Nightmare Alley Review


Mary Miller, writter

The core of this dark movie is the power of manipulation and how far someone can take it. The main character Stan, played by Bradley Cooper finds himself lost in life physically and emotionally and falls upon a circus.

Set in the 1940’s, the circus offers Stan a place where his past doesn’t matter. He meets a “fortune teller” who shares all his scientific secrets on how to read a person and find what you want in them. Stan becomes passionate about it and sees it as an act that is bigger than just the circus. He ends up mastering this act and becomes very good at manipulating anyone.

Stan starts working with major figures – rich, famous, and those with political power. He also meets a very successful psychiatrist who figures him out, and they end up working together to get more and more leverage on these powerful people. Stan’s biggest client turns out to be a powerful government official who was also a patient of the physiatrist. Stan claims he can bring him in contact with the dead wife.

In this movie we see a drastic change that Stan goes through. Gaining power and having influence on people is what poisoned him to use his manipulation in cruel ways. His problem is he became too confident in his abilities and began making irrational decisions that will lead to his downfall. This is one of those movies where it’s a good movie all the way through, but the ending is just crazy awesome. It is an adrenaline rush and it all ends in a devastating circle and Stan is back where he began.