AroView: Ryan Gosling smoulders as a moonlighting getaway driver in-over-his-head in this crisply stylised, romance-inflected crime thriller – something of an ode to decades-old genre cinema, but shot through with an ultra-modern, ultra-cool sensibility.
While the high-performance components of Nicolas Winding Refn’s film make for irresistible viewing – an impeccable cast of actors (Albert Brooks as a Jewish crime lord the standout), a memorable electronic soundtrack (by Cliff Martinez), and a dusky, neon-tinted perspective of L.A. – this remains a low-rev mood piece with an artificial investment in the look and feel of things. (Though it must be said that the unorthodox first half is fantastically offbeat.) Those seduced by the muscle-car auto-erotica, bursts of graphic violence, and Gosling’s studly good looks are in for a ride, though we’d also recommend returning to the source (Walter Hill’s “The Driver”, et al.).
“It’s a film that has its finger on the pulse of what’s current and in style, and one that has solidified its place as the coolest film of the year.” ~Stephen Lambrechts, IGN