Year of Release: 2011
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks, Kaden Leos
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Nicolas Winding Refn takes his time to develop the story and showcase the characters. The Driver, as created by Ryan Gosling, is a man with focus, who knows each situation he's getting into and for whom a menace is not taken lightly. The film has a fluidity that allows for the viewer to understand the life of this character, his loneliness, but also the menace behind those calm eyes. When the violence does erupt, it's almost earth-shattering, but again it feels like an extension of the Driver himself. The film is beautifully shot, each frame beautifully lit by Newton Thomas Sigel and the music of Cliff Martinez (who is a frequent collaborator of Steven Soderbergh) helps define the mood without over-doing it. Ryan Gosling creates an interesting character, but Albert Brooks exudes a confidence and a menace that stays with you long after the film has ended. A great film worth watching!