Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Jul 19, 2013
    100
    Drive works as a great demonstration of how, when there's true talent behind the camera, entertainment and art are not enemies but allies.
  2. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Sep 15, 2011
    100
    Low-key, sleek and sophisticated, Drive provides the visceral pleasures of pulp without sacrificing art. It's cool and smart. Some critics might even call it European.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Sep 15, 2011
    100
    Few actors working today could make emotional sense of such a protean character, but Ryan Gosling does so with calm authority. He's a formidable presence in a film that grabs your gaze and won't let go except for moments when you can't help but look away.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 15, 2011
    100
    A brilliant piece of nasty business that races on a B-movie track until it switches to the dizzying fuel of undiluted creativity. Damn, it's good. You can get buzzed just from the fumes coming off this wild thing.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Sep 14, 2011
    100
    The film is little more than an exercise in style, but it's dazzling and mythic, a testament to the fundamental appeal of fast cars, dangerous men, and tension that squeezes like a hand to the throat.
  6. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Sep 13, 2011
    100
    Drive feels like some kind of masterpiece - it's as pure a version of the essentials as you're likely to see.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Sep 4, 2011
    95
    Drive not only met my hopes; it charged way over the speed limit, partly because it's an unapologetically commercial picture that defies all the current trends in mainstream action filmmaking.
  8. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Sep 4, 2011
    90
    Ultra-violent and ultra-stylish, Drive stands out in this year's Cannes competition for its calculated, hard-edged brilliance.
  9. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 15, 2011
    89
    I can't remember the last time I felt so seduced by a film.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 15, 2011
    88
    The look is artfully stylized, influenced by classic film noir; the mood is dark; the performances nuanced; and the story unnervingly exciting.
  11. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Sep 15, 2011
    88
    The movie has you from its nearly wordless opening sequence.
  12. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 14, 2011
    88
    The entire film, in fact, seems much more real than the usual action-crime-chase concoctions we've grown tired of. Here is a movie with respect for writing, acting and craft. It has respect for knowledgable moviegoers.
  13. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 14, 2011
    88
    What ultimately makes Drive so compelling is its characters - sketches given dimension and heft by a superb cast.
  14. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Sep 13, 2011
    88
    From the beginning, it's clear this is not a standard-order action film. It takes its characters as seriously as its chases, shootouts, and fights.
  15. 88
    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."
  16. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 19, 2013
    83
    Combing a memorably gritty Ryan Gosling performance with the breakneck tempo of the getaway cars his character handles for hire, Refn churns out a hyperactive love letter to road rage with unapologetic glee. It's a total blast.
  17. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Sep 15, 2011
    83
    As the film accrues intensity and awakes the demon lurking inside its protagonist, you can see it as something more than a retro-cool crime story. Rather, it's a parable of good and evil and the nature of man.
  18. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Sep 14, 2011
    83
    Among Gosling's many star-making qualities is his nuanced mastery, since "The Believer," of a facial expression of infinitely adaptable, imperturbable, sustained calm that can read as chilling or ardent, hard or soft, as the role demands.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 966 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 64 out of 336
  1. j30
    Sep 20, 2011
    10
    You're either going to love or hate this movie, as you can see from the user reviews already. Fantastic film, great on so many levels. Thank God it wasn't a Hugh Jackman Fast and the Furious film, as it was planned before Ryan Gosling got the lead. In addition he personally chose director Nicolas Winding Refn.. However, more users would have liked it if Michael Bay directed and Hugh Jackman staring. Full Review »
  2. Sep 19, 2011
    1
    This film resembles a classic case of "Bait Art" common in contemporary filmmaking, especially among young directors. They lure in film critics who are overwhelmed by a wide range of intense hollywood cinema and give them something digestible- a slow moving, short scripted, uneventful film- market it as artsy and put in some artsy music and artsy shots to complete the picture. Drive, for the rest of us, is nothing more than a ridiculously forgettable movie with some great actors. The film is painfully slow, painfully cliche and above all overdramatic in delivery. It never feels real. Made for the elitist critics, not for people like us. Full Review »
  3. Sep 19, 2011
    1
    After seeing this movie, I was first a little taken aback to discover how popular it was among the critics. I then realized why- they were attracted to its very obvious qualities of artsy-ness. It is as "TomProCritic" says. They responded to its artsy qualities- a few: long pauses for no reason, hesitation, unique camera angels, the use of techno and modern music, a kid who is not very childish...etc. The movie was dull. If you don't respond to hollow artsy crap, it falls flat. I only give it credit for having some truly terrific actors. Full Review »