Drive

Drive

93%

Critic Review - New Yorker

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)
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Neil Leardi

Neil Leardi

Fuck you..this movie was awesome..your a fucking faggot...I'd kick your teeth in if I saw you..you fucking cunt twat

Apr 1 - 02:23 PM

Priscilla Madeira

Priscilla Madeira

LOL

Jul 14 - 11:16 AM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Deep breaths, deep breaths....

Jul 25 - 03:22 PM

Kohl Truax

Kohl Truax

u mad bro?

Sep 11 - 07:53 PM

JC Martel

JC Martel

Leardi knows what's up.

Sep 22 - 04:24 PM

Mykyle Scapinello

Mykyle Scapinello

This movie couldn't make up it's mind. Was it a car movie, mob movie, a study in psychopathic killing? The soundtrack was hip but I just couldn't believe that the Driver was realistic. I mean he's supposed to be a simple heist driver and then later on in the movie he turns into professor Moriarty, out planning and out maneuvering every bad guy he faces. Plus what's up with Carey Mulligan she loves him, then she hates him, then she loves him again. As if she was completely oblivious to her boyfriend being a crook and was so turned off by the fact that the driver stomps a guys head into pulp. It was an okay movie but there was lots of loose ends.

Oct 30 - 08:20 PM

Andy Hughes

Andy Hughes

Dear Mr Lane,

Yes, I agree with some of your opinions on Drive and it's shortcomings to establish a real emotional connection with the main character. Portrayed as a strong silent type, Gosling's character clearly lacks the social skills to pull off the task of having the likability needed of a main character. How long does it take to think up an answer to: "How was your day?"..Awkward pause.. I mean this guy is the king of not responding to questions he's asked so it's no surprise that he has no friends. His quiet but nice persona quickly takes a 360 degree turn when he extorts a confession of the setup from the redhead, and he continues his path of destruction with the true genius of a psychopath as he hunts down and kills every player in the heist before they find Irene and her son which is his only clear motivation at this point. Anyone who hadn't deemed him insane yet would have their chance when the audience witnesses him consider pounding a bullet into the brain of Niro using a sledge hammer. You said at the end of your article that we were deluded into learning the pain of losing our best friend, job, and commiting a series of "highly" intricate murders. The only person worthy of any emotional sympathy was Irene whose innocence and naivety only surmount her struggles as a single mother in LA.

Sep 21 - 11:42 AM

Shibumi

Neo Shibumi

There's a lot of talk about the driver archetype... The strong silent type or the man with no name... the mysterious loner archetype. I think Gosling adds a new twist to the loner archetype by infusing it with an emotionally stunted, awkward innocence. Basically, the Driver character is an amalgam of Lars from "Lars and the Real Girl" and any one of Melville's existential loners.

Sep 29 - 04:26 PM

m s.

m swen

Just wanted to point out, a 360 is a circle, leaving you right where you started- I think you meant 180, which would point you in the opposite direction.

Feb 3 - 02:12 PM

Benjamin Roden

Benjamin Roden

I think this is a pretty reasonable review by Mr. Lane. Kudos

Sep 22 - 08:15 AM

niall29

Niall Dargan

What an up its own arse review. And boring, nearly fell asleep reading it. And it seems the moronic troll Chris T has gone to ground. What a spanner.

Sep 23 - 06:47 AM

Zap Rowsdower

Zap Rowsdower

People are complaining about this Chris T, but he's giving his opinion of a film, on a film review site. So who is wasting their time? He paid money like most of us did and was disappointed.

This film is the modern art of film in the worst possible way. It's the tattoo that does not become defined until after the fact. You can tell there was no vision or heart behind this movie. It's lazier than paranormal activity. Because of how blank it is, people claim to "get it" making it synonymous with genius filmmaking.

It's a movie made by a hipster. That's it. If you are not intelligent enough to understand that, then you probably will end up liking this film or thinking "it's the best film I've seen this year". Maybe it was, but what the hell did you see? This argument will of course be met with "you just don't get it". Oh, we get it.

We were actually laughing in the theater (weren't the only ones), at the dialogue, line delivery etc. I felt like I was watching a nearly 2 hour long, short/student film shot on a 7D using the soundtrack of an all chick band in Williamsburg that records their music on old yamaha PSR keyboards straight to cassette. Or was that Stacey Q?

I got it exactly, and there are those of us who do get it and hate it because it is a hollow film, full of non characters (aside from Ron Perlman, who was set up as a video game villain for some reason. Which deliberate or not was just awful). Whether it's meant to be bad in an ironic way I have no idea, but it's bad horror, bad thriller, bad romance, bad drama. There is nothing compelling about this film other than the positive reception. It did nothing to stimulate my brain or change my perspective. I'm sure people will find the ever present "hidden meaning" that was never there nor intended to be.

I still have yet to read a positive review or just general audience review that has been able to fully articulate what makes it a good movie. It's basically a non-story, non movie that for some reason people think is genius.

My critique is based on every element as I sat there trying really hard to like it going by each minute. The film says nothing about anything. The film itself felt apathetic, as if the film itself was self-aware. Again, even if this were the intended outcome, it makes me hate it even further.

I agree that the bar really has been lowered, or at least very very crooked and confused. It's a cute experiment, but to me it ultimately sucks and is overrated. Today's general audience watches people sing karaoke on television with pepsi cups floating all over the place. So if you have any taste for anything, and expect an intelligent reception from the majority, forget it.

At the very least I'd love to see peoples top films that have given this such a positive review. They might be the same if not even lesser experienced than people who spend their time viewing movies from the "top 100 films" lists. They are probably the same that think Dark Knight and Inception were incredible and claimed "300" was their favorite film at the time. I'm basing that just on my own personal facebook friends.

I don't always go to new movies, but there is also something about a lower standard of people who see every film just because it's coming out or new. Just because it's a new film doesn't mean it's saying something new. Sadly so many pieces of art get forgotten and swept under the rug thanks to pieces of shit like this.

Sorry for the redundant ranting, but this is really meant to get my point across to people who will feel the same way. It's also why I'm posting it on a negative review, unlike some of the comment goblins.

Sep 23 - 01:44 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

Again, you're just someone who didn't like the style of the filmmaker. That's fair, but it was a film that hit the mark that its director intended, exactly. Emanual Levy, Roger Ebert and Peter Travers loved it and I see why they did. These are people who've seen more films than you or most people. They know what they're looking at. My top films? There Will Be Blood, Donnie Darko, American Beauty, Kill Bill 1&2, Jaws, The Dark Knight, Scarface, Magnolia, Inception, Boogie Nights, No Country For Old Men, The Road Warrior, The Social Network, Pan's Labyrinth, etc......

Sep 23 - 07:39 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace....

Sep 23 - 07:41 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

Taxi Driver...

Sep 23 - 07:44 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

The Terminator, Schindler's List, Black Swan, Taken, Minority Report, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.....

Sep 23 - 07:47 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

AND THIS MOVIE.

Sep 23 - 07:47 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

The Matrix, The Thing, The Fly....

Sep 24 - 04:19 PM

enohp660

Derrick Clark

I'm with you on 99% of what you're saying, but Takers sucked ass dude.

Nov 6 - 07:22 AM

A Z.

A Z

Totally agree Zap R, people were laughing at scenes that were meant to be intense and serious!

Not in the same league as Taxi Driver, Allan! Not even close!

Sep 29 - 11:20 AM

Shibumi

Neo Shibumi

There many reasons people laugh. People laugh in horror movies to release tension. People laugh when they're nervous or put in uncomfortable situations. I have to admit I laughed at first...at the awkwardness and nervous energy... the film was trying to make me feel something I had no business feeling in an gritty action flick. Until i figured out what this emotion was. It feels like first love. There's a childish wonderment in their performances... like it's uncharted territory for both of them but they're both elated to be there.

Sep 29 - 04:43 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

Absolutely in the same league as Taxi Driver. It instantly reminded me of it. Loner with a heart unleashes his demons.

Sep 29 - 07:52 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

With a slow reveal. Loved it.

Sep 29 - 07:54 PM

Alex Marshall

Alex Marshall

You have to understand, these are the same people who'd cum out of their pants watching Vin Diesel and Paul Walker race each other in muscle cars because they have no sense of story or character comprehension unless it's shoved in their faces so they don't have to think for themselves.

Oct 11 - 09:01 PM

Aladdin Sane

Aladdin Sane

I saw this when it was called 'Thief' and starred James Caan. THAT is a way better flick-this sucked.

Apr 21 - 12:07 PM

Alex Ruhsenberger

Alex Ruhsenberger

While I respect your opinion...

Sometimes the best art is ambiguous, or just tells the simplest of stories. It is a common misconception that "art" is always rooted in meaning. It often is not. This movie impressed people, because it was art, it was real, it was ambiguous, it may have lacked in originality, but it was beautifully shot, and had a lot of authentic value to it. In short: it felt very human. It mesmerized and grew on you in that way.

May 29 - 08:48 AM

Kassem Jaber

Kassem Jaber

You think going on every page and attacking people is expressing an opinion? No, Allan B is just defending of movie he likes. You're a fucking retard, Die in a fire!

Jun 28 - 03:57 PM

Kelton Williams

Kelton Williams

Zap R, having come late to this party and just watched the film, I noticed your rather extended critique. Honestly, I'm still making up my mind about it.

What I find intriguing is that you wrote such a negative opinion of the film, yet you wrote so much. Do you write such extended reviews for every film you see? To declare the film to be so insignificant, while at the same time expounding on it so much seems contradictory. In that vein, the greatest hardship for anyone who creates (be it aesthetic, narrative, or structural), is the absence of response.

That the film ignited an impulse for you to read so many reviews, and then to elaborate so extensively and eloquently suggests that you were more affected by it than, perhaps, you realize. I invite you to watch the film again and consider why the story inspired such a visceral response.

Jul 6 - 09:01 PM

Doug M.

Doug MacIsaac

For somebody who makes inflammatory claims about the intelligence of the audience that liked this movie, you seem to lack some of the characteristics of a competent critic. I can boil down your argument into four points: the characters were flat, performances were poor, the movie was apathetic, and people that like this movie are stupid.

As to the first point, this movie tries to, and succeeds at developing characters with situations rather than dialogue. A well placed pregnant pause can tell us so much more about a character than an unnecessary conversation. You put yourself above those that liked this movie, yet you lack the attention/sophistication to pick up on the most important structure of the movie, and that is your own interpretation of the characters. Drive allows you to build these characters, rather than shouting character traits at you through thinly veiled dialogue.

Secondly, dialogue. You think it was poorly delivered? Fine. Your opinion, I can't really do much other than disagree.

As for accusations of the movie's apathy, what are you trying to say? Are you arguing against a plot, that the movie would rather just be a character study with a loose cluster of events? You don't really articulate your point, you sort of just use a word that I can't fit into the grid of this movie. Further, you say that the film is apathetic as if it is self aware. Aware that it is a movie? Aware that its apathy is its defining feature? Again, you don't really pose an argument here, you just say a thing.

Fourthly, you spend MOST of your "review" on ad hominem attacks against people who have a different opinion of this movie than you do. I really feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but arguing that the argument "you don't get this" isn't valid is horribly, ironically self aware.

I loved this movie, and I can explain to you what it was that made it a good movie all day long. You are allowed to not like this movie, but you aren't allowed to site stupid, shitty reasons, and be a fuckhead about it at the same time.

As a side note, you called this a hipster movie. Seriously, fuck you and everybody else who uses that word as an argument. It makes you look like an idiot, and it is an empty insult that has lost all of its meaning.

Aug 18 - 06:43 PM

Alex Marshall

Alex Marshall

I want to make sweet love to this review.

Oct 11 - 09:05 PM

flip_torveldt

Daniel Llewellyn

Nice review. I saw this movie early, it's kind of depressing but predictable to see how stimuli starved the critical profession is that they fall for this pap.

Worse still, that deceptively empty acclaim "understated" is doing the rounds, to add further insult the claim the simply wrong. Quiet, quiet, quiet VIOLENT VIOLENT VIOLENT is hardly understated, it's a gaudy and jarring clash - it sticks out like a sore thumb. Gosling is a cypher, until he "becomes" a brutal head stomping maniac. But he also likes the nice girl and her well-mannered kid next door so uh, ok now he's "ambiguous".

Also Gosling's face is not so pretty that it bears constant scrutiny, perhaps that was intentional, but if you are made to look long enough he actually looks a bit like a gibbon.



Sep 23 - 03:16 PM

Luke Unger

Luke Unger

holy fuck you're an idiot.

Sep 16 - 03:21 AM

RomanP

Rom An

The movie is pure kitsch: a collection of effects without any causes. The director Refn looks like he spent too much playing Grand Theft Auto and watching Kill Bill. He makes Gosling looks like a ventriloquist dummy with a leather glove and nice a watch. James Bond would make minced meat of him.

If you don't understand kitsch, try comparing this to Heat, The Way of the Gun, U-Turn, Man on Fire, and A Country for Young Men. Those films bring you into a world of motives, reactions, and actions.

The elevator scene sums it up: let's have a Levi's kissing commercial scene followed by a pumpkin smashing contest. Oh, and don't forget the "Real Human Being" song in case the audience didn't 'get it'. Half the audience was laughing at my theater.




Sep 25 - 08:09 AM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

Everyone who doesn't like this movie says that half their theater was laughing or critisizing. Yawn. Look at the score. These are people all over the place coming here to vote. Truth in numbers.

Sep 25 - 03:37 PM

Luke Unger

Luke Unger

whats a country for young men please reply soon idk plz? smd?

Sep 16 - 03:22 AM

antonego

Sukesh Patro

Your attention is easily grabbed by the wrong thing Anthony. Refn did not make the movie for the attention of someone as dimwitted as you. You suck...almost as much as Chris T.

Sep 25 - 06:42 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

The Palme d'Or (English: Golden Palm) is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and this was presented to the director of this film for this film because they felt his directing WAS JUST THAT GOOD. He deserved it, period. Are you now going to say that the Cannes film festival is bought off too in addition to critics on this site? How absurd it is when you don't understand a piece of art's greatness, you say that official people are bought off. How insanely ridiculous.

Sep 27 - 11:50 PM

Transik S.

Transik Sebator

Small talk and a million bucks are worthless to all true heroes. What motivates action is quite often detrimental to the man who acts heroically; in fact, one might almost go so far as to argue that this is prerequisite to heroic action--I know I certainly would. He doesn't speak unless there is something to say and, as in life, there almost never is--he defines the limitations of his contractual obligations; he acknowledges an invitation from a child and reciprocates with a gift; he helps those who seem most in need of what small help he can offer. That he is in possession of resources beyond our ability to know is what makes him an interesting character. He has a past about which we know nothing except that through it he has come to this efficient place of silent command and disconnection. I consider this movie very much in the same line as another that was given not nearly as high praise--The American--minus the more obvious (and weaker) redemptive shenanigans. The violence in Drive has its precedents and each of its occurring scenes forwards something entirely different about the Driver than the one that precedes it. The gratuitous nature of others' violence expresses the core around which their lives are organized; for Gossling's character, the concluding barbarity of the elevator scene marks the opposite pole of what he is capable in distinct contrast to the epiphany that immediately precedes it. I hate to admit that I watched this as a bootleg, and in the version I watched, all I could see in the final scene--what I assume became the credits rolling as the soundtrack played the hero/human Tangerine Dream tune--was darkness, as if the driving just continued in my mind with glimpses of dimly lit roadside going by. No credits, nothing. It was pretty cool and would be by far the best way to end this movie. For what it's worth.

Sep 28 - 08:15 PM

Transik S.

Transik Sebator

Oh, and by the way, Diva is the influence.

Sep 28 - 08:27 PM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

Absolutely brilliant review. You'd be an excellent critic.

Sep 29 - 01:53 AM

Mike Morris

Mike Morris

your an idiot.

Sep 29 - 11:12 AM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

And you're totally smart. Everyone looks up to you and knows that you have things all figured out. I could tell just by your pic that you're rad. Totally rad and flawlessly cool. I believe that I speak for everyone here when I say, Mike, getting your approval and maybe a high-five would turn most people's worst day right around. Keep up the good work. We're all behind you.

Sep 29 - 05:09 PM

Shibumi

Neo Shibumi

"...the feelings are sponged away"

Wow...i felt exactly the opposite. I wrote the following for a positive review but I think it's more appropriate here.

I think the reason this film is getting so much praise is director Nicholas Winding Refn unique take on a standard Hollywood genre: the 80's teen love story. In an interview, Refn mentioned that he wanted to remake Sixteen Candles. Most people took this as a facetious statement, but I think he was serious and Drive is his version of Sixteen Candles crossed with the car chase genre like Bullit. More specifically, the plot feels like Bullit but the emotional core feels like Sixteen Candles. There is a honest emotional core to this film... a soul. The love story is tender and deftly told. There's such a gitty energy between Goslin and Mulligan that they can't hide their affection for each other. The soundtrack, if you can get passed the kitsch, feels like failing in love for the first time. There's a feeling of innocent love, an intense longing... completely unsexualized. The love story is the foreplay, the sex is the violence. Without one, the other feels empty.
By the end of the film when the driver is driving away and the 80's inspired synthpop blares, there's a longing... to be a better man. A longing to be a father and a husband. A longing to overcome his dark nature. As lrene knocks on the driver's door and realizes he is not there, there's an intense feeling of her wanting to be with that better man.
I think this was the director's personal statement. Literally what "drives" him. That's probably why they gave him all the awards and positive reviews.

Sep 29 - 01:59 PM

Josh Klose

Josh Klose

Drive is refreshing to say the least. Movies nowadays try to push so much character development, dialogue, 'exciting' scenes, that they forget that sometimes less is more. Because it's pacing was 'slow' and the dialogue was slim, I felt like I was holding on to each word the main character said to someone. I actually put forth the effort to pay attention to each scene because it wasn't hitting me in the head with visual noise. This film is a good reminder that not every movie is going to need to pile on the noise. Overall, it was a nice change of pace from the recent films that have been coming out in the US.

Sep 30 - 10:54 AM

Allan Bowman

Allan Bowman

Totally agree.

Sep 30 - 06:39 PM

Kaitain J.

Kaitain Jones

Yup. Absolutely right.

Jan 10 - 10:24 PM

Michael Ferrari

Michael Ferrari

you just didn't get it... that's fair

Sep 30 - 09:17 PM

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