The Driver (Ryan Gosling) works repairing cars, part-timing as a stuntman on the side. Car shop owner Shannon acts as his manager for both jobs. They also provide a getaway driver service for Shannon's criminal contacts. Meeting his next door neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), the Driver befriends her and her son. When her husband, Standard Gabriel, gets out of prison, he is at first hostile towards the Driver, but soon accepts him. Standard, owing a large sum of money, is ordered by gangster Cook to rob a pawnshop for $40,000 so as to pay off his debt with him. The Driver, worried about Irene and her son's safety, steals a car and offers himself as the getaway driver for the pawnshop heist.
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While waiting for Standard and Cook's accomplice Blanche to pull off the robbery, the Driver sees a Chrysler driving into the parking lot. As Blanche comes out carrying a large bag, Standard gets shot and killed by the pawnshop owner. The Driver manages to drive off with Blanche and the money. They are chased by the Chrysler. After shaking off the Chrysler, the Driver hides with Blanche in a hotel. The bag turns out to contain more than a million dollars. When questioned, Blanche divulges she and Cook planned on two-timing him and Standard. The Driver tracks down Cook and coerces him to tell him who was behind the robbery. Cook tells him it was mobster Nino, one of Shannon's criminal contacts. The Driver wants to return the million, but Nino turns his offer down and sends a hit man over. In the elevator with Irene, the Driver meets the hit man and sees his pistol. As a diversion, the Driver kisses Irene, before killing off the hit man.
Meanwhile Nino tells his accomplice Bernie the money belongs to mobsters in New York and they need to kill everyone involved, to prevent the mob finding out about them. Bernie murders Cook and also kills Shannon, when he refuses to tell him where the Driver is at. Meanwhile the Driver follows Nino and drowns him in the Pacific Ocean. The Driver then goes to meet Bernie. He calls Irene to tell her he will probably not be coming back, saying that his time her and her son was the best thing for him. At the meeting, Bernie guarantees Irene and her son's safety in exchange for the money. But when the Driver hands him the money, Bernie stabs him. The Driver then stabs Bernie to death. He drives off in his car, leaving the money with Bernie's dead body. In the end, the Driver drives away for good.
Best part of story, including ending:
The gray areas between black and white, right and wrong.
Best scene in story:
Where he is witness to her family life and befriends her son.
Opinion about the main character:
He likes to do what he does best, crosses the legal line but is basically not a bad guy.