Drive

"Extraordinary"

Drive Review


Based on the James Sallis novel, this lean, stylish thriller is confidently assembled to pull us into an outrageous series of events. And it's no surprise that Refn won best director at Cannes for his fine work here.

A young Hollywood stunt driver (Gosling) moonlights as a getaway driver, overseen by his mentor Shannon (Cranston), who has just negotiated a partnership with businessman Bernie (Brooks) and his shady partner Nino (Perlman). But the driver's isolated life is breached when he gets to know single mother Irene (Mulligan) and her young son (Leos) who live in his building. And when Irene's husband (Isaac) is released from prison, the driver offers to help clear an old score so he can start with a fresh slate. Of course, nothing goes as planned.

The film is shot in an achingly cool style that's lush and lurid. The dialog is sparse, the takes are long and slow, and the details sometimes flicker around the edges. But each scene is fraught with tension due to suggestive editing, a pulsing score and low-key performances. Watching the film is almost dreamlike, as Refn sweeps us along the road, hypnotising us with L.A.'s night-time lights and the purring of each car's engine. And as the plot writhes with action, emotions actually become stronger.

The acting is almost invisible; Refn's key direction seems to have been, "Show nothing on your face. OK, now a tiny smirk." This gives the film's inter-relationships an enjoyably slow-burning intensity. We only get brief glimpses of the back-stories, but the connections between the characters are startlingly vivid. And the growing link between Gosling and Mulligan is both sweet and a bit unnerving, mainly because that's how it feels to the characters themselves.

Along the way, each person surprises us, usually in quietly suggestive scenes that are so intimate that the shift into intensely grisly violence is that much more upsetting. Refn expertly manages the film's tone, even when the plot seems to get trapped in its own machinations. It's amazing how deeply we feel everything that happens, even though there isn't much that we can actually identify with. But we'd love to be this cool.



Drive

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th September 2011

Box Office USA: $35.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $74.1M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: FilmDistrict

Production compaines: Bold Films, Odd Lot Entertainment, Marc Platt Productions, Motel Movies

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 218 Rotten: 17

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Michel Litvak, John Palermo, , , Adam Siegel

Starring: as Driver, as Irene, as Blanche, as Bernie Rose, as Shannon, as Nino, Andy San Dimas as Stripper, as Standard, Kaden Leos as Benicio, as Tan Suit, James Biberi as Cook, as Doc, as Chauffeur, Tiara Parker as Young Woman, Tim Trella as Hitman #1, Jim Hart as Hitman #2, Tina Huang as Waitress, as Bearded Redneck

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.