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Reviews & Ratings for
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75 out of 135 people found the following review useful:

Great use of Subtlety

Author: kgprophet
21 October 2011

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 The editing emphasises the main character's withdrawn persona, hiding his emotions (indirectly hinting at his criminal past) while romancing his neighbour.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 With great use of subtlety, the film does wonders in terms of depicting the main character's withdrawn mental state, but still visualising his thoughts and intentions without direct exposition.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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35 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Emperors New Clothes

Author: jasper-173-283049 from United Kingdom
30 January 2012

Seriously people, don't believe the ridiculous hype about this movie, it is without doubt one of the worst movies I have seen in the last year. My wife and I are huge movie fans and watch on average 5 new films a week, 10 minutes into this film we are both looking at each other with a 'is this movie for real' look on our faces, and by the end we realised we had just wasted 2 hours of our lives we would never get back again.

Rylan Gosling is a total joke from start to finish, his total lack of any script is just the start, in fact by the end of the film (and yes we did make it to the end, somehow) I was glad he still wasn't saying much, and the little that did come from it was just clichéd nonsense. This man cannot do the strong silent brooding type at all, especially not wearing a daft white satin jacket with, wait for it ..... a scorpion on the back, and a toothpick in his mouth.

The plot, what there was of it, is so old and tired and so overdone, the whole film was completely predictable. None of the characters have any depth or interest to them, probably due to the lack of any script. Even Carey Mulligan, who is a real favourite of ours, was wasted and looked rather uncomfortable in her rather dull character - the single mum at home. And the clichés just continued at Ryan became the child's new 'best friend'.

The violence is also completely at odds with the rest of the film. It is extreme, graphic and vicious, which is fine and dandy if the rest of the film demands it, unfortunately this film doesn't and it looks like it's been thrown in just for shock value.

I really cannot understand why such a piece of second rate and boring drivel has got such amazing reviews on here and from some critics. Just before this we watched The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly again, now that has everything this movie doesn't but seems to be trying so hard to emulate - characters that aren't black and white, minimal dialogue to add to the tension, and stunning camera-work to keep you captivated.

Save your time and money and watch this classic instead, Drive has nothing to offer but annoyance and the WORST soundtrack I've ever heard.

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39 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

Whats the fuss about?

Author: lawlessd from Ireland
31 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm not sure if this movie falls into a particular genre that just grates with me, but from early on in this movie I realised I was not enjoying it. But I watched all the way through to see if I was indeed just me.

I'm not sure what style of movie making Drive falls into, but I find that you don't care about the characters. Exisitential, Surreal? More emphasis is put on the filming of the movie than the story of the movie itself The movie-goer is just an observer who sits on the sidelines and is not encouraged to engage with the characters at all. The overly long lingering shots of single scene, are no addition to the movie, as is the continuous drone which I assume was put there to increase anticipation, but just irritates.

I found myself disliking Gosling's character as he says so little to the point where you ask " did someone forget to tell Ryan Gosling he is in a movie and needs to act? " Several idiotic flaws run through the movie - Gosling's character wearing a white jacket, which becomes blood stained mid way through, yet he continues to wear it in public without consequences. His car which he rams into the bad guys vehicle with enough force to flip it onto a beach, is still pretty drivable for the remainder of the movie.

A pretty decent cast was assembled for this movie, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Albert Brooks, and Bryan Cranston, so I expected more.

I'm sure there are those who will call this movie a classic, and I'm sure it is by a certain set of standards, but for a Joe Soap guy like me, it was a waste of my time

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22 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Fate? Unknown....

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
4 February 2012

Drive is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and adapted to screenplay by Hossein Amini from the novel of the same name written by James Sallis. It stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks and Ron Perlman. Music is by Cliff Martinez and cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel.

Driver (Gosling) has a day job, he's a Hollywood stunt man, but by night he makes the serious cash as a getaway driver for the criminal fraternity. Into his life comes married next door neighbour Irene (Mulligan) and her little boy Benicio (Kaden Leos), pitching him right into the middle of two wars; one is for his emotional worth, the other with the criminal underworld.

Real human being, and a real hero.

They cheered at Cannes, it has garnered instant cult classic status as well as gushing critical praise, Drive is arguably the biggest surprise of 2011. Some would debate that it arrived in a year that was dominated by blockbuster brain drains and pretentious parables, meaning it wouldn't take much for something like Drive to find a favourable audience. Yet Drive is a special movie, the surprise being that it delivers a different film to what the plot synopsis suggests. There would have been many disappointed that it didn't turn out to be something akin to The Fast & The Furious 19, but as its reputation grows, one likes to think that many also had their senses tingled unexpectedly by Refn's western done out in 1980s neo noir attire.

Yes, at first glance it looks like a simple story given over to style over substance leanings, where the fact that our laconic protagonist is not prone to dialogue expansion, could lend argumentative weight to those potential dissenters only skimming the surface of the picture. But the material is in excellent hands, with Refn, Sigel, Gosling and co, calmly unravelling Amini's stripped down screenplay to reveal a gritty urban fable that's laced with ethereal overtones. A picture where a look means more than any words can express, a subtle holding of hands reveals many layers peeling, and then the serene state of play often gets punctured by bouts of shocking violence, yet always it remains a picture big on intelligence, beating a mighty heart in the process.

Propelling the picture forward is the complexity of Gosling's driver character. He has no back story for us to work from, and he gives nothing away outside of the tender bond formed with Irene and child. He is actually one of many purposeful grey areas (or should that be gris areas?) within the plot structure. We learn just enough to be on his side, a noble but flawed hero battling against fate as he fights for the innocent, he be Shane for a modern pot boiling Los Angeles. Helps, too, that he's so cool behind the wheel, where he mines Steve McQueen's effortless charisma. Refn delivers magic moments of car play, from the near ten minute opening getaway extended sequence, to a high speed kill or be killed pursuit, when the action flows it really pumps the adrenalin.

Gosling is amazing, instantly iconic, soft voice matching his soft blue eyes, toothpick perched between teeth, it's a testament to his acting ability that the requisite homages to iconic characters of movies past never veers into parody territory. It's with the calm moments that he triumphs most, be it watching TV with the boy Benicio or just gazing intensely into Irene's eyes, Gosling has a magnetic quality of some significance. Mulligan, too, is wonderful, deftly underplaying Irene to work off of Gosling to create heart aching tenderness, their chemistry superb. Isaac does fine work with the ex-con/husband character that is thankfully not stereotypical, Brooks is Colm Meaney like, thriving on simmering badness, while Cranston puts real heart into the role of Driver's garage boss, the closest thing the Driver has to a pal. The only one dimensional character lands in Perlman's court, but Perlman is such an ebullient and watchable life force the film survives the character's oafness.

From the opening pink neon credits, accompanied by the synth plink of a retro 80s soundtrack (a soundtrack so memorable it lands in the ears and stays there for days), it's evident that Refn is a man who takes his style serious. Drive is full of classy (yes arty) passages, fluid camera movements, single takes, non central framing of characters, slow motion unfurls and eye dazzling chopper shots of a neon lighted L.A., the director has an eye for the quality required to cloak his story. He of course is aided considerably by his editor Matthew Newman, and Sigel's photography. The former is dealing in seamless precision, the latter a master of shades (a lift sequence is to, ahem, die for) and colour toning delights. Marking this out as a Blu-ray essential.

You can name about ten films that Drive has been either likened too or put forward as an influence, and Refn's work here has been touted as an offspring created by Michael Mann, Walter Hill, William Friedkin and Sergio Leone (all viable and all actually high praise indeed). But rest assured, Drive is still fresh and exciting, the perfect movie package. Refn's masterpiece and one of the best films of 2011. 10/10

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25 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Reminder on why we love movies

Author: Kristine ( from Chicago, Illinois
11 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Last year one of the big films that I think was a surprise hit was called Drive. I was always curious to see this movie, but unfortunately missed it. From what I had heard it was a must see so I rented it and absolutely fell in love with it. Reminding me a bit of the old action movies from the 70's and 80's with those great old cars that could take one heck of a beating with the anti-hero who wins your heart over and then we get a million sequels trying to out bank the previous film. Anyways, Drive offers something different, a new cult classic for a generation that is a bit ADD, this gives you something exciting or great to watch each second. I can't tell you what an amazing opening chase scene they choreographed, not to mention some very exciting action scenes. Ryan Gosling continues to be a star on the high rise proving his leading man qualities and to be an action star, he just steals the show as Driver.

Driver lives in a low-rent apartment building and works as a mechanic, stuntman and getaway driver. The Driver works anonymously, never for the same people twice, and allows them only five minutes to do their business. He meets his neighbor Irene in the apartment building elevator and later helps her and her young son when Irene has car trouble at a local market. Shannon owns the garage the Driver works at and arranges his other jobs. Shannon persuades the mobster Bernie Rose to purchase a stock car for the Driver to race after seeing the Driver's skill. Bernie's business partner is Nino, a Jewish mobster. But when Driver has been set up he realizes that not only does he have to protect himself but those he cares about most.

The car chase scenes are so well put together, I haven't been this excited since Death Proof. I also loved how Driver's face in the first scene just stayed emotionless, he knows he's good and that no matter what how to out run the cops. He's a man with a mission who doesn't have anyone in his life, but when a woman and her son come into his, he will fight for them because they're worth it. He has a man, who's his boss, who is almost like his father figure and their relationship is not only believable but relatable for anyone. Bryan Cranston has come quite a way since Malcolm in the Middle, he does a great job and conveys such a likability to what could have been a bland and boring character. The bloodshed in the movie is absolutely insane, like I said, this reminds you a bit of a 70's action drive in movie. There's buckets of blood and tons of violence. I also loved having Ron Pearlman as this typical mobster who's terrifying to cross paths with but you can't forget that he's Jewish. What a great addition to the character. I think Drive was one of the better movies that came out of 2011, it has everything that you could want in an action movie. Action, romance, great soundtrack, cool cars and awesome chase scenes. Let's put it this way, I rented it, watched it, the next day I bought it, it was totally worth it.


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44 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

Worst movie in a long time

Author: kleadbe from United States
28 September 2011

Some people think that movies consisting of "serious looks", awkward silences, bloody sick brutal gore depicting the "barbaric nature" of man are artistic. However if don't find things like that enjoyable to watch and you go to the movies to be entertained then this not the movie for you.

The movie consists of very little driving, which given the title one would thing an entertaining blockbuster from Hollywood would contain. But rather it consists of bad people brutally killing other bad people. And that's it. There's the plot. I know, I wish I had more detail to say...but I don't. To put it another way, out of the 20 people that were in the theater I heard each and every one of them say something along the lines of "well that was waste" or "well you picked it *exasperated sigh*" upon exiting the theater.

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A Driver without a Name

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
19 May 2012

In Los Angeles, a mysterious driver (Ryan Gosling) is a man of few words that works as a garage mechanic for his only friend Shannon (Bryan Cranston); stuntman in Hollywood films; and driver of getaway car in heists.

One day, he helps his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), whose husband is in prison, and her son Benicio (Kaden Leos) and her falls in love with her. However, a few days later her husband Standard Gabriel (Oscar Isaac) is released from prison and they meet each other in the building. Standard is pressed by the criminal Cook (James Biberi) to rob a pawn shop to pay for the protection he had in prison, and the driver decides to help him driving the getaway car. However, the heist does not work as planned, Standard is murdered and the driver discovers that they have been double-crossed by Cook. Further, the money belongs to the Mafia and now he has to protect Irene and Benicio from the mobsters.

"Drive" is a good thriller with the lead character without a name, recalling the style of Clint Eastwood in "High Plains Drifter" in the role of "The Stranger" – a man that speaks a few words only, violent when necessary that protects innocent and beloved people. The film is weirdly attractive with potential of cult movie.

The stylish cinematography discloses in an adequate pace the big picture and develops characters very well. The conclusion has an open end, a characteristic that has been forgotten by Hollywood. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Drive"

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27 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Pretentious crap

Author: Peter Olsson from Sweden
2 April 2012

Could they possibly have made any cut any longer, I don't think so. Gosling makes Keanu Reeves look like Oscar material.

Really liked when he revved through all gears, but he still goes like 35, LOL.

High speed car chase and doing a 180 going in reverse, not much left of your gear box there.

When he finally gets rid of the last person connecting him to the money, he leaves it in a parking lot? Yeah, there will sooner be Martians walking the streets than that ever happening.

Pretentious crap.

8.0 rating, that's the joke of this century. Only shows that the saying, "A million flies can't be wrong -Eat Sh.t", still holds true.

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37 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

Far from a good movie

Author: Ethnic_Tension
13 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have watched many movies from a range of countries and decades. I believe every good movie either has a good plot or a good story to tell. Brilliant movies have both.

Drive has neither. It lacks a plot and the story is slow, disjointed and lacks believaility.

The first half of the movie establishes that the main character has a crush or is in love with a neighbour with a kid. Seriously, you do not need to spend half a movie establishing something so simple, not to mention the main character is a complete stalker / creep bordering on mentally disabled. The second half of the movie is the main character getting revenge for a robbery gone wrong. All the second half of the movie establishes is how truly dumb the main character is. Btw, it's not because of the unhappy ending (Mind you I prefer unhappy endings).

There are serious plot holes as well. One previous reviewer mentioned that it was never explained why there was a second car at the heist gone wrong, only to be told off by another reviewer who loved the movie. There IS no explanation - why would you rob money from people you have sent to rob it in the first place, especially when you aren't paying two of them, and the one you are paying is in on the second robbery?!?!?!

Further, many reviewers appear to suggest those who do not like the movie would rather see CGI nonsense. I do not like movies which substitute film making with CGI. However, this movie is not a good example of one.

I find it difficult to understand what people see in this movie. It is an attempt at a meaningful, character driven movie which falls flat.

If you want to see a movie with a good plot - watch Ghost Writer or Oldboy If you want to see a movie with a good story - watch Barry Lyndon, Shawshank Redemption, Goodfellas, Casino If you want to see a movie with good driving and limited CGI - watch Initial D, The Legend of Speed, Taxi (French movie) or Grand Prix If you want to see a good artsy action movie - watch A Clockwork Orange

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51 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

Two hours of my life have been wasted

Author: Jester Jive from New Haven
18 December 2011

This is my first review and the only reason I am writing this is to save the precious time of a few who will (I pray) read this before watching this disaster....Where do I begin...The plot is stupid with no connectivity at all, Ryan Gosling looks dumbest ever, with no expression on his face at all...And I guess 30 minutes in this movies are those where nothing happens, you just have to see the dumb face of Ryan...I am amused as how people have rated this 8.2, but I believe that these are miscreants who want the other people to bear the same atrocity which that have undergone by watching this nightmare called "Drive"....And I can go on writing, but I guess i have been bored enough already...

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