Drive Angry

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Drive Angry
Drive Angry Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPatrick Lussier
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyBrian Pearson
Edited by
  • Patrick Lussier
  • Devin C. Lussier
Music byMichael Wandmacher
Distributed by
Release date
  • February 25, 2011 (2011-02-25)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$45-50 million[1][2]
Box office$41 million[2]

Drive Angry (alternatively titled Drive Angry 3D)[3] is a 2011 American action horror film directed by Patrick Lussier, who co-wrote it with Todd Farmer. It stars Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke, Charlotte Ross, Katy Mixon, and Tom Atkins. The film, photographed in 3D, was released on February 25.


John Milton escapes from Hell and steals Satan's gun, the Godkiller, to kill Jonah King. King, a cult leader who killed Milton's daughter and her husband, plans to sacrifice Milton's infant granddaughter, believing it will unleash Hell on Earth.

After interrogating and murdering some of King's followers in Colorado, Milton discovers that the ritual will take place in Stillwater, an abandoned prison in Louisiana. On his way there he stops by a diner, where he meets Piper, a waitress. Milton abandons his damaged car and sabotages Piper's car, a 1969 Dodge Charger, offering to fix it in exchange for a ride.

Piper walks in on her boyfriend, Frank, cheating on her. Piper beats the woman and assaults Frank, who knocks Piper unconscious. Milton hears the commotion and comes to Piper's aid. Milton steals Frank's car and takes Piper with him to Stillwater. A supernatural operative of Satan, The Accountant, arrives on Earth with the mission to retrieve Milton and the gun. The Accountant interrogates Frank and discovers Milton's destination. After murdering Frank, he tricks a pair of state troopers into helping him.

At a shady hotel, Milton, while having sex with a waitress from a nearby bar, is attacked by King and his men, but he kills most of them. The Accountant appears with the police and chases after Milton and Piper, who are chasing after King's van. Milton uses the Godkiller to shoot at the Accountant, causing him to drive off a bridge. They follow King to a church, only to find it filled with King's followers. They are ambushed and captured. They kidnap Piper and shoot Milton in the eye, leaving him for dead, but he awakens, kills King's men, and pursues the RV. Piper breaks free, fights King, and jumps out of the RV onto Milton's car. King disables the car by shooting its engine.

Milton and Piper meet Milton's friend Webster, who gives them a 1971 red Chevrolet Chevelle SS. Piper discovers that Milton is undead and had to abandon his daughter to protect her from his former companions, which allowed King to manipulate her into joining his cult. Webster reveals that Milton died 10 years prior in a shootout and that Webster personally carried his coffin. She also discovers that the Godkiller has the power to completely destroy one's soul, preventing it from going to either Heaven or Hell. Meanwhile, one of King's surviving men tells the Accountant why Milton is chasing them.

After arming himself, Milton tells Piper and Webster to leave, concerned for their safety, but Piper says she has never before had a worthy cause to fight for and is with him regardless of the consequences. With the help of the now-intrigued Accountant, they evade the troops of Sheriff Cap and arrive at Stillwater. The Accountant captures Piper and forces Milton to give up the Godkiller before he can engage King, but he allows Milton to attempt to save his granddaughter, noting that Satan despises the sacrifice of innocent lives in his name.

While Milton slaughters King's men before they can sacrifice the child, Piper escapes from The Accountant with the Godkiller. King eventually gets the upper hand on Milton and savagely beats him. Piper fires the Godkiller at King, but misses and knocks herself out. King is enraged when another follower refuses to murder the infant. The Accountant attracts King's attention, allowing Milton to grab the Godkiller and shoot King.

The Accountant retrieves the baby and allows Milton to say goodbye to her. Milton gives her to Piper, who promises to care for her. Webster arrives and looks on as Milton "dies". After both Piper and Webster have left, Milton is revealed to still not be fully dead. Milton makes good on his earlier promise to Webster and drinks a beer from the remains of King's skull. He agrees to return to Hell but threatens to escape again if he is punished too severely. The Accountant claims that he looks forward to it. The Accountant then manifests a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air and Milton drives them back into the gates of Hell.


  • Nicolas Cage as John Milton. He returns from Hell after ten years to save his granddaughter. He steals Satan's personal gun, the Godkiller, to delay the Accountant. He does not mind the pain he suffers in hell but finds being forced to watch the video feed of his daughter's murder to be intolerable.[4]
  • Amber Heard as Piper Lee. She is a waitress at a local bar and has a cheating fiancee whom she abandons to join with Milton to save his granddaughter.[5]
  • William Fichtner as The Accountant. He is Satan's slightly arrogant assistant. He was assigned to return Milton back to Hell and notes that sometimes he needs to return escaped souls. He possesses a coin, which he uses to kill or transform into an FBI badge to assist his impersonation.[6]
  • Billy Burke as Jonah King. He is a ruthless satanist who believes that sacrificing Milton's granddaughter will bring Hell back to Earth and he will be immortal. (The Accountant denies this, saying that Satan himself dislikes satanists.)[7]
  • David Morse as Webster[8]
  • Katy Mixon as Norma Jean[9]
  • Charlotte Ross as Candy[10]
  • Christa Campbell as Mona Elkins[11]
  • Pruitt Taylor Vince as Roy
  • Todd Farmer as Frank Raimi
  • Tom Atkins as Captain
  • Jack McGee as Lou 'Fat Lou'


Cage stated that he was originally drawn to the project by a scene in which his character's eyes get shot out.[12] In his previous film, Season of the Witch, he had wanted to have such a scene but producers rejected the idea.[12]

The film was shot in 3D, and special effects were created by Gary Tunnicliffe.[13] The cameras were rented from Paradise FX.[14] One reason Cage chose this film was to be part of the new 3D technology.[15]

The three cars driven by Cage in the film are a 1964 Buick Riviera, a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T (440 Engine) and a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454.[16] Writer/director Patrick Lussier said the Riviera, used at the beginning and the end, "was the car we wished we had used the most, because it was a beautiful driving car", but "It was a shame to smack it up."[17] Three Chargers and three Chevelles were used, with one made very safe for the stunts, and one intended to be shown close to being destroyed.[17]

Cage narrated the supernatural film at WonderCon 2010.[18] Patrick Lussier wrote the film with Todd Farmer.[19] Lussier filmed the movie in Minden,[20] Plain Dealing and Shreveport, Louisiana.[21]


Box office

The film was released in the US on February 25, 2011.[22] Footage premiered on July 23, 2010 as part of the San Diego Comic-Con International.[23] It opened at ninth place within the box office rankings at $1.6 million on Friday, with a lower than expected $5 million weekend.[24] Drive Angry's box office performance made it the lowest-grossing opening of a 3D film released in over 2,000 US theaters.[24] The film was slightly more successful in international markets, earning $30.3 million.[2]

Home media

Drive Angry was released on DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray on May 31, 2011.

Critical reception

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 47% based on reviews from 122 critics, with an average rating of 5.3 out of 10. The website's "Critics Consensus" says: "It may deliver the over-the-top action pieces, but Drive Angry prefers to work safely within grindhouse formula than do something truly unique."[25] On Metacritic the film has a score of 44 out of 100 based on reviews from 21 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[26] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade C+ on a scale from A to F.[27]

Mark Jenkins from The Washington Post wrote, "Even at its most lurid, though, the movie is a little dull. And it only gets less compelling as the back story fills in."[28] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 and called it "an exercise in deliberate vulgarity, gross excess, and the pornography of violence, not to forget garden variety pornography. You get your money's worth."[29] Elizabeth Weitzman from the New York Daily News wrote, "Drive Angry is pure grindhouse, so committed to its own junkiness that it is, in its way, a pleasure to behold."[30] Writing for Variety, Rob Nelson called it "plenty watchable" but probably more of a draw to cult film fans than to mainstream audiences.[31] In The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney called the film "a mindless exploitation entry that should have been appallingly awesome".[32]


  1. ^ Kaufman, Amy (February 24, 2011). "Movie Projector: Farrelly brothers' 'Hall Pass' to top Nicolas Cage's 'Drive Angry'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2011. produced and financed by Avi Lerner's Nu Image Films for between $45 million and $50 million
  2. ^ a b c "Drive Angry (2011) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Drive Angry (2010)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on September 29, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  4. ^ Rich, Katey (December 17, 2009). "Nic Cage Will Drive Angry At Summit". Cinema Blend. Archived from the original on November 30, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  5. ^ Murray, Rebecca (March 1, 2010). "Amber Heard Joining Nic Cage In Drive Angry". Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  6. ^ "Simona Williams Joins Drive Angry". Shock Til You Drop. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  7. ^ Lussier, Germain (October 14, 2010). "Movie Trailer and Poster: 'Drive Angry 3D'". Slash Film. Archived from the original on November 2, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  8. ^ Creepy, Uncle (April 6, 2010). "More Drive Angry News: Cage Says It's Another Foray into the Supernatural". Dread Central. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  9. ^ Creepy, Uncle (March 16, 2010). "Katy Mixon Is the Next Hot Chica to Drive Angry". Dread Central. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "Ringleader Hottie on the Hunt for Cage in 'Drive Angry'". Bloody-Disgusting. Archived from the original on May 27, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  11. ^ Lawrence P. Raffel. "Christa Campbell is Ready to 'Drive Angry'!". FearNet. Archived from the original on September 8, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Kasch, Andrew (February 24, 2011). "Nicolas Cage Talks Drive Angry". Dread Central. Archived from the original on February 27, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  13. ^ "Who's Handling the FX for Drive Angry ?". Shock Till You Drop. Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  14. ^ "'Drive Angry' Shot in REAL 3-D, Lusier Explains Why Post-3-D is Garbage". Bloody-Disgusting. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  15. ^ "Drive Angry (2011) – Review". Inopian. Archived from the original on August 19, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
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  17. ^ a b McCarthy, Erin (February 18, 2011). "Drive Angry's Director on Fast Cars, Real Stunts in 3D". Popular Mechanics. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  18. ^ "Lussier Talks Old 'Halloween 3' Plans, Cage Says 'Drive Angry' is Supernatural". Bloody-Disgusting. Archived from the original on July 21, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  19. ^ "Todd Farmer – Happy to Drive Angry". DreadCentral. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  20. ^ "Set Report: 'Drive Angry' Part 1: Get Ready for a Violent, Bumpy Ride!". Bloody-Disgusting. Archived from the original on January 14, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  21. ^ "Set Report: 'Drive Angry' Part 2: Fasten Your Seatbelt!". Bloody-Disgusting. Archived from the original on March 28, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  22. ^ "Disney Sets Mars Needs Mom Release Date". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on December 22, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  23. ^ "SD Comic-Con '10 – Schedule for Friday (7/23)". DreadCentral. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Nikki Finke (February 27, 2011). "'Gnomes' No. 1 In Third Week Of Release; 'Hall Pass' Drops To #2; 'Drive Angry' #9; Oscars Fave 'King's Speech' Doesn't Stutter". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  25. ^ "Drive Angry". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  26. ^ "Drive Angry". Metacritic. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  27. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 27, 2011). "Weekend Box Office: Gnomeo & Juliet Elves Bash Cage's Drive Angry 3D and Farrelly's Hall Pass". IndieWire. Archived from the original on November 4, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020. audiences gave a C+ Cinemascore. 69% of the crowd were males and like many films this winter, the younger demo didn't show up: only 43% were under 30.
  28. ^ Jenkins, Mark (February 25, 2011). "'Drive Angry 3D': Nicolas Cage and rage running on empty". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020.
  29. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 24, 2011). "Drive Angry 3D movie review & film summary (2011)". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  30. ^ Weitzman, Elizabeth (February 28, 2011). "In 'Drive Angry,' Nicholas Cage steers further away from Oscar heyday, but flick still a fun ride". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on February 28, 2011.
  31. ^ Nelson, Rob (February 25, 2011). "Drive Angry". Variety. Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  32. ^ David Rooney (February 25, 2011). "Drive Angry: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 1, 2011. smash-up car chases, hyper-violent physical clashes, flying viscera and a dollop of sex and nudity with ludicrous dialogue and only a passing concern for logic in this high-octane trash

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