A lone-wolf Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) moonlights as a freelance getaway wheelman, and he finds his solitary existence taking on new meaning after befriending Irene (Carey Mulligan), the lonely wife of convicted felon Standard (Oscar Isaac), and her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos). When Standard gets released from prison and is strong-armed into committing a bold daytime robbery, the Driver offers his services in an effort to help the repentant ex-con cut his ties to the criminal underworld. Things get complicated, however, when the robbery goes unexpectedly awry, and the Driver just barely manages to escape alive. When the take from the job proves to be stratospherically higher than the Driver was led to believe, it quickly becomes apparent that they were set up. Later, thugs threaten to kill Irene and Benicio, and all evidence points to transplanted New York crime boss Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and his hot-headed partner Nino (Ron Perlman) as the masterminds. As the Driver attempts to turn the tables on them, it becomes clear that the chain of command goes much higher than he could have ever anticipated.~Jason Buchanan
4 featurettes: I Drive: the Driver,
Driver and Irene: the relationship,
Under the hood: story,
Cut to the chase: stunts
Drive without a driver: interview with Nicholas Winding Refn documentary
I originally saw this via redbox when it first came out. I remembering liking it, so I bought it and also Only God Forgives which I have not seen. I didn't like it as much the 2nd time but it is still worth a couple watches with those who havent seen it.
Drive is an enjoyable visual experience. Gosling's subtle acting is refreshing during the first viewing. However, after repeated viewings, it tends to come off as somewhat forced and wooden.
There are a few scenes that are an absolute pleasure. The initial heist, elevator and hotel scenes immediately come to mind. The shower sequence that transpires within the hotel scene is a commendable nod to Scarface and a bona fide adrenaline rush.
At times the film's art house style and visuals feel a bit forced and distracting. The dialogue can fall flat. Unnecessarily long pauses frequently occur within the dialogue, often resulting in discordantly simplistic lines . This can be frustrating at times, making the exchanges between Gosling and Mulligan distracting and strained. Talking to a character that has little to say can only work for so long before losing it's initial charm. Fortunately, scenes containing Brooks and Cranston provide a better platform for dialogue (especially when they are interacting with each another).
Despite these issues, there's still something quite enjoyable about this film. Maybe it's the simplistic story with some beautifully executed visuals that helps distinguish itself from the current wave of bloated, self-absorbed, films that are currently engulfing cinema. Why are so many screenwriters filled with delusions of grandeur and a to need write stories in vein of Tarantino? There's a point where imitation goes from flattering to annoying.
Drive avoids this pitfall and is content to be what it is-- a candid story with lush visuals, which seamlessly transition between elegant tranquility and appropriate doses of tenacious violence. All of this is perfectly complimented by a superb 80s influenced soundtrack.
Drive's like that one girl every guy's met at a party once. She appears to be invisible to every other man in the room. But for some unexplainable reason there's an instantaneous wave of attraction that completely envelopes your body the moment you see her. You talk to her. It's exciting and refreshing. Almost surrealistic. Yet you leave without getting her number. Maybe the mere thought of making a move and getting rejected would tarnish a moment that's so pure..so perfect that it needs to remain just that--a moment. A much needed good memory to overshadow a bad one. But as soon as you reach your place to retire for the night, you realize you just walked away from something special. That girl electrified your senses. You're not sure what distinguished her from the rest. You'll never know. And that's why you'll always be left wanting more.
DRIVE is not just about "driving cars" - in fact, the title of the movie has a lot more to do with character motivations than motor vehicles. People who are expecting THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS need not apply.
In a way, DRIVE reminds me of A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. A great slow burn film featuring interesting and complicated characters that climaxes in some violent shots of such intensity that you would probably close your eyes if it weren't for the fact that the film has already cut away by the time your brain has processed what it is seeing. While intense and sometimes unexpected, the violence is not excessive or unnecessary.
The soundtrack is also amazing. Cliff Martinez does an outstanding job handling the orchestral side, while Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx, Desire, College and the Chromatics supply the retro '80s sound. I immediately bought the soundtrack after watching DRIVE in theaters and it has gotten a lot of play.
I think DRIVE was easily the best film of 2011. It's a shame that it was snubbed by the Golden Globes and the Oscars. Albert Brooks absolutely deserved a Best Supporting nom for his wickedly evil portrayal of Bernie Rose. Gosling, as always, delivers 110%.
If you skip DRIVE you're doing yourself a disservice.
I’m a big Ryan Gosling fan and prefer his grittier and less well known films. I had no idea what I was getting into when I first watched this movie. It was a surprise- in the best way possible. I think I sat stunned for a good ten minutes after it finished just trying to process what I had just seen. Gosling is at his best in Drive. This role couldn’t be more different than some of his other movies like The Notebook or La La Land. He was damaged, dangerous and brooding and he didn’t even speak a whole lot. It’s a very different kind of film, dark and fairly violent at certain times so if you’re squimish than beware. But I hope it doesn’t keep you from watching because it is a truly great film. The other actors and actresses were all very impressive too, but this film definitely belongs to Ryan Gosling. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched it. After writing this review and just thinking about it, I have to go watch it right now!