Baby Driver

(2017)

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Title:
Baby Driver
Release Date:
28th June 2017
Runtime:
113 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Edgar Wright
Writers:
Edgar Wright
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 98%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 0%
IMDb Rating 8.6

Casts

Ansel Elgort as Baby
Eiza Gonzalez as Darling
Jon Bernthal as Griff
Jon Hamm as Buddy
Micah Howard as Barista

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by David Ferguson ([email protected]) 25th June, 2017

You make wrong things right

Greetings again from the darkness. If his movies are any indication, writer/director Edgar Wright would be fun to hang out with. He thrives on action and humor, and seems committed to making movies that are entertaining, rather than philosophical life statements. Many know his work from Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End), while others are fans of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. High concept, high energy and a creative use of music are identifiable traits within Mr. Wright's films, all of which are crucial to the success of his latest. Ansel Elgort (excellent in The Fault in Our Stars) stars as Baby, a freakishly talented getaway driver paying off a debt to a no-nonsense crime boss Doc played by Kevin Spacey. Baby has an unusual movie affliction – a childhood accident killed his parents and left him with tinnitus. He compensates for the constant ringing in his ear by listening to music through ear buds attached to one of his many iPods (depending on his mood). In fact, his insistence on finding just the right song for the moment adds a colorful element to each escape route. The film opens with what may be its best car chase scene and the hyper-kinetic approach sets the stage for something a bit different than what we usually see. There are no car drops from airplanes or train-jumping (I'm looking at you Fast and Furious franchise). Instead these are old school chases in the mode of Bullitt, or more precisely, Walter Hill's 1978 The Driver (Mr. Hill appears briefly here as a courtroom reporter). A heist-romance-chase film with a diverse and truly remarkable selection of songs, high energy, more than a few comedic moments (the Mike Myers mask sequence is brilliant) and a recurring Monsters, Inc quote requires a strong lead, and young Mr. Elgort aces the test. Baby is the DJ to his own life, and possesses a moral compass that others on his jobs can't comprehend. It's a heart of gold in a bad spot. Spacey plays Doc with his chilling dead-eyed stare, and even has his own moment of action sporting an automatic weapon during a violent shootout. Spacey's various crime teams (he varies the pairings) include psycho-lovebirds Buddy (Jon Hamm in his continuing effort to distance from Don Draper) and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), Jon Bernthal, Flea, and an aptly named Bats (Jamie Foxx), who is not the clearest thinker of the bunch. Other supporting work comes courtesy of the rarely seen songwriter/actor Paul Williams, musician Sky Ferreira (as Baby's beloved mother), young Brogan Hall as Doc's talented nephew, and CJ Jones as Baby's foster father. Mr. Jones is one of the few deaf movie actors and he adds much to Baby's life outside of crime. The crucial role of Baby's love interest goes to the very talented and likable Lily James (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as singing waitress Debora, who introduces him to Carla Thomas' "B-A-B-Y" song, while he plays "Debora" from T.Rex for her. She and Baby share the not overly ambitious life plan: "to head west in a car I can't afford and a plan I don't have". They are good together and that helps make up for the always cringe-inducing red flag of "one last job" prior to the lovers running away together. Buried in the Miscellaneous Crew is Choreographer Ryan Heffington, who deserves at least some of the credit for the most unique and creative aspect of the presentation. This appears to be a movie fit to the music, rather than music fit to the movie. There are some astounding sequences where the drum/bass beats are right on cue with the action – gunfire, driving, and character movements. "Harlem Shuffle" plays as Baby playfully dances past graffiti and sidewalk obstacles that perfectly match the beat and lyrics. We see what is likely the best ever movie use of "Bellbottoms", and without question, the most creatively brilliant use of "Hocus Pocus" by Focus. At times exhilarating to the senses, the infusion of comedy shots and new love help offset the tension of crime jobs and the thrill of the chase.

Reviewed by somf 22nd June, 2017

Believe the hype

Everything about the film is pretty much pitch perfect if you ask me. Lets start with the cars. I have not been a fan of Fast and Furious films, but the chase scenes in this film run circles around that series if a certain reality of the moves matters to you. This is more in line with Bullit,French Connection, and the Italian Job films as far as great chases. The music, fun, simply fun. Songs from every decade of my lifetime. Action best pure adrenaline action in years. You will be truly on the edge of your seat during much of the film. Humor, what can I say, love Edgar Wright's humor and this is his best. And oh what a cast! Loved every one of the leads performances. I think Ansel was a standout, but come on Jamie Foxx, Spacey, Hamm and the beautiful Lily James. And the other leading lady, Eiza Gonzalez, was unknown to me, but she was great with one terrific diner speech in particular. I was lucky enough to see this at an early screening in Denver. I will be seeing this in the theaters once again when it opens, and I very rarely watch movies more than once. Sometimes when I see a review fawning over a film like this, I think troll. Best way to check that out is see how many films the reviewer has reviewed and rated. I have over 4,000 rated films here. Not a lot of tens either.Best film so far this year.

Reviewed by bob-the-movie-man 21st June, 2017

A summer film so cool that air-con is optional.

There's something inherently appealing about the concept of a getaway driver.  A skillful 'bad-boy', but not normally bad enough to actually DO the nasty crime stuff…. merely be an active accomplice to it.  As a result, it's a subject that the movies have returned to time after time.  I'm old and crusty enough to remember being wowed at seeing Ryan O'Neal in Walter Hill's "Driver" on the big screen in 1978. And well before that, as a kid, my poor departed mother used to be driven crazy by me begging her to take me to see "The Italian Job" (the original 1969 version) YET again… probably the greatest getaway chase in movie history: I must have seen that film at least 20 times in the cinema. Of course more recently we've also had Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan in "Drive" on the same theme.  But with Edgar Wright at the helm, a big name cast and an enticing trailer, I had high expectations for "Baby Driver" – and boy was I happy! This is such a seriously cool film on so many levels. Opening with a bank heist followed by a kick-ass car chase, we follow 'Baby' (Ansel Elgort, "Allegiant", "The Fault in our Stars") as a tinnitus-suffering, music-infused getaway driver under the thumb of the criminal overlord Doc (Kevin Spacey, in icy Frank Underwood mode). Doc recruits an ever-changing mix-tape of villains for each job, including the psychopathic and appropriately named 'Bats' (Jamie Foxx, "Sleepless"), the chillingly dangerous Buddy (Jon Hamm, "Mad Men", "Keeping Up With The Joneses") and his "Bonnie-style" wife 'Darling' (Eiza Gonzalez) and the moderately incompetent JD (Lanny Joon) (who changed his neck tattoo of "HATE" to "HAT" since it improved his job prospects…. "everybody loves a hat"!). Baby's life gets more complicated when the hoods become aware of his fledgling relationship with fellow-orphan Debora (Lily James) a waitress in a diner and another lever to keep Baby locked into the job that he is just so, so good at. On the surface this might be perceived as being just another good excuse for a lot of CGI-driven car stunts in the style of "The Fate of the Furious". But no. Firstly, as Edgar Wright declared before the special screening I saw, all of the car stunts were actually performed for real on the mean streets of Atlanta (and hats off to the film's stunt coordinator Robert Nagle and his team for these).  And secondly, the car scenes are almost secondary to the fabulous story and character development in the film. The script (also by Edgar Wright) is just brilliant. There are genuinely laugh-out loud moments in the movie, with one of the highlights for me being JD tasked with procuring Michael Myers "Halloween" masks for a heist. If you don't find this scene hilarious, you are not human – official. The only misstep for me in the script was an unbelievable re- appearance (both in likelihood and – particularly – in timing) of a character in a closing car park fight. Elgort is really strong in the lead role, and suggested to me that if the role of the young Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off hadn't already gone to Alden Ehrenreich, then here was a very strong contender.  All of the supporting roles are strong (as you would expect from such a stellar cast) with Jon Hamm being a standout, appearing truly demonic in the closing scenes.  The one role I was less sure about in the film was that of Lily James, whose performance as the 'sweet as apple pie' waitress seemed a little forced in the early scenes (although I warmed more to her portrayal in the action sequences later on). This is a shame, since she's a great actress and I am a big fan of her roles in historical TV dramas like "Downton Abbey" and the impeccable "War and Peace". Another star of the film is the fabulous soundtrack coordinated by Oscar-winner Steven Price ("Gravity") featuring (amongst many other classics) Queen's "Brighton Rock", the Paul Simon classic (obviously) and Bob & Earl's "Harlem Shuffle", all used to brilliant effect.  This latter track leads me on to some early Oscar predictions:  if this film doesn't get nominated this year for Oscars for Best Editing (Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss, "Scott Pilgrim vs the World") and Best Sound Editing (Julian Slater), then there is no God! The "Harlem Shuffle" coffee run sequence is a masterclass in editing and direction.  Starting off with what I thought might turn into a tribute to "Saturday Night Fever", the scene neatly takes on a style all of its own. It's use of – erm – "subtitles" (once you realise what's going on) is just brilliant. The often subtle, and occasionally not so subtle, edits between scenes are also truly masterful, making this moviegoer laugh-out-loud with delight periodically at the movie-making skill on display. All of this is orchestrated by Edgar Wright as director who – for me – has been a little inconsistent over the years (loved, loved, loved "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz";  "The World's End" – not so much).  Here, he delivers in spades and this film rockets immediately into the higher echelons of my Films of the Year 2017.  Awe inspiring.  Beg, steal, borrow, rob a bank - - do what you have to, but make sure you catch this film on the big screen. (For the full and graphical version of this review please visit bob- the-movie-man.com or One Mann's Movies on Facebook. Thanks.)

Reviewed by Adrian Muresan 2nd May, 2017

The coolest movie in cool movies history.

This is actually my first review on here. I had the chance to see this movie as an advanced screening at my university. I now feel obligated to let fellow movie afficionados know that this movie is simply freaking awesome. I love good music and cars (especially Subarus like the one from the trailer) and that alone was a good enough reason for me to go watch this movie. I was not disappointed. I find Edgar Wright's movies entertaining. However, this movie was a step above that. Take La La Land, combine it with heist & Fast & Furious elements to it and you have Baby Driver. The casting was great. Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey have similar roles to the ones in Horrible Bosses, but that does not make it any less fun. The cinematography is exceptional and the plot is intriguing and unpredictable. The camera work in one of the opening scenes reminded me of Birdman, which is a Best Picture Academy Award winner, so this movie is definitely executed in a stylish manner, and has a great attention to detail. The soundtrack is picked to perfection and the dialogue is the wittiest, funniest one I have seen in a movie in a long time. I only see two cons for the movie. One: some of the action sequences did seem a little unbelievable, so if you want a completely realistic movie, you might want to trade some of that for the entertaining factor. Two: it was an advanced screening and the movie only comes out in 2 months... and I already want to watch it again. I rarely rate movies 10/10 but it was the most fun I've had in a theater and that certainly deserves my rating.

Reviewed by trublu215 19th March, 2017

The Most Surprising Film of SXSW 2017.

Edgar Wright is known to deliver, if nothing at all, very entertaining films. Baby Driver is no exception. With an all star cast including Ansol Elgort, Jamie Foxx, Lilly James, Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey, Baby Driver not only is an extremely well cast and choreographed film, it just might be the best film of Edgar Wright's career. Telling the story of a young man named Baby, who is a professional getaway driver who needs music in order to complete his jobs, as he navigates through the criminal underworld. When he takes a risky job for a mysterious gangster (played by Kevin Spacey), he finds himself on the run after things go horribly wrong. With his girl by his side and his music in his hands, Baby must use his specific skillset to get out of the underworld. Before anyone says it, yes, this film plays like a less serious Drive. The storyline is not what is supposed to stand out here, the incredible direction under Edgar Wright and the great central performance from Ansol Elgort are definitely the stand outs here. Granted, I doubt that Elgort would have been able to deliver such a great performance without the amazing supporting cast that Wright wrangles up, but he ends up giving a great performance here as Baby. The rest of the cast is more or less there for name recognition only as none of them go above and beyond in their performance. Despite this, the cast are mere pawns in Edgar Wright's brilliant film. The real stars of Baby Driver are the stunt teams. These car chases are finally something new. With the incredible automobile warfare that the Fast and Furious franchise has given us for decades, it was nice to see a film embrace a smaller scale of car chase. It is real, exhilarating and downright perfect for this film. Truthfully, the car chase sequences here are some of the best that I've seen since Refn's Drive but that's just me. Speaking of Drive, how could I forget Wright's amazing choice of soundtrack. The soundtrack is about just as great as the stunt team's work on this film. This is very much in the vein of Scott Pilgrim as far as soundtrack is concerned and is bound to be a hit come time for the film to premiere in its wide release. Overall, Edgar Wright delivers an action movie with a flawed perfection to it. The story is paper thin, the acting is passable (except for Ansol Elgort, who is terrific), but the action sequences and soundtrack are amazing. These two components are more than enough reasons to go see this film.