Directors: Nicolas Winding Refn

nicolas-winding-refn-at-event-of-only-god-forgives-(2013)BIOGRAPHY (from Wikipedia)

Nicolas Winding Refn (born 29 September 1970) is a Danish film director, screenwriter and producer. He is known for directing the Pusher films, Drive and Only God Forgives.

Winding Refn prefers to shoot his films in chronological order: “…after I did it on my first movie, I felt, ‘How can you do a movie any other way?’ It’s like a painting — you paint the movie as you go along, and I like the uncertainty of not knowing exactly how it’s going to turn out.”

Colour blindness influences his style: “I can’t see mid-colours. That’s why all my films are very contrasted, if it were anything else I couldn’t see it.”



1996 – Pusher
1999 – Bleeder
2003 – Fear X
2004 – Pusher II
2005 – Pusher III
2008 – Bronson
2009 – Agatha Christie’s Marple: Nemesis (TV film)
2009 – Valhalla Rising
2011 – Drive
2013 – Only God Forgives

2016 – The Neon Demon


Pusher 1996 A gritty tale of a week in the life of drugs pusher Frank. The film starts as a dark comedy, but as Frank's circumstances start to spiral out of control the film gets much darker. The use of a very close field of view makes the film seem very personal. 7
Pusher II: With Blood on my Hands 2004 With a lesser script than the original Pusher and peripheral characters that don't really keep excite, Pusher II was a bit of a disappointment. Despite a great performance from Mads Mikkelson and Winding Refn's trademark American electronica score. 5
Bronson 2008 A brave way to tell the story of a very violent man. Colourful, funny and awkward. Tells the story and the turmoil without attempting to justify or understand the enigma of Charlie Bronson. 8
Drive 2011 From the opening scene of Gosling driving through night time LA I was hooked on the aesthetic of the film. With a great script, perfect score and a cinematic beauty to the violence, Drive is a true masterpiece of modern cinema. 10
Neon Demon 2016 For a film that contains lesbian necrophilia and someone coughing up an eyeball, the film is surprisingly subtle and restrained. A striking study of how beauty corrupts. 8

The Verdict

  • Pusher.
  • Pusher II.
  • Bronson.
  • Drive.
  • The Neon Demon.


Winding Refn has a unique way of making extreme violence cinematic and almost beautiful. He can turn his hand to different styles, but always brings his trademark ability to make you connect very personally with the leading character. His eye for a striking visual and his brilliant use of American electronica make him standout as one of the most exciting directors around.


This page will be updated as we watch more Nicolas Winding Refn films and therefore his overall rating will change over time. You can see where Nicolas sits on in the Directors League here.


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