George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
Drive is a 2011 American action/drama film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and stars Ryan Gosling as an unnamed Hollywood stunt driver who acts as a getaway driver at night. Along with Ryan, Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, and Albert Brooks also star.
2011’s Drive is a film I’m almost to embarrassed to say I’ve never seen. It’s been on my watchlist for an ungodly amount of time and even though I’ve owned it for awhile, I’ve never bothered to put it on. Today’s the day that changed. Director Nicolas Winding Refn crafts a unique drama with possibly the best opening chase sequences ever filmed. This then unfolds into a storyline that captures your attention from the start, one that pulls you further and further into it as the film progresses. The film is pure beauty. Everything from the score, minimalistic dialogue and beautiful colour template were all perfect as with each passing scene I found myself transfixed within.
Unlike 99.9% of films, I simply can’t see a flaw in this. The performances are phenomenal, utterly phenomenal throughout. Ryan Gosling’s kind-hearted criminal get-away driver is a fantastic character. Whilst he’s viciously persistent he’s also incredibly protective of those close to him, these two sides often don’t gel well when consistently battling against each other but in Drive they work so efficiently it starts to become rather transfixing as you watch on. With Drive, Ryan has quickly proven himself to be one of my favourite actors working today, his cool calm composure on screen and the incredible hits he’s had over the last decade alone is a testament to just how good of an actor he really is. Having already spoken about Ryan, performances wise the rest of the cast all do brilliantly as well. Oscar Isaac may only be in it for a short while but he absolutely steals every scene he’s in. “ Love interest” Carey Mulligan’s chemistry alongside Gosling is fabulous to watch as she puts in a great performance, but yet, the one side performances that really worked for me was Bryan Cranston. His characters is just so damn likeable to the point that when he meets his ultimate demise you really end up feeling sorry for him as despite the mistakes he made, he really did care about Goslings character.
I very rarely say this but Drive is an utter masterpiece. The score/soundtrack is one of the best there’s ever been, it’s completely mesmerising throughout and simply put, I think it’s one of my new favourites. The opening scene is phenomenal and only improves as the film goes on and ultimately when all is said and done the films emotional core, had such a lingering affect on me I wanted to rewatch it as soon as it finished. For some, Drive won’t be a huge success but for me Drive is arthouse cinema at it's best.