This whip-smart film more than lives up to its early buzz

Drive—a heist movie by Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Valhalla Rising) that was a tremendous hit at Cannes this year—opens on September 16. This time around, the hype machine really does have something great to work with.

Ryan Gosling plays a Los Angeles stuntman–cum–getaway driver who finds (as those in his profession often do) that a contract’s been taken out on his life. He’s joined by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks. The very lean film was shot in seven weeks, on a short (81-page) script. But its look and feel—which owe something to Claude Lelouch’s eight-minute cinema verité thrill ride, C’était un Rendez-vous—are fully realized, in ways that reminded us of early Tarantino.

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