The first half of the film is very involving. There is very little dialogue, yet a lot of tension. Ryan Gosling gives an intense but internal performance as a driver for both the movies and for robberies. But halfway through the film, it completely falls apart. The one thing that made me interested in this character was his relationship with his neighbor and her daughter.
Halfway through, the film stops being an interesting character study and becomes just another dumb, violent Hollywood heist film. When he brutally kills a pursuer in front of his neighbor, who is the only other interesting character in the film, he essentially kills his relationship with her and writes her out of the movie. (We never see her son again, who was supposedly the motivating factor for everything that happens in the film.)
It's odd, since the first half of the film is so well-written, it's like another writer took over halfway through and started making up dumb dialog to put into Albert Brooks' and Ron Perlman's mouths. Yes, they both do a good job with what they have, but Brooks is nowhere near Oscar-worthy in the film. Gosling is, he gives a layered performance, but I think the only thing good about Brooks is that his character is so different from anything else he ever played that people were shocked he has range.
But the film did sound fantastic!