I’m still processing how I feel about this movie. It had great moments, and boring moments, tense moments, and “what the hell am I watching moments.” But the one thing I do know about this movie, Ryan Gosling killed it!


Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Ron Pearlman, Albert Brooks, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendrix.

Premise: Ryan Gosling’s character is only referred to as “Driver” (or was that really his name? I’m still not sure). But he drives. He drives race cars, he’s a stunt driver, he’s a robbery get-away-car driver…Unfortunately, this life leads to loner-like tendencies until he finds himself becoming involved with his neighbor (Carey Mulligan). Fueled by his attraction to her, he’s dragged into a big mess by her fresh-out-of-jail criminal husband and we find out the Driver can do much more than drive.

My Review: The first five minutes in this movie are amazing. Ryan Gosling says nothing. He just drives the get-away car to a robbery. It’s slow burning, intense, crazy, with a police scanner being the creepy sound track to the escape. And then it’s over, before anyone in that car ever has a chance to utter a single word. The credits roll and we get even more awesomeness. The credits are like they are from the 80’s from the music to the pink cursive writing. Yet while awesome, I couldn’t help thinking, “What the hell am I watching?” And that stuck with me throughout the movie.

After the great teaser opening, the movie focuses on Driver’s relationship with his cute pixie-haircut neighbor, Carey Mulligan, and her adorable son. Even though he’s strange, and socially challenged, and cool and honestly a bit creepy, the two of them end up forming a bond. Though this bond is believable and well thought out (as opposed to most whirlwind romances movies portray) it also came across as SLOW. Incredibly slow. And it was set to a weird noir-like soundtrack that made me doze off a little. Granted I had come straight from 15 hours of work and it was 10PM so the dozing may have had to do with my exhaustion, not the fact that it was boring. Or…it was boring.

Then, as if to make up for the lackluster, drawn out, totally mellow — despite a cool creepy performance from Gosling — the last 35 minutes of the movie go absolutely, positively, Quentin Tarantino BONKERS. There’s blood and guts and gray matter and some other gross and intense things but my eyes were closed during some of those parts. Seriously! What. The. Hell. Am. I. Watching?

As for the acting, Gosling was great. He did a really fantastic job in this movie. All of Driver’s qualities are how Gosling seems in real life. Socially awkward, a little strange, hard to read, but there’s something about him that keeps you watching. And again, his performance in the first 5 minutes was amazing – and he didn’t evens say a word. And I don’t mean that as in insult. Albert Brooks was appropriately creepy, even with his “Nemo’s Father” raspy voice. He just has this charisma about that makes you believe he could be your best friend, or send someone like Ron Pearlman after you. Now, while Ron Pearlman looks like a bad ass, in this movie he came off a bit whiney. A bit comical. He wasn’t believable to me, even with that rectangle head of his.

Overall, I still don’t know how I feel about this movie. Did I like it? Did I hate it? Was it a mess? Was it just artsy? How do I feel about it?  Ryan Gosling, himself, described the movie as a John Hughes Movie with violence and I think that describes it just right. What I can tell you, is that it’s worth checking out.  So do it.

Rating: 3 Stars…I think…


  1. Russ Nickel says:

    It’s gotten such good reviews everywhere, it’s refreshing to see how a regular person feels about it. Noir romance? Overly artsy? I bet that’s what I’d think. Nice review!


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