Drive - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Drive Reviews

Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
June 24, 2013
What it had going for it was an uncanny and moving relationship between Gosling and Mulligan.
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Tom Huddleston
Time Out
September 21, 2011
Sure, it's shallow, but it's also slickly compelling, beautifully crafted and so damn shiny.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
September 20, 2011
In grabbing our attention, [Refn] diverts it from what matters. The horror lingers and seeps; the feelings are sponged away.
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
September 16, 2011
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.
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
September 16, 2011
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.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
September 16, 2011
Drive is pedal-to-the-metal stuff. Don't get behind the wheel unless you can take the rush.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
September 16, 2011
This is no antic-frantic affair; instead, it's a cerebral game of stop-and-go, hide-and-seek, as the director behind the camera handles things exactly like the guy behind the wheel - with a stylish mixture of cold calculation and cool aplomb.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
September 16, 2011
The pace of this film is a beautiful thing to behold, as Drive is a patient but taut thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 16, 2011
For stone-cold, retro action fans who are tired of all these over-edited, underachieving thrillers - well, here's one car chase movie that isn't running on empty.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
September 16, 2011
Anyone watching Drive won't be able to take their eyes off Gosling. Playing a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a wheelman for criminals, he rocks like a young Steve McQueen or Robert De Niro.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
September 16, 2011
Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn neatly manage the hat trick of paying homage to those wheelmen of yore while reinvigorating the genre with style, smarts and flashes of wit.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 16, 2011
It's fun, but the script, credited to Hossein Amini ("The Wings of the Dove"), is short on characterization and long on plot twists and wisecracks.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
September 15, 2011
It's a film in love with both traditional noir mythology and ultra-modern violence, a combination that is not ideal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 15, 2011
The look is artfully stylized, influenced by classic film noir; the mood is dark; the performances nuanced; and the story unnervingly exciting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
September 15, 2011
Mainstream audiences will probably be confounded by "Drive," while lovers of gritty filmmaking will defend every exaggerated shotgun wound as art. Know which camp you're in before you enter the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
September 15, 2011
For all the movement in Drive, the quiet, deathly still moments are the ones that count.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
September 15, 2011
The first half of Drive unfolds like a romantic reverie.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
September 15, 2011
Tasty, if sketchy, modern noir with car chases and bloody action that should turn the trick for genre-seeking audiences.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
September 15, 2011
[Gosling] and this powerful film, which is ultimately about a moment of grace, deserve each other. He's the medium's most graceful minimalist.
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Jessica Winter
TIME Magazine
September 15, 2011
To invest oneself emotionally in the central relationship, or the movie itself, would be akin to investing oneself emotionally in one's car. But when the car looks this good and drives this fast, why not?
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
September 15, 2011
"Drive" is somber, slick and earnest, and also a prisoner of its own emptiness, substituting moods for emotions and borrowed style for real audacity.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
September 15, 2011
"Drive" is a fine and stylish, if ultraviolent, ride, filled with unexpectedly askew camera angles, nighttime lighting worthy of Raymond Chandler, and nuanced performances.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
September 15, 2011
Enters the viewer like a sharp unseen blade.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 15, 2011
A shamelessly entertaining genre movie from director Nicolas Winding Refn that plays like an exalted episode of Miami Vice or a stealth version of Shane.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
September 15, 2011
There's a sleek, pulse-pounding, heart-racing machine in Drive, but it's buried deeply under an oppressive package of optional extras. For all of its good ideas -- and there are plenty of them -- the film eventually buckles under an excess of style.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
September 15, 2011
Sometimes a movie knows you're watching it. It knows how to hold and keep you, how, when it's over, to make you want it all over again.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 15, 2011
Drama requires emotions and cool requires their suppression. The tautly paced, peerlessly stylish crime drama "Drive" has it both ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
September 15, 2011
Though it easily surpasses most American action flicks, it suffers from the old commercial imperative of making the protagonist a nice guy, something Refn has seldom bothered with in Europe.
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 15, 2011
The abrupt shifts between neo-noir fatalism and white-knight romanticism could give an unsuspecting viewer whiplash, but Refn has a trusty map and keeps his hands on the wheel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
September 15, 2011
Before long, and then with grinding relish, "Drive" becomes one garishly sadistic set piece after another.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
September 15, 2011
At a time when action films routinely pass off freneticness as excitement, Drive is a reminder of how powerful the genre can be when every shot and every line of dialogue has a purpose, deployed for maximum impact.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 15, 2011
Here is still another illustration of the old Hollywood noir principle that a movie lives its life not through its hero, but within its shadows.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 15, 2011
What ultimately makes Drive so compelling is its characters - sketches given dimension and heft by a superb cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 14, 2011
Drive revels in sensory detail; it's a visually and aurally edgy Euro-influenced American genre movie about the coolness of noir-influenced American genre movies about the coolness of driving - especially in L.A.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
September 14, 2011
Think of "Drive" as the cinematic equivalent of riding in a car that projects a fashionably stylish image. Sure, the gas mileage may be terrible and the engine unreliable, but it's such a smooth, good-looking ride that you'll put up with the annoyances.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
September 14, 2011
Pulsating...very cool. Could have used a little more "driving," though.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
September 14, 2011
Drive feels like some kind of masterpiece -- it's as pure a version of the essentials as you're likely to see.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
September 14, 2011
Gosling's masculine, minimalist approach makes him mysteriously compelling. Yes, there's the fact that he's gorgeous. But he also does so much with just a subtle glance, by just holding a moment a beat or two longer than you might expect.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
September 13, 2011
The film... has a kind of daredevil control, swerving dangerously close to and abruptly away from self-parody.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 13, 2011
Perhaps Drive is an action movie for those who don't ordinarily like action movies. It's also an action movie for those who crave them like a drug.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
September 12, 2011
...Two-thirds' worth of a pretty good to quite good action picture and one-third worth of affected, highfalutin, practically insufferably portentous, pretentious malarkey.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 12, 2011
Why would Gosling, a fascinatingly cerebral actor, take a role so far inside his comfort zone? Does he long to strike action-icon poses -- to be the new Nic Cage?
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
September 8, 2011
Buckle up for the existential bloodbath of Drive, a brilliant piece of business that races on a B-movie track until it switches to the dizzying fuel of undiluted creativity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
September 8, 2011
Tense car chases, action scenes handled with crisp panache and Canadian actor Ryan Gosling channelling Steve McQueen as an existential wheel man add up to make Drive one of the best arty-action films since Steven Soderbergh's The Limey.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
May 23, 2011
"Drive" builds extraordinary tension before exploding in brief outbursts of shocking violence, almost in the mode of a samurai film.
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Mike D'Angelo
AV Club
May 20, 2011
At least half a dozen scenes are burned into my memory for life, including not one but two of the most jarring, heartbreaking juxtapositions of tenderness and violence this side of classic Kitano.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
May 20, 2011
Drive takes the tired heist-gone-bad genre out for a spin, delivering fresh guilty-pleasure thrills in the process.