Nightcrawler ★★★½

Better on second viewing, because I was able to see it as more than the sum of its influences (Bickle and Pupkin in Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, Sammy Glick in What Makes Sammy Run?, and, for Rene Russo, Faye Dunaway in Network). Beyond the lead character's compelling-if-familiar sociopathy, the film makes a specific observation about the "if it bleeds it leads" world of local television news. Scaring the shit out of well-to-do white people is the bread-and-butter of the whole operation, and if the footage happens to defy that daily narrative, the truth gets left on the cutting-room floor.