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4.0 out of 5 stars
Drive [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2015
Real score: 5 stars
Adjusted for Amazon reviewers getting it wrong: Many got it wrong but I can't score it any higher, so 5 stars.

I watched this film a second time recently. On this viewing I was almost sober and so I have a much better idea of what I loved about the film so much the first time round.

Firstly, I actually have a criticism from this viewing. The relationship between Irene and the Driver seems stilted, and frankly quite vapid. I found myself on the very edge of beginning to switch off in the period between Irene and her child being driven home from the mechanic's to their home and the little detour that entails up until the point where Standard returns. The chemistry seemed too clinical and distant, consisting mostly of some longing looks and sheepish grins with trendy (admittedly great but still trendy) music playing in the background.

I think that is the worst criticism I can muster, and I've almost certainly exaggerated its effect by isolating it. Other than this very specific fault I think the movie may be flawless. It's like an updated Blade Runner; neo-noir, tinged with the flashy neon-soaked glamour of the eighties and dystopian futurism (neon-noir, if you like). Like the second Godfather movie it portrays crime as something that doesn't pay, something that is dirty and soul-destroying, but which clearly once had its glory day. In many ways it is also a film about movies; the excitement and wonder of car-chases which are played out on screen and in reality by the Driver, but also the exploitative and seedy side, the money men behind the films of the eighties who saw it as another way of making money, along with drugs and violence. The Driver himself is both a heroic action figure and a jaded mentally disturbed criminal who has grown up in a country where the huge back catalogue of fifties noir and seventies and eighties action movies are embedded in the national psyche. We're not talking about Taxi Driver, where Travis Bickle, driving around the rain slicked streets of New York, sees himself as some avenging angel. We're talking about someone who is a real life hero who is designed for his environment, but who struggles to stay ahead, right up until the ambiguous ending, and who has to resort to some of the methods and extremities of his opposition to survive. He really lives what Travis Bickle wants to live, but in a brilliantly post-modern way this is no longer acceptable in "mainstream" society, as can be seen by Irene's reaction after the scene in the lift. It's as if the Driver is aware of both the fictional world he lives in while simultaneously being aware of the real world; like if, in Commando, Schwarzenegger suddenly took stock of the body-count and had a mental breakdown.

Asides from the philosophical fallout of the film, the style involved in bringing it to the screen is unbelievably slick and cool: the opening scene is even more brilliant than I first thought, even excepting the soundtrack; the beach scene is unbelievable; the build up of tension in the pawn shop heist; the massive contrast in every violent act that takes place in the film, between sensuality/beauty/calm and sudden and explosive violence. It is a film where we feel every violent experience, as does the Driver, as he begins wandering the streets in an increasingly bloodied silver jacket. In a atmosphere where we are increasingly told we are becoming desensitised, there is a gut response to every violent act here.

Lastly, in terms of the neo-noir elements, its nice to see a film as convoluted and complex as some of the noirs of old. Along with the Driver himself we often have very little idea what is going on, who is behind various actions and what their motivation is. This is never more obvious than in the aftermath of the pawn shop heist. Having seen the film twice I'm still not entirely sure about what happened.

Of course this review is in danger of become as rambling as I was trying to avoid. Suffice to say, Drive now has a firm place in my top ten or fifteen favourite films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2013
It's a slow film which still managed to get me on the edge of my seat, not many slow films have that effect. Great acting by Ryan Gosling he has some amazing screen presence which helped me get sucked into the storyline.
As i was watching the first scene with Gosling driving for the 2 lads doing a robbery, i automatically compared the film to The Transporter. After that scene it took a different turn and slipped into something quite original that i don't think i've ever seen before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2014
One of my favourite movies of the last few years.Has everything in that i love in a movie .Firstly Los Angeles , i dont know what it is about the city but its my favourite USA city especially when its used for a movie.Live and die in LA,Point break and Colleteral.Secondly the music fits perfectly so much i downloaded a few songs from the movie.
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on 27 January 2013
This review is for my nephew, who bought the DVD before me, and has asked me ever since I bought it for myself, in late 2012 if I had watched it yet - well, yes I have finally gotten round to watching it. So, was it worth the money and the wait? The answer to both questions is yes. In fact it's an almost flawless film. Let's start with the good points. 1 - The story and 2 - The driving sequences. I would have liked to have seen his stunt work a little more, but this is of little consequence. The scenes in which Standard and Blanche die are so transparent, but this again is no problem. The only problem I really had were most of the scenes with Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. He (Gosling) had a good on-screen chemistry with Standard's son, but in the scenes with the boy's mother, the two characters hardly spoke to each other; and to me, this just slowed the pace of the movie down a little too much. Taking all things into consideration, it is a very good movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2015
Really love this film even though it is not the best story line. It's got a classic story line, very violent in parts and the ending is not well tied up but could be so they can make a sequel. This may be not everyone's cuppa tea but it is mine !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2014
Gosling can play the sultry soul better than most, and in Drive he proves this! The fact that in total he has approx 15 lines in the whole film, he is just unbelievable! This film is so underrated by critics. It is a masterpiece!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2012
I admit my title is a bit of an in joke for everyone who has seen this absolute gem of a movie.
I actually went to see this movie after watching a youtube trailer the night before. I usually go see at least one movie a week and truth be told the movie I wanted to see was a big budget multi million dollar affair and a 12A which usually means to me tons of kids talking and not watching the movie. In particular when I saw the crowds of kids going into screen 1 and I was heading into screen 11 I was filled with a certain amount of relief.

This absolute belter of a movie is simple, a young loner who acts as a getaway driver, stuntman and mechanic. Also bit of an insomniac. First of all I defy anybody not to love the soundtrack. It is an awesome 80s throwback of music and themes which had me spellbound and I still have the main 3 songs on my ipod. The film is either very bright or very dark almost gothic, it works though. When there is violence you see where the 18 rating comes in very nasty. I actually liked the character played by Ryan Gosling despite being a little pschotic at times but the irony of the whole film is that trouble finds him not the other way round. I have since bought this on blu ray and enjoyed it just as much at home. I strongly suspect that this is on its way to becoming a cult classic if it isnt already. My only regret is that with most films like this which are well made and acted they get nowhere near the coverage on the big screen as they are pushed out by politics and the big boys.

Please enjoy.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2012
It is very nice to see a few derisive reviews in an otherwise sea of 5 stars.However i am afraid mine is another thumbs up jobbie.Purely on a technical level Drive deserves 5 stars,the look of the film and lighting is simply lush.To anyone in the know there is a lot of similarities to Walter Hills The Driver and the godlike Two Lane Backdrop.Plus a palpable reverence to Micheal Mann's Thief.
To be honest a modern film referencing these is not a problem at all in my humble opinion.Far more this then the constant sausage factory recurgitation of every conceivable horror movie or slasher.
Ryan Gosling is a matchstick in the mouth,sullen quiet stuntman who also has a sideline in driving getaway cars.
I suppose you would say he's an existentialist action hero,though i doubt very much Goslings character knows or even thinks about this rather complex thought.No....he's far too busy,catatonic in thought,being cool and stuff.
Theres a few gangsters,jobs gone wrong and a broad to protect all told in a dayglo version of noir,i would say "neo noir" if i knew exactly what this term meant.
Drive tells its haiku style story in images rather then words,a style i like and which is constantly taught by script writer teachers in seminars "show...don't tell".
The romance in the movie is never quite fulfilled,always the best way and through this there is a very nice longing,yearning portrayed on screen.Rather nice.
The violence is beautiful in a sort of splurting,colourful way and there are a few very iconic in the making shots.
I especially liked when Gosling was wearing a latex mask.
I did wonder if Gosling was the right man for the job,a silent character demands a gravitas.In the earlier part of the film he kind of has a constipated smirk which i believe wasn't the intention.But when the film froths Gosling does a good job.No one will however top the pure laconic coolness of Dennis Wilson in Two Lane Blacktop in my mind.
The soundtrack to this movie is perfect.All in all a strong Hollywood movie with a good heart and ambition.
Beautifully composed,cool as a cucumber.
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on 2 December 2012
Watched this film at a friends house and was quite taken with it and bought it the following day.
I really liked it and the way it had that 80s feel to it. The music choice through out the film can not be faultered. I felt that ryan goslings character could perhaps have had better scripting he really didnt say alot although his perfomance was good. Hes an actor that some people have problems getting to grips with but i like him. The Actors and characters picked for the film all play there parts brilliantly
All in all i give it 5 stars. being that its the best film ive seen in a while, alot of films are full of special effects and a crap story line.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2013
As ever Ryan Gosling is superb. This man has such screen presence. For once the main characters don't jump into bed the first chance they get which makes for a much more believable story. Understated performances from Carey Miligan and Gosling.
Indebtedness extends beyond prison and Gosling is unwittingly caught in a chain of events from which he struggles to escape.
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