Style is very important to me for movies. And when we have a plot that isn't just "America this, guns that, robots etc.", I'd say style is just as important (if not more) as the story. It was refreshing to see a movie with so little dialogue. I certainly don't regret the hours I spent watching the movie, some of the best movie hours I've spent in the cinema recently.
Yeh, atmosphere and aesthetic is also very important for me, I added in 'and the style couldn't carry it' because I do think a movie can focus on that aspect and still get the rest right, unfortunately I didn't feel that Drive did.
And I see the defense of 'makes a change from all the empty action blockbusters' etc argument all the time when it comes to this movie, especially referencing transformers, but I feel that Drive was just as vapid as those productions. There was nothing interesting about the plot or characterization, they were just as cookie-cutter as any regular action movie (and in the case of the various little-town 'bad guys' downright embarassing) except the narrative needlessly advanced at a snail's pace and so people thinks its OMGSODEEP. The actors did a decent job with their lines, but that's all I could take away from it.
There just wasn't anything inspired in the movie, it felt completely pandering and forced. In comparison, I take my favourite 'little-town' crime movie, Mean Streets, and I see a passion and originality and pacing that were all, for me, absent from Drive. It just seemed artifical.