 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great movie
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Amy Adams is a quality actress and the story of the movie suits her talent. There are things you miss if you don't watch carefully and concentrate. The movie is worth a view and the cast do the story justice. For me I enjoyed the physcological build up and would say watch it
Clarice10Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 March 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Watch it
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Wow, this is a film that really stays with you for a while. It's stunning (as you would expect from director Tom Ford). Parts beautiful, parts shocking, the leads Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhal are brilliant. Great ending. Watch it.
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