Have Your Say: What Is Your Favorite Nicolas Winding Refn Film?

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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Have Your Say: What Is Your Favorite Nicolas Winding Refn Film?
Last week, Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon went into limited release in North America, to mixed results and a disappointing box office. Film critics are divided as well, some calling it the year's best, others calling it a shallow exercise in style over substance. In his review from Cannes earlier this year, our Jason Gorber called the film "Silly, sly, sexy and sordid,..." and "...a dark little burst of joy."

The fact that there is a division at all is good news probably, because it means Refn is still doing stuff that's edgy enough to get people angry over it. Which brings us to our question of the week: what is your favorite Nicolas Winding Refn film?

Chime in with your opinion, in the comments below, and HAVE YOUR SAY!
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Nicolas Winding RefnMary LawsPolly StenhamElle FanningKarl GlusmanJena MaloneBella HeathcoteHorrorThriller

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BlastfighterJune 28, 2016 10:14 AM

The Neon Demon, hands down. It's hypnotic cinema

xavierka_TJune 28, 2016 10:50 AM

I have yet to see 'The Neon Demon', so we'll see how it ranks, but (and I cannot believe I am saying this, as making a choice in this case feels crazy) my favourite has to still be 'Pusher II'. Not only because it is magnificent cinema - which it clearly is - but because it is a beautifully courageous film (losers are not usually hot material to make a film about, and to make one that treats its character so gently and gives him a chance of redemption despite all his failures - as a son, a lover, even a father - takes a particular kind of courage and imagination) made by a beautifully courageous director (let us not forget the level of failure Refn had faced just prior to making it; yet he came back as an artist). I'll admit it - I am always partial to father-son relationships in cinema; I am also slightly biased towards the gentler, more "worldly" Refn (although his films have always been set more in a filmic meta-world than the real world, I think) compared to the one of the recent few years, not because I thought he made better films before, but because he was perhaps closer to my cinematic tastes (Dogme95 rather than giallo, for example) so we could bond more easily on different levels. That being said, I wouldn't even go so far as to argue that 'Pusher II' is his best work (I will need a few years to think about that one...), only that it is the one I am most emotionally attached to. It is a favourite of mine in the most naive sense of the word: I love it unconditionally, go back to revisit it often, and it never fails to move me.

(Ouch, that was an unexpectedly emotional moment; but yeah *wipes tears* the world is a much better place for having NWR in it.)

rustdogJune 28, 2016 11:51 AM

It is a toss up between Pusher 2 and Bronson. I think Bronson is his most rewatchable film. Hardy's performance is so engaging and the music sucks you in. Pusher 2 has the most compelling story out of all his work.

BOJune 28, 2016 11:55 AM

Only God Forgives is my favorite film of the last 10 years.

Ard VijnJune 28, 2016 1:04 PM

That was beautiful, and I thank you for your extremely well-written reaction.

xavierka_TJune 28, 2016 2:04 PM

Thank you for asking a great question, and making me realise it is time to re-watch the whole trilogy again :)

ChemJune 28, 2016 3:26 PM

Bleeder is my fav! It's a masterpiece, really!

Christopher WebsterJune 28, 2016 4:06 PM

So tough. Pusher, Valhalla and Drive are pretty much flawless. Forced to choose I have to say Drive though. It speaks to my love of noir and myth in a way that wins me over.

BigdadaJune 28, 2016 4:11 PM

Have not seen Neon yet. My fav is Bronson. Unforgettable opening and an ending right out of a Francis Bacon painting. Loved the experimental elements (Bronson's soliloquies), as well.

dustin changJune 28, 2016 4:48 PM

Dying to see Neon Demon. Only God Forgives is my favorite so far.

kidlazarusJune 28, 2016 5:31 PM

Bleeder is definitely underappreciated. I could definitely go for it, any of the pusher films or Bronson. Really a tough call. I haven't liked the most recent two at all - nice visuals here and there, but, severely lacking depth.

itrollidiotsJune 28, 2016 6:18 PM

Valhalla Rising and Bronson!

Michael NguyenJune 29, 2016 2:36 AM

Best to worse of the ones I've seen
1. Drive
2. Only God Forgives
3. Pusher
4. Neon Demon

xavierka_TJune 29, 2016 3:49 AM

A beautiful pick, and yes, definitely an underrated one. The scene in which Lenny turns around and walks away has to be one of my favourite 90s film moments, so sweet!

soupcrusherJune 29, 2016 9:31 AM

I really dig Refn's films, but I struggled mightily with Only God Forgives. Visually it's stunning. And I'm not the type of person that doesn't like slow paced films. But the performances were so anti "chewing up the scenery", the film seemed to drag a lot of the time. Made it tough to sit through. I actually apologized to the person that went to see it with me. I just thought it was a grind. Maybe I should give it another go, and not make it a date night movie this time?

I guess I'd go with Bronson. But I like them all, except for you know what.

the hong Kong cavaliersJune 29, 2016 11:39 AM

Pusher 2 is my favorite of his so far . I did enjoyed Neon demon a lot but pusher 2 for the story and the great performance by Mads Mikkelsen who should really team up with Refn again .

Unflinching_EyeJune 29, 2016 9:40 PM


Will SchusterJune 30, 2016 5:31 AM

Easily Drive with Bronson a distant 2nd.

Will SchusterJune 30, 2016 5:32 AM

watch the movie high and it's a revelation.

Cort WilliamsJune 30, 2016 8:20 PM

Valhalla Rising is my favorite. Neon Demon was wonderful.