#18: DRIVE
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Pearlman, Albert Brooks
Release Date: September 16
Why we’re excited: In a fair world, Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn would be a household name. To date, all of his little-seen works, including last year’s hardcore and visually arresting Valhalla Rising, have whooped cinematic ass. Unfortunately, he’s yet to find a big-name star to bring attention to one of his films, until now. Refn tapped a stellar cast (it’ll be good to see Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston in theaters) for this action thriller about a stuntman (Gosling) who’s on the run after a heist goes awry. Count on Drive to rank as one of 2011’s top sleepers.