A tricky, unsettling, often riveting film, shot in a coldly glowing L.A. by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. Ryan Gosling, an update on Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, has magnetic mystery as the lean, terse “hero” who drives hard, can fox-out criminals, and may be a sociopath. His shy interest in the lonely beauty (big-eyed Carey Mulligan) down the hall leads to violent situations, shot with a crisp relish that plays with the rituals of movie sadism. Albert Brooks’s nail-gun sarcasms and sly, smug watchfulness make him a terrific villain. If you don’t expect air-tight plot or a warm payoff, this is one hell of a ride. (2011) — David Elliott
This movie is not currently in theaters.