An unfavorable review from John Podhoretz in the completely uninfluential cultural pages of The Weekly Standard, which has the following amusing thought:
....there is something unearthly about Los Angeles after the sun sets. Michael Mann has made two “L.A. at night” movies, Heat and Collateral. Robert Altman, a notorious stoner, also made two—one in the 1970s called The Long Goodbye and one in the 1990s called Short Cuts. The last movie made by Hal Ashby, the great 1970s director who apparently was never actually unstoned, was 8 Million Ways to Die—a genuine piece of junk art about an alcoholic detective investigating the murder of a hooker that was released in 1986. Drive consciously evokes it—as it does similar movies released around the same time like Into the Night, To Live and Die in L.A., Against All Odds, Tequila Sunrise, and 52 Pick-Up.
....This may help explain why Drive isn’t making much money. Who wants to see a feature-length and lovingly detailed tribute to a mini-genre—’80s L.A. noir—that flopped with audiences the first time? Well, to tell you the truth, I do. I adored those movies when they came out, because they were propulsive and fun—and I was in my mid-20s, and even when I found a movie indefensible I could still enjoy it. That’s usually not true any longer, and Drive is indefensible, but I could hear my 25-year-old self whispering in my ear, “Don’t be a spoilsport.” So I’m not.