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Drive (2011)

drive movie poster

Drive (2011) A mysterious Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver lands himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbour.

I know what you’re thinking; Tyson and Drive AGAIN!! I know, I hear you. But you know what?? I don’t care. I’m re-editing my review, and posting it up again. It was maybe the second or third post I ever made, and never really got read by anyone. I am here today to rectify that. Forcing it upon you so to speak. And if any film deserves it, Drive does. So please, sit back and enjoy The Director’s Cut of my Drive review, with extra words and better images!

drive

First things first, I know I have included a trailer, but I truly believe this film should be watched knowing as little about it as possible. That’s how I approached it (since my wife bought it knowing zero about it aside from it had Ryan Gosling in), and having since seen the trailer I’m glad I didn’t see it beforehand. But in the interest of my OCD and wanting all my reviews to have trailers embedded, it is there above for people to see. Don’t get me wrong, the trailer is absolutely brilliant but it does show various spoilers and scenes which would be best avoided in my opinion.

Drive image

On to the review……….

The plot for Drive may sound like a hundred other films you have seen or heard of. Guy likes girl, girl has boyfriend, some criminals get involved etc. Yet the difference here is that the plot pretty much takes a back seat and this film becomes all about one thing: Ryan Gosling. He owns this role, and even though there are parts of the film where there is no talking it never gets boring. I’ve heard a few (and I mean a handful) of people say the film is too slow, not enough action, but they must have been watching a different film to the one I saw.

drive hammer

Yes, it isn’t a non-stop 90 minute foot to the floor action-fest, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t any action. At times the film went to some very dark places, and I was surprised how brutal it got, but it really set the tone for who this enigmatic character is, or at least how we should see him. He has no name, he is referred to only as Driver, and whilst at times he is sweet and caring in the way he looks after Carey Mulligan’s character and her son, he transforms in the action scenes and gives a glimpse that at some time in the past he was a man who picked up some serious fighting skills.

albert brooks

The supporting cast is small but by no means forgettable. Albert Brooks plays against type in an award-winning role as a criminal mastermind, aided by a hot-headed Ron Perlman. Cristina Hendricks from Mad Men has a small but pivotal role in a robbery scene. Carey Mulligan plays the sweet, kind troubled young mother who steals Drivers affections, and Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle fame plays Drivers boss. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn who made the superb Pusher trilogy of films as well as Bronson, the film is also breathtaking to look at. We get a multitude of camera angles, car chases, fight scenes, night and day shots of the city, and lots of neon. And what a soundtrack! Kind of reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto – Vice City with its 80’s synth songs, nothing let this film down.

bryan cranston

I cannot recommend this film highly enough. From the superb opening chase to the gut-wrenching finale, this film will get under your skin and stay there until you watch it again and again. A modern masterpiece, and I can’t wait to see Refn & Gosling team up again in Only God Forgives.

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100 Comments

  1. Still a favorite of mine.

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  2. you’re welcome to repost, its your ‘directors’ cut right! nice review – great movie!
    heres mine, one of the first i wrote http://claratsi.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/review-drive/

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  3. Excellent post. Although it wasn’t the easiest film to watch, it was still effective. And that scorpion jacket is amazing.

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  4. Ryan Gosling is amazing in this, I’m a bit biased as I’ve always been a fan, but he proves once again just how good an actor he is. Of course because its not a big-look-at-me, over the top performance he got ignored during oscar season-as did Drive in general. Shame,

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    • Fully agree Lauren, he is incredible in this. Travesty he and the film were ignored pretty much awards wise, but at least critically it was well received.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  5. A truly excellent film. Ryan Gosling is superb. My favorite part in the film is the soundtrack. Great review.

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  6. theipc

     /  February 6, 2013

    Here we go with some more DRIVE…………….. just kidding – you know I loved it. Seth and Misty will be SO happy!! Stumbled.

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  7. Drive is a pretty good movie. You can review it as much as you want. Although, I did have that reaction when I saw it in my inbox as the review was loading up..haha! I’ll definitely be sharing this everywhere! 🙂

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    • Only a pretty good movie? C’mon Kim, play the game!! Incredible movie did you mean?! 😉

      Glad me email brought you the sense of dreaded deja vu! But I’ll let you off, thanks for sharing 😛

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  8. wordschat

     /  February 6, 2013

    You’re driving home the fact you like it Ty, you really like it. I did too. He is so good in this as he was in Ides of March and The Notebook. You can never see enough of Gosling

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    • I love it man, it deserved redoing! Ive always liked Gosling, but this was the first time Ive been WOWED by how good he was. Cheers mate 🙂

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  9. Phenomenal movie. I just watched it again recently as well and now I feel I should have put it in the top 3 of 2011 (it was number 6 before). Nice review.

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  10. “TEAM SCORPIO – NO!” 4 LIFE

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  11. Loved this movie!

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  12. Style got in the way too much for me, even though the performances and violence kept me involved. I look forward to seeing these two team-up on Only God Forgives though, as I think it’s going to be pretty kick-ass. Good review.

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  13. Excellent film. Nicolas Winding Refn knows his shit! Drive was quietly amazing. Real, gritty, human. If anyone is interested in Refn I would recommend the Pusher series and Valhalla Rising (a little bloodier).

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  14. Wonderful work here sir! Just wonderful! I’m actually thinking of doing a similar thing with a lot of my early reviews. No-one read them and Drive was a victim of that. Glad to get a mention here as well my man. Much appreciated you handsome b@stard you! 😉

    I’ll be clicking a few share buttons here as promised my friend. Reddit (if it allows), Google+ and twitter. We’ll see how that goes for now until I get accounts set up with others. Cheers buddy! Great read.

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    • Much appreciated Mark! I have re-posted a few slowly and mixed in with other reviews, Drive is one I wanted to do for a while, but waited for our Face Off victory to die down a little!! 🙂

      Cheers for the shares, I will of course head over and do the same. Hopefully get all the feedback and do another post about it this week, see what the findings are. Amazed by the response, hopefully its worthwhile.

      Cheers good looking 😛

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    • Okay, I’ve shared with twitter, google+ and Reddit. Reddit told me it had already been shared but that I could “try again”. I did try again and it worked. Hopefully this pulls some traffic as there were over 3000 currently online in the Reddit movie section.

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      • Much appreciated Mark, I’m currently making my rounds so I’ll be at your place very soon 🙂

        Still no clearer on how Reddit works, BUT I did get my site linked up with google, bing and pinterest seo links today. Thinking of adding that to a post in case people want to know how to do it.

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        • I’ve found Reddit to be the most lucrative in the past but yet to tackle a few others. If Reddit does say that it’s been posted already, just click the “post again” and it does the job.

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        • Good to know, but they tell me I need to come back. Then when I do they say Ive shared too many!! I thought it was all about sharing links?! 🙂

          Seems very random, today hasnt brought in any from there really. Still worth it though 😛

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        • Apparently you can only share so much as a new Reddit member so you should keep an eye out for that. They do let you repost stuff on occasion though.

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        • Yeah I have a couple of accounts so try and split them. Seems worth it when they get posted though. Cheers mate 🙂

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  15. GaryLee828

     /  February 6, 2013

    I’m giving you a nightcall tell you how I feel. I want to drive you thru the night, down the hills. I’m gonna tell you something you don’t want to hear. I’m gonna show you where it’s dark but have no fear.

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    • There something inside you
      It’s hard to explain
      They’re talking about you boy
      But you’re still the same

      BOOM!! 😛

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      • GaryLee828

         /  February 6, 2013

        This movie’s on my favorites list and my underrated list on my blog. It’s in my top 20 all-time favorites. I need to watch it again soon now that I’m thinking about it.

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  16. A truly great film, it should be a future classic. I much prefer this film over Bronson despite being a tremendous fan of Hardy. To be honest I’m a little surprised that you didn’t give Drive 10/10 knowing you and how much you love it!
    I’ve shared this via Twitter – always happy to promote reviews that praise Drive!

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    • I do like Bronson, but yeah, I’d rate Drive much higher. I have never given a film a 10 you know. Casino, I Saw The Devil and Drive are my only 9’s I believe. The guest reviewers give out 10’s for anything lol. I do have a 10/10 coming up though, my first and the most special 🙂

      Thanks for the share, appreciated and will reciprocate. Be looking for your feedback soon to see if any of it is any use to you 😛

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    • Awesome – I’ll be looking out for that 10/10!

      When I get Singin’ in the Rain to you (and I swear that will happen) I’ll be giving that a ten – but there are few films that I would give such a score.

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      • No worries, take your time. Not many deserve a 10 I feel, but all down to individuals. Think the lowest is Phobos giving Star Trek a 5 🙂

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  17. Great review. Great movie. Great first image – not seen that one! I believe I’ve just shared this on Twitter (if I did it right – I’m new to this shit). And, I have to add that Ryan Gosling is a sexy sexy man. Everyone gets sick of me saying that but I don’t care!!! 😉

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    • Thankyou!!! You did indeed retweet me, and I gave you a little mention on there, so thanks again!

      Gosling is a good looking man, you are not wrong 🙂

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  18. Good for you! Don’t give up! I’ve posted a couple of my pieces three or four times until finally I got some response. You work hard on these things … at least a little bit of recognition is the least we should be able to expect! If this ever shows up on cable, I will watch it. It sounds interesting … just so many of these never make an appearance, for whatever reason.

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    • Thank you! I have reposted all of my early work, now everything has had a response except Drive. So I saved the best till last, and already it was worth it and is one of my most viewed pieces. Good things come and all that! 🙂

      I hope you do get to see it one day. A slow burn at times, throw in some action and a little blood which my wife actually managed to sit through, and what a great result! 😛

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  19. Nice review mainly because I could not agree me with everything you wrote. This was our favorite film from 2011. Say did you ever see Refn’s Valhalla Rising? It’s a strange one for sure but I really dug it. I think it was streaming on Netflix when I watched it.
    How much time has to pass before I could start wearing around that scorpion jacket and not look like a douche bag?

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    • Thanks buddy 🙂

      No, Valhalla is the only one of his I havent seen, but am keen to track it down. Heard mixed things about it but still want to catch it.

      I think anyone that doesnt look like Gosling would look ridiculous in the jacket. That being said, I still want to buy it and maybe just wear it around the house. Holding a hammer 🙂

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  20. agree more not agree me feel free to edit that lol

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  21. I remember when I first watched Drive I had a debate with myself over whether I liked it or not. In the end, I admitted to myself that I really really enjoyed it. It had great style and great acting. Ryan Gosling really did a terrific job in this role. This is probably my favorite movie of his, to be honest.

    Great review!

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    • Was it a good debate? Sounds fun 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed it. Its definitely my top Gosling performance (although he was good in Crazy Stupid Love Im not ashamed to admit). Cant wait to see him in Only God Forgives though.

      Thanks very much! 😛

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  22. Great, great write-up! I liked Drive. Didn’t love it but it was a good time.

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  23. I heard the music the whole time I read this. “I want to drive you through the night…”
    And just the start music to that song.
    So that has to say something about how effective the soundtrack was surely? haha.

    I saw a funny post about Drive actually, it was just photos one after the other depicting Drive’s events. The first was Ryan Gosling in the getaway car. Next was when the blonde girl who I call weepy comes up to say “what are you into to?” then 8 pictures of them staring at each other before a 9th photo that was of Ryan just saying ‘Stuff’. It then ended with a last picture of Ryan Gosling smashing that guy with a hammer with the caption “And a real hero” over and over.
    I laughed a lot and I’m sorry I explained it terribly haha. Anyway, good review and it is a good movie indeed.

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    • Didnt explain it terribly at all Jess, good fun comment!! That post sounds more fun than mine thats for sure!! Most importantly, glad you liked the movie, and when a soundtrack hits you like that, it can only be a good thing!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  24. Looks pretty hardcore! I might have to have a look at it 🙂

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  25. i WILL watch this this weekend!! Great review.

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  26. You hadn’t mentioned you were such a fan of Drive 😉

    I’ll do some reposting of this on Twitter and I’ll give Reddit a whirl too. I’ll also try sticking one of your older reviews on Reddit which might give you a clearer indication of just how well that particular site works. Is there a post you don’t really get any hits on anymore? If so, i’ll share that one and you can monitor how many hits you’re getting on it.

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    • Weird, I thought you knew I quite liked it?! 😉

      Cheers buddy, I guess anything not currently in the top 10 on my homepage. That’s how I’ve been doing it. Seven has gone insane with views from one link, so it’s definitely an easy way to keep track. Ill stop by and pick one of your older pieces too. Thankyou!!

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      • No worries man. I’ve shared your review of Psycho on Reddit so it’d be interesting to see how that goes. If you get round to sharing anything of mine, let me know what it is and I’ll keep on eye on its views.

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        • Cheers buddy. I’m gonna do an update post later, so ill get yours shared before then and hope you can update me later. The hits seem to come within the hour from Reddit or not at all in my brief experience. Hope to see Psycho in the charts! Ill tell you which I do for you 🙂

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  27. Great review, even though you know we disagree on this one!

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  28. Great film indeed. Glad to see someone who likes this film so much. I know, it was well received critically, but those that hate the thing, seem to really really hate it. Oh, and btw, as per your Call to Arms, I shared this piece on Reddit and StumbleUpon (first time using them) and Twitter.

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    • Thanks for all the sharing Kevyn, much appreciated and ill be sure to return the favour.

      I haven’t really come across many haters for the film, but the Face Off I did gave a good indication what they didnt like about it. But they were wrong and lost so all is right with the world!!

      Thanks for stoping by and helping with this project! 🙂

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  29. davecrewe

     /  February 8, 2013

    Great, great film, the kind of thing teenagers will be discovering decades from now. My favourite film of 2011 and features my favourite song of 2011 too (Desire – Under Your Spell – a fantastic song from a fantastic soundtrack).

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    • Definitely a future classic. The soundtrack is fantastic I agree, and for the sure the best film in 2011. I want to read the books now, just to stay with this world Driver comes from 🙂

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      • davecrewe

         /  February 8, 2013

        There are books?

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        • Yeah, the one the movie is based on, ‘Drive’ from 2005, and a follow up which is where the film sequel talks come from, ‘Driven’ which was out in 2012. I bought them on kindle after Le0pard told me about them last year. Not read yet but cant wait to read them! 🙂

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  30. eris1991

     /  February 18, 2013

    I watched Drive the same way as you did: with no knowledge about it whatsoever. I was standing outside a cinema with a few hours to kill and Drive was the only non-romcom they had. Afterwards I was so hyped about it! The funny thing is, it’s difficult to say why the movie made such an impression. I believe you’re coping with the same problem – you say the movie is perfection, but just why I can’t get out of your review.

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    • Best way to see it!! 🙂

      It’s pretty much impossible I feel to convey how good this film is with just words. I didn’t want to say too much for fear of ruining it, and just try and give people who are unsure about seeing it a nudge! If that makes sense 😛

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  31. Ryan

     /  May 20, 2013

    Hee hee, yes I will admit that this movie has some great action scenes, but also tons of scenes of our main character just staring off into space. Is he thinking? Has he just checked out? I get that they were invoking action movies of the past, but try this-put the dvd in and forward thru the chapter search. The amount of times it lands on his blank stare cracked me up.

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  32. A fantastic film that is as close to note perfect as it comes whilst still remaining a sense of ambiguity. Drive is a lot more accessible than Refn’s Only God Forgives playing more Hollywood than Art-House but like you say, it truly is a modern masterpiece and Refn is one of the most exciting directors of our time. Great review btw.

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    • Drive is definitely more accessible than Only God Forgives, as you said, and words just dont do it justice!! Always good to see another Drive fan round here, thanks for stopping by 🙂

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