Normally, something like this wouldn’t much appeal to me, but the film’s so well-cast and the performances are so fine that the plot gets shoved to the side. J.R. Jones complained that Drive capitulated to the Hollywood necessity that the hero’s a nice guy. But nearly everyone in the movie’s given time to show their good side. Usually, you’d want Standard dead as soon as possible, but played by Oscar Isaac, whose voice blooms with regret, it’s hard to imagine what he did to get arrested in the first place. I even have a soft spot for Nino. He justifies his botched plan to Bernie in business terms, but he’s instantly humanized when he says how the East Coast ‘family’ humiliates him. “What fuckin ‘family?’ The family who still calls me a fuckin ‘kike?’ To my face! You know, I’m 59-years-old, Bernie. They still pinch my cheek like I’m some fuckin kid.” Ron Perlman (Nino) looks like Tom Waits with gigantism. He played Hellboy. You can imagine how hard it is for him to eat that shit.