Independent Cinema writes: We saw it in Drive, Valhalla Rising, Bronson, and even a little bit in Fear X; how Nicolas Winding Refn incorporates the backgrounds and visuals of his movies into the actual telling of the plot is almost too obvious. Neon colors and the pounding of Martinez’s score (and second-time collaboration with Refn) echo throughout Only God Forgives and tell the story more so than the actual characters. With another stellar cast and a second dive into the Gosling well, Nicolas Winding Refn wears thin from its shallow plot and excruciatingly slow-moving pace. Only God Forgives winds up feeling more like Refn burying himself in excess pretentiousness; that same pretentious style that he balanced expertly with his last three films. He does not go so far as to create a bad movie, but he goes into all his stylistic flourishes in order to create a film of excess, and ultimately one that feels way too polished for its own good.