The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.
Kowalski works for a car delivery service. He takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to take from Colorado to San Francisco, California. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the ... See full summary »
The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision corner with his older brother.
A mysterious man who has multiple jobs as a garage mechanic, a Hollywood stuntman and a getaway driver seems to be trying to escape his shady past as he falls for his neighbor - whose husband is in prison and who's looking after her child alone. Meanwhile, his garage mechanic boss is trying to set up a race team using gangland money, which implicates our driver as he is to be used as the race team's main driver. Our hero gets more than he bargained for when he meets the man who is married to the woman he loves. Written by
All the licensed songs (such as "Nightcall" by Kavinsky and "A Real Hero" by College) were released between 2007-2011, despite their retro feel. See more »
With the exception of the Chevrolet stock car, the cars driven by Driver are all automatics but change gear with the sound of a manual transmission. See more »
There's a hundred-thousand streets in this city. You don't need to know the route. You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you're on your own. Do you understand?
Good. And you won't be able to reach me on this phone again.
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It would be difficult to write about parts of the storyline in this film, because many expectations change when the consequences of one event folds upon another. A terrific original screenplay defies Hollywood conventions of over-the-top plot convolutions and unrealistic twists. Sure, there are a couple coincidences, but there are many rewards for keeping the story simplified and enhance the characters' arcs. The director borrows heavily from Michael Mann in painting a cool atmosphere with glistening city lights at night and a throbbing synthesiser soundtrack. The film elevates itself above any other similar film in it's drama, perhaps better than the character rich film "The Town" from 2010. The editing emphasises the main character's withdrawn persona, hiding his emotions (indirectly hinting at his criminal past) while romancing his neighbour. Moments in conversation where a 'normal' person would express their feelings or be more extroverted, are instead tension filled passages of silence that speak louder than words. With great use of subtlety, the film does wonders in terms of depicting the main character's withdrawn mental state, but still visualising his thoughts and intentions without direct exposition.
Another accolade must be given to actor Ryan Gosling in the lead role. We the audience must invest time into this character, which the film keeps in the first person narrative, most activities outside of his knowledge are outside of ours. He must show realistic reactions to danger, even though his past is never quite explained. The right emphasis is given to revealing moments of his capabilities, so when he is set in harm's way, we believe he can stand up to the test. The rest of the cast is well heeled in talent, allowing the sense of naturalism to provide the tone. As you may notice in critical reviews, when a film exposes no obvious weaknesses, the positive rating goes up. I myself am having a hard time exposing any weakness in this film, I felt I was in good hands, and was not annoyed by any plot contrivances. I happen to be a fan of Michael Mann, as must the director of this film, and the right homage elements work for me. I think of this perhaps of the antithesis of "Fast & Furious". One of the best films I have seen this year, could even get an Oscar nod with the screenplay or editing.
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