Drive was one of the best films of 2011. However, many are going to be frustrated with Drive as for some reason it was marketed as an action film filled with car chases. Drive is a slow, insightful art house film with brief but exhilarating bursts of heart pounding ultra violence and a lot of emotion conveyed with images instead of dialogue.
Drive is far better than a car chase fest, and why it wasn’t marketed as the great film it actually was is a mystery. There isn’t an awful lot of dialogue. Music and visuals speak louder than words in this film, but the dialogue is still very meaningful and there is plenty of emotional content here. Ultimately, the character relationships are moving, although in an understated though still powerful way.
Ryan Gosling, as the main character, has a very difficult job since he doesn’t say a lot, but he creates an interesting and memorable character with a minimalistic but powerful performance which allows one to sense the many complexities of his character and his emotions. Everyone does a good job acting wise. This is perhaps a style over substance film, but there is substance in the style.
The style itself is extraordinary. Smooth, sleek and dazzling cinematography propel Drive, while the clever use of music adds emotion and drama to an already astonishing film. The action and violence is thrilling but because it is minimal it never loses the key element of suspense. It’s such a compelling and intelligent movie it doesn’t need a lot of action.
The elevator scene will probably go down in history. Drive is a stylish, ultra cool work of art with plenty of depth beneath the surface. It won’t speak to everyone, but it’s a very fine work and one of the best movies of the 2010s so far.
2nd: L.A. Confidential
Action, Drama, Violence, Romance, Mystery, and some black Comedy are given the Classic Hollywood treatment and are transformed into the Number One dynamical hard-boiled LA detective story of the decade in Curtis Hanson’s stylish noir masterpiece based on James Ellroy’s critically acclaimed 1990 pulp novel “LA CONFIDENTIAL”
Three detectives (Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe) with different rivaling personalities, a tabloid photographer (Danny DeVito) a sexy but troubled prostitute (Kim Basinger, in an Oscar winning performance) a wealthy pornographer (David Strathairn) and a scheming LAPD Captain (James Cromwell) are drawn together into a conflicting mass murder investigation.
Involving in this fellow police officers which leads to a intriguingly complex and dangerous web of lies and deceit, in the form of organized crime, heroin trafficking, prostitution, and political corruption which turns the very portrait of the luxury wonderland of Hollywood, the City of Angels, completely upside down in one of the most exciting twisted corkscrew thrillers ever conceived since The Big Sleep and Chinatown.
Grade A performances
We enjoyed every part of this intriguing depiction of the glamorously styled but gut wrenching violent life of murder investigation in LA of the big 50’s.
It’s an explosively blended flick that it swirled perfectly well executed like a corkscrew of the modern screwball mystery, with an awesome tour de force collection of grade A performances especially from Hollywood newcomers, Guy Pearce as the stuffy but intelligent Police lieutenant Ed Exley and Russell Crowe as the hot tempered tough cop Bud White, with Kevin Spacey backing up as the moonlighting celebrity detective Jack Vincennes make this a super tense thrill story that revolutionizes the modern pulp fiction into an exhilarating spectacular that will leave you in the Hollywood dust that you can’t let everyone who loves it have all the action. Highly recommendable with lots of shocking gory twists.
Brick tells the story of Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose ex girlfriend goes missing, so he goes into the underbelly of the school’s crime to learn more about her disappearance.
The main thing that caught us most off guard about this movie is how intricate the plot is. This is not a flaw in the movie, in fact it’s quite the opposite. We admire Rian Johnson for believing in his audience to be able to keep up with the quick dialog and mysterious actions that take place.
To continue with the dialog, this script is wonderful. It may seem pretentious to a few as such a complex and sophisticated plot is being presented by a high school student. However, Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s character is so believable doing these things and the credit for that goes to Gordon-Levitt.
Another aspect we were skeptical about was the actual crime itself being led by a bunch of high school students. However, the film acknowledges this might be a concern to some and creates humor to go along with it.
For example, in one scene, the crime ring leader (The Pin) is explaining to Brendan important information and while that is happening, The Pin’s mother is in the background serving them apple juice and other snacks. This was an excellent way to deal with the situation at hand.
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by “Brick”. Being one of Rian Johnson’s first films, we can tell that he will become a great film maker in the future and we look forward to his upcoming productions.
We would highly recommend seeing this film; the twists and turns taken along with the highly intricate plot increases this film’s rewatchability factor and will have the viewer catching more and more points upon second and third viewings.