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Movie Review: 'Drive' -- 3.5 stars

Ryan Gosling’s character doesn’t like to get too

Ryan Gosling’s character doesn’t like to get too close ... until he meets a pretty young mom (Carey Mulligan) Photo Credit: Ryan Gosling’s character doesn’t like to get too close ... until he meets Carey Mulligan's character

Drive
3.5 stars
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston
Rated R

Don’t be deceived by the pink stick font on the movie poster or the hypnotic pop-synth soundtrack or the hunky heartthrob.

“Drive” has all the elements of a love story, but it’s also directed by Denmark’s brutal Nicolas Winding Refn. So when our dreamy hero smashes a guy’s head in with his foot, or when a woman gets her head blown off with a rifle, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Ryan Gosling stars as a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as the best getaway driver money can buy. You’re treated to a wonderfully tense demonstration of his getaway chops in the opening minutes of the film, as he careens through a maze of streets with cop cars on his tail.

The driver (we never learn his name) hardly talks, and he makes no effort to know his clients.

Anonymity is his M.O. until he meets his neighbor, a pretty young mother (Carey Mulligan) who’s raising her child on her own until the daddy gets out of jail.

In an act of valor, our driver gets mixed up with a seedy duo (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman) in an effort to protect her.

From the thrumming soundtrack to the lurid violence, “Drive” is one of the most visceral movies you’ll see this year. The story is simple and the dialogue is sparse, which frees audience members up to experience the noir atmosphere with senses on high alert. Not to overhype the violence, though: “Drive” is actually a sweet story, in a twisted sort of way.

“Drive” is a bold noir movie that’s well worth seeing in theaters.

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