Drive (2011)


Release Date: September 16, 2011

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston

Runtime: 100 min

Tagline: Some Heroes are Real

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver lands himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbour.

Drive is a hard film to place into one basket. It’s filled with crime, drama, mystery, suspense, and even some romance. There’s a great soundtrack that gives it an awesome retro vibe, and it also makes it have a great atmosphere. The pacing is slower-than-usual, but it just builds great suspense all the way with talking, where it just turns from a cool love story into a crime-filled adrenaline rush.

There’s a lot of shock value within this film. The Driver is a really interesting character that is sort of the anti-hero, but he’s also just a man who’s trying to help out a few people at once. The viewer might really feel sympathy for the guy because he’s just trying his hardest to help out Mulligan’s character, and in quite a few scenes – the high amount of violence that is shown really expresses her innocence. One scene, her shock of this violence really mirrors what the audience may be feeling. He’s a man of little words, so that may make a minority of audiences not like him. Some people just prefer dialogue, I guess…

It really is a film that one may either love or hate. Some of the concepts within the film have been done before, so a lot are just homages. However, with the retro soundtrack and the amazing atmosphere, it feels really unique.

Drive offers one of the finest experiences, and atmospheres, of 2011. It’s a superb cinematic achievement that will be talked of for years.


23 thoughts on “Drive (2011)

  1. I saw this in theatres at a midnight showing night screening and immediately bought the entire soundtrack on iTunes. It’s mostly instrumentals, but the first 3 songs alone are worth the $12 or whatever it was.

    1. That’s awesome! Are there only three songs without just instrumentals?

      Of recent memory, this is one of the best movie soundtracks. Probably my favourite soundtrack of 2011 (I’ll have to check out all the songs again and put them on my phone) and 2012 is probably Django Unchained.

      1. The first three tracks – Nightcall (AMAZING), Under Your Spell, Real Hero – are the tit’s milk. The 4th is also a “regular” song (I don’t remember the name because I always skip it… HATE it) before you get into 15 instrumental tracks, which, honestly, I can listen to at any time. Absolutely terrific soundtrack. That may be why this was my favorite movie of 2011. MOneyball was my #2, and not even close to Drive.

  2. My favorite film of 2011. I’m still better it wasn’t nominated for Best Picture–they did have that tenth spot to fill.

    Good point about the intensity of the violence contrasted with her innocence. Good review.

  3. Really was one of the better movies of 2011, and I’ll echo what someone else said about it getting snubbed that year. Still annoys me a bit. But yeah, this really did feel like a unique experience. Good review. 🙂

  4. Definitely one of the best of 2011… I dont know if its a love/hate movie though, basically everyone I’ve seen has loved it, LOL. I dont recall any bad reviews at all.

    The academy should be ashamed of themselves for not nominating this.

    1. I know that Tyson over at Head in a Vice had this face/off thing on this against two people who didn’t like it… And I’ve only run into a few people of the audience variety to not like it. It baffles me every time. Many call it too slow for their liking; but it’s so rewarding when it explodes with the violence! It baffles me whenever I run into a folk who hates it…


  5. Wasn’t my favorite of 2011 like everybody else, but still a pretty cool film that has an overbearing style and separates the audience from what could have been a pretty damn good story. Nonetheless, Gosling owns, as we all expect him to do. Good review Daniel.

    1. I adore the style. And the story’s rockin’. I enjoy the balance of style and substance. It’s great. Haha, he really does. Good thing you liked it a little lol! Thanks!

  6. Good review. One of my favorites of 2011. While it got a lot of love with the audiences (and even the critics) I wish it gained more attention come award season. Gosling reeks of cool and yes, the soundtrack is amazing. Dammit… I need to re-watch it.

    1. Thanks Nick! Some days it’s my first favourite, and other days it’s my second… I go between this and The Help for the number two spot, lol. As do I, sometimes the Academy needs to appreciate something different and cool like this… There’s something eerie about someone not saying much, their thoughts are so reserved… LOL, me too. I’m glad I’ve convinced you and Vern to watch so many films as of late hahah.

  7. Yeah, one of my all-time favorites. I listed it in my “Underrated Films” page of my blog if any of you want to check it out. Good review! 🙂

  8. Yea, I loved it. Refn seems to like silent protagonists, and I dig his style. Like you said, it may not be fast-paced, but the violence is quick and brutal when it does erupt. Albert Brooks was awesome, too.

    1. I can hardly wait for The Place Beyond the Pines. Like that motel scene… SO compelling and awesome. Yeah, he really was! It’s funny to think he was the voice of the dad in Finding Nemo and that he’s so brutal here… Awesome actor.

  9. I love this movie. Good review. Yeah, I get what you are saying because I don’t think that people outside of our blogging group of people know about Drive and have dissected it the way all of us have.

    Gotta be ones of the best scores ever. Haha

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