Nicolas Winding Refn is a Danish film director, screenwriter, and producer. He has become known for his dark style of filmmaking and his use of violence in many of his films.

He is also known for working with actor Ryan Gosling on several projects, including the films Drive (2011) and Only God Forgives (2013).

Nicolas Winding Refn is a good director, who uses the camera in interesting and innovative ways, to create a unique cinematic style. This is most apparent in his use of framing and colors.

The way he frames characters is very distinctive and he has some great techniques that he uses in all of his films. Refn also uses color in his films to convey emotions, as well as to create stunning visuals.

Refn’s most notable technique is his use of negative space and framing.

He often creates scenes with characters positioned in the middle of the frame, and lots of blackness around them, or with the character up against one side of the frame and a lot of negative space on the other side.

Best Nicolas Winding Refn Movies

Let’s take a look at the best Nicolas Winding Refn movies.

Only God Forgives (2013)

Bored with living in the United States, Julian (Ryan Gosling) travels to Bangkok, Thailand, where he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for the family’s drug smuggling operation.

Julian’s brother Billy (Tom Burke) has been murdered by the police chief, Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm), but his killers want Julian to believe that Billy was killed by drug dealers who were jealous of his success.

Mysterious and powerful, Chang knows that Julian killed Billy and is using this knowledge to manipulate the drug dealer.

As he watches Julian spiral further into a world of drugs and violence, Chang reveals himself to be more than just an enforcer for the local police – he is also a powerful sorcerer whose spiritual powers have made him virtually invulnerable.

The only person who might be able to defeat Chang is Julian’s mother, Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas), who herself is something of an legend among the people of Bangkok — they call her “Mekong Mary,” after the river that flows through Thailand.

Lorre and Refn make film noir look easy. They know how to create mood and tension from scene transitions and framing alone.

Only God Forgives
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm (Actors)
  • Nicolas Winding Refn (Director) - Nicolas Winding Refn (Writer) - Lene Børglum (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Fear X (2003)

Fear X is a psychological thriller directed by James Foley, and starring John Cusack, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Nick Cannon.

Teddy Leachman is your average American guy with an attractive wife and two lovely daughters. He works hard at his advertising job, coaches his daughter’s soccer team and makes love to his wife.

One day he visits the doctor for some routine tests after his wife complains about him “dragging his feet” around the house. The results are startling: Teddy has a cancerous brain tumor that will kill him in six months.

He is told that they can operate on him but it would only prolong a few months at best.

Teddy decides not to have the surgery and instead to spend the rest of his life making sure he leaves behind those things that are most important to him: His family, friends, work and especially baseball.

He takes up coaching again with renewed vigor; he begins playing catch with one of his daughters, who had stopped because she was tired of being embarrassed by her dad’s bad throws; he tells his boss that he is quitting so that he can spend time with his family; and he starts to fall in love with another woman (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos). 

Fear X
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Turturro, Deborah Kara Unger, Stephen McIntyre (Actors)
  • Nicolas Winding Refn (Director) - Hubert Selby Jr. (Writer) - Henrik Danstrup (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Valhalla Rising (2009)

What did you think of Valhalla Rising? Let us know by posting your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

A semi-historical tale about a warrior named One-Eye and his band of Viking mercenaries who are captured by the crusaders, taken to Spain and forced to fight in the Coliseum for their lives. The story is told in flashbacks as One-Eye (Mads Mikkelson) a blind man with a metal eye patch,

being held captive by the Christian Bishop (Lars Mikkelson), who desires to learn more about One-Eye’s life, so he can convert him. When One-Eye refuses to give up his ways and beliefs, he is stripped naked and thrown into a pit with five other men, where they are forced to fight each other for their lives.

In order to survive and eventually escape, One Eye must kill all of his co-prisoners, including one that he has befriended during their time together.

One Eye is a man fighting for his freedom, but at what cost is he willing to sacrifice? The film takes some interesting twists and turns that will leave you guessing as to whether or not One Eye is actually human or not. 

Valhalla Rising
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Andrew Flanagan, Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson (Actors)
  • Nicholas Winding Refn (Director) - Nicholas Winding Refn (Writer) - Johnny Andersen (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

The Neon Demon (2016)

The Neon Demon” is a movie that’s not for everyone. It’s too niche, too weird and too disturbing for mainstream audiences.

Yet its aesthetics are wholly original and artful, and its acting performances range from the charismatic to the uncanny.

“The Neon Demon” is as pretentious as a movie can get, but it also goes for broke with its artistic decisions. The film’s vapid nature may make you laugh out loud at times, but there are also moments of stark beauty that are electrifying in their intensity.

The film tells the story of an aspiring model named Jesse (Elle Fanning) who moves to Los Angeles with dreams of fame and fortune. She soon gets noticed by a modelling agent (Keanu Reeves) and begins working with him.

But other models begin dying around her, causing her to question her relationships with others and herself.

Director Nicolas Winding Refn delivers a stylistic tour de force that uses vibrant colors to communicate the materialistic themes of “The Neon Demon”.

The film has a thematic undercurrent about beauty standards and the superficiality of Hollywood culture that’s bolstered by its curious use of colors. In particular, scenes involving characters played by Jena Malone and Bella Heathcote.

Valhalla Rising
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Andrew Flanagan, Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson (Actors)
  • Nicholas Winding Refn (Director) - Nicholas Winding Refn (Writer) - Johnny Andersen (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)


Best Nicolas Winding Refn Movies

Who Is nicolas winding refn?

Nicolas Winding Refn, director of films such as the Pusher trilogy, Drive, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon, is a Danish filmmaker best known for his visual style.

His films are also known for containing slow-motion violence and philosophical discussions on existentialism.

Refn made his directorial debut with the Danish crime film Pusher (1996), which received a direct-to-video release in the United States in 1997. The original Pusher film has spawned two sequels, with both sequels being released in Denmark in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

In 2008, Refn directed the English-language film Bronson, a semi-fictionalized biopic of British criminal Michael Gordon Peterson, who was known as Charles Bronson. Refn later made the documentaries Gambler (2010) and My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (2014).



Bleeder (1999)

Rory Cochrane plays a small-town high school football hero who had a pro career cut short by injury, and now is a car salesman having an affair with a married woman. But the real point of interest here is the virulent hatred that he has for his father, a local judge played with venomous relish by Ed Harris.

Harris expertly plays up every small thing that his character does to belittle and invalidate his son in front of everyone around them, but he really goes to town when he’s being interviewed on TV, and we see that even though Rory’s dad can’t openly acknowledge it, he’s very much using this interview as an opportunity to brag about how great he is.


If you’re at all familiar with Ed Harris’ work, you know that he’s an actor who can turn in great performances without ever seeming like he’s trying too hard. But one of the things I’ve always liked about him is that when he does decide to go “full force,” it’s mesmerizing to watch.

And when he decides to play someone who is almost cartoonishly evil, he’s not one bit shy about it. 

The Descendant (AKA:Bleeders)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Rutger Hauer, Roy Dupuis, Kristin Lehman (Actors)
  • Peter Svatek (Director) - Charles Adair (Writer) - Julie Allan (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Bronson (2008)

Bronson is a remake of the film Walking Tall. It stars the popular British actor, comedian and TV presenter, Danny Dyer as the lead character, Bronson.

Description: Bronson is an action film that tells the story of Britain’s most violent prisoner, Charles Bronson (Dyer) and his epic struggle against injustice.

Upon being sent to prison for robbery in 1974, he is subject to horrific abuse at the hands of sadistic prison officers and soon becomes infamous for going on a number of hunger strikes.

He is eventually transferred to Broadmoor Hospital for the criminally insane where his desire to be released leads him to escape twice. When he ends up in solitary confinement his anger boils over and he embarks on a ten year long campaign against anyone who dares cross him.

The film is based on real life events, following notorious prisoner Charles Bronson (Dyer) as he transforms from petty criminal into violent convict and then later into one of Britain’s most dangerous men behind bars.

As well as starring in the movie, Dyer also penned the screenplay with Kevin Toolis. Dyer has previously appeared in films such as The Football Factory and Mean Machine but this is his first time writing a script for a movie.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tom Hardy, Kelly Adams, Luing Andrews (Actors)
  • Nicolas Winding Refn (Director) - Suzanne Alizart (Producer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

With Blood on My Hands: Pusher II (2004)

The first thing you should know about director Nicolas Winding Refn is that he’s Danish. He was born in Copenhagen and raised there, the son of a poet and a publisher.

After studying philosophy at university, he worked for his father’s publishing house for a few years before moving to London.

There, he formed the Dogme 95 movement with Lars Von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg and others. Dogme 95 is an artistic movement that emphasizes purity of style, avoiding things like special effects and post-production editing.

And in 1999, Refn made his debut feature film with Pusher, which played at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Jury Prize at the festival.

Refn’s films are known for their striking visuals. He often shoots with wide-angle lenses that distort faces in interesting ways and makes ordinary settings seem epic (as well as making his actors appear more attractive).

His films are violent and often have a dreamlike quality to them, despite being grounded in gritty reality (or perhaps because they’re grounded in gritty reality).

His films tend to focus on outsiders who struggle with identity issues. In Pusher, protagonist Frank wants to be successful but feels trapped by his criminal past.

Pusher II: With Blood on My Hands
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mads Mikkelsen, Jesper Salomonsen, Leif Sylvester (Actors)
  • Nicolas Winding Refn (Director) - Nicolas Winding Refn (Writer) - Magnolia Pictures (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Pusher (1996)

A man is given an opportunity to make some money by delivering packages, but this will put him at odds with his friends and family.

Pusher is a 1996 British crime thriller film directed by Luis Prieto, written by Hossein Amini and starring Richard E. Grant, Samantha Mathis and Ian Hart. The film is based on the 1993 novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh, who also co-wrote the screenplay.

It was filmed in Glasgow and co-stars Ewen Bremner and Robbie Coltrane.

The film consists of three intersecting stories about drug dealing. The title of the film refers to someone who sells illegal drugs.

Pusher is a 1996 British crime drama film co-written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, in his directorial debut. The film stars Richard Coyle as a drug dealer who tries to pay off his supplier.

It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1996, where the audience reportedly reacted negatively to the film’s slow pacing.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kim Bodnia, Zlatko Buric, Laura Drasbæk (Actors)
  • Nicolas Winding Refn (Director) - Nicolas Winding Refn (Writer) - Henrik Danstrup (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Drive (2011)

Ryan Gosling stars as a stunt driver who moonlights as a wheelman for hire in this stylish crime drama. Gosling’s character, known only as The Driver, is the go-to guy for auto enthusiasts in the Los Angeles underworld who need to make a clean getaway from the cops.

But when he becomes involved romantically with his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a young mother and wife of an indebted family friend (Oscar Isaac), things begin to get complicated.

The Driver’s life of crime doesn’t sit well with Irene, who begs him to swear off violence. But it gets harder and harder for him to turn down the jobs that keep them living comfortably on the right side of the law.

When an explosive situation with one of his clients (Ron Perlman) threatens to blow up in his face, The Driver must decide whether or not he can live with himself if he gives up crime once and for all.

Director Nicolas Winding Refn lensed Drive on location in L.A.’s Echo Park neighborhood. The city serves as a character itself, shot at night in black and white by cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ralph Lawler, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan (Actors)
  • Nicolas Winding Refn (Director) - Marc Platt (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)


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