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Night Moves (2013)

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Three radical environmentalists look to execute the protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam.


Kelly Reichardt


Jonathan Raymond (as Jon Raymond), Kelly Reichardt
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jesse Eisenberg ... Josh
Dakota Fanning ... Dena
Peter Sarsgaard ... Harmon
Alia Shawkat ... Surprise
Logan Miller ... Dylan
Kai Lennox ... Sean
Katherine Waterston ... Anne
James Le Gros ... Feed Factory Clerk
Traber Charles Burns Traber Charles Burns ... Felix
Autumn Nidalmia Autumn Nidalmia ... Mable
Barry Del Sherman ... Corser
Jason Rojas Jason Rojas ... Activist 1
Clara Mamet ... Activist Filmmaker
Mikey Kampmann Mikey Kampmann ... Activist 2
Matt Malloy ... Boat Owner


Josh and Dena, two young environmental activists, are planning a large scale act to force the world to think about what they're doing to the environment. They pull in Harmon, a man with a sketchy past, to help them pull off their big plan. However, unforeseen consequences bring a whole host of guilt, paranoia and other problems, and their ultimate act will change themselves more than the world around them. Written by Anne Campbell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook Page





Release Date:

23 April 2014 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Gece Plani See more »

Filming Locations:

Medford, Oregon, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,100, 30 May 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$252,903, 3 August 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Paul Dano and Rooney Mara were considered for the lead roles before Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning were cast. See more »


Lake of the Woods (Oregon) is a natural lake, and does not have a dam as portrayed in the film. (Galesville Reservoir, which is 100 miles from Lake of the Woods, was used for filming) See more »


[first lines]
Dena: Whoa, I think that was an Oriole. I didn't know we had those.
See more »


Featured in Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema: The Heist (2018) See more »


Written and Performed by 'Hayley Taylor (I)'
Published by House of Hassle
By Arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Nonchalant slow burn thriller
5 June 2014 | by stinadianneSee all my reviews

Featured at the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival, Night Moves is a film directed by the queen of slow burn narrative Kelly Reichardt. Reichardt uses space and tone instead of plot and character to tell this story of eco terrorism. Organic farmers Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) and Dena (Dakota Fanning) buy a boat and travel deep in the woods to meet Josh's friend Harmon (Sarsgaard). The three begin to set into motion a plan to blow up a hydroelectric dam at a nearby lake. After they succeed they learn their act caused the death of a camper. The guilt begins to cause Dena to rethink their actions. Josh must find a way to keep her quiet before she talks and they all end up in jail. Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff, Wendy And Lucy) is known for her lightly plotted pieces. She works within a realm of filmmaking in which the story is told not through actions but through suspense. In Night Moves, the majority of the film is the planning of the explosion. However, this kind of storytelling seems to stunt emotions of characters. These three are supposed to be passionate enough activists to even come up with this plan but they all walk around sleepy/dead-eyed and talk in monotone voices. Why are they doing this if they really don't seem to care? This doesn't match what they are planning to do and makes it confusing for an audience. Eisenberg (The Double) is the most passionate of the three, but he really is more angry than anything. His brood is exceptional in this film as he makes Josh into a man who seems he will never be content with anything- even when their plan seems to go off without a hitch. Sarsgaard (Blue Jasmine) fits nicely into the role of Harmon, an ex- marine who lives in a trailer out in the middle of nowhere. With his long hair and slight smile he is just handsome enough to charm his way through anything and just sleazy enough not to be trusted. Fanning (The Secret Life Of Bees) plays Dena with a confounding amount of nonchalance. One might wonder why her character is even involved with this plan. All she seems to be is a sad little rich girl who spends Daddy's money on hundreds of pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Even when Dena's guilt has become "too much for her to bear"- she doesn't really seem too worried about it externally. Fanning has been choosing more mature roles lately but it is unclear if she herself has matured in her craft- it will be interesting to see what she does next. Night Moves is indeed a beautiful film that has stunning shots of what majestic Oregon lakes and forests have to offer. The emotion from the performances does not match the situation at hand making it a dry, uneven and drawn out film. The build up is slow and intense but overall you may find yourself feeling more passionate about what is happening than about the characters.

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