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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1029 Ratings

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  1. Aug 13, 2012
    The actors are good, the soundtrack is better, and the cinematography is masterful. The movie sets its self up very nicely but slowly becomes a dull thriller. The gore is so over the top, distracting, and unnecessary. The solemnity of the performances vanish every time Refn extends a scene into jarringly violent territory. Ryan Gosling is great and I really want to see more work from Refn for the most part but for right now I'm very disappointed in this movie. Violence has never affected my enjoyment for a movie as much as it did in Drive. Expand
  2. Apr 25, 2013
    Commonly mistaken as a testosterone-driven film by the trailer, Drive is a beautifully crafted art house film that creates a genre of it's own. Although it takes place in modern day, Drive gives off a very strong 80s vibe. The soundtrack, the cinematography, and Ryan Gosling make this one of the best movies to ever come out in the last ten years. Drive is definitely a movie most art and film students will be studying in the near future. Be careful though, if you expect a Transporter style movie, you will come up short. Expand
  3. Aug 14, 2012
    Drive is a movie for smart people who know that it doesn't take explosive action or over-the-top stunts to make a good movie. It is a film that is devoted to characters and storytelling rather than shoving action into the viewer;s face. While there is some action here and there, the film is built around developing the characters and using silence to build a mood that I haven't seen or felt much in other movies. Ryan Gosling doesn't say much in the film, but his performance and attitude is what makes the film. Everyone else is either good or great, but Gosling steals the show. Overall, a great movie that should not be seen as what the trailers have shown. Expand
  4. Jan 30, 2013
    "Drive" is style over substance, but it's great style! The plot is not to complex, but the cinematography, camera, score, atmosphere, pacing and actors are absolutely fantastic. Every scene is so intense, you practically feel the movie. "Drive" is perfectly edited and paced, building up tension out of thin air. If it escalates, it really escalates, and makes you jump out of your seat. A stylish, dense, violent crime drama you just have to see. The second the credits rolled, I wanted to watch it again. Expand
  5. Sep 22, 2012
    Drive is, in my opinion, the best film of the past couple of years. Better yet is that I wasn't expecting it... at all. With a title like Drive, and a pretty-boy star like Ryan Gosling (whom I had greatly underestimated until this film - poor judgment on my part), one would expect this to be a Hollywood blockbuster action movie with lots of cool chase scenes. Well it's not. In fact, there are only two chase scenes in the film, and while one is rather exciting and fits the standard bill, the other is a masterpiece. This chase opens the film, and it's not at all what you're expecting. It is slow, deliberate, and suspenseful; a driver attempts to avoid the police, on the moonlit streets of LA, not with speed and skill (though he does possess them), but with cunning. This scene sets the tone for the rest of the film: a cool, calculated, character-driven story, which doesn't say as much as it does - much like its protagonist.

    Lack of a name and lack of words make the driver a very mysterious character. We get absolutely no sense of who he was, or how he arrived at his current situation - no time lost to an over-complicated backstory. In a way, we are offered more of a description of his character than most movies would provide, but only through his actions. Stanley Kubrick was a huge believer in the importance of watching a film. It is evident in 2001: A Space Odyssey (10/10 in my book) that he urges his audience to watch rather than listen. In case you haven't seen it, the very first dialogue occurs about 25 minutes into the film, and the rest is sparse to say the least. Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn does the same, telling most of his story through body language, facial expressions, and brilliant camera work.

    Let me stop here and say that the cinematography in this film is among my favorite ever. This is possibly the most masterful aspect of the story: it unfolds so beautifully on screen.

    Refn also displays some brilliant qualities of another director, and this claim may be a bit unexpected: it's Quentin Tarantino. I'll have to clarify what I mean here. The great majority of a Tarantino film like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, or Inglourious Basterds is character development. Tarantino accomplishes this with very long and seemingly inconsequential dialogues. The rest of the movie is generally violent; by this I mean sudden, shocking, sometimes appalling violence. This effectively makes a Tarantino film very gritty, when in fact a huge portion of it is friendly dialogue about Big Macs in France, for example. The character development in Drive is very different, because it is so visual. But the rest of the movie is, like Tarantino's, extremely gritty. Folks, this is some of the most disturbing violence out there, because the realism is so great, and because the camera does not shy away. I'm not trying to say it's a gore fest. It's nothing like that, in fact. It's just so real that it hurts. I happen to think it is superb, but it definitely makes me cringe. I'm warning you right now that some of it may not be pleasant - but that's the point.

    For a much more lengthy and in-depth review, see my blog at
  6. Sep 30, 2012
    Drive will have haters as all films do, yet it's hard to deny the sheer style on display here. Neon nights and steady gazes take up a sizeable chunk of the film and those looking for an action laden thriller may find the film's cruising pace more than a little bit frustrating. But Drive is not fot those people. Those looking for a stylish, shocking and slick thriller will find plenty to enjoy in Drive and it would not be going too far as to lable it one of the finest examples of stylish film making that audiences are likely to see this decade. And whilst the ultra violent second half may repulse many, it's hard to deny that by the time the film reaches this point, the character, and his story, are truly imbedded in our hearts. Expand
  7. Jan 1, 2014
    It's not the action film the trailer promised but that's not really bad as Drive has smoothly timed violence, great performances and an amazing soundtrack. People might be put off by the pacing though.
  8. Jan 13, 2013
    After watching this film I realized that this guy really knows how to make an action film. The scenes were timed perfectly,Ryan Gosling & Albert Brooks & Bryan Cranston had good performances,and after awhile youy forget what the plot even is.
  9. Nov 28, 2012
    "Drive" proves to be a brutal drama, featuring a great performance from Ryan Gosling and carrying a uniquely slick and quiet, yet fierce atmosphere.
  10. Nov 15, 2013
    Overrated, too slow, predictable, tries too hard, and even the acting was poor. There was nothing good except for the first scene. Terrible movie.
  11. Jan 2, 2013
    "Drive" seamlessly shifts from first into fourth gear, just a bit slow out of the gate, and never quite kicks into fifth. "Drive" is the story of a Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) by day, who offers his specialized abilities as a getaway driver-for-hire in the criminal underworld by night. He finds himself a target after agreeing to aid the husband of his beautiful neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan). When the job falls apart, the only way he can keep Irene and her son alive is to do what he does best-Drive.
    "Drive" is a fine action/thriller film that is light on the storyline and dialog (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), and heavy on highly-stylized action scenes with intense moments of violence. Ryan Gosling is fantastic as usual, but I cannot get past Albert Brooks part as a complete miscast. Perhaps expectations were too high going into the viewing, because outside of Ryan's performance, I just don't think there is anything really special here.
  12. Dec 6, 2012
    Stylish and unique! One of the absolute best films of 2011. Robbed in virtually every category at the Oscars last year. A cult film that's sure to be a modern classic in time.
  13. Jan 18, 2013
    This movie is one of the best movies of 2011 i've ever seen. There is a good story and very good cast.
    I give drive a nine because I found the beginning very slowly, But it is a nice movie :-)
  14. Dec 15, 2012
    No complications, simple & been done plenty of times. The basic plot is the same as loads of films yet this stands head over heals better than them all. It's beautiful yet violent, Gsling in magnificent & has proved himself to be one of Hollywoods best & brightest & could eventually be in the same league as De Niro & co. this film is a classic & one of my all time favourites.
  15. Dec 20, 2012
    Drive pulls off a successful blend of intense violence and an artistic style of filmmaking. Not your average action flick.
  16. Dec 17, 2012
    Conciseness is often a form of skill, and "Drive" is the epitome of that. Take a movie like the Godfather, cut it in half, make it more coherent and artistic and this is what you get. "Drive" is the greatest crime movie ever made, it hangs on the edge of presenting a story so black and white, yet contains elements conveying the complexity of the characters. Too much use of dialogue makes a film seem scripted, and an obviously structured piece of media, "Drive" removes those cliches, and in offering much less, gives so much more. The lack of speaking allows you to fill in the pieces using common sense as the characters are so empathetic and so human. The casting itself mirrors that of the dialogue, no A-list celebrities are used, but we see familiar talented faces; this gives us the same sense of distancing that the dialogue gave us, but just enough there's a previous connection built to help us relate. One could go on and on about the soundtrack as well, the best I've heard in almost any movie. While almost being an action movie, "Drive" busts out stunts and intense action scenes to change the pace, however it's not blatant mainstream action at all, violence is far and few between, but so hard hitting it makes your stomach queasy, reminding you of the brutality people can live in real life. The simplicity of the movie is its strongest quality; and it doesn't need to be marked as "artsy" or "European", "Drive" is a breath of fresh air being a like a basic painting that allows your imagination to interpret it your own way like true art does. Expand
  17. Apr 3, 2013
    One of the best movies I have watched. It offers everything from romance to car chases and brutal violence. I mean how much can you ask from motion picture? I have watched this two times now.
  18. Jan 18, 2013
    Do you know that feeling when you barely know anything about the film you are going to watch because nobody has told you anything and because from the trailer you don´t know what to expect, if greatness or mediocrity... and then the result is an excellent film? Do you know that feeling? This is what happens with Drive. From the first minute I knew I was going to like it. With just the first 10 minutes (some car scenes and the credits) I was in. I loved it. Perfect pace. Great performances. Funny how these films with quiet characters say more than many other films with lots of dialogue. Ryan Gosling is perfect in the film. I give it a 8/10 Expand
  19. Jan 22, 2013
    ryan´s performance is the best. In my opinion this is the best thriller drama of 2011. the movie is slow but it's exciting and tense and the chemistry between Carey and Ryan is the best
  20. Feb 1, 2013
    Absolutely the best film of 2011! I just finished watching this movie for the second time, after almost a year in between. I purposely delayed a second viewing, thinking there was no way it could stand up to the sheer exhilaration I felt the first time I watched it, but I was wrong.
    This movie is unlike anything else I have ever seen. The opening sequence of Driver performing his job,
    has a perfect musical score, and the way that the entire sequence follows the plays of the baseball game on the radio, up to and including the first of many beautiful and unexpected moments mini-climaxes are the first indications of this movies graceful, almost shy, but still intense perfection. Many have called Driver (the unnamed protagonist) emotionless, but they clearly lack any understanding of the subtle shyness and think first speak later mentality that comes from being a lonely hermit. Driver is a true hero, as the beautiful musical score states. He is an archetype sorely missing in today's era of morally relative anti-heroes. Not that I don't love the typical anti-hero, but despite the multiple grisly murders that Driver performs throughout the second half of the film, there is never any doubting his purity and heroic nature. In the end, this is a film of contradiction. A gritty violent crime drama mixed with a subtle, shy, and tender love story. Brief but explosive action mixed into moments of pure serenity. Slow detail oriented drama building to a climax of murder, mayhem, and old school cowboy heroics. I simply don't understand how anyone could find this masterpiece of modern cinema to be anything short of perfection. Drive is the closest thing to perfection you are likely to find on Netflix or Blu-Ray any time soon, so just go watch it. You won't regret it. Expand
  21. Apr 30, 2013
    Drive is a perfect film. From the acting to the look of the film to the soundtrack this film is one of my favorites of the year. I appreciate the art house feel, but I also appreciate that there is the perfect amount of action as well.
  22. Apr 8, 2013
    This film oozes 80's from the very beginning with great music and titles setting the tone of the film and telling you this is gonna be a great looking film. The direction is amazing in every way the romance seems genuine, there is clear tension on screen when the plot calls for it. The driving scenes wouldn't look out of place in a hollywood blockbuster and the physical scenes are brutally graphic with fantastic use of slow motion in each used to great effect. I felt the direction and the driver character are intertwined; very reserved for the most part then losing control for brief periods of time. The entire film is just great not needing to have constant exposition or explanation and simply having characters share a look instead. The story is devilishly simple yet so enthralling whilst not necessarily having to speed the plot along to the resolution too fast.
    Rating 10 out of 10
    It is in this films nature to be fantastic
  23. Apr 9, 2013
    'Drive' puts aside fairy-tale plots, and excessive CGI and in-turn replaces them with 'real' characters, and a real-life, believable story; and still succeeds. Accompanied by an incredible soundtrack, 'Drive' is a movie as close to perfect, that you are ever likely to see.
  24. Apr 10, 2013
    Had a hard time watching it. So slow and boring, endless scenes with background music. It looks like and independent film, if you hate these, please don't watch it.
  25. Apr 25, 2013
    One of the stylistically greatest films of all time. The cinematography, colors, theme and music fit together to create a picture that could be easilly summed up in one word: Mirage. With the style being the movies biggest asset and the many memorable scenes the biggest flaw are the characters. None of them are given much focus exscept for Ryan Goslings character. We are supposed to interpret them ourselves but it feels like they simply fall short and could have been given more screen time. Also worth mentioning is the Tarantino-esque violence, it's simply awesome to watch. Expand
  26. May 28, 2013
    Drive is an extremely artsy semi noir movie that entertains to no end. I loved the move, its plot was amazing and its actors were flawless. The only thing I can take away from this movie is its ultra violence which at points seems unessassary. But all in all, the movie is exciting as hell and a truly amazing thrill ride. If you don't like violent movies however, you may want to pass on this one. I loved it! Expand
  27. May 28, 2013
    I have noticed (and take it from me, I have been listening) that the people who dislike this film prefer movies such as 'the fast and furious' or even the usual stallone or van damn movie. They deem those movies to be true action flicks. I disagree. This film is paced to leave each hit painful and the soundtrack keeps the watcher engulfed in the world of the driver. A great film, I have seen it enough times to be sure it deserves a ten. Expand
  28. Jun 8, 2013
    A very bad cowboys movie with a script at best uninteresting a beautiful cinematography and a horrible soundtrack. Just realized this movie looks in fact like a celebrity of our decade nice looking, nothing to say, bad taste.
  29. Jul 10, 2013
    This film is a classic for me already. Gosling is superb here and he doesn't even speak that much throughout the whole movie. He makes an impact with emotion not words. The opening scene has to be one of the best I've seen in a movie in a LONG time. The soundtrack is also great. Overall this movie has something magical about it and that kind of magic is missing from most films today.
  30. Jul 13, 2013
    The movie is silent however shows intense scenes throughout it without many words. Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, and the grandpa from weeds is in it, i forgot his name lol Great Movie!
  31. Aug 28, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I first heard about this movie at the beginning of 2012 and have wanted to see it ever since. And after seeing it, my expectations were fulfilled entirely. The romance between the driver and his neighbour is rather touching, and it really made wish for a happy ending. The driving scenes are just as good as they get, high speeds, crashes, it's got everything. But what I didn't quite expect was how this movie could go from touching to disturbing in an instant. But that just makes it that much more of an interesting film. The music was also very good and made it feel as it was almost an 80s action or crime movie. A touching, gory, action-packed movie that I believes deserves more credit than its earned. Expand
  32. Sep 15, 2013
    Overly violent without cause, and with a clunky script, Drive is a bad movie disguised as a masterpiece. This love-it-or-hate-it movie could've been so much better. And one question: did Ryan Gosling every move a facial muscle in this movie???
  33. Aug 21, 2014
    Whilst this movie is gripping from start to finish, the almost unbearable silence of Ryan Gosling's character does bring the movie down. He's mysterious, he gets the job done and speaks no word of it, but sometimes movies need dialogue. With boring character names such as "Standard" and "Irene" and a straightforward plot, there isn't much for them to talk about. However with a fantastic soundtrack and tantalizingly gory fight scenes, the movie is enjoyable to watch. Expand
  34. Jan 10, 2014
    "You have five minutes. " Gosling is simply the best nowadays, in cinema. This movie is good made. The story is witty and brilliant one. Very very nice film. Everybody has to watch it. Everybody has to wath Drive!!
  35. May 2, 2014
    "Drive", from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, feels like a love letter to film noir and crime thrillers of years past. It is an unabashedly entertaining thrill ride, free of pretensions. Refn displays an astonishing talent behind the camera. The way in which he executes violence is brilliant; the film features more than its fair share of noirish gore, both audaciously stylized and subdued. There is enough substance to match the style. Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Albert Brooks give high grade performances; Gosling proffers his character with a uniquely laconic charisma, Mulligan is softly poignant and Brooks is a chilling evocation of ruthless cunning and dastardly cowardice as the antagonist. Its storyline accomplishes being sleek and aloof, yet also quite involving; this is largely, in my opinion, down to the nostalgic feeling with which Refn instills proceedings, lending the film an eerily tender heart amid its thrills and gore. I loved "Drive". I'd definitely recommend it. Expand
  36. Apr 20, 2014
    A decent, ultraviolent film. The plot was a bit confusing, but Gosling's acting is excellent and the fim features great car chases and heartfelt moments. Still a bit boring though.
  37. Mar 3, 2014
    Very, very slow paced movie and overall very boring to watch. A few good scenes here and there are not enough to save this movie from being tedious to watch.
  38. Mar 9, 2014
    Watched this for the first time recently. An absolute masterpiece, music, setting, story, script, dialogue (wonderfully and deliberately understated) and the 'action' scenes have a very Michael Mann (Collateral-Heat).

    Don't get me wrong: this film bears little resemblance to either movie except for it's approach to dialogue. For example the chase scene at the start features a whole 3
    lines of dialogue, but the suspense is incredible. This movie really understands that to build tension you don't need the world at stake or ever-bigger explosions: it's all about perspective, pauses and consequences.

    Also the film is filled with symbolism and metaphor that is mostly quite subtle and cues you in as to the character's emotional state: for example the Scorpion on the back of his 'working' jacket ties into the old parable about that creature and the Frog. There's also this wonderful moment in the elevator just prior to a brutal, violent murder where you can just see the character start to come apart visibly. The violence is brutal, almost B-movie (ish) but all again for a purpose there are no 'gratuitous' violent scenes: all serve a purpose.

    Gosling is perfectly cast in this, and the art / style direction is meticulous and poignant at every turn: nothing, NOTHING is done accidentally in this movie or 'just because'. I found myself re-watching 2 more times after the first, seeing it with new eyes and picking up on all the little bits. All the critic awards and accolades it won it deserves and more. I for one will be closely watching the future projects of all involved.

    Almost forgot: the soundtrack is incredible. Some will rail against the 80's feeling it has to it, but again it's both perfectly fitting to what happens on-screen and furthermore all the song lyrics tie into the characters. The writing of the 'bad guys' was great also: little is done 'just because', they feel like people with their own problems and issues, and don't simply go after the Driver because 'they're evil' or any such nonsense that we've come to expect from cinema.

    My ONLY criticism is this: the chase scenes are fantastic, but they are just too short / not enough of them. I'm not expecting them to turn it into a massive long scene, and I wouldn't want them to compromise quality for quantity, but a few more seconds apiece would be great.
  39. May 22, 2014
    To me Drive is the sort of unique movie I prefer, but I realise that not everyone is of the same opinion, as many who saw this film in cinemas were expecting more intense action.

    Prior to its release the film was said to be the ideal combination of art house and action but audiences were torn, either hating its lack of thrills or loving its iconic simplicity. I personally think the ‘80s
    retro tone caters perfectly to the iconic style the director was clearly going for, but that doesn’t change the fact that this film was mistakenly advertised as a blood-pumping thriller. There are only two car chases and a handful of deaths which is surprisingly low for a supposed thriller lasting an hour and a half. In reality its slow pacing, artistic camera visuals and iconic aesthetic make it an artsy neo-noir throwback.

    This is all the more enhanced by its ideally suited features and symbolic nature. The soundtrack for instance is almost completely ethereal Electro, feeding that ‘80s retro theme throughout and showing that paced visuals combined with correctly selected music can work equally as well as lengthy dialogue, adapting the film’s tone to the state of the characters onscreen as a means of unconventional storytelling.

    Despite the lack of dialogue however, the characters and the relations between are interesting and not without proper progression. Gosling’s character as a simple but violently deadly driver was strangely appealing but unnerving as the movie goes on. I thought the most refreshing relationship in the film was the relationship between Gosling’s character and the love interest’s son. Even with the Driver’s apparent lack of depth as a person, he is shown to greatly care about his neighbour and her son and willing to risk his life for them. Whilst caring for the love interest is nothing particularly unique, the fact that this film focuses a little more on the protagonist caring for a boy is surprising at the least, especially considering the movie’s neo-noir aim. It gives me the impression that the director really wanted to make a film as iconic and gritty as it is uniquely soothing.

    The fact that this film was not the extreme action-packed thrill ride it was advertised to be was annoying for many at release but perfectly fine by me, as what we got instead was a visually appealing tale of vengeance and grit, tailored for fans of the neo-noir genre.
  40. Sep 6, 2014
    Drive is marvelous!A truly misunderstood and meticulously crafted film full of incredibly lovable moments.With a beautiful soundtrack that captures the powerful emotions and the fantastic screenplay,this movie is nothing more than a masterpiece.
  41. Sep 30, 2014

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
    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: Eric Kohn
    Jul 19, 2013
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Jul 19, 2013
    Buckle up; it's quite a ride.