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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Absorbing and surprisingly violent

Author: adamonfilm from England, United Kingdom
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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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Art-house Masterpiece

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

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:

Not enough substance

Author: TyTanner from Australia
16 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Drive is considered an art-house action drama feature, a tribute to car film's of a bygone era and is inspired by many other retrospective films.

Writing and directing these types of movies like Drive (which pay respect to older features) is always high risk but handsomely pay off if they are produced well and have their potential fully realised (for example: Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof).

Somewhat regrettably, Drive did not work to great effect as a stylish, neo-noir film inspired by Grindhouse influences, because it lacked true substance.

I wanted to like the movie because one; it was recommended to me and two; because I rate director Nicolas Winding Refn very highly for his host of good films. For me, this wasn't his best, but I don't blame him entirely, in fact I blame in most part, the writer.

Drive has some terrific moments no doubt, which include some fantastic graphic scenes rich of violence and gore and a soundtrack that has a retro-stylish and 80s theme to it.

But I believe the film was too scarce and deficient in substance. When I say substance, I am referring to the interest in the story/plot, the characters and their development and the overall engagement with the film's audience.

I failed to connect with the characters, had little if no interest in what happened to them and was unmoved and uninspired by the story, which is a shame.

So this is where I blame the writer for not developing the characters enough. And I also blame the actors for not selling their part. It might be harsh but I believe it to be true. Unfortunately, I did not even feel much sympathy for the wife/mum Irene (Carey Mulligan) or her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos).

I didn't think too highly of The Diver's (Gosling's) performance either and that may have been due to the fact he was given very little dialogue. Gosling's limited dialogue worked in some scenes, but not in the most part because he failed to build any kind of relationship with me (the audience).

If you desire to see a superb Gosling performance, may I suggest Refn's 'Only God Forgives' which he both wrote and directed. Hint, hint. Now that film is a true visual masterpiece and draws you in brilliantly. Compelling viewing, to say the least. I also recommend watching 'The Place Beyond the Pines,' directed by Derek Cianfrance. Gosling is still a stunt driver but far more convincing in his role, and the movie itself is brilliant.

But I digress.

The styles and influences that Drive employs (including film noir and comic gore) have been quoted as "a bizarre concoction... reminiscent of David Lynch's Mulholland Drive... and Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, (reviews from the Cannes International Film Festival).


Mulholland Drive (a surrealist neo-noir film) and Pulp Fiction (a non linear, stylized black comedy/crime) are two masterpiece films that deserve to be recognised, as I'm sure they are, in their own right. Drive may attempt to draw on some of the styles and cinematic techniques from those two features, and does well in some aspects, but is not exactly reminiscent of them.

I have given Drive a rating of 6, one; because it does deliver some well orchestrated scenes, builds tension and is backed by a good soundtrack (credit to Cliff Martinez) and two; because you can't give half-ratings on IMDb. Ideally, I would have given it 5.5 but I am feeling generous today. Tomorrow I might have given it a 5.

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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

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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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Drove me the right way

Author: Maz Murdoch (asda-man) from United Kingdom
11 January 2013

I wasn't really too sure with what to expect with Drive. People were calling it an incredibly slow art-house movie, which I don't mind at all, I'm quite fond of the odd good art-house movie e.g. "We Need To Talk About Kevin" is a firm favourite of mine. I also had high expectations however, as a lot of people were raving about it like it was the greatest achievement of film ever! So I went in with an open mind and found myself being very fond of it. Drive is a film which I shall definitely give a second run around the block again.

Drive opens fantastically! It perfectly captures the dangers of being a get-away driver. It's a thrilling chase scene with Ryan Gosling trying to evade the police and is beautifully shot. It tries to rely more on realism than go for the cheap quick-cut and shaky-cam thrills which the Fast and the Furious franchise aims to deliver. Drive takes a slower pace and has much more of an interest in character than action, which is a good thing to me. The slow direction perfectly conveys the loneliness of Ryan Gosling, but also shows that he's in control. He's a severely calm and methodical person, who you wouldn't really like to get on the wrong side with.

The main show in Drive is the near-perfect directing, cinematography and lighting. Drive is a master-class in these elements as it's obvious that every shot was set up with great care and precision. There's not one piece of lighting out of place and the cinematography is quite astounding at times. It's incredibly easy on the eyes and carries a very cool charm with it. I loved the realism of the film and the shocking violence was used with reason, and almost reminiscent of a Haneke film, with short and shocking bursts of extreme violence. However, like Goodfellas, it is used to show the nasty and unglamourous side of the mob industry.

I also really liked the love story told. There's some chemistry between Ryan and Carey, and although they don't really say a lot to each other, the connection between them is definitely there. Things between to hot up when Carey's husband is released from jail and things take quite an unpredictable turn for the worst. The final half hour or so may be slow, but it is still undeniably thrilling and realistic. There a some beautifully shot sequences that will stay with me for a long time. The finale is also very gripping, and you care about the characters involved.

Overall, there's something about Drive that makes it unique and different to other films. It has certainly got under my skin and is an experience I shall look forward to again. The soundtrack perfectly engulfs the retro feel of the film and the directing is almost as stylish as Tarantino. Lovers of dialogue may be disappointed but there is certainly more dialogue than what some people say. I was expecting a film like "Hunger" where nothing's said for what feels like an hour, until a non-stop 15 minute talk-fest! Drive is nothing like that. It just takes a somewhat different and unconventional approach from the average Hollywood production. Drive's a film of quality and one I won't be forgetting in a hurry!

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

'a guy that rarely speaks drives around for a living.. Chewing a toothpick (so what)'

Author: a-droushiotis
30 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The recipe did not work for me at all. All the ingredients where there, but the chef... was not. I tried really hard to stay awake. Such a shame. Slow and boring. Tried twice to watch it, and i had to give it a third try. Totally unbalanced with R. Gosling's talent absent throughout the movie. Dark, with loud music, no dialog and numerous pointless scenes, this film is certainly overrated by some reviewers. The director tried hard to push it as an artistic effort but failed in the process. The film had a fair opening (since when can somebody outsmart... a helicopter and half of the police force...chewing a toothpaste and driving around), a plot plot and a bad ending. I had to give it a 5 out of ten because i like Gosling.What a Yawn!!!

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I have mixed feelings about this film.

Author: bg11215-366-263177 from Los Angeles, CA
7 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

On the one hand, there is some directorial brilliance in it, and the cinematography is brilliant. It's beautifully stylized, the work of an auteur. However, it also contains some EXTREME violence, to the point that it was very disturbing to me and I wished I hadn't seen it (the motel scene, elevator scene to name but two of the five or six scenes containing extreme violence). Some people might be able to stomach it, but it was so gruesome & graphic that I really truly wish that I hadn't seen it. I am of the opinion that excessive violence is not needed to tell a story.

Moving on to the actual story, I found that it dragged in places, particularly around the 30-40 minute mark, where I began to wonder "is this going to go anywhere"? Then the story lines slowly developed, but remained however a bit under-developed. But for the kind of movie that it is, I don't think this is particularly a handicap; this type of violent action thriller doesn't need a deep story; some high speed car chases and shootouts apparently will do just fine.

Ryan Gossling's understated portrayal of his character was both a bit confusing and brilliant. He says so little during most of his scenes that it had me wondering, "is there any emotional depth to this character?" That question was soon answered in the way that Gossling proceeds to pick off his adversaries one by one, which was kind of bad-ass. Part of the main story line was a bit muddled (for me anyway), and again, I just wish that I had known about the violence ahead of time so that I could have looked away during certain scenes. Extreme violence is apparently this director's trademark.

To summarize: again there was some brilliance in this film, but I wish that they had focused more on developing the story and in finding alternate ways of portraying the story than resorting to the shock value of such extremely disturbing violence. That's why I only gave it 5 stars.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Quite a ride

Author: cedde6 from London UK
26 January 2013

I've avoided "Drive" for as long as I could. Although most of the reviews I've read or what I've heard from friends were unanimously positive, they often mentioned in passing, almost as an afterthought, its rather graphic violence. For a horror movie buff, I have turned rather squeamish of realistic violence in my mature days and "Drive"'s brutal reputation had made me quite apprehensive about it. After incessant recommendations from my friend Rory (a movie buff by my own heart), claiming loud and clear that it was possibly one of the best films of 2011 and that I was bound to love it, I eventually surrendered, took a deep breath, sat down and watched it...

The Driver (Ryan Gosling), stuntman, mechanic and driver to stickups (not necessarily in that order) gets in serious trouble (read Mafia type of serious trouble) when helping the recently released from prison husband of his beautiful neighbour (Carey Mulligan) with whom he just fell in love.

Considering the genre its story belongs to, "Drive" defies all expectations. This film has a very broody quality, dreamlike almost, with its languid slow motion sequences and elegant but never demonstrative camera work, the proceedings soaked with a beautifully contemplative soundtrack. Although unusual for that specific genre, the style of this film no longer surprised me when I realised that director Nicolas Winding Refn was also at the helm of 2003 psychological thriller "Fear X", equally gorgeous and ruminative in its execution.

The oh-so-dreaded violence is indeed rather graphic and all the more startling as it irrupts, usually unannounced, in the otherwise narcotised tone of the film. But the violence is never superfluous as it is a necessary part of the plot nor it is glamorised in any way as it casts away our anti-hero from the only person he truly cares about. It did however make me wince a couple of time so be warned.

Ryan Gosling is very good as a man who is all introverted emotions and consequently deeply out of touch with the world around, his calm demeanour belying the brutality he's capable of. By contrast Carey Mulligan brings delicate beauty and restrained suffering to her character and the scenes she and Gosling share are tender and discreetly moving, which is to say without being naive nor syrupy.

All in all, "Drive" was indeed a hell of a ride. And this is a ride I wouldn't mind taking again.

Damn! Rory was right!

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