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Drive (2011 film)

A 2011 film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and based on the novel by James Sallis.

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A character study driven by the brilliance of Ryan Gosling and a piece of fantastic art-work.

  • Sep 23, 2011

After you'll finish watching Drive you'll know you just watched something special, something rarely seen on the big screen. Drive takes all the classic elements of passionate filmmaking and revives them with a new modern look, sound and atmosphere that will keep you excited like a little kid on the edge of your seat. Audience's reaction to this is diverse. Some claim that the movie is too pretentious, some claim that the movie is silly and doesn't have enough action, some claim that the movie hits the cliches right in the chest, some think that it doesn't have any cliches, some think that this is just a good movie or great movie and some call it a masterpiece. To me, Drive symbolizes ambition and dedication in the field of filmmaking and acting. Drive is the most tense and beautiful experience I've lived in the theater in months and probably one of the most original interpretations of a love story. The dream-like quality of the film, the peaceful serenity turning into a complete nightmare is probably the best attribute this movie has.

Ryan Gosling plays a quite docile stunt driver for movies and one who'll do illegal activities in his free time. We get to see from the very first moments that he's very calculated, very precise in his work, almost ruthless with his own routine and persona, meticulous and calm in any situation. The tension described in the movie is the kind of atmosphere that made me understand what it is to drive a car in certain conditions. The difference between Drive and other car-movies is that in other films you get to live an outside-of-the-car experience while in Drive you get to experience the inside-of-the-car which to me is much more important. The driver is distant from the social world but sociable at the same time, the kind of guy that stays in silence, hides his feelings and use forced smiles to interact with various people. At one point he meets Irene (Carey Mulligan), a beautiful young married woman with a kid next to her and a husband in jail (Oscar Isaac - Standard). They develop a strong friendship even though both being very cautious and scared to approach each other, him apparently more than her. Thanks to Irene, our hero gets to see the beautiful side of the world, thanks to Irene he gets to live outside of his comfort zone and escape somewhere where he feels he might enjoy that for the rest of his life. Problems occur when Irene's husband returns home and our driver gets acquainted with his problems. From this point on, tragedy seems to make it's way into the movie and jump from a romance story to a revenge story. Because of the tragedy that hits our driver, we get to see another side of him, a more violent and even psychotic state of mind that he goes in once he's in the role of protecting his new formed "family". His controllable love for Irene and the little kid is described in a childish way, reserved and sweet, that being exactly what gives heart to his character. The violence in which he deals with his enemies is the anti-thesis to his childlike persona. A marvelous execution of this character which left me in a state of total tension till the end of the film. The denouement of all this kinda left me speechless because I was expecting something else but Refn took a different path and I'm not really sure if it really fitted the story. It was a good turning point but at the end it felt too stable, a too pragmatic choice. Anyway, the suspense, the thrilling atmosphere, the bold love story and the twisted and maniacal revengeful dark side of this character made me love this director and this talented actor even more than I used to.

Ryan Gosling gives a subtle and cynical performance. He's so accurate in his gestures, in his emotions, in his mannerism, a formidable (still) young actor who proves again and again why he should be named as one of the best actors in the business. Carey Mulligan as Irene and Oscar Isaac as Standard were very good but unfortunately overshadowed by their few minutes in the film and Gosling's perfect portrayal. The other roles were handled perfectly, the roles of the two mobsters involved in the craziness that made the driver lose his temper in his seek of revenge, Albert Brooks as Bernie Rose and Ron Pelman as his partner Nino. The most impressive thing for me was the execution of the film, the directing. The beautiful cinematography, the beautiful angles, the beautiful Los Angeles shots, the behind-the-wheel and on-board shots from inside the car, the editing and sound mixing but also the amazing soundtrack from Cliff Martinez and the great songs choice.

Drive is a pure thrilling cinematic adventure, a journey into a childish love story painted with blood and disturbing violence. A seek for revenge and own liberation. A breath of fresh air and originality. A perfectly executed film that can find it's roots in movies like Taxi Driver. This is our modern-day Taxi Driver. A character study driven by the brilliance of Ryan Gosling and a piece of fantastic art-work from Nicolas Winding Refn.

Storyline/Dialogue: 9/10.
Acting: 9/10.
Technical Execution: 9,1/10.
Replay Value: 9/10.
Overall: 9.0

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December 22, 2011
Good review ! Thanks for sharing.
September 26, 2011
I love Ryan Gosling. This sounds like a must check out. Thanks for sharing!
September 26, 2011
thanks. i had a severe headache while I was writing this review so I'm not really liking it... I will surely edit it in some time. It's a little bit messy at times. For example, my Apes review is much better written imo. Thanks anyway.
September 26, 2011
If you reply directly to @ via the "reply to this comment" box underneath his comment, he'll receive a notification about it ;)
September 27, 2011
I think it is fine the way it is. Maybe a comma here and there but nothing major. I once wrote a review while drunk and it wasn't fun LOL!!
September 23, 2011
Terrific observations. I especially enjoyed the way you described the performances. You should see the Korean film "A Bittersweet Life", in some ways, I think this film was partly inspired by it in regards to its themes.
More Drive (2011 film) reviews
review by . March 15, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    A lone, unnamed driver (Ryan Gosling) takes a nightly stroll through Los Angeles; with the illuminating city lights making way for the path that is the road. The Driver parks his vehicle in front of an anonymous building; and two masked men nearby proceed to enter. They emerge with a bag full of cash. They get into the Driver's car. He takes them to a parking garage; never speaking to them on the way. They don't know his name, and neither do we; but that doesn't …
review by . October 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  Drive is a “love-it-or-hate-it” kind of movie, fortunately though I love it enough for several theaters full of those that full into the latter category. It’s admittedly mismarketed, and its art house sensibilities along with its strong emphasis on style is going to push plenty away expecting a more traditional thriller. However for those of us on the nerdier side of the film fence, “Drive” is the film equivalent of taking LSD, it’s simply a dream. The …
review by . September 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Honestly, I wasn’t really expecting much when I went to see “Drive” but I knew for certain that it was one of those art house movies that critics usually like. At first impression, I thought I was going to be in for one of those movies like “The Driver” (1978) kind of deal, or something similar to Luc Besson’s “The Transporter”. I became curious because of the mixed reviews here, and to put everything in a nutshell, it feels more like “Le Samourai“ …
review by . September 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Drive' 'Two Jews On Film' Think This Over The Top Thriller Stalls (Video)
      Ryan Gosling is 'Driver'.  He drives...fast...very fast...If you're a burglar, he's your go-to guy.  Just make sure you get the job done in five minutes.  Because that's all you got...One minute late, Driver is gone.      Now, driving a get-a-way car is Driver's night job.   His day job is slightly more glamorous.  Driver is a stunt driver for movies...That is, when he's not working as a mechanic, …
review by . September 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         In Drive, Ryan Gosling plays a man who isn’t given a proper name. He’s known only as Driver. It’s a fitting description, given the way cars factor into his daily life. By day, he works for a mechanic named Shannon (Bryan Cranston) and is an occasional Hollywood stunt driver. By night, he’s a wheelman for criminals in need of a quick getaway. Although he’s not a warrior in the traditional sense, Driver is as starkly …
review by . September 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Ryan Gosling is capable of almost anything, and has left little doubt that he is one of the brightest stars in Hollywood. He has can play the heartthrob and romantic like in TheNotebook, he can be a heart breaker like inBlue Valentine, he can be funny and charming like in Crazy, Stupid, Love. In the last movie mentioned he stepped out of his comfort zone and tried a comedy. He is often very adventurous in his roles and always knocks then out of the park. In Drive he seems to …
review by . September 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Hyper Drive
DRIVE Written by Hossein Amini Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks and Albert Brooks   Irene: What do you do? Driver: I drive.   Every now and again, a movie comes along and takes you for a ride you don’t soon forget. It straps you in with its fresh cinematic voice and doesn’t let you go until it has raced through your mind, taken some crazy turns and pulled back into the garage again.  When …
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Julian Left ()
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Member Since: Nov 4, 2010
Last Login: Mar 2, 2013 02:52 PM UTC
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About this movie



Movies, Movie, Drama, Review, Crime Drama, Julian Left, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Ryan Gosling, Ron Perlman, Nicolas Winding Refn, Christina Hendricks, Drive


Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Release Date: September 16, 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Hossein Amini
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: FilmDistrict, Odd Lot Entertainment, Seed Productions
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