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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story of stuntman by day and a getaway driver by night
This movie initially reminded me of Michael Mann's cinematography of the 1980s, in terms of the sound track, the vibrant colours, the use of landscapes and modes where the heroic protagonists occupy a somewhat secret world, away from ordinary concerns. There is a feel of stylishness and emotional intensity and sexual subtext and strong violence. However, where this splits...
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If only Albert Brooks' character had produced the film
A very self-conscious throwback to 70s and 80s neo-noir that never would have got off the starting block in those days, it’s not entirely surprising that Drive was beloved by critics but failed to parlay that festival acclaim into popular success. It’s a very thin tale of Ryan Gosling’s sometime getaway driver, sometime stunt driver who gets involved...
Published 6 months ago by Trevor Willsmer


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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing change, 15 Jan 2012
This review is from: Drive [Blu-ray] (2011) (Blu-ray)
Drive won't be everyone's cup of tea but it is a breath of fresh air. A fairly basic storyline has been developed into something much more thought provoking than could have been expected. Ryan Gosling's "Driver" is the classic "Man with no name" from an old western. He appears in town with no back story, speaks minimally and deals with bad guys in extremely violent ways. This is no Fast & Furious movie. At times it's slow paced and it's stylised to look like an eighties movie, complete with regular musical montages. The film is split into two acts, the first hour is a steady build up, high on atmosphere, the last half hour or so is a violent revenge story. The film ends leaving the viewer with a few unanswered questions, but enough information to piece together your own conclusions. It's a shame there aren't a few more films like this being made these days. The soundtrack is brilliant too, a real eighties throwback. And the film gets better with repeated viewings.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Violently intelligent... intelligently violent..., 9 April 2012
By 
Robert Machin (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drive [DVD] (DVD)
Great film? Shallow, derivative genre piece? At times, watching 'Drive', it's really hard to say. I've watched it twice now, once on a tiny seat-back screen on BA, again at home on widescreen. Both times I found it utterly engrossing, despite manifold flaws - or questionable decisions at least - in tone, casting and plot. Second time around, I wondered if Ryan Gosling was the weak link - the absence of dialogue (as action heroes go, he's very much the strong silent type) is fine, but that half-smirk starts to grate after a while, making him seem more of a puppet than I'm sure was intended. Carey Mulligan is becoming a great screen presence, and plays the part well, but is she right for the role? Why is she so sweet, so emotionally neutral, in the midst of all this? I'm not sure that I believe her. Then the episodes of ultraviolence... not entirely gratuitous, but maybe just a little too much, tipping over into gore-porn?

The scene in the elevator is truly ghastly, and brings these concerns together. Do we have to see that? And would Gosling's character really behave that way? Yet it's a critical scene in the movie too... his sweaty, guilty pallor as he turns away to look at Mulligan's terrified, horrified face brings out something in his character that's only been alluded to previously - that he's a man with a past about which we know little, but which probably ain't pretty. Those nerveless driving skills didn't come from nowhere, and, married to the bum job and the cheap apartment, the lonely, friendless existence, it all seems to suggest witness protection, or at least a powerful need to maintain a low profile. Masks figure at both ends of the film - this is a man who is Not All He Seems.

So more than a violently intelligent, hard-boiled B-movie of the old school? It certainly resonates more than that description would suggest - it's fascinating for the sheer number of influences that get wrapped up into what is at heart a pretty straightforward heist-gone-wrong movie. At random, I was thinking about Eastwood, Bogart, Tarantino of course, Walter Hill, Taxi Driver... in fact, you can go a lot further back than that and see Gosling's character in the ancient tradition of the knight in shining armour (the silver jacket and car) defending the fair lady (their relationship is certainly chaste and courtly enough). It's a cineaste's movie, for sure, but it's not sterile in the way such movies often are - more, it's a fan's movie, and reminded me of nothing so much as Reservoir Dogs [DVD]- the low budget, the visceral, bloody impact, the existential absence of any real context, the sense of visual style... If you liked Reservoir Dogs, but have reservations about everything else Tarantino has done since, this may well be the movie for you.

So 4 stars - not so much for greatness (I'm still not sure) but for being a) not boring b) always challenging c) a relentlessly involving watch.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool, violent and a central character borrowed from a better film, 16 Jan 2013
By 
J. R. Dersley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drive [Blu-ray] (2011) (Blu-ray)
With all that other reviewers have said I'm not going to go into lengthy narrative. It's a film in which the central, unnamed "driver" (Ryan Gosling) has very little dialogue but the two gangsters are characteristically given lots of colourful lines. Carey Mulligan serves her purpose as the waif-like woman who with her little boy breaks through to the driver's soft centre. There are other characters like Blanche, a trashy girl criminal, who are well-played. The violence is not excessive in my view given the subject matter; indeed one episode is portrayed mainly by the shadows of the combatants. Overall it's an atmospheric film, well made but of no lasting consequence.

Those who like it should seek out a better film of the same type, "The Driver" directed by Walter Hill with Ryan O'Neal in the title role (not the normal choice of role for him). He too says very little, is unnamed and opens up because of a girl, but in that film he's up against a cop as devoid of humanity as he is. There's also a similar running conflict between the driver and robbers who want his services. Check it out, it's a little gem!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a marmite film, 8 Feb 2014
By 
tallmanbaby (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Drive [DVD] (DVD)
Stuntman by day, getaway driver by night, Gosling falls into love and ends up fighting for his life.

I thought I was in a real treat with this film, it has gained endless glowing reviews and awards. However it ended up like the blind date from hell, dull and unpleasant. After some nice driving round Los Angeles it settled down to a baby faced Ryan Gosling and a childlike Carey Mulligan staring at each other, without saying much. There was a growing sense of menace, like watching two children playing with matches in a paddling pool full of petrol, you knew it was all going to end badly. After a dull first half, there was a dreamlike and sporadic series of violent events.

I know that lots of people love this film, but I cannot really think of anything I liked about it. It is not badly made, the acting is good, the cinematography is nice, but to be honest I really found this a tough watch.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of the best movies of 2011, 25 April 2012
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This review is from: Drive [Blu-ray] (2011) (Blu-ray)
This is such a brilliant movie. Albeit violent in parts, it has a feel-good side to it too. You do wonder about the drivers obvious mental state - bordering between psychotic and OCD. Also his obsession with a woman he only holds hands with. It's not high on dialogue, but that's the sort of movie it is. Some movies don't need tonnes of dialogue to be brilliant. Bit like Bullitt in some ways (and thats one of my fav movies of all time).

Great acting, great movie, fantastic soundtrack. Soundtrack is one of the best I've ever heard. Blu-ray HD quality is pretty good, and still keeps that cheesy 80's feel. I get a little more out of it each time its watched. Recommend it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "..AWESOME 80'S STYLE THRILL RIDE..", 21 April 2012
By 
S. Drury "SDX-800" (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drive [Blu-ray] (2011) (Blu-ray)
This movie is one of the years big surprise hits with a brilliant story that is executed with style and paced out so well with plenty of action and drama and explicit violence! The entire cast is brilliant and believable and create very real gritty characters that you can really follow, a very slick and stylish and very original take on a gangster thriller with a hint of a love story, this is probably one of the years best movies so make sure you check it out.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something about you boy, 7 May 2012
This review is from: Drive [DVD] (DVD)
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parfait Gentil Knight, 17 Sep 2012
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Drive [DVD] (DVD)
Drive is an odd film, its hero is strangely other-worldly in his platonic romance with another man's wife. Yet at the same time he is capable of extreme violence (lots of skull crushing noises for your delectation). In between extreme action he drifts a bit driving the lonely streets in search of an arthouse meme. I thought the ending was a bit of a cop-out but it is otherwise a rather good modern version of a chivalric geste (the noble hero, the damsel in distress, the condign punishment visited on the evil) delivered by actors who all count to two before emoting. The action, when it came, made the dreamy stuff acceptable. Some others have a different view and you need to think about this before watching.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO GOOD SHARKS, 31 Jan 2012
This review is from: Drive [DVD] (DVD)
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You put this kid behind the wheels, there is nothing he can't do...", 17 Oct 2011
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Drive [Blu-ray] (2011) (Blu-ray)
The films protagonist, an unnamed driver, works as a stuntman. It's not as glamorous as it sounds and he supplements his income with his side-line as a getaway driver - using his skills behind the wheel to get his clients to-and-from jobs quickly, and more importantly without being caught. It's a vicious underworld and the Driver becomes involved in a political wrangle between factions which threaten his life and those around him. So far he has carefully managed his 'second job', ensuring that it doesn't mix with his private life but events start to spiral out of his control. A potential romance makes things even more complex for a man who is used to being in command of his life.

Nicholas Winding Refn won Best Director award at Cannes and it's clear to see why. This is a stylish film with a pretty unique look to it, minimalism is the key here and making things look effortless often takes a great amount of effort. There's a distinctly retro (or at least '80s) feel to Drive, the electro-synth music wouldn't sound out of place on Electric Dreams or a Paul Newman CD, even the font used for the opening credits looks like the hand painted style reminiscent of the Footloose or Dirty Dancing title! It's a slickly directed film but it ignores any modern imagery, there are no iPhones or Wi-Fi dongles here - the absence of modern cultural references give it a timeless look and this could just have easily been released either 20 years ago, or even in 10 years time. The music is best described as mood music, it's actually one of the most effective soundtracks I've heard for a while and is very emotive, guiding you into a state of mind fitting the scene. In addition, there are many scenes with no background music at all - instead director Refn uses ambient noise and silence to create a tense atmosphere. Dialogue is often sparse too, but an extended glance or thoughtful expression can mean so much and such subtle moments can give us a tremendous insight into what's going on the heads of the characters we are watching.

It's body language rather than dialogue which drives the chemistry between the driver and his neighbour Irene, unlike many other movie relationships it develops slowly and their first tentative interactions are realistically awkward. The prolonged silences are intense, they provide what dialogue would struggle to convey, their relationship is compelling to watch and feels natural - the first 30 minutes of this film would have occurred within 5 minutes in a lot of Hollywood blockbusters, but the slow pace is an investment, making the central relationship believable ensures that you care what happens to them. It certainly doesn't feel acted.

I've read some criticism over the casting but the actors seem to bring the roles to life well. Ryan Gosling makes the most of the lead and has depth even with the long gaps between any words being spoken. I've always liked Carey Mulligan who always seems to bring a maturity beyond her years, here she utilises her micro-acting style to say a great deal with a smile or seemingly deliver several paragraphs of dialogue in just a few words - the two are perfectly suited to the minimalist style of the film. One thing which isn't subtle here though is the violence, there aren't that many instances of it (compared to a lot of other movies) but there are some brutal scenes, one in particular is quite graphic and it affects the realism of the film - the atmosphere is shattered for moment and it becomes fiction again, it doesn't seem to quite fit with the overall style. Something I was pleased to see was the overall message that in the criminal world allegiances and loyalties mean nothing - it is a welcome contrast to many other features which depict violent gangsters as virtuous groups who work to a strict moral code, hyper-violence isn't ethical and Drive doesn't try to make it so.

In a nutshell: Not much happens but it's mesmerising. It proves that you don't need constant explosions and fast-paced action sequences to keep people's attention, slow motion, atmospheric audio and character development is doubly effective. There are some who will find this boring though, if you're expecting an action film then you may be surprised - hopefully pleasantly so. This may not be the sort of film you'll watch again and again, but it's certainly an intense watch the first time around.
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Drive [DVD]
Drive [DVD] by Nicolas Winding Refn (DVD - 2012)
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