In her previous film, Meek’s Cutoff, Kelly Reichardt made her first costume drama, but Night Moves is her first green thriller. Despite this exploration of genres, Night Moves also fits in with her general thematic interest, which she shares with her fixed scenario writer Jon Raymond: calm, minimalist road movies, situated in the landscape of the Pacific Northwest, the home background for both of them.
The most important physical journey made by the protagonists this time is a nocturnal river trip towards a dam they want to blow up. But of course the film is mainly about the spiritual journey of the three eco-terrorists, of whom one (Jesse Eisenberg) is a frustrated activist, one (Peter Sarsgaard) is an ex-Marine and the third (Dakota Fanning) is the financier of the attack. Pressed by choices that have to be made and unforeseen developments, their attitudes to life and their mutual relationships shift and turn.