‘Baby Driver’ Review: The Best Film of the Year Has Arrived

Drew Dietsch
Movie Reviews Movies
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5.0
of 5
Review Essentials
  • A stylish musical mashup
  • Toe-tapping soundtrack
  • Pulse-pounding action
  • Colorful characters
  • Fairytale storytelling
  • The best film of the year so far

Baby Driver tells the story of Baby (Ansel Elgort), a getaway driver who lives in his own world, one that has a constant soundtrack. Baby meets a girl, Debora (Lily James), tries to do one last job to leave his life of crime, but like most “one last jobs,” it doesn’t quite work out…

A Musical Unlike Any Other

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Baby (Ansel Elgort) always has his music going, no matter what the situation.

You want excitement? You want fun? Do you want one of the best movies you’ll see this year? Then you need to get behind the wheel, drive to the nearest theater and see Baby Driver. It’s a simple tale told with masterful moviemaking magic and fresh, frenetic flavor from writer/director Edgar Wright.

Wright has taken everything he learned from Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and The World’s End and elevated it all into something incredible. Baby Driver is an idea he’s had gestating for over twenty years, and you can see every carefully crafted inch of the film reflects his passion, tenacity, and… well, drive in making this a modern genre mashup between music video, gangster film, action movie, and fairy tale.

That sounds like a mishmosh but trust me, it all flawlessly gels together into something unbelievably special. Wright has always had a talent for blending music and the moving picture, but he’s molded it into something completely new with Baby Driver. The movie never ceases to have a rhythm and a beat to it. You could spend the entire running time tapping your toes along to the insanely energetic soundtrack. Seriously, this album is going to be this year’s Awesome Mix. Vol. 1.

So Much More Than Just the Soundtrack

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Baby, Bats (Jamie Foxx), Darling (Elza Gonzalez), and Buddy (Jon Hamm) make up a formidable crew.

But it’s not only the music that makes Baby Driver such a delight. You’ve got a cast that is having the time of their lives. Ansel Elgort is perfect as Baby. You might notice that he has a Han Solo-esque jacket on during the movie, and I kind of wish he was playing the legendary smuggler in the new Han Solo film. He’s that good. Lily James is equally captivating as Debora, and the two have such great chemistry that it would make Walter White smile. The rest of the cast is rounded out by dependable character actors; Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, and Elza González make up the kind of iconic gangster squad that makes this class of movie shine.

And to top it all off, the movie doesn’t skimp on the script. This is a tightly told contemporary fable that’s as classic as it is innovative. Wright injects humor and pathos in all the right doses so that this doesn’t become a style-over-substance glitter piece. Every character is fully formed and gets their moment in the sun. The emotional payoffs are a knockout across the board and will have you invested and engaged at every twist and turn. You’ll be shocked, tense, excited, and overjoyed by the time the house lights come up. It’s a rollercoaster ride that’s going at lightspeed.

Is Baby Driver Good?

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Debora (Lily James) gets to know Baby.

I’d give it a 5000 out of 5 if they’d let me. (They won’t) It is everything you want from a night at the movies. Fast-paced story, heart-pounding action, swoonworthy romance, colorful characters, laughs, gasps, tears, and triumph. Baby Driver is this year’s Mad Max: Fury Road: a game-changer of unfettered style that will go on to inspire future filmmakers. Undoubtedly, Baby Driver is the best film of the year. It will take a gargantuan achievement to knock it from that spot. As of now, 2017 has found its cinematic champion.

Drew Dietsch
Drew Dietsch has written for CHUD.com, the News-Press, WhatCulture, and releases a weekly film review podcast, The Drew Reviews Podcast. He'll yak your ear off about horror movies, Jaws, RoboCop, and/or Batman if you let him. www.thedrewreviews.com
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