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Nightwatch
Nightwatch
Actors: Ewan McGregor, Nick Nolte, Patricia Arquette, Josh Brolin, Lauren Graham
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2000     1hr 41min

This edge-of-your-seat suspense thriller stars Ewan McGregor (MOULIN ROUGE, TRAINSPOTTING) and Nick Nolte (I LOVE TROUBLE, CAPE FEAR) leading an exciting Hollywood cast! Martin (McGregor) is a cash-strapped law student try...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Ewan McGregor, Nick Nolte, Patricia Arquette, Josh Brolin, Lauren Graham
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Dimension
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/14/2000
Original Release Date: 04/17/1998
Theatrical Release Date: 04/17/1998
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Sarah F. (Ferdy63) from DALTON, GA
Reviewed on 6/26/2009...
Wow - what an edge of your seat thriller this is! I had never heard of this movie before seeing it on DVD Swap even thought it's over 10 years old. It is one of the best suspense thrillers that I've ever seen. A law student, Martin, takes a job working as a night watchman at the Medical Examiners Office so you've got the creepiest of creepy settings. Then strange things start to happen like bodies being moved, etc. A serial killer of prostitutes in on the loose and all clues are pointing to Martin as the main suspect. All-star cast including Ewan McGregor, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Patricia Arquette and more. This is a truly well done movie. I don't know how it has stayed under the radar for so long.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Not for everyone
Gerald Booth | Alexandria, VA United States | 03/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Right from the start I will say Nightwatch is not for everyone. Written by Ole Bornedal and Steven Soderbergh of Sex Lies and Videotape this is a dark movie. However if you like dark movies about serial killers then you may just want to rent this one.
Martin Bells, Ewan McGregor, takes a job as a Night Watchman at a morgue. He figures he needs to have time to study for his final semester in law school and what better place could he be and still make money? Unfortunately someone is out there killing prostitutes in a most gruesome manner and Inspector Thomas Cray, Nick Nolte, is starting to suspect Martin. Especially when strange things begin to happen at the morgue.
The movie is definitely a tense thriller. Some of the scenes in it are a bit obvious but others had me guessing. McGegor, soon to be seen as the young Ben Kenobi, does a good job of trying to figure out who is setting him up and Nolte gives his usual fine performance. The supporting cast of Josh Brolin, Brad Dourif (the voice of Chucky) and Patricia Arquette all do a good job moving the film along.
This movie is tense at times, dark, and bloody. If the previous three things don't bother you in a movie then I strongly suggest checking out Nightwatch."
Don't 'buy a radio', buy 'Nightwatch' (and watch it alone!)
Jevron Mc Crory | London | 08/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Okay, my hands are up right from the get go; maybe I'm biased about this film, but when I heard my two favourite actors; the always cooler-than-cool Ewan McGregor and the impossibly cute Patricia Arquette had starred in a film together, well I just had to see it, and boy am I glad I did.

'Nightwatch' tells a twisted, claustrophobic tale about a young and very wet-behind-the-ears nightwatchman Martin Bells (Ewan McGregor) taking over sentry duties at the local morgue where, as things first appear, his first enemy to confront and overcome is his overactive imagination. Stunning direction details this in one of the most tense and suspenseful sequences of sustained fear put to celluloid. It perfectly mirrors both Martin's unease and the audience's; he knows he shouldn't be scared, everyone in the building is dead - and WE know we shouldn't be scared, it's a film - but somehow, for both parties, the fear at the time seems VERY real, and sets the tone beautifully. A poignant moment highlighted in sound that was emphasised earlier in dialogue by the former watchman that introduces Martin to Security procedure 'Buy a radio, you'll be glad of it. Gonna be studying eh? BUY A RADIO! Trust me!'

Soon enough, 'Nightwatch' slams it's bloody cards on the table as all of a sudden, due to the very public news that a serial killer is most definitely on the loose with the morgue apprently the killer's latest 'favoured' hang out (co-incidence that it's around the time of Martin's employment?) naked mutilated corpses are on full view, blood is lining the medically drab green corridors and.....well they'll be NO spoilers in THIS review but needless to say, the film allows you no respite; not in the conventional sense that it hits you with a violent (though the violence when it does happen MAY be too much for some to stomach) dramatic sledgehammer every ten minutes, but that it's oppressive atmosphere, singlehandedly generated by performance and sound alone, are so strong that once it has you in it's slimy grasp, it's very hard to shake yourself of an overriding paranoia that resonates even after the credits roll - and quite simply, high praise indeed must be bestowed to both.

Ewan McGregor is predictably superb as our hero (though why some directors won't let him act in his natural tongue is beyond me, there ARE scottish people in America you know!), confused, out of his depth, terrified (Martin, not Ewan, lol!) and all of it comes across to the audience wonderfully. Instantly we have a character that we care about. The perfect 'other-half' in a female form is the sublimely 'real' Patrica Arquette (Katherine, Martin's understanding, un-obtrusive girlfriend) who has, in the same beat, innocence, fragility and strength all in her admirable arsenal, traits that simply shine, albeit a tad under-used, a common gripe of 'Nightwatch' I understand but also accept as the true strength and backbone of the film lies solely on Martin's wanderings in the dead hour morgue. Supporting roles go to Josh Brolin as the 'freaky-are-you-really-my-friend? James (who maybe went a little 'too far over the top' in a few scenes) and Nick Nolte proving, if he even had to, that he can command attention in a 'close up' far superior perhaps to any other character actor of his generation.

The sound in 'Nightwatch', both musically and atmospherically, is perhaps - in skill terms - on par with David Cronenberg's 'Scanners' (You know - remember having to turn the volume UP on late night screenings to catch the dialogue - only to have to scramble for the remote when the visceral 'loud as' scenes erupted?!!). It's a tried and tested technique Bornedal exploits that is un-nervingly effective and is a masterclass for those looking to tread a path in movie sound editing.

But let's not forget that at it's heart, 'Nightwatch' is a classic (albeit modernised) 'who-dun-it?' thriller and therefore one clear question remains : is the 'reveal' of the killer obvious or even worth the wait? Surprisingly (and I really can't sugarcoat this) no - not really - but pleasantly 'surprising' (and rather cleverly) is that this very 'flaw' leads succintly to yet again one of 'Nightwatch's hidden strengths; by knowing who the killer is 'early on', it serves as a perfect strategic cat-and-mouse scenario, a kind of 'will he/she get away with it?' and 'how will they get out of this one?' If that sounded intriguing then trust me, the cinematic reality of it is really FAR more gripping, putting our hero into......ah, I won't give it away.

In closing, 'Nightwatch' is not for everyone, it requires a fairly stern stomach and an even sterner moralistic base to truly appreciate it's value, but for those who DO choose to accompany Martin on his nightly rounds, there are some seriously fun times to be had. Keep guessing, keep shining a flashlight round those corners and keep thanking heaven (or should that be hell?) that someone out there is still attempting to make intelligent horrors/thrillers.

"
Excellently creepy
saberchick | 08/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I admit to being a thriller-movie wimp. I had my eyes closed for half of The Sixth Sense, and my cousin had already spoiled the ending! But this is one movie you cannot tear your eyes from...even at its gruesome best. Ewan MacGregor stars as a college student taking a job as a night watchman for the local morgue (I'll grant that he tries very hard to make his accent less pronounced, but it's still noticeable at times). Essential gory plotline: a serial killer is on the loose. Ewan (as Martin) becomes the main suspect, and the only murder witnesses are the dead ones. Essential plot thickener: his girlfriend (Patricia Arquette) has become the killer's next target, and it doesn't help that his friend (Josh Brolin) keeps "challenging" Martin into doing things that seem to serve a purpose of making him look guilty. Essential twist: The twist is, of course, the killer's identity, and I can't very well give that away, can I?I will, however, say that I didn't seriously suspect the murderer until he basically said it himself. And I felt absolutely horrible as my #1 suspect ended up saving them all. Creepy, well-done, and just intense enough. And always, ALWAYS remember to leave the door open..."