Top Five Nicolas Winding Refn Films

Progressing from his debut film Pusher (1996), this Danish film director has an impressive resume. His films are often dark, surreal and hyper violent. Here are five of his best.

5) Valhalla Rising (2009)

Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Hannibal) stars in this violent adventure film as One-Eye, a mysterious mute who is forced by the men who captured him, into fights to the death. A surreal tale about violence and sacrifice, this film draws you in from the first frame and doesn’t let go until the last.

4) Bronson (2008)

A fascinating and unconventional biopic, Bronson tells the story of “Britain’s most violent prisoner” Michael Gordon Peterson (Tom Hardy).  The film was praised for Hardy’s incredible performance and its decision to offer no explanation for Peterson’s actions.

3) Only God Forgives (2013)

After the success of Drive, the director teamed up once more with Gosling for this bleak, psychological thriller. Gosling plays Julian, an American living in Bangkok who is forced by his cold, demeaning mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) to kill the man responsible for his brother’s death. The director’s visual style is on full display here with the dark, dreamlike images that contribute to the tense tone of the film.

2) The Neon Demon (2016)

A disturbing story about beauty, youth and obsession, this film stars Elle Fanning as an aspiring model who discovers the dark side of the industry. Like Only God Forgives and Valhalla Rising, this is a surreal, dreamlike story that has an ongoing sense of dread.

1) Drive (2011)

An ultra-stylish crime film with noir elements, Drive is an expertly told story that follows Ryan Gosling’s unnamed driver as he navigates the criminal underworld of Los Angeles. The cast is amazing with Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaacs, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston and Albert Brooks all giving terrific performances but the standout is Gosling with his stoic, almost non-verbal take as The Driver garnering much praise from critics.

 

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