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27 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Seriously?

1/10
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 -

1/10
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

10/10
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

9/10
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:

Drive, a Stylistic Masterpiece

10/10
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:

Art-house Masterpiece

10/10
Author: Gustavo Schroeder A
14 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Perhaps no movie ever has been so falsely advertised as Drive. People went to see this movie thinking they were getting into a Transporter type of movie, a dumb series of dumb action sequences after more series of dumb action sequences. What they got instead, was a real film.

Although Drive does have some great action sequences, it's not what really powers the movie, although they are pretty awesome. The movie follows the Driver, a silent character that is accurate in everything he does, and has a very cold like approach to not only his job, but everything in his life. We never see him smile during the first sequences of the film, and every action of his feels very robot-like. This works great, as it shows us how the character approaches his every day life. But then, he meets Irene, his neighbor who he creates a relationship with. When this happens, we can start to see that cold gaze the main character had, turn slowly into what could be a smile. He is happy to be with her and her son. They are the only brightness in his cold, dark world. I don't want to go into depth, but what pretty much happens is he does a job that affects some bad mobsters and they are looking to hurt Irene and her kid, so Driver does everything in his power to stop them to protect the people he loves.

There are some signs in the movie that help us understand the ending of the film. There is one scene where he is sitting watching cartoons with Irene's son and Driver asks him: "Is that the bad guy?" The kid answers yes, because he's a shark and ALL sharks are bad. Driver slowly contemplates and thinks, which indicates he knows he is a shark, but he doesn't want to be the bad guy. Also his scorpion jacket is cool and all, but there's a deeper meaning to it. When he is talking on the phone to one of the gangsters that are trying to kill him, he mentions the story of the scorpion and the frog, which is very interesting. The story goes like this: A scorpion asks a frog if it can swim and take the scorpion to the other side of a river. The frog refuses, saying that the scorpion will sting it. The scorpion insists, saying that if he indeed stings the frog, they will both sink and die. The frog agrees, but the scorpion eventually does sting it and they both drown. The frog asks the scorpion before they die: "why did you sting me?" and he just says "I'm sorry, I can't help it, it's in my nature". All of this fits into the movie, because it illustrates that the Driver (Scorpion) wants to be a better person, he wants to be with Irene and her son, but he can't escape his troubled life.

Driver lets the mobster stab him in the end, he kills him and leaves the money behind. He had all this sorted out. The song "Real Hero" starts playing and he drives off. The song symbolizes that he finally became the hero he always wanted to be, and not the bad guy.

Drive is a modern classic, a movie that is as near to perfection as I ever would want a movie to be. The soundtrack is amazing, the performances are great. The violence, the style and Oh my god that opening credits sequence. I love this movie.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Real hero

7/10
Author: guniko from Istanbul, Turkey
26 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Driver(Ryan Gosling) is a mysterious protagonist. The movie takes place in present time and we don't know anything about his past or his future. He doesn't have a name. We know that he is a professional getaway driver and he seems to be living a low profile life before he meets his next-door neighbors. A mother and her son...

We don't know why he was driving around before but from that moment on, his actions are driven only by love. He embraces them as his own family and protects them instinctively. He becomes their 'hero' but can't protect them from getting hurt. The controlling idea of the movie is "A real human being' can be 'a real hero' only to the limit that his/her environment (destiny) allows." Director presents this complex character almost like a cowboy in a wild terrain. Extreme long shots of him in the middle of nowhere, driving his car to the close ups of the face that has little clues of emotion…

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This is why I love films

Author: Jenny_4120 from United States
29 January 2013

This film is just one of those movies that wakes you up because of its uniqueness and makes you realize that not all movie scenes and plots you can expect. Almost every movie out there, are so predictable. You can judge a movie based on how many explosions there are, or if there's a love affair, how it'll turn out in the end. The fact is, however, the movie "Drive" follows more of an unconventional, yet more realistic plot. I won't say what happens, but just know that it's not what you think. In my viewing of the movie, I knew right off the bat that I couldn't expect a single thing to happen. I was sucked into the movie because I had to know what was going to happen. To my surprise, what actually happened was neither what I expected nor what I didn't expect. Up until the end of the movie, the movie itself was playing with my mind, telling me "this is how it is" not "this is how you would have wanted it". I enjoyed it immensely, and I hope other viewers will do the same, if they haven't already.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

If David Lynch directed The Transporter

7/10
Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
15 January 2013

Ryan Gosling overtakes Jason Statham as the stoic man behind the wheel. Like his bald-headed rival he gets into trouble when distracted by a woman and is hurled into a plot involving gangsters and hit men. While Louis Leterrier's French thriller tried so hard to be Hollywood, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's LA-based thriller tries very hard to be European, and takes the viewer on a ride down a lost highway.

At the same time it also comes across as a secret remake of Walter Hill's The Driver. All of these films are very, very similar, but Drive is the best of them. It's difficult to comprehensively review the movie as it is very minimalistic and focuses more on atmosphere and the quiet moments in between dialogue rather than action and twists. It's a wonderful movie to look at though, and I do want to complain about how problematic the morals and values of the unnamed 'Driver' are, but if it is the intention to make him morally ambiguous then I guess it is successful. It doesn't make for a great character regardless of how smooth Gosling plays him.

The violence is harrowing and brutal, as it is in real life. Nicolas Winding Refn seems to understand that there is no action in real life, there is only violence, and it's brutal and ugly and not something any sane person wants to happen to them. In this respect it is far more grown-up than The Transporter but cannot be praised as being a 'better' film as it is still sold on style and visuals. The substance takes a back seat and the movie apologetically delivers what it wants without feeling the need to scream for attention. I have to respect it for that.

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