DRIVE

Smoldering with intensity and punctuated by fits of extreme violence, DRIVE is nearly perfect. Ryan Gosling has about a page of dialogue in the whole movie, but words do not always equal acting. The way he carries himself, the way he stares people down, all tell you that underneath the seemingly mild-mannered nice guy, is a man that won't be wronged. Gosling's Driver (yes, that is the character's name) wrecks cars as a stuntman and fixes cars as a mechanic for a living. He'll also take the odd job as a getaway driver. But he and his boss Shannon (wonderfully played by Bryan Cranston) have dreams of NASCAR fame. Albert Brooks is the man with the money, but warns that Shannon is cursed. And that curse plays out in spades. Gosling tries to help the newly paroled husband of Carey Mulligan, but it all goes sideways. And that's where we see the true nature of the Driver. He is driven to see justice (or revenge, either works). The tension filled scenes are broken with almost cathartic fits of carnage and blood and brains spurting everywhere (Sam Peckinpah would be proud). Director Nicolas Winding Refn uses a gritty, yet attractive Los Angeles as his canvas for all this destruction. Gosling is perfect and Albert Brooks is simply amazing in his supporting role as financier/crime boss.. you've never seen an actor play so well against type. Get in your car and DRIVE to the theater to see one of the best films of the year. — Alan Yudman

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