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Drive (2011)

tomatometer

93

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 235
Fresh: 218 | Rotten: 17

With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action.

87

Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 6

With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 109,057

My Rating

Movie Info

Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can't help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac). After a heist intended to pay off Standard's protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver

Jan 31, 2012

$35.1M

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All Critics (236) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (218) | Rotten (17) | DVD (9)

What it had going for it was an uncanny and moving relationship between Gosling and Mulligan.

June 24, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sure, it's shallow, but it's also slickly compelling, beautifully crafted and so damn shiny.

September 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In grabbing our attention, [Refn] diverts it from what matters. The horror lingers and seeps; the feelings are sponged away.

September 20, 2011 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (99)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The extreme and escalating violence will prove off-putting to some-frankly, I'm surprised not to have been among them-but for the rest, Drive is a needle-punch of adrenaline to the aorta.

September 16, 2011 Full Review Source: The Atlantic | Comments (79)
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In reworking genres without quoting shamelessly, Refn proves himself his own man and a guy quite capable of taking us places we didn't even know we wanted to go.

September 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comments (30)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Drive is pedal-to-the-metal stuff. Don't get behind the wheel unless you can take the rush.

September 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comments (23)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is pop art of the highest degree.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

Hands down the coolest film of 2011, Drive is a stylised genre film where the genre is constantly changing.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Something under the hood of Drive captured my heart; director Nicolas Winding Refn has admirably crafted a fine piece of retro-noir cinema.

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Gordon and the Whale
Gordon and the Whale

Neither overblown action movie or intimate character study, Drive is somewhere in between - my approximation of "an arthouse Fast & Furious" wasn't too wide of the mark after all.

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk
TheShiznit.co.uk

Nicolas Winding Refn's atmosperic direction, Gosling's sheer presence and a soundtrack that's perfection make Drive a fantastic film.

September 15, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

With a titanic infusion of pound-feet of torque, Drive is the best movie of 2011, a raging race that's part F1 and equal part demolition derby.

August 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Final Cut on Film
Final Cut on Film

If Sofia Coppola were a dude making genre action movies to impress Quentin Tarantino ... those movies would be a lot like this.

June 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Filmwell

Drive is surprising in many ways, from its quietly spoken first act through its increasingly violent and unexpected trajectory.

March 14, 2012 Full Review Source: The Standard

It's a slow-burn romantic fairy tale that suddenly turns dark and very violent, but director Nicholas Winding Refn is a master at developing suspense and menace, and every frame of this movie is dripping with both.

February 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Scene-Stealers.com | Comments (3)
Scene-Stealers.com

A classic tale of revenge, love and madness is given a refreshing polish and shine by director Nicolas Winding Refn. Drive is one of the year's very best.

February 1, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

Nicholas Winding Refn's 'neon-noir' heist film Drive winds the speedo back 25 years to honour the spirit of 80s action films, but this fable about fast cars and mob violence isn't afraid to show its feminine side.

January 31, 2012 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au | Comments (2)
sbs.com.au

... celebrates -- one might say revels in -- the pulp mythology of existential anti-heroes and criminal chivalry and street opera tragedy of American movies.

January 31, 2012 Full Review Source: MSN.com | Comments (3)
MSN.com

Delivers the thrilling action goods with craft and distinctive style.

January 26, 2012 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Young directors would do well to take a cue or two from Refn when it comes to telling an engrossing story, because when a filmmaker with real vision is at the wheel, even the familiar can feel fresh, new, and exciting.

January 4, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The real star of this film is the direction of cult Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, making his Hollywood debut.

January 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Ebert Presents At The Movies

"Drive" is not the "Fast and Furious" knockoff you might think it is based on the advertising. It is far more artistic and thoughtful than any of those films could ever hope to be. Consider it a thinking man's action movie.

December 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD) | Comments (5)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Action and smarts don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. But director Nicolas Winding Refn ('Bronson') deftly blends them in 'Drive,' a phenomenally entertaining movie that employs a haunting soundtrack, clever direction and entertaining characters.

December 22, 2011 Full Review Source: KWQC-TV (Iowa)
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

A firecracker up the backside of the bloated modern action movie...

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

Drive's most striking movie reference might be the one where you're watching Irene watch the Driver enact an especially awful beat-down. It's a moment that's at once frightening, tragic, and not startling enough.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Audience Reviews for Drive

This film is a very slick and awesome conscious mix of contemporary and retro aesthetics and stylization, and, even though I'd prefer the decade for the retro callbacks to be the 70s instead of the 80s, this is still a wonderfully art directed (and artsy) action film.

Instead of taking a page from stuff like The Fast and the Furious, this is a car movie that, as I mentioned, goes for a far more retro look and feel, yet still throws in plenty of modern sensibilities. It's an action movie, but it's also very artsy, a tad pretentious, and the sort of action film that people would normally hate action movies can get into and enjoy.

In a way, this is a very philosophical film that really grooves on existentialism, mystery, and ambiguity. Our lead is a guy credited simply as Driver, but also referred to as Kid. We don't know his real name, or really all that much about him, aside from surface details. He works in a garage, does part time work as a Hollywood stunt driver, and spends his nights moonlighting as a getaway driver for hire for any criminal that wants him.

He really doesn't say much, but as they say, actions speak louder than words..and when he gets into some nasty business with the mob after a job gone wrong, his responses really get nuts. Mostly that has to do with his neighbor lady (and prospective love interest) getting targeted too, something that Driver just can't stand for, especially since she's an innocent.

So yeah, this film has a very simple, familiar basic premise, and there's not much in the way of character development or heavy , heavy plot, so it's mostly all about the fun stuff like the action and the stunts. What''s funny though, is that the film isn't wall to wall action. When we do get bursts of violence though, they come swiftly, unexpectedly, and things get rather graphic and shocking at times.

Where the film puts almost all of its focus then is on mood, tone, and atmosphere, and, if you dig ambience, then this film will definitely satisfy. The cinematography, music, editing, and all of that is just gorgeous, and the costumes (all hail cool gloves and jackets) rock, as do the cars. The film is sorta deep in a very ponderous way, but I enjoyed it.

It's probably not really as deep as it wants you to think it is, mostly because it is very vague, and the dialogue is quite sparse at times, but hey, sometimes it's okay to just loosen up and let things flow, even if not a long happens (until the sudden bits of violence from time to time). If the film had spent some more time giving insight into the characters, and really developing them a lot more, then I'd definitely bump this up to a full 5.

As it stands though, I just can't quite do that. I do dig the performances here. Gosling is definitely starting to eclipse Depp as the epitome of cool, and there's nothing wrong with that. He's a bad ass, even if his lonely and mysterious ways can sometimes be frustrating. Carey Mulligan is nice as Driver's neighbor/potential love Irene, even if she does spend most of her time looking at him longingly without saying a word. Oscar Isaac is good in his role as an ex-con who decides to play the part atypically. Bryan Cranston also delivers solid work as always as Driver's main business associate. The villains though are where the film gets juicy. Perlman of course is stellar, but yes, as tons of people have already stated many times before, this film features an excellent villainous turn from funny man Albert Brooks. He's played baddies before, but this is the first time he's played one that was legitimately scary, intense, and intimidating. Damn the Oscars for snubbing him, because he's brilliant.

Blah, blah, blah. You should have picked up on how I feel about this film at this point. It's awesome. Go see it. It's not a perfectly brilliant piece of work, but I definitely do think it lives up to the hype.
November 25, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
July 1, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

A dark, visceral, patient and mind-blowing experience. One hell of an exhilarating and insanely cool movie. An adrenaline-pumping thrill-ride that never stops. A stylish, taunt, intense, shocking, brutal and captivating new film. A fast, furious and very original thriller. It keeps your pulse-pounding and heart racing all the way to the end. An instant classic. A hard-boiled and explosive edge of your seat thriller. It packs lots of great style, hair-trigger suspense and white-knuckle action. It has a 80`s retro style feel that works wonderfully and has a great soundtrack. Director, Nicolas Winding Refn crafts an incredible and slick film that has no equal. A masterpiece. A tremendously entertaining and outstanding movie. The directing and acting are all flawless. The all-star cast truly delivers. Ryan Gosling is riveting, he brings a quiet, sensitive and surprisingly tough pressense to his great performance. Albert Brooks is electrifying, he gives the performance of his career. Brooks has never shown this side of himself in a film that i have seen, i hope he dose not hide it for other projects because he was brilliant. Ron Pearlman is explosive. Bryan Cranston is terrific. Carey Mulligan is wonderful.
June 23, 2013
allan913

Super Reviewer

My favorite movie of 2011. It kept me in a trance the whole time.
March 12, 2013
Dr114
Chris Miele

Super Reviewer

    1. Driver: You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you're on your own. Do you understand?
    – Submitted by Mario M (5 months ago)
    1. Driver: You ever heard the story about the scorpion and the frog?
    – Submitted by Tait F (9 months ago)
    1. Irene: Hey.
    2. Driver: Hi.
    3. Irene: Sorry about the noise.
    4. Driver: I was gonna call the cops.
    5. Irene: I wish you would.
    – Submitted by Kevin H (14 months ago)
    1. Driver: Now you just got a little boy's father killed. You almost got us killed. And now you're lying to me. So how about this: from now on, every word out of your mouth is the truth, or I'm gonna hurt you.
    – Submitted by Thomas S (15 months ago)
    1. Driver: Driver: There's a hundred-thousand streets in this city. You don't need to know the route. You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you're on your own. Do you understand?
    – Submitted by Divyansh U (17 months ago)
    1. Shannon: I have the driver.
    – Submitted by Hunter E (22 months ago)
View all quotes (30)

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