Ryan Gosling delivers one of the year’s best performances in one of the year’s best films. Gosling plays Driver, a stunt driver and part-time mechanic who aspires to race cars. He also moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. He meets Irene (Carey Mulligan), a mother raising her child alone in his apartment building. She’s awaiting the return of her husband (Oscar Isaac) from prison. When he does return, he and Driver get themselves in loads of trouble. Albert Brooks plays against type as Bernie Rose, a former movie producer mixed up in crime. This is not the Brooks from Finding Nemo; his character here is as monstrous as movie characters get. Bryan Cranston plays Driver’s boss and agent, a good man with a penchant for screwing up. Gosling’s work here reminds of the quiet menace Robert De Niro brought to Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.