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Drive, Movie

Drive 2011

Your Rating/Review

Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan star in this crime thriller about a movie stuntman who also works as a getaway driver for the mafia. Nominated for the Palme d'Or and winner of Best Director at Cannes 2011. From director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson), adapted from the James Sallis novel. More

When a planned heist goes wrong, Gosling's unnamed getaway driver is blamed. LA's most dangerous criminal (Albert Brooks) puts out a contract on his life and he goes on the run through the streets of Los Angeles, while protecting his love interest (Mulligan) and her son.  Hide

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300 votes / 43 comments The Talk

  • 61 %

    Want to See it

    What say you?

    • Darryn

      Whoa! Very train wreckish - don't want to but can't help myself wanting to look

    • lele

      Sooooo goood. Bout time there was a cars/action film out with a decent plot!

    • Raul

      @ lele ... Agreed, good actor, looks very promising

    • alex

      oh hells yeah

    • karen waters

      Ryan Gosling does it all- and he does it so well- we love ya, Ryan-go for it!

    • reetz

      u da man BRyan

    • b-racer

      giddy up

    • Timoss

      Yeap for sure

    • Mano

      Hell yes

    • awesome

      saw this movie at the film festival, it is AMAZING can not wait to see it again

    • Yan

      Awesome soundtrack and best car chases since Bullitt!! Film of the year

    • Simon

      Hells yeah! this looks Hella cool

    • slychick

      gunna see it

    • Kilika

      Definitely gonna see this one

    • iwatch

      ryan puts pedal to the metal - you go boy!

    • Sarah29

      This is the movie I have been looking forward to most this year, hands down!

    • Vonny

      Loved loved loved loved loved it!!!!!

    • NOOOO

      Looked forward to it and left the theatre going, wtf? Nobody else in the theatre liked it either, its unrealistic as hell

    • bad movie

      such a slow movie fall asleep and the soundtrack its real bad

    • Scott

      Brilliant film, going to see it again as soon as possible!

    • Elna

      Why is Ryan G a star? So gormless and bland. Shame cos its a good film - nice oldskool Hollywood DePalma feel.

    • lia

      I like this kind of movies it is AWESOME !!!!!

    • Gabby

      Starts really slow (twilight slow!), but then it gets exceptionally good fast.

    • Gary

      Don't think Fast & Furious think Tarrantino or Cohen Bros. Stunning and great sound track too!

    • Anne

      Very very good movie!!!

    • Ruth

      All hype, not enough substance, 3 stars

    • Roslyn

      What a crap movie, too slow, not enough in the plot, just really disappointing after reading great review my husband and I gave it 1 star

    • Ryan_james

      Loved the contrast of the beginning from a slow story to an instant 180 and the characters grow so much. Ryan was great and it was very gory

    • Jacob

      Way too violent, gross in fact. Also very slow moving and poor dialogue in most scenes.

    • jax

      Awesome movie, see it. A bit of blood, but it's there to provide a stark contrast to the understated elegance of the storyline.

    • robocop

      A clever intelligent movie - quite arty too

    • James Watkins


    • James

      Easily the best film of 2011. Ryan Gosling channels De Niro's Taxi Driver in an Oscar-worthy ride.

    • Rick

      Go see Vanishing Point, Drive is a load of rubbish

    • Jade

      Ryan Gosling is so hot i am goig to watch this movie soon theres just one problem im not old enough

    • Jade


    • Jade

      he is soooooooooo smoking hot

    • Tania

      Loved the movie, loved the soundtrack!

    • Disappointed

      I was excited to watch a film that had received a lot of good feedback from reviewers but I was very disappointed.

    • Kevin

      It seemed like a NZ made feature film, the camera angles and sharp crossovers into other scenes made it look very cheap.


    Want to see it?


Flicks.co.nz Review



  • Ron

    Drive gets a single star in my view. It stays in 1st gear struggling like a weak B-grade splatter movie.

  • Nino

    Better stick to the Fast & Furious franchise, Ron.

comment / reply
Dominic Corry Flicks Writer

About half-way through Drive, Bernie Rose, the mid-level LA mobster character played by Albert Brooks, is talking about his past as a producer of action movies in the ‘80s. “Some people described them as…‘European’…” he says. Both times I’ve seen Drive, this line elicited a mild murmur of recognition from the audience, as he is essentially describing the movie he is in. More

On paper, Drive sounds pretty generic and at one point was destined to be a stock-standard action movie with Hugh Jackman in the lead role. Thankfully, Ryan Gosling and crazy Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson; Valhalla Rising) came on board and created a modern masterpiece of stylistic austerity and unfettered cool.

A neon and synth-laden ‘80s fever dream, Drive manages to hold back where similar films go over the top. The opening car chase is excruciatingly slow, creating a sustained air of uneasy tension that finds release in brief flashes of extreme violence.

Gosling commands the screen with the effortless cool of Newman or McQueen – he has very few lines, but his actions speak volumes. Refn infuses even the most minor characters with complex identities, with Brooks and Ron Pearlman both delivering scorching supporting performances. Only Carey Mulligan (An Education), as the love interest, seems a little bit out of place.

A firecracker up the backside of the bloated modern action movie, Drive shows just how emotive and poetic the genre can be. Hide

The People's Reviews


19 ratings and 20 reviews


comment / reply


Hugo-Burns Flicks Superstar (?)

Awesome soundtrack. Visually stimulating visuals. Superb cast. A modern day Taxi Driver at it's best.


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JackWallace Flicks Superstar (?)

Drive is flawless. This isn't you're standard action movie, Drive is a blood-pumping thrill-ride, stylishly directed and beautifully acted, blended with surreal, ultra violence. Drive starts with Ryan Gosling in a hotel room, talking on the phone about what he does and his rules as a getaway driver. "If I drive for you, you give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minute and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that five minutes and you're own. I don't sit in while your running it down. I don't carry a gun. I drive". Those unforgettable words that comes out of Gosling's mouth are incredible. Kavinsky's Nightcall plays perfectly in the opening credits. Every performance is amazing. Ryan Gosling gives the best performance of the year as the nameless Driver. Veteran actor Albert Brooks plays Bernie Rose, a retired producer of 80's action films (described as "european") turned gangster. Brooks is definitely deserving of a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Oscars. Also the rest of the supporting cast is fantastic. Featuring Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston with Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan. It's a slow paced film but without being boring. Drive is not a movie for everyone. Some may find it too artsy or too violent. I loved It. Drive is a masterpiece.


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Smoky, Saccharine Neo-Noir

Hannah-Carter A-Lister (?)

In the hands of another Director this film could easily have been yet another standard action movie. Yet Nicolas Winding Refn skilfully guides the audience at his own pace through this story resulting in a smoky, saccharine 80's style neo-noir with a phenomenal soundtrack. The outbursts of violence are blunt and vicious, but stylish and lyrical.

Ryan Gosling's "The Driver" is the epitome of the strong and silent type that our generation has not seen. His backstory is nil, we don't even know his name. His spoken lines are minimal but his character's integrity and purpose are never doubted.


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Brilliant performances by Gosling & Mulligan

clararar Flicks Superstar (?)

Judging by the other reviews this film is highly divisive - you'll either love it or hate it, and if you go in expecting a high-octane Jason-Statham-esque action flick, you'll probably fall into the latter camp. Drive is definitely an arthouse movie, and the performances by Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan are masterful. Both actors are able to speak volumes by their actions and expressions without relying on dialogue, something missing in most modern Hollywood flicks. The action sequences, when it happens, are riveting, and the graphic violence will make you squirm in your seat, but all adds to the atmosphere of the story. And the open-ish ending is perfect as well.


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Perfectly mixed

Deb Flicks Superstar (?)

A thinking persons gangsta pic. Don't go expecting a big car chase and a shoot em up. Do go to see character development, a slow boiler and no honor among thieves.


  • Sean

    Disagree. Generic. Slow. Overblown. Try hard. Violence that even Quentin T would be ashamed of. Try Walter Hill's "The Driver"...

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alpheta A-Lister (?)

The joy of this type of film is in what it leaves out, rather than puts in, so this was top notch, achieving exactly what it set out to do. Drawing us into the outstanding Ryan Gosling's surrealistically-seeming calm life, which was anything but, and never letting go, I was in turn lulled by the slow pace then shocked by the violence, quite a ride. Sparse, beautifully rendered, great acting. Slight disappointment at his decision at the end, but hey, he didn't have a choice I guess!!!


  • Sarah29

    We must have seen different films then Gerd. Drive is without a doubt the most original film I have seen in years!

  • Paul

    beauty of this movie is that generates a lot of suspens without much action. id say boring if u r<18

comment / reply

A boring sleeping pill!

Gerd Flicks Superstar (?)

Primitive script,feels like something I have seen a hundred times before.
Cutting the movie down to 29 minutes would help.


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Drive it home

RealityCheck Flicks Superstar (?)

Wow, this was nailing bitingly good. I loved the slow pace of the film, taking me back to the 80's. Like Steve McQueen, 'Mad Max', Randle Reigns ('Gone in 60 Seconds'), and 'Bad Leutenant' all in one. Ryan did a fantastic job of bringing this character to a dramatic, hardly speaking, fist clenchingly good. Not as much car racing as I imagined from the trailers, thought it was going to be more like 'Ronin' or 'James Bond' stuff, but it was great anyway. When you go see it, remember its like set in the 80's (camera angles, etc) & you'l enjoy it more. Couple of massive blood scenes but they just add to it.
Genre : action, driving, drama, thriller
5/5 : the way it was directed, the sort of action, the main character, acting, everythign was just very film feastival, 80's in a new way.


comment / reply

Fast cars, troubled souls, and extreme violence.


Well DRIVE is pretty much the best film of the year for me. That director likes 80s Michael Mann movies as much as I do. And fast cars. And troubled souls. Don't go if you can't handle some moments of EXTREME violence though. Oof. Brutal. But the tone and clarity of vision are razor sharp. Ryan Gosling is an ice-cool cypher and around him are some of the best low-life characters since THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE. It's a plot in control of a character. Story threads are started then dumped as the script starts to put its blinkers on and focus on the (nasty) task at hand. Nice work. Lean and edgy and artful. Looking forward to RAMPART next...


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Chris-Burnett2 Nobody (?)

Tries to hard. Really wanted to like it but just thought about all the films made in the same style that were just much better.


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adamatdramatrain Flicks Superstar (?)

I loved Nicolas Winding Refn's PUSHER trilogy and BRONSON so I was really looking forward to DRIVE and boy was I not disappointed! If you love Stanley Kubrick and 70's macho movie mayhem then this is slow burn heaven! Think CLOCKWORK ORANGE meets Steve Mqueen's BULLIT and you've got DRIVE - an excellent existential arthouse version of THE TRANSPORTER - only without the six thousand edits per minute! Go, see, but take your brain and be prepared for a slow burn movie experience reminiscent of Kubrick remaking DIRTY HARRY... If only! Best film of the year so far...


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Near perfect

Mick28 A-Lister (?)

Carey Mulligan could make reading the phone book seem engrossing so she was always going to bring a level of depth to her character. Ryan Gosling on the other hand could be accused from past performances (such as Lars and the Real Girl) of falling on the side of over-the-top. Not this time. Despite the sparse dialogue Gosling is able to bring an honesty to the role of Driver which previous performances might have suggested he was incapable of. Some people complain that there isn't enough dialogue, presumably because they need someone to explain to them exactly what is happening. But this ignores the fact that the performances are so complete and the relationship built between the two leads so realistic that any extra dialogue would be superfluous.

I haven't seen any of director Nicolas Winding Refn's other films (such as the Bronson and the Pusher trilogy) but now I am very keen to check out his previous work. Drive also has a catchy 80's style soundtrack.


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Drive Verdict

Michael13 Nobody (?)

I was really looking forward to this movie. I was sitting with someone who liked it so much that they were seeing it for their second time. And so, had to stiffle my giggles so as to not ruin it for them...

It feels like Drive was the brain-child of the writer/director of Fast and Furious who were told by executives to make an 'arty film', and thought, "arty films; they're those ones that are really slow and instead of dialogue they have people staring at each other for interminable lengths of time. Note to self: must remember to add some slow motion and out of focus shots, they're arty as."

It almost works better as an attempted parody than a film in it's own right.

Nice opening scene. Starts to pick up a bit by the end. Not worth the ticket price.


  • Hayley

    I totally agree! I thought it was going to be good but turned out to be the opposite

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Never gets out of first gear

Beatnink Nobody (?)

Not sure if I saw the same movie as the other reviewers but I certainly can't find anything positive to say about this movie. It is boringly slow, has a shallow and unoriginal storyline, and worst of all - it goes way over the top on the violence, turning it into a splatter movie but without any humour.


  • alpheta

    Every movie has a standard plot line, its the treatment Drive's one is given that makes it unique.

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Emperors new clothes?

bjeff Nobody (?)

Couldn't help thinking that all the lingering aerial shots and smoldering close-ups with occasional random (gratuitous?) violent moments didn't make up for a pretty standard plot line.
Kind of like clothes that might be made from beautiful cloth with admirable workmanship but most people still see just the naked emperor.


  • JayC4Shaw

    Perhaos its a two or three, I just hate people raving on about crap movies. Just like avatar, its a build up to nothing much.

  • JayC4Shaw

    Perhaps its a two or three star, I just hate people raving on about crap movies. Just like avatar, its a build up to nothing much. YAWN

  • Samuel

    I think it went over your head - Go watch Fast and Furious 5.

  • Ben

    Yep. The core of this film rests on real emotions and responses, not some over the top action/drama played out like a pinball machine.

  • Disagree

    Hardly resembles a tarantino flick, you said it yourself, there is hardly any dialogue. More akin to what poster below says, kubrick.

  • Philip Moore

    If you have to wonder why the strippers stood there frozen your an idiot

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CRAP - Try hardy Tarantino film that fails.

JayC4Shaw Flicks Superstar (?)

I dont know what everybody is going on about. Lack of dialouge from Ryan (not that he is to blame) was reminiscent of Kirsten Stewart's acting. I don't want to wait five minutes for a response to another characters question. Also, characters were found to do things AGAINST their character - SPOILER: one minute the mother slaps Ryan for pretty much killing her husband, next minute - cheezy spotlight slow motion kiss in elevator, next minute, she witnesses him kill someone, next minute, shes knocking on his door STUPID!!! Why did the strippers sit frozen there when their boss was being threatened. STUPID!!! Also: Cinema hated it, one member said he fell asleep. I cracked up every time there was a five minute pause between sentences. STUPID STUPID - A RIP OFF OF THE MASTERY OF QUENTIN TARANTINO. SUCKS AND FALLS BELOW THE BAR WHEN COMPARED TO HIS WORK. Thank you very much - I want a refund.


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A nasty bit of work

Ken-Burns Flicks Superstar (?)

and Carey Mulligan is no schoolgirl in this. Car chasses are nervewracking so take the seats closest to the from.. Not a huge amount of dialogue but this is a cracker


  • Ruth

    Hardly a masterpiece, it lacked momentum and failed to find any climax

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A modern masterpiece that is also a throw back to the great car movies of the 60's and 70's

PhilMoore Flicks Superstar (?)

This film is about a man played by Ryan Gosling who is a stunman who also moonlights as a Driver for organised crime. Gosling plays the character cool and quietly. The film can feel like it takes time to get into action and it does, but it only builds the tension to whats coming. This film is not for kids, some scenes are very violent, but it's few and far between. This film also stars Carey Mulligan as a young woman with a little boy who has a husband that just got out of prison. Also involved are Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad and Malcom in the Middle fame and Christina Hendricks from Mad Men. This is a throwback to the great action car films of the Steve Mcqueen era, having said that it is in its own way very original. I loved this film, im going to see it again soon. It is the best film of the year so far and I highly recommend it.


  • yesbut

    Summer isn't winding down in New Zealand. It's just starting.

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High point of 2011 thus far..

Mark-Roulston Flicks Superstar (?)

It seems to be the case nowadays that film audiences, particularly at this time of year as the summer winds down, are left with a choice of seeing the latest broad appeal movies filling the multiplexes, or venturing to the local independent cinema in search of more intellectual fare. Very rarely will a film transcend these boundaries and offer a mix of Hollywood-style action and arthouse flair, which is what makes Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive so unique and something to be celebrated.

Drive tells the story of an unnamed stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) moonlighting as a getaway driver for a crime syndicate run by Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks). Seemingly a loner, the driver becomes involved in the life of his neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos). After agreeing to drive for Irene's newly paroled husband Standard (Oscar Isaac), and finding himself on the wrong side of assassination contract, the driver embarks on a mission to protect Irene from the vicious gangsters who would seek to harm her to get at him. It's a well-worn plotline which in the hands of someone less adept than Refn would likely be nothing more than a forgettable thriller, yet the massively talented director, who picked up the Best Director prize at Cannes this year for Drive, crafts an engaging and thrilling throwback film elevated by masterful performances across the board.

Refn, previously known for the fantastic Bronson, and the lesser known but equally excellent Pusher trilogy, is a man who has very clearly studied his Kubrick. Certainly most modern directors could do worse than imitate the style of one of history's greats like Stanley Kubrick, but rarely does one pull it off with the skill of Refn. In Bronson, the influence was a little more obvious, with the resulting film seeming like something of a spiritual successor to A Clockwork Orange. With Drive however, the traces are a little more subtle, visible in the impeccable technical touches, and the use of dissolves, pensive long takes, and slow zooms, a hallmark of Kubrick's catalogue. Drive is a flawlessly crafted film, filled with beautiful imagery of the Los Angeles underworld seen more often in the work of Michael Mann.

The technical achievements of Drive are more than matched by the acting of the entire cast, and Refn shrewdly selects a wide variety of performers to populate the story. Top notch support comes from Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, the ever dependable Ron Perlman, and particularly Brooks, who jettisons his familiar comedic persona in a truly frightening and villainous performance, which will surely be on the radar of voters come awards season. Mulligan shows characteristic heart in a largely overlooked role, yet the film unquestionably belongs to Gosling. Often heralded as one of the finest actors of his generation, in Drive Gosling delivers his best work yet as the driver; a quiet role that is all the more effective due to the subtlety of the performance. He displays an ability to ratchet up the tension using just the slightest widening of his eyes and tensing of his jawline, and when the character is pushed to act more forcefully, Gosling transitions from almost silent observer to brutal aggressor so swiftly that it leaves one breathless. It's work that he makes look easy, yet it's the most focused performance seen in an action film in quite some time.

There's something undeniably retro about Drive, with its neon opening titles and 80s infused soundtrack, but the film seems remarkably fresh. Smart action filmmaking is so hard to come by these days, so Drive delivers refreshing variety, beginning the time of year when the so-called prestige pictures are released with a bang.



comment / reply

Best film of the year!

Sarah29 Flicks Superstar (?)

I want to give it 6 stars out of 5! Drive is an unique and captivating story in a genre that doesn't often see originality. The music was mesmerising and really helped to set the tone. Ryan Gosling and Brian Cranston's acting was fabulous and really gave Drive it's WOW factor. While some parts of the story are extremely violent and graphic, it doesn't feel unnecessary and the story wouldn't be as good without it. Drive is hands-down my favourite movie of the year. It is original and interesting and I highly recommend it for anyone not wanting to see another Hollywood action blockbuster that is not simply churned out simply to make money!


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Press Reviews

93% of critics recommend

Consensus: "With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action."

ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE. Read more reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
A.V. Club (USA)

It’s retro genre heaven. Full review.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

Drive looks like one kind of movie in the ads, and it is that kind of movie. It is also a rebuke to most of the movies it looks like. Full review.

Empire (UK)

About as much shamelessly disreputable, stylish, ultra-violent fun you’re going to have at the movies this year. Full review.

Entertainment Weekly (USA)

A visually and aurally edgy Euro-influenced American genre movie... Full review.

Hollywood Reporter

It’s a fun, if not exhilarating, ride, one sped along with the help of a wonderfully assembled cast. Full review.

Rolling Stone

Pure cinema, a grenade of image and sound ready to blow. Full review.

Total Film (UK)

An action crime movie that’s as cerebral and surreal as it is red-blooded. Full review.

USA Today

Thoroughly immersing, Drive leaves the competition in the dust. Full review.

Variety (USA)

Whereas most muscle-car action pics are visually and narratively flat, Drive displays stunning style. Full review.