One of 2011’s best movies plays even better at home, preferably on Blu-ray, where Nicolas Winding Refn’s turbocharged thriller about a stunt man who moonlights as a getaway driver burns with an almost informal intensity. Refn piles on the style and speed as Ryan Gosling (in his most understated role of a breakout and versatile year) smolders as a guy caught in a really messy situation. Bloody, brutal, and not afraid to fuck things up, Drive is modern movie-making at its most invigorating. Unfortunately, the extras here are mostly behind-the-scenes features that add nothing to the package. No worries. Just turn up the movie and prepare for one hell of a ride.
The Big Year (Twentieth Century Fox)
Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson are birdwatchers competing in the year’s biggest event (laughing yet?) in a movie that plays more like nature porn than a comedy. Bird fans may enjoy, but others should fly far, far away.
In Time (Twentieth Century Fox)
Justin Timberlake cranks up his smugness in this head-scratching sci-fi thriller that borrows its premise from Logan’s Run:People over the age of 25 are wiped out, unless they can buy more time. Hope you like endless chase scenes.
The Thing (Universal)
This boring prequel to John Carpenter’s classic plays a lot like the 1982 version: Scientists stuck in Antarctica fight off the shape-shifting monster that’s picking them off. There’s no tension and fewer shocks, just lots of blood and guts and snow.