Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Drive (2011)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks


Intriguing. Artsy direction, with beautiful photography and poignant moments of silence and reflection. The mixed score of echoey percussion (reminiscent of Heat) and the 80’s-inspired soundtrack, along with the old school font and colors for the title and credits, give the film a very interesting feel.

Early on, the lack of plot and Gosling’s vacant brooding gets tiresome, but it’s all a nice setup for the plot twists and raw brutality that come later. Ends up being a nice little story, although at the film’s climax, I’m not sure why he left the money behind. Seems more stupid than noble.

Gosling does the stoic thing and plays the action well. His understated intensity is really engaging, but maybe not everyone gets it. Critic Bilge Ebiri later had this to say about Gosling:

I wonder if the real reason First Man disappointed at the box office had to do with something simpler, which is that big movies that star Ryan Gosling tend to disappoint at the box office: Blade Runner 2049, The Nice Guys, Drive—these are all acclaimed titles that were supposed to be hits, but weren’t. I think he’s a fine actor, but maybe his broody, understated energy doesn’t exactly get butts in seats—or maybe it makes him bankable only as a romantic lead, since his biggest hits so far appear to be La La Land; Crazy, Stupid, Love; and The Notebook.

Mulligan is pixie-ish and cute in a Michelle Phillips sort of way. Something different for Brooks. He’s really creepy in this one. Great cast and performances all around.

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