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Dec 30, 2004

Hey, you want a toothpick?

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writers: Hossein Amini (screenplay), James Sallis (book)
Stars:Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston

I'm really impressed with the director. I loved Bronson and Valhalla Rising. This guy is gold.

As for this movie, it achieves this amazing level of intensity by using silence.

I don't even really know what to say about it. Every performance is perfect. Ryan Gosling still kind of plays this guy who is hot and charismatic, but it's toned way down compared to his other stuff. Cranston, Brooks, and Perlman are great as always. I wish Cristina Hendrick's tits were in it a little more.

I also really enjoyed the synthpop soundtrack.

Watch this.

5 / 5


Mar 23, 2004

Favorite movie I've seen so far this year. The lighting, music and sound effects were brilliant. Gosling's character was so amazingly unique. Cool stuff.


Sep 19, 2006
That reminds me of a story...

Not my cup of tea. Still a decent movie for what it is. Had a strong 'A history of violence' vibe to it for me. If you liked that, you'll probably enjoy this movie. 3/5

Jun 10, 2004


Just saw this, really, really dug it. Both friends with me were really impressed too. Great soundtrack, just everything about this movie was great.

5/5, favorite movie this year by far.

Nov 2, 2010

by Y Kant Ozma Post

Loved the 80's vibe and the similarities with A History of Violence, I didn't really find the story compelling and pretty much everything that happens in the movie is predictable.


Dec 18, 2005

Break bread wit the enemy


After the credits started rolling my girlfriend turned to me and told me "Wow that was really bad" and that was the last piece of evidence I needed to be able to unequivocally say that she has absolutely horrible taste in films. I wanted to slap her.

This is really a great movie, probably my favorite so far this year.


Sep 3, 2006


Absolutely loving fantastic, my favourite movie of 2011 by a wide margin. That being said, its style will not be liked by everyone, and it is not the mass appeal film that the trailer hints it is.

Its a weird Collateral/Fargo combination feel to it.

Soundtrack is perfect as well.


Jul 6, 2004

<3 Robots

I went into it not expecting much from the trailers. I was expecting something akin to Fast and Furious.

It was nothing of the sort. Absolutely worth watching. I never really watch a movie twice. I saw it Yesterday, and I am ready to watch it again.


Jan 8, 2004

I told you so...

After hearing good reviews from critics I usually trust, I decided to go and see "Drive", and to be honest I was underwhelmed. Not disappointed, because it's still a worthwhile movie-going experience, but definitely not worth a perfect score from me.

"Drive" is, in my opinion, the very definition of style over substance. Firmly set in the present day, it boasts a very 80s feel, from its opening title and the synthesizer soundtrack to its taciturn protagonist, and the clash of both eras gives the movie a very unique tone. The camera work is very good, the angles are studied (with some exceptions), the lighting amazing... Visually, the movie is extremely good. Performance-wise, I would go so far as to say every part is interpreted perfectly, even from actors who don't seem to fit in at first.

Some might enjoy the extremely uneven pacing of the movie, and to be perfectly honest I wouldn't have minded as much if half of the plot threads established in the first act actually lead anywhere, but as it is, the first hour seems like the beginning of an 8 hour film, and the second hour feels like someone realized an 8 hour film didn't make sense and they had to find a way to end it in 2. I've heard it described as "Noir", something that would explain the almost comical amount of gore in the third act, but to me the editing could definitely have used some work, and most of the violence seems gratuitous. While, yes, some of it (i.e. the skull smashing) helps with characterization, most of it (bathroom, fork, wrist) looks almost caricatural, something that clashes with the second act's grit.

In closing, I really liked some of the ideas from the movie. The opening scene, the very first car chase, is amazing, but nothing like it ever comes back in the entire film. The movie also contemplates the ideas of selflessness, sacrifice and philanthropy, but barely grazes them.

Still better than anything I've seen this summer, which, sadly, only means 3 out of 5.

Post-review note: Near the end, a car t-bones another car and still looks pristine afterwards, headlights even still functioning. I didn't like that.

CordlessPen fucked around with this message at 16:46 on Oct 1, 2011

Feb 28, 2010

i just feel like this movie was far to masturbatory and nowhere near accessible (although this doesnt necessarily allude to storytelling intelligence by any stretch), gaping plot holes, a lot of blank performances - particularly from gosling trying so hard to just be one of the boys, it missed the mark pretty badly for me.

if you're half interested in this movie you will probably see it anyway but it was pretty boring overall. how can something with so many fluoro titles be so bland?


May 23, 2003

Came for the 80s feel. Stayed for the scorpion jacket. Loved every tense second and the music was a perfect fit. Disturbingly violent, unpredictable, and the most suspenseful slow paced film I've ever seen. Best of the year.


Aug 4, 2002

Douche Baggins

I've seen comparisons to A History of Violence, which is appropriate because like that film, I had a problem with how straight forward the story is. There's little subtext, and not much left to the imagination; a character says he's going to do something and indeed he does. A character explains a plot point and indeed it is true. There's little reason for a rewatch.

There's also the issue that it was called Drive, about a getaway driver, who drives for movie stunts, so you'd think the movie would have more driving. There's the cold open, there's a car chase, there are scenes where cars are used to make things happen, but the film betrays the guy's professions (and the "5 minutes" mantra he repeats a couple times) by the middle of the second act. Then it just sort of spirals into a standard "mafia threatens people, people die violently" film, where the early bits seem to set up a climax relating to what the character does for a living. This doesn't happen. What's the point of the setup if it never pays it off?

It's well-made and well-shot, and at first I liked that the scenes lingered, setting up its own unique feel and letting you stay in the moment a little longer than most films would. But that deliberately slow pace gets tedious by the end when the story quickens, but it seems nobody told the director, cinematographer, or editor. I'm all for deliberate pacing like Breaking Bad, but that show quickens the pace when the tension mounts. The ultraviolence often feels gratuitous as well, and shows more blatant gore than even some of the Saw films. It feels out of place in most scenes, and seems to go against the quiet pace of the rest.

I enjoyed the retro/modern blended tone, it has a great opening scene, some really good performances, and a few memorable scenes throughout, but ultimately I was bored of their style-over-substance posturing by the end.


Bonk fucked around with this message at 19:31 on Oct 14, 2011

Ewar Woowar
Feb 25, 2007

Despite stealing from two of my favourite directors (Cronenberg and Lynch) I felt that Drive never quite lived up to it's potential. After a great opening scene I had high hopes but felt it kind of lost it's way in both style and substance.


Apr 23, 2004

by Smythe

snaeksikn posted:

i just feel like this movie was far to masturbatory and nowhere near accessible (although this doesnt necessarily allude to storytelling intelligence by any stretch), gaping plot holes, a lot of blank performances - particularly from gosling trying so hard to just be one of the boys, it missed the mark pretty badly for me.

if you're half interested in this movie you will probably see it anyway but it was pretty boring overall. how can something with so many fluoro titles be so bland?

I concur. Didn't care for this movie much. The pacing was incredibly weird, and not to its benefit.

You are Jennifer
Dec 25, 2008

I saw the movie based on the glowing reviews I read. The critics absolutely adore this film, and that betrays exactly what kind of film this is: critic fodder. I remember repeatedly thinking during the course of the film, why is this movie rated so highly and when is it going to get better? Hint: it doesn't and I wish I had cut my loses. Its praised pacing left me bored and fidgety and Gosling's performance could have been delivered by a plank of wood.


You are Jennifer fucked around with this message at 05:20 on Dec 28, 2011

Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.

Tries way too hard to be cool. Moody looks don't make a good film. No motivation for the protagonist and a really silly last fight. Not bad but certainly not worth all the hype.


Feb 21, 2007
OMG! (_) You are a peanut!

I saw this movie because the poster said "THE BEST ACTION FILM OF THE YEAR". Not knowing anything else, I assumed I was going to watch a lower tier Need For Speed kind of movie, instead I got to watch the weirdest drama, with the most expressionless people in the world, in which people got killed a lot and we watch the main character drive like 9 minutes during the whole movie.

Hey lady, your boyfriend just destroyed someone's head in an elevator by slowly kicking it in one feet away from you! Oh, this is your floor, well just walk out of the elevator and stare blankly at your boyfriend for 4 minutes until the doors close. See ya!

1/5, hated this movie, won't watch anything with Ryan Gosling again, probably.

Feb 13, 2006


Just watched this movie a few nights ago and I really enjoyed it. It was definitely one of the better movies of the year, but certainly not my favorite. Having Albert Brooks as an almost reluctantly violent mastermind was brilliant, I really enjoyed his performance and Goslings.

I normally really enjoy gore and violence but it felt out of place in this movie, it was "cheezy-action" enough with the Synth Pop and awesome car chases, I thought the SPLOOSH BLOOD parts was a little much, but still I really enjoyed the movie.

I was a little upset at the ending, just the way it played out, but it erred on the side of ambiguous and unhappy so I relished it.


Jan 2, 2007

Ich bin ein Berliner

I watched this movie with high expectations but I ended up falling asleep after the first 45 minutes. I decided maybe I was a bit tired so I decided to watch it again and I was still pretty bored.

I thought the best part of the movie was the first 30-45 minutes, and then it starts dropping like a rock real fast. My gripe with the movie is that the pacing is all wrong and I found the shots that the director used actually quite unflattering for Ryan Gosling. I think the first initial chase scene had everything right, with a lot of tension and some excitement, but the rest of the movie was just try-hard with trying to build tension. The low-left up facing angled shots of Ryan Gosling got tiring really fast.

The best thing about this movie is the marketing and the sound track, besides that it's not worth your time.


Jul 16, 2006

Like a fist wrapped in blood...

This is the most pitch perfect thriller I have seen in years. My only regret is not seeing it in theatres. I rented it off Vudu with the expectation that it would be a fun yet forgettable car chase flick and instead got something that mixed the stylistic excesses of a Michael Mann film with the unbearable tension of one of the darker Coen efforts.

Performances are top notch across the board, with the possible exception of Christina Hendricks, who doesn't do a bad job but also didn't seem to really engage in her role like everyone else did. Albert Brooks in particular does a great job of making himself both unassuming yet frightening.

Music in this film fits the motif and is also used in conjunction with the actual storytelling on screen that is very effective.


Sep 11, 2003

I rented this movie with everyone saying, "You have to see this movie. This is such a York_M_Chan movie."

A few things, A) I worry what my friends think of me and B)what a self-indulgent, ill-paced, and heavy handed under the guise of "subtly" film this is. It was like watching a Family Guy episode with all of it's references, yet somehow claiming to be original. Kinda the same reason I don't like a lot of Tarantino's work. I was into it for the first 30 minutes even if it did suffer under the weight of a soundtrack that was less a soundtrack and more a mixtape. And I really liked the idea of the film, I would like to read the book.

My wife hated the tonal switch to extreme violence, but I didn't mind it so much, but it didn't build at all. The climax of the film was anti-climactic, it felt like they were rushed for time and didn't get a lot of coverage. This is an action film posing as an "art" film and fully aware of what it is trying to do. I love Albert Brooks, Ron Pearlman but their characters so water thin. Bryan Cranston steals the movie.

A perfect example of my dislike to the films is when Driveris getting his revenge on Nino and he breaks into the FX truck to get the latex mask. He puts in on and looks in a window. There is no need to the mask, Nino knows its him, no one sees him in it anyway. It was a silly lazy metaphore that had no place being in the world of the movie. It was a "oh, wouldn't it look cool if..." moment with no real traction.

And yes, it is beautifully shot but when you see a terrible play you always say, "Well the scenery looked nice."


Rankine Over Gash
Feb 18, 2010

We had our meetings in a room with a bar and Brian Clough said to me "Millsy, get the beers in and get yourself a Guinness". I told him I didn't drink. He said "Get yourself a fucking Guinness" so I did. I drank it, pulled a face and then he named me in the team. I never said no again.

First film I've seen in a LONG time that made me want to watch it again straight away. Not perfect but utterly brilliant. Gosling was mesmerising.


Jan 21, 2001

Right now Nintendo is the Titanic slowly but inexorably heading towards the iceberg. I can't wait for the ship to start sinking. It will be awesome to behold.

This is going straight in my top 10 favourite movies of all time list. I loved everything about it - the retro feel, the dark tone, the music, the ultra violence. It balances all these things perfectly, in my opinion.

Ryan Gosling is really good in this. Everyone knows this guy can act, but here he shows he can be a cool, suave badass eclipsing all contemporary big name action stars without even trying. He oozes a sense of detached coolness in every scene. It could easily come off as cheesy, but Gosling has the acting chops to pull it off.

Albert Brooks is a revelation. His character here is by far one of the most disturbing and realistic badguys I've seen in a long time. His portrayal of a somewhat down-to-earth, harried "legitimate business man" ala Tony Soprano is spot-on. He is a fascinating character and I loved watching him on screen.

Carey Mulligan was beautiful and radiant, Bryan Cranston was great as the lovable loser and even Ron Perlman makes an effort (I normally wince whenever I see him in films).

The violence was jarring and brutal, but it fits in just fine in this world. I'm not a car guy and normally don't like car porn in movies - thankfully they don't focus on it too much. This is not a chase movie, even though there are chase scenes.

The music goes a long way to elevating this movie into something special. Like the original Clerks, Drive's soundtrack has a major impact on the overall feel of the movie. It's all 80s style synthpop, even though all the songs were released in 2007 and beyond. I loved the retro look and feel of the film - the whole thing could have easily taken place in the 1980s except for one scene where Ryan Gosling walks up to a stripper who is tapping away on her smartphone. I don't know why, but I loved that little bit of forced anachronism.

Wonderful movie. I can see why some people won't like it, and that's fine. I loved it.


lynch_69 fucked around with this message at 00:32 on Feb 28, 2012

No. 6
Jun 30, 2002

Fallen Rib

Beautiful cinematography marred by awkward dialogue and an unrealistic plot. I couldn't relate to a single character or get a firm grasp on their motivations.

Drive is nothing more than a romance story with action thrown in to fool men into thinking they're watching something exciting.

I watched this with my wife and derived most of my enjoyment by making a few quips.

I think the atmosphere and entire film were presented extremely well. The stylisation was top notch and this alone saved Drive from the depths of utter rubbish. 3/5

Dec 14, 2007

Fantastic film with great dialogue and a great plot. Characters that you don't necessarily want to relate to, but are so drat interesting to watch.

5/5, favourite film of 2011

Above Our Own
Jun 24, 2009

by Shine

Polished and stylish, I'd describe this film as a meditative thriller. It reminded me of No Country for Old Men with the sparse dialogue and slow burn, quietly mounting tension. The visual style is also comparable, using masterful wide shots of the nighttime city to build a sense of place.

Unlike No Country, I felt that this movie lacked substance in the end. The plot felt a little contrived, and at times it felt like the small handful of characters drifted through the story's mechanisms without any interaction with the outside world. My main difficulty with the movie is that we had a perfect setup for an insightful and evocative commentary on something, but the movie comes and goes without saying enough to fill that void. It's a little too silent, a little too sparse.

Pensive, dark, and extremely violent. Don't be fooled by the movie's action-flick marketing. Still better by far than your average film, my only real disappointment comes from what it almost was.


May 23, 2012

Saw this last night. I loved it but my dad and brother went in expecting a Transporter clone and were therefore thoroughly dissapointed.

None of us were expecting the levels of gore involved, or that there would be so liottle actual driving. I liked it all told though.

Apr 29, 2011

Whatever knows fear
BURNS at the touch

Drive is literally a string of Grand Theft Auto:Vice City missions strung end to end, minus cheat codes to spawn a tank to roll around in. Nothing - absolutely nothing - in this film requires it to be set any later than 1985. A smartphone here or there could easily be replaced by an emory board and the movie could be shot 35 years ago.

Which I suppose is the point. A friend described it as "deliberately 80s" and I have no argument with that. It's slow and plodding and unbelievably straightforward - as a reviewer further up posted, 'a character says they'll do something, and indeed they do.' Miles better than anything else out there, but honestly it isn't tense because of any choice to make it so, it's tense because audiences are used to quick-cuts, shakycam and spastic music-video editing, and simply deciding to cut things with slightly-longer takes makes people anxious to get to the next shot.


J. Walter Weatherman
Nov 9, 2011

I put off watching this movie for a long time. Sat in my instant que, but when I did actually watch it, I was very pleasantly surprised. Ryan Gosling does a great job and shows that he can play a strong character. His character is shy but firm and I enjoyed watching his almost boyish reactions in some conversations. The story line really help through out the whole movie and wrapped up nicely. The only thing I was disappointed about was the hedidn't take the money. I was expecting a ricer, fast and furious type movie, but got a "classy" heist movie that I'll definitely watch again.

May 3, 2006

The pacing is near glacial, and even the action scenes have a sort of calm brutality to them. But this is not an action movie. It's a goddamn work of art. Ryan Gosling is the quintessential man of few words, who interacts with his world without ever really engaging it. It's as if he's grown immune to adrenalin, and the quiet parts of his life are impossibly far away and drift past like highway scenery. The cinematography, pacing, and 80s synth soundtrack all draw the audience out of the immediacy of the action and present it with that same cold, insulated reticence. Movie owns, watch it.


Jul 7, 2006

How to describe this movie? In some senses it commits the same sin that various mood-pieces and teen films do (I'm thinking Lost in Translation, for instance) - which is to say it rather masturbatorily recreates someone's specific time, place, lighting, music, etc. that for them epitomized the most angsty, romanticized period of their life. It's like crafting an entire movie around that one awesome new-girlfriend experience you had at 17, at night in a car with depeche mode playing in the rain. A bit self-absorbed, I guess.

But, be honest with yourself - if you like that kind of thing (and I definitely do), this is a really fine specimen. And weirdly, it's not only that. Somehow, instead of making the mistake of creating an entire movie simply about the nostalgia (which I think was the problem with Lost in Translation), we get a plot about gangsters, a stolen wad of cash, two men trying to protect one woman and her kid, extreme violence, and definitely driving. The combination seems ridiculous but it really works.


sleeptides fucked around with this message at 05:57 on Jun 2, 2015

Sep 2, 2004


For having seen this plot a million times, it being a movie about cars and that douchey pink cursive text synonymous with beach parties & palm trees, Drive managed to far surpass my expectations. For its serious overtone, it just didn't have enough realism for me to consider it a classic. Still a very decent flick.

SA Score = 4/5
Criticker Score = 75/100

Dec 14, 2004

Good cinematography, good score, and a plot that could have been better than it is if only the dialogue and script weren't so, so bad. I laughed out loud when the lyrics "Real human being" played to the two robot-like leads. It's like the director was trying to hypnotize me.

Also the opening sets a tone so different from the rest of the movie, it reminded me of The Source posters making the movie look like the fastest-paced action movie of all time. The lead's setup is barely played. I was ready for a Shuto Kousoku and then, well.


Elentor fucked around with this message at 16:52 on Dec 27, 2019

Jul 3, 2016

Loved it. The vibe was great and Gosling was amazing. One of....if not the best movie of 2011 along with Moneyball and another Gosling flick, The Ides of March.



Sep 5, 2011

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