London’s review published on Letterboxd:
You ever just see an actor in every single role he is in and just mutter to yourself "Brilliant". There are a few examples that come to mind, most notably for me, Song Kang-ho. However I do think Ryan Gosling has an tremendous amount of acting talent and is able to elevate certain films way past where they should be.
Drive is far better than it should be. The concept is straight forward and the story beats are pretty standard. But the cast and the crew are able to launch the film into greatness. The soundtrack is beautiful, and it is very obvious to me why my friend had this as his choice for our latest movie day: Favorite Soundtrack. You can have a tonally consistent soundtrack, and you can have a great soundtrack. But a lot of movies fail to dial both of those to the max, and have every scene accompanied by a piece of music that perfectly matches and mirrors every shot in it. However Drive is able to do that seemingly effortlessly.
The beauty of the film really comes down to the simplicity. It leaves so much room for its actors to breathe and make the space their own, as well as leaves room for some great action scenes. If I am speaking from the core of my heart, I don't love the vast majority of car chases. Most of them are pretty by the numbers with few shot variations and pretty generic action-esque music playing behind it. However there are exceptions, and the car chase in Drive is exceptional. I could watch that scene again and again.
I didn't love all of it however. I really think the film spent way too little time speaking with Oscar Isaacs character, to the point where no one was invested one way or another. That was my biggest complaint of the film, and the rest are mostly nitpicks. But for the vast majority of the film, each section is executed somewhere on a scale of good to fantastic, and the film in summation is great. You should watch it.