This 2011 tense American car chase action thriller is based on the 2005 novel written by James Sallis. It stars Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan and was directed by Danish filmmaker Nicholas Winding Refn.
The plot concerns a Hollywood stunt man (Gosling) a loner who supplements his wages by driving the getaway car a few times for burglars during robberies. He soon becomes recognised as being one of the fastest, most skilfully precise getaway drivers in the business. He unwittingly finds himself thrust headlong into the world of some of LA's most dangerous gangsters when a job involving the jailbird husband of his stunningly attractive neighbour, Irene (Mulligan), goes horribly wrong. The only way he can save himself from the mob and protect Irene and her young son is to Drive his way out of trouble.
This memorable film was well received at the 2011 Cannes film Festival. The soundtrack (with most tracks written by Cliff Martinez) is astonishingly impressive in its own right and has a hauntingly retro-electronic feel to it.
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Average Rating for Drive - 5 out of 5
(based on 2 user reviews)
Cars in cinema now seems to be in my eyes cliched pornography for the eyes (example Transformers).
Very rarely does a film come out about cars that isnt crappy cliched trash.
This is undeniably one of those films.
Drive is a beautiful but at times very violent film.
Theres a fantastic amount of effort and character develoment in every single main charatar.
The action is awesome and actually terrfying.
The acting is amazing and there is pure effort in every single character.
My favorate charatar in the film is actually Ron Pearlmans Nino his charatar is really funny but scary at the same time plus Pearlman looks like having lots of fun playing Nino and thats important that the actor or the actress is having a good time playing the charatar and not feeling forced to act due of a paycheck (example everybody in Eragon.)
Every single actor and actress in this film look like thier genuinely enjoying themselves playing the charater knowing theres a heathly paycheck on the otherside.
Nicholas Winding Rfen is a genuis in the world of cinema although this is his only big film hes done I can say that without any doubt.
I saw about 40 - 50 films in 2011 Drive is my 4th favorate on 2011.
Im not suprised though why it wasnt nomated for the oscars because they probably didnt like it.
Its not the best film to out of the 2011 Cannes film festival because my 2nd all time favorate film The Artist.
But it still is a work of art.
yes it might be the arthouse gone in 60 seconds starring Nicholas Cage.
but its still a brilliant,exicting but haunting beautful loveletter of cinema.
If you havent seen Drive rent it just for the experience.
Drive's nameless protagonist is a man of few words, if it wasn't for the late arrival of a certain pencil-moustached Frenchman, he would certainly have been 2011's definitive silent hero.
In his very first line clearly sets out the terms at which he offers his services as a getaway driver: "Tell me where we start, where we're going and where we're going afterwards, I give you five minutes when you get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours, no matter what. Anything a minute either side of that and you're on your own. I don't sit in while you're running it down. I don't carry a gun. I drive."
This beautifully succinct opening speech immediately eliminates the need for further discussion; driving is what he does, all he does and all he has any interest in doing.
That applies not just to his role in the criminal world but to his way of life as a whole, he drives as a movie stuntman during the day and a getaway driver at night, spending the time in between fixing up cars at a garage. The apartment he lives in is almost empty, acting as a place for him to sleep and further tinker with engine parts. Driving defines him, he has no life outside of it.
He doesn't even need a name, he's just the driver.
Interestingly, he seems practically a-moral, apparently recognising no difference between driving for movie stars and criminals. When his neighbour and eventual love interest Irene asks him what he does for a living, he ambiguously answers "I drive", unable to see how who he does so for should matter.
He also seems entirely unmotivated by anything other than the enjoyment he gets from driving. Money seems to be of no interest to him; his employer at the garage admits to grossly underpaying him and when he happens upon a large sum of mafia money, the thought of running off with it never even seems to occur to him.
In his first foray into Hollywood, director Nicolas Winding Refn makes watching him do his thing one of the purest cinematic experiences to be had last year. "Cool" is a massively overused word, thrown at dozens of undeserving films every year but it is hard to talk about Drive without falling back on it. The streets of LA at night combined with the eerie techno sounds of Kavinsky and College give Drive a unique neo-noir vibe whilst Ryan Gosling does cool better, albeit much more quietly than just about any other action hero.
Throughout the film Gosling's performances is truly enthralling, convincingly portraying a man with no real emotional outlet other than driving, creating interesting and believable dynamics with other characters and doing so with enough nuance to allow almost everything happening between them to go unsaid.
Carey Mulligan is equally well cast, bringing a quiet, slightly awkward charm and air of vulnerability to the character that immediately makes the viewer empathise with the driver's determination to protect her.
As the driver suddenly finds himself caring for Irene, his desire to protect her sees him suddenly displaying a previously unimaginable capacity for violence, transforming himself into a kind of self-styled vigilante. Both Refn and Gosling have described the driver as someone who has watched too many movies, his view of the world is fairytale-esque in its simplicity: he has a damsel to protect, nothing else matters.
This transformation also carries many of the trappings of a comic book superhero, the scorpion emblazoned upon his jacket is as striking a symbol as those of DC and Marvel's finest, his hammer makes for an equally distinctive weapon and by the end he has even donned a mask to hide his true identity as he takes down gangsters to protect the innocent.
His almost childlike sense of morality allows for him to engage in displays of violence that are shocking both for their utter brutality as well as there suddenness. The elevator scene perfectly embodies both, switching instantly from the most tender moment he and Irene share to a ruthless murder, all within the same short elevator ride.
Refn seems in his element with this sort of sudden change in tone, using violence relatively sparingly but doing so in an incredibly visceral and sudden manner. The film's first moment of explicit violence doesn't occur until near the halfway mark, giving it the kind of impact lost in many of the mindless modern blockbusters that seem to feel uneasy if more than half a minute goes by with out something exploding.
The action scenes in Drive are some of the most stylishly executed around, from the desperate hotel-room struggle for survival to the heart-stopping car chases, all are ludicrously entertaining, beautifully shot and accompanied by one of the coolest soundtracks in recent movie history.
This also allows Drive to use violence in a more mature fashion, exploring the way different characters react to violence; Irene is horrified at witnessing it first-hand whereas mobster Bernie Rose approaches it with the of pragmatism of a man simply carrying out a necessary, if slightly unpleasant part of his job.
Bullets don't fly freely in Drive, scenery doesn't continually explode and there aren't armies of nameless henchman to dispatch: every act of violence that occurs has an impact on the story and a clear purpose beyond ensuring the film has enough fight scenes.
We're also given more reason to sympathise with the driver; the film devotes most of the first half to portraying the driver as a likeable, if deeply introverted and rather abnormal character and slowly and quietly developing the relationship between him and Irene. As a result of this, by the time the first gunshot goes off we're given a genuine reason to care who the next one hits.
Drive won nothing at the recent Golden Globe Awards and it's likely that this is the start of a pattern that will continue throughout awards season; a great shame in my mind as it was easily one of the most entertaining films of 2011 and one of the most stylish films of the last decade. It would be worth buying for the soundtrack alone, the fact that you're getting a five-star film into the bargain makes it an absolute must-buy.
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