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14 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Mostly meaningless, but a good soundtrack and feel

Author: hamon89
15 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's OK.

Seriously, this is for people who think they're all artsy because it has some quiet scenes and disturbing violence packed into one movie. Several scenes are meaningless and try to provoke the viewer without giving further boost to the story. The lack of substance and dialog from the main character is not exciting or smart in any way.

It's just another "american-man-saving-a-defenceless-woman" kind of movie with no character depth and the story is very predictable. Not even an exciting twist at the end..

Nice filming and setting though. And I have to say that the soundtrack is the best thing with this movie. It's really good actually. They should've shortened it down and made it a music video instead.

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27 out of 51 people found the following review useful:


Author: Chris Hofman from United States
3 February 2012

Easily one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Anybody who thinks that the car chase scenes in Bullit or The French Connection 1)obviously knows nothing about cars and 2)has never seen Bullit or The French Connection and 3)is as retarded as Ryan Gosling comes off in this movie. I watched this movie with a crowd (10) of people, and we all walked away wishing we had the last 100 minutes of our lives back and feeling that our collective IQs had dropped at least 50 points. Another error that we ALL picked out is that the newer model Impala that he drives in one of the "chase" sequences is making sounds of being manually shifted and we all know that those cars are only available as an automatic. This movie was stupid. Go ahead and watch it if you wish to become stupider.

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27 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Arty way of filming, but slow and disappointing

Author: roger-704 from New Zealand
29 October 2011

Interesting....Yes. Exciting and highly entertaining...No. At times the dialog was so slow and non-existent that I felt like laughing as the whole audience waited in silence for something to happen...which of course it didn't.

As for great driving, that was all to brief and slow really...yes, it was more realistic than the flashy filming of say the Fast and Furious films...but, it was no match for the first Transporter movie for sheer americanized entertainment or the more realistic great car chase movie of all time "Ronin".

If you like more Arty films you will enjoy the more realistic way it draws you in to the film. There are a few violent scenes that are very graphic, so I understand why it has the R18 rating.

No way should this film be over 8...perhaps 6 but honestly 5 is more than generous as many of my friends rated it 3-4 !!!

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70 out of 137 people found the following review useful:

Style over susbstance -

Author: howie73
25 October 2011

Nicholas Winding Refn's Drive stars Ryan Gossling as the nameless protagonist (much the same conceit as Ryan O'Neals nameless driver in Walter Hill's The Driver (1976). Critics have fawned over what could be described oxymoronically as an art-house movie; and Refn even received the prestigious director's award at this year's Cannes (nothing to do with Von Trier being persona non grata, of course). All in all, I was expecting a masterpiece. Instead, I was left with a limp, lifeless and boringly self-conscious menage of cinematic motifs, borrowed heavily from Tarantino, Lynch and Walter Hill. The result is an uninspired, embarrassing mess of a movie. It doesn't deserve to be seen in the same league as the infinitely superior Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway, which Refn has plundered for purely aesthetic gains and nothing else. He even had the temerity to use Lynch's ex-musical partner, Angelo Badalamentti, who uses his typically Lynchian sounds to little effect. Intringuingly, at one stage, even Lynch's music from Inland Empire seems to have been deliberately mimicked as some kind of in-joke on Badalamentti's behalf (or perhaps an ironic riposte for not being chosen by Lynch to provide the Inland Empire OST). While Lynch offers abstraction and depth, Drive is all surface gloss and bokeh – there is no mystery to behold or engage the viewer; just the bland, vacuous features of Gossling, who is a blank canvas and nothing else. Critics have predictably lapped up its style and gratuitous violence as heralding a new talent, much like they fawned over Tarantino a decade ago. Take away the violence and uninspiring story, and what's left is nothing. Drive is ultimately all style and no substance. Avoid.

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107 out of 211 people found the following review useful:

The Best Film of 2011

Author: Jacob McLaughlin from United States
19 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Drive is one of those rare gems that is pretty much indescribable. It's hard to identify what type of film this is. It isn't really an action film or a drama. What I can determine is that it's a character driven film that is unlike anything else that has been released this year.

The film stars Ryan Gosling as a man only known as the Driver. He has a job as a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver. He gives each person on a deal five minutes and if they are a second too late, he's gone and they are on their own. The opening of the film is quite impressive as it draws you in and shows how much of a professional the Driver can be. He's very much a loner, but he seems to have a pretty good relationship with Shannon (played by Bryan Cranston), the owner of the mechanic shop he works at. The Driver soon meets Irene (Carey Mulligan), his neighbor who lives down the hall in his apartment building. She lives with her son and her husband is in prison, who is going to be released soon. When he gets out, it turns out that he owes some money to some criminals and he asks the Driver to assist him with the deal. Things go wrong and from there, Drive has you in its grip for the rest of the film. It's a slow burn film that can be calm and then, bam, it can turn on you in a second.

The performances are stellar. Gosling is fantastic as the Driver. He plays it calm and cool, with sudden bursts of violence when protecting the people he cares about. He doesn't have a lot of dialogue, but he pulls it off so well. I'm not really a fan of Gosling, but he was really impressive in this. Mulligan does well with the small screen time she's given. Cranston is just as great as he is on Breaking Bad. But the one performance that really stands out from the supporting cast is Albert Brooks. He plays Bernie Rose, a crime boss who you really don't want to be on the bad side of. He's quite calm for most of the film, but when he gets violent, it's absolutely brutal. I'm sure he will be getting plenty of attention come award season. He's phenomenal.

Nicholas Winding Refn does wonders directing this film. He does it with such elegance in each shot. I definitely need to see some of his earlier films. The cinematography is beautiful. The score is great, sounding like something you would hear in an 80s film. It's the first soundtrack I have wanted to go out and buy since Inception. It sounds great.

I have not seen any other film this year that has even come close to this level of satisfaction and excitement. This is a rare film that is just so great and it really sticks with you. As soon as the credits rolled, I knew this was something special that I had just seen. Thank goodness the usual schlock of summer movies has come to an end. Drive kicks off the fall movie season and it brings us the best film of the year thus far.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic with the right expectations

Author: ICWeiner
14 November 2016

I'll say right away that this is not primarily an action movie. People expecting something like "the Fast and the Furious" should be aware.

What this film does offer is a stylish thriller and a character study of The Driver, brilliantly portrayed by Ryan Gosling. Cinematography is beautiful, the all star cast shines, and the soundtrack is incredible. As others have commented, the dialogue can be scarce at times, but the film can tell us the story in other ways.

Highly recommended, but be aware of what kind of movie this is. This was the first Refn movie I've seen and I was blown away by what a complete movie he was able to direct.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie and Not for Everyone: A total appreciation of what a human being is.

Author: bricslove from ist
10 September 2016

First off, I agree with all the people who reviewed the many aspects of this movie in a positive light: its narration-story-telling, cinematography, soundtrack and the way it is used in conjunction with its pink retro presentation (the beautiful 80s), the settings and character development (yes there is a character development, just not in the spell-it-out-for-you kind of way). I not only liked the movie a lot, I loved it.

My review will include an attempt to explain why there is no middle ground in ratings and there are either haters or lovers.

1. You need to connect to the character of this movie. 2. You need to recognize the body language of troubled, lost people and appreciate the different kinds of bonds that develop in a story led by such people. 3. You need to either have or have been led to "where it's dark and have no fear." and been changed by this exploration forever. You need to be willing to understand what dark is and why it is there at all.

So what makes a person love it because it is such a cool "art-house action flick" in comparison to what makes another hate it because it is so "low-paced", "dull", "pretentious", etc... It all depends on which side of the fence you are on and hence your ability to connect. If you don't even know and can't appreciate the fact that you have a dark side, how exactly will you be able to do that, connect, I mean? Is being an "Odyssey" -I kindly ask you to look up its meaning if you don't know what the word means-, whose slice of life we witness to, not dark enough in itself or is Anakin Skywalker as Darth Vader the epitome of polished, shiny darkness spoon-feeding you on who is bad and who isn't? Do we only connect to those who we wish to become or who leave us in awe because we don't have what they have? Like power?

See, that is the thing. This whole question of "who is bad?" is a giant illusion obscuring the more real and dreadful question of "what is bad and when?" For when we attempt to answer this question in all honesty, we find ourselves trapped in the confinement of our own illusion which is a permanent part of the self-images we started building early on from infancy up until now: we are good, others are bad. In actuality, it is the actions that are good or bad and none of us can be absolved of the awaiting feelings of shame and guilt following the self-image shattering discovery of "having belonged to/having been of the mundane". No special treatment? No VIP seat for ourselves in our own skin? Come on, give us a break. Or not.

This is the story of a nobody among all nobodies, a nobody whose idiopathic detachment from world becomes the source of his disenchantment with it. We don't need to know why it happened. We are presented the information that it just happened. Character development isn't all about prior knowledge. It's also about the "now", as a result of all that once was "now".

The director makes us stalk the character, peep into his life for a brief time. He doesn't talk with his mouth all that much yes, he rather does it with his eyes and body (Gosling totally nailed it). We are not told why he puts himself through these ordeals that in fact other people need to overcome: So then, we are asked to understand or interpret it ourselves.

Some people treated this movie like sht just because they couldn't understand why a man would leave some million bucks in the trunk of a car and maybe bleed to his oblivion. This is as idiotic as assuming those things we don't understand couldn't have happened only because WE are the ones who couldn't understand.

Who are we when we have no one? Who witnessed our existence, that we ever happened? What lengths could we go to to know we did happen, to say "I was here"? What lengths can we go to if we are to lose a new-found feeling of belonging?

Sometimes desperation is home to all the desperate and when all else fails, this is what pulls us out of void: It gives us a mirror to see our reflection on and acknowledge that we are there. It does this by a connection to a fellow human being via the recognition of something being shared. By enabling us to give it a name and then maybe, give ourselves a name.

So, what happens when you look in a mirror and cannot see a thing?

Our primal fears have only to do with existence and nothing else.

This is a movie that asks you to keep reflecting on what a human being is and what pushes him over the edge. You just can't sit back and consume this. You have to be willing to wander in the grey areas.

So, maybe, just maybe, if you are a little lost yourself, you can then understand what this is all about. It is anything but pretentious. Sometimes being lost itself is our sole motivation because the need to resolve that or reconcile with that, at least, can drive us to do mad stuff with good intentions. This is where it gets dark. Even if you are a selfless person who has also already lost touch with yourself, you can still do things with a good deed whereby what you did helps some people as it inevitably wreaks havoc on others. I don't know if there is any intention-free type of reasoning other than that we find in science but when it comes to human beings, lines are sure all blurred and it would in fact be stupid to anticipate otherwise.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Drive, a Stylistic Masterpiece

Author: Simon O from Canada
9 January 2016

Drive, action done right. The genre of "Action Movie" has begun to become stale in past years. With the exceptions of some greats like The Raid, Drive is able to sore above the trivial action genre to deliver the most thought-provoking and stylistic crime action movie in ages.

Drive's success is heavily due to how stylistic the film is. For one Drive has, in my opinion, the best score in this decade. The techno score that rains throughout the film increases the intensity of the film ten fold and adds all of its character. The score for Drive is something that even after I finished the movie, it stuck in my head so much I had to buy the album. Most notable in the album are songs such as "Tick of the Clock", "Nightcall", and "A Real Hero".

The choices for the film made by Nicolas Winding Refn were incredibly smart. Not only was the casting of Ryan Gosling in the leading role a genius idea, but making him an almost completely silent and shy protagonist was also a great choice. Drive is able to infuse its unnamed protagonist just called "Driver" with more characterization than most films do with an hour of exposition. Carey Mulligan also proves to me yet again that she is one of the most underrated actresses there is. The fact that in the same year she was able to play such different roles in Drive and Shame shows me the range that she posses.

Drive is a movie that is well known for having a very chill first half of the film where the story begins to unfold. Without spoiling anything at this point the characters are developed and we are given small clues to foreshadow what will happen. Once the action does kick in however this movie kicks into hyper drive and does not let you go. Not only is it made of pure ultra-violent fun, but the intensity and suspense the movie packs on is unrelenting.

I think why Drive was such a masterpiece in my eyes was due to the fact that it was able to provide the unflinching violence with raw emotion added in. It was a fun experience but also an experience that allowed you to think. Going on into the future I really hope to see more ultra stylistic action movies like this both from the director of Drive and other directors.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: Derry Jumber from Australia
22 April 2017

I am all for a decent, thought-provoking action/drama, but this is not action, and it's not drama. It's just poorly acted, poorly scripted, boring rubbish. This movie is most suitable for navel-gazing hipsters who think the way the sunlight glints off the dew on a dog turd in the park reveals some kind of hidden artistic meaning. Bottom line: it's still a dog turd.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Absorbing and surprisingly violent

Author: adamw25 from UK
6 June 2016

It's an interesting idea to create a movie in which the main character, who all the action centres around, has no name and says very little throughout. Strangely though, it doesn't seem to matter, because 'Drive' manages to be absorbing and highly entertaining anyway. The film is slow moving but the air of mystery around the main character is enough to keep the viewer compelled.

'Drive' doesn't mess about when it comes to violence. There's plenty of it, and then some. Bloody violence in an 18 rated film isn't that surprising, but I didn't expect just how graphic some of it was. In a way it was refreshing to see in a crime themed movie. I also feel obliged to comment on the music in this film because I thought it contributed immensely to the atmosphere and mood.

'Drive' is a different type of movie that takes risks, but they definitely work. It's an interesting, tense and brilliantly violent movie. Nothing like I had imagined.

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