Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Year Released: 2011
A stuntman (Ryan Gosling) - who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals - gets involved with the ex-con husband of his neighbor (Carey Mulligan) and several local baddies (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman) looking for a good amount of stolen cash. The first half is fairly impressive, with its proto 80's synthpop score, tense car scenes and, of course, Gosling's brooding loner carrying it along, before taking a dive in its second half, when it turns to graphic bloodshed and Brooks hamming it up, where it loses its pre-established sense of mystery and mystique. The key influence is Walter Hill's far superior The Driver (from 1978) - the main character from both pictures is nameless - but doesn't succeed at creating Hill's picture's aura of existential dread: this more or less turns into Death Wish.