Drive

Drive

4.2 14
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Cast: Nicolas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston

     
 

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A lone-wolf Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) moonlights as a freelance getaway wheelman, and he finds his solitary existence taking on new meaning after befriending Irene (Carey Mulligan), the lonely wife of convicted felon Standard (Oscar Isaac), and her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos). When StandardSee more details below

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Overview

A lone-wolf Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) moonlights as a freelance getaway wheelman, and he finds his solitary existence taking on new meaning after befriending Irene (Carey Mulligan), the lonely wife of convicted felon Standard (Oscar Isaac), and her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos). When Standard gets released from prison and is strong-armed into committing a bold daytime robbery, the Driver offers his services in an effort to help the repentant ex-con cut his ties to the criminal underworld. Things get complicated, however, when the robbery goes unexpectedly awry, and the Driver just barely manages to escape alive. When the take from the job proves to be stratospherically higher than the Driver was led to believe, it quickly becomes apparent that they were set up. Later, thugs threaten to kill Irene and Benicio, and all evidence points to transplanted New York crime boss Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and his hot-headed partner Nino (Ron Perlman) as the masterminds. As the Driver attempts to turn the tables on them, it becomes clear that the chain of command goes much higher than he could have ever anticipated.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Ryan Gosling is a Steve McQueen-style knight in tarnished armor in Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, a slick urban fairy tale punctuated by shocking bursts of graphic violence, and distinguished by its stylized, yet uncompromisingly classical approach to material that could have easily become clichéd and forgettable in the hands of a lesser filmmaker. A sort of art-house Fast and the Furious for audiences weary of whiz-bang over-editing and empty bombast, it bears the unmistakable mark of a modern auteur by being at once intensely modern and obsessively retro, and it serves as an exciting reminder that filmmakers needn't necessarily sacrifice story and character for intense action. A lone-wolf Hollywood stunt driver (Gosling) moonlights as a freelance getaway wheelman, and he finds his solitary existence taking on new meaning after befriending Irene (Carey Mulligan), the lonely wife of convicted felon Standard (Oscar Isaac), and her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos). When Standard gets released from prison and is strong-armed into committing a bold daytime robbery, the Driver offers his services in an effort to help the repentant ex-con cut his ties to the criminal underworld. Things get complicated, however, when the robbery goes unexpectedly awry, and the Driver just barely manages to escape alive. When the take from the job proves to be stratospherically higher than the Driver was led to believe, it quickly becomes apparent that they were set up. Later, thugs threaten to kill Irene and Benicio, and all evidence points to transplanted New York crime boss Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and his hot-headed partner Nino (Ron Perlman) as the masterminds. As the Driver attempts to turn the tables on them, it becomes clear that the chain of command goes much higher than he could have ever anticipated. At first glance, the plot of Drive sounds like the setup for your standard, adrenaline-saturated Hollywood actioner. In the capable hands of Refn and screenwriter Hossein Amini, however, it gradually takes on the vibe of a gritty, contemporary fable -- complete with a noble hero, a damsel in distress, and despicable villains. Refn, an ambitious filmmaker with an eclectic filmography, works carefully to perfect a seductive, ethereal rhythm that subverts the pedal-to-the-metal car-chase flick. Scenes that would typically feature a dozen edits play out in long, single takes featuring assured camera movements that heighten the suspense, and the electronic-heavy score evokes mesmerizing memories of Tangerine Dream. The simmering chemistry between Gosling and Mulligan, meanwhile, gives Drive the aching air of a forbidden romance. Soon after their first meeting, it's obvious that the two characters are drawn to one another. It's when circumstances conspire to keep them apart that things really start to get interesting. But there's no jealousy, bitterness, or resentment between the Driver and Irene once their relationship reaches its limit, and by giving the Driver a sense of stoicism and moral ambiguity, Refn and Amini create a compelling character who is unquestionably flawed, but still honorable in his own unique way. Likewise, the supporting characters are painted with equal complexity: A desperate man drawn somewhat helplessly into a dire situation, Standard is a far cry from the ex-con stereotype, and Isaac brings his inner conflict to the surface in a manner that evokes genuine sympathy. And while Bernie is essentially Albert Brooks with psychotic impulses, it's precisely that easygoing amiability that evokes such unrelenting tension once the situation takes a turn for the worst. Bryan Cranston, who recently managed to make the rare transition from sitcom star to respected actor thanks largely to his role in AMC's Breaking Bad, makes a big impression as Shannon, the garage owner who took the Driver under his wing after recognizing his inherent wizardry behind the wheel and under the hood. Perlman's Nino is just about the only character in the primary cast that could be accused of being entirely one-dimensional, but even so, the popular character actor makes him completely watchable. Throughout his career, Nicolas Winding Refn has proven that measured violence can be the most effective. Much like his previous film -- the ultra-polarizing Valhalla Rising -- the bloodshed in Drive is brief but shockingly brutal when it eventually happens. But as proven in a climactic confrontation that unfolds entirely in shadow, Refn also exercises restraint in a manner that's strikingly artful and keeps us teetering nervously on the edge of our seats. Young directors would do well to take a cue or two from Refn when it comes to telling an engrossing story, because when a filmmaker with real vision is at the wheel, even the familiar can feel fresh, new, and exciting.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/31/2012
UPC:
0043396392311
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:40:00
Sales rank:
9,892

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ryan Gosling Driver
Carey Mulligan Irene Carey
Bryan Cranston Shannon
Albert Brooks Bernie Rose
Oscar Isaac Standard
Christina Hendricks Blanche
Ron Perlman Nino
Kaden Leos Benicia
Jeff Wolfe Tan Suit
James Biberi Cook
Russ Tamblyn Doc
Joey Bucarro Chauffeur
Tiara Parker Young Woman
Tim Trella Hitman #1
Jimmy Hart Hitman #2
Tina Huang Waitress
Andy San Dimas Stripper
John Pyper-Ferguson Bearded Redneck
Craig Baxley Masked Man #1
Kenny Richards Masked Man #2
Joe Pingue Assistant Director #1
Dieter H. Busch Assistant Director #2
Chris Muto Caterer
Rachel Dib Newscaster
Cesar Garcia Waiter
Steve Knoll Movie Star
Mara LaFontaine Movie Star Girlfriend
Teonee Tbrasl Police Officer
Ralph Lawler Basketball Announcer

Technical Credits
Nicolas Winding Refn Director
Hossein Amini Screenwriter
Erin Benach Costumes/Costume Designer
Lon Bender Sound/Sound Designer
Frank Capra Asst. Director,Co-producer
Garrick Dion Co-producer
Robert Eber Sound Mixer
Victor Ennis Sound/Sound Designer
David Lancaster Executive Producer
William Lischak Executive Producer
Michel Litvak Producer
Mindy Marin Casting
Cliff Martinez Score Composer
Linda McDonough Executive Producer
Beth Mickle Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Mat Newman Editor
Jon Oakes Co-producer
John Palermo Producer
Marc E. Platt Producer
Gigi Pritzker Producer
Gerald Quist Makeup Special Effects
Adam Siegel Producer
Newton Thomas Sigel Cinematographer
James Smith Co-producer
Jeffrey Stott Executive Producer
Christopher Tandon Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Gary Michael Walters Executive Producer

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Scene Index

4 featurettes: I Drive: the Driver,; Driver and Irene: the relationship,; Under the hood: story,; Cut to the chase: stunts; Drive without a driver: interview with Nicholas Winding Refn documentary

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