The 2011 movie Drive was an unexpected hit. Aside from the fact that it had The Notebook lead actor Ryan Gosling starring in the film, it still was relatively unknown until festival season rolled in. The movie garnered buzz after it premiered in the Cannes Film Festival, with many critics praising Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn‘s artistic style and keen sense to detail. He was later awarded as that year’s Best Director.
Drive found itself on lists that counted the best movies of 2011, including a number one spot in Rolling Stone magazine and The Chicago Sun Times.
The movie centers around an unnamed character (played by Gosling) who works as a Los Angeles stunt driver and moonlights as a getaway driver at the same time. The film is classified under the neo-noir crime genre and is set against a backdrop of Los Angeles during the 80s.
The visuals alone are enough to make one appreciate the movie, and it has the right combination of violence and tension to reel audiences in. So if you happen to be a fan of Drive, then you might want to check out these stylish thrillers brought to you by ExploreTalent:
1. The Driver (1978, Walter Hill)
The Driver is perhaps the most closely associated film with Drive. They practically have the same story, each pertaining to an unnamed getaway driver in the neon-colored Los Angeles streets. But this is where the similarities end as in The Driver, Ryan O’ Neal‘s character is going against the dirty tactics of the law.
Bruce Dern plays the investigator who is obsessed with taking the driver down, even if it means staging an entrapment that might threaten his own career.
2. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012, Derek Cianfrance)
Once again, Ryan Gosling proves his versatility as an actor in The Place Beyond The Pines. In this crime drama, he stars as Luke, a motorcycle stuntman (quite similar to his role in Drive) who wants to provide for his family, so he starts robbing banks. As a result of his actions, the mother of his son refuses to make contact with him and a police officer (Bradly Cooper) is hot on his heels. After a series of conflicts and gritty action scenes, it is Luke’s son that suffers the consequences the most.
Overall, The Place Beyond the Pines is a great film fueled by a wonderful ensemble cast and an equally compelling story line.
3. Thief (1981, Michael Mann)
American film director Michael Mann‘s debut feature is an ambitious crime thriller that delivers all the goods. The reason it is included on this list is because the movie Drive has undoubtedly incorporated the same neon-lit streets and thrilling choreographed action scenes that Thief has.
The film centers around Frank, a seasoned criminal who was supposed to settle down when he is offered a job he could not resist. That job happened to involve the Los Angeles mafia and is both dangerous yet extremely rewarding.
4. The Warriors (1979, Walter Hill)
One thing that made the movie Drive so memorable was its synth-heavy background music, something that was also rampant during the stylish days of the 1980s. So it was only fitting to include an early film that utilized the same background music as Drive.
The Warriors is often regarded as one of the greatest cult action films of all time as it introduces viewers to a dystopian New York City under the rule of vicious street gangs. The protagonists are a gang who are framed for murder, they then need to return to their home turf while dodging an army of cops and rival gangs.
5. Bullitt (1968, Peter Yates)
There is no doubt that Drive‘s nameless protagonist mirrors the tough guy demeanor of Frank Bullitt. Steve McQueen plays the titular character, and it is easy to see that Refn most likely got his inspiration from the likes of both McQueen and Clint Eastwood.
Bullitt is an antihero all throughout the film since he displays a stone cold attitude who relentlessly solves cases even if he has to resort to violent methods.
One of the most notable parts of the film is a ten-minute long car chase sequence, which was named as McQueen’s most iconic performance throughout his career.