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Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) shifts the summer box office into fifth gear with Baby Driver, a turbo-charged action flick that runs like a two hour music video. Star Ansel Elgort (Carrie, The Fault in Our Stars) breaks out from his teeny bopper past with high-octane gusto. He emerges as a bonafide leading man. Not too shabby in a film with heavyweight actors like Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm. I got a bit tired of the frenetic camera work, but a minor critique as Baby Driver dazzles with energy and creativity.
The film takes place in Atlanta, Georgia. A cherub faced getaway driver, codenamed Baby (Ansel Elgort), works at the beck and call of a ruthless crime boss (Kevin Spacey). Afflicted with tinnitus after a childhood accident, Baby rarely speaks and wears headphones to drown out the ringing. He ferrets ruthless gangsters from their high »
Writer/Director Edgar Wright is known for his unique films that both satarize and embrace whatever genre he chooses. We're talking Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and The World's End. Wright's dialogue is always poetic with the sharpest wit and most clever word-plays. His editing style is unmistakable, fast and in your face, smashing one scene seamlessly into another. His shots are colorful, with just as much to say as the dialogue that accompanies them. His action scenes are sincere, brutal, and among the best out there; it's a wonder that Wright hasn't been handed a giant action franchise on a scale even bigger than Baby Driver (Though we guess Ant-Man would have been that film, had he stayed on). Wright's actors are always top notch, selected with care and directed to perfection. All four of his previous releases are winners for these reasons, »
- Nick Doll
Edgar Wright’s return to American moviemaking is a more earnest and coherent foray than 2010’s Scott Pilgrim, and it’s a blast of pure positive energy after the relatively dour The World’s End. It opens with the eponymous Baby (Ansel Elgort) rocking in his car to The John Spencer Blues Explosion, and it never stops dancing.
Baby is a guy with a permanent Tony Manero swagger. He’s under the wing of gangster boss Doc (Kevin Spacey), who’s both a mentor and gaoler. But Baby has almost paid off his debt and he’s approaching the “one last job” cliché, after which he hopes to hit the road and leave his Atlanta life behind.
Then Baby meets a beautiful waitress, Debora (Lily James). They quickly fall in love. However, the freeway out of the crime world is not clear. Doc needs Baby for yet another last job, working alongside the hyper-macho Buddy (John Hamm) and his scheming girlfriend Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), and the batshit crazy Bats (Jamie Foxx).
Can Baby finish his getaway driver stint and find freedom and a future with Debora? Or is he on a road to oblivion?
Life is a playlist for Baby. A childhood accident left him with tinnitus, and now he drowns out the whining through the power of the iPod, wearing earbuds 23 hours a day and moving to the thrum of the music. (He even samples real-world conversations and mixes them into bad hip-hop.) Wright’s penchant for rhythmic editing has reached its natural zenith, and it’s exhilarating. The British auteur has compiled a soundtrack – and frankly a narrative brevity – of which Tarantino can only dream. And it’s not just the music but the sound design, which is astonishingly detailed and well-choreographed, whether it’s the percussive crack of gunfire, the sad ring of tinnitus, or the intimate singing of wine glasses.
The marketing may have overtones of classic car capers like Sam Peckinpah’s The Getaway or Walter Hill’s The Driver, but really Baby Driver is a mashup of the last few decades of modern action movies. It takes in the muscular physicality and mute cool of the ‘70s; the efficiency and the gaudy aesthetic of the ‘80s and ‘90s; and in its hero shaped by formative tragedy, even includes some of the comic book sensibility of the new century. It also feels like the greatest Grand Theft Auto movie never made. (If only Baby could learn from GTA that sometimes the best way to evade the cops is to stay still until the heat is off.)
Elgort is charming and tragic in a way that he totally wasn’t in The Fault in Our Stars, and he has a great chemistry with James, who pulls off blue collar Georgian with effortless aplomb. In supporting roles, Spacey brings gravitas and grades of grey to his deadpan mobster, while Foxx is genuinely funny and menacing.
But Hamm is the real psychotic of the troupe. Unlike Bats, Buddy comes in the guise of a friend, before finally actualising his rage and cruelty. It’s disappointing that the final showdown descends into a mindless macho wrestle, but the storytelling is movingly redeemed in the epilogue.
As ever, Wright is constantly imaginative in deploying his action beats and setpieces. For him, it’s not enough to give us a scuzzy warehouse gun deal, so he delivers it as if a group of bankers are being presented with a fine dining experience. Wright gleefully toys with our expectations throughout, whether it means building to the ultimate car chase, only to show us a foot race; giving us musical intros we think we know but we don’t; or inverting the mentor role by making the kid the carer.
A very welcome stem of morality runs through the movie. It is made abundantly – perhaps excessively – clear that Baby is a boy with a good heart, a million miles from the French Connection-type antihero. Yet, ever the optimist, Wright’s fable is as much a reflection of the countercultural mood of its time as any film from the Nixon era. He is right-on when he proposes that real heroism in the modern age is in decency, accountability and humility – an implicit indictment, perhaps, of today’s prevailing political bleakness.
What a rush this movie is, and what a work of authorship. Employing style in the service of soulfulness, Baby Driver is like Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive shot through with the sensibility of a Hollywood musical. It’s absolutely an Edgar Wright joint and it’s an absolute joy, and if it isn’t on my end-of-year best-of list then I’ll eat my driving gloves.
Baby Driver is out in cinemas on 28th June 2017. »
- Rupert Harvey
Bullitt collides with Barry White in the British director’s most ambitious project to date. Wright and his stars Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm and Lily James explain why this noisy heist is a Hollywood ‘unicorn’
Edgar Wright is in remarkably, unfathomably good spirits. It’s day 23 of a high-pressure shoot for Baby Driver, the director’s latest and biggest film, and Wright is standing on a closed-off portion of a highway in Atlanta, overseeing a frenetic car chase on a scale that easily surpasses anything he’s made before.
Wright is casually propped up against one of the many vehicles on the road, wearing a boater and looking like the postcard embodiment of an Englishman abroad. As he excitedly talks about the world he created on paper coming to life, Jamie Foxx walks past in a boilersuit. “Everything is fun with Jamie Foxx around,” Wright says, beaming at his Oscar-winning star. “We have Gladys Knight and the Pips playing, so we good,” Foxx replies, one earphone in.
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- Benjamin Lee
Edgar Wright, whose new film Baby Driver opens in cinemas across the UK next week, descended upon London’s Leicester Square last night for the European premiere of the movie, along with some of the huge cast of the film. Wright was joined by the likes of Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Lily James and Jon Hamm, and we have some video from the carpet below.
Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. After meeting the woman (Lily James) of his dreams, he sees a chance to ditch his shady lifestyle and make a clean break. Coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby must face the music as a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
Related: Watch the Baby Driver trailer
We’ll have a review of the film ready for you next week, but for now here are the interviews from last night’s pink carpet. Baby Driver opens across the UK on Friday 30th June, 2017.
- Paul Heath
Baby Driver, 2017.
Directed by Edgar Wright.
A young getaway driver yearns to break free from the clutches of a local crime boss and start a new life on the road with his waitress girlfriend.
As I sat down to watch Baby Driver, something occurred to me ? even though I’m a big fan of Edgar Wright, each of his films has, in my opinion, been weaker than the last. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are both classics, as clever and inventive as they are hilarious; Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, as cool as it is, occasionally crosses the line between ironic hipster movie and actual hipster movie; and despite giving it several chances to grow on me I didn’t like The World’s End at all. As the lights went down I crossed my fingers that this would be the film to buck that trend, and I’m happy to report that it most certainly is.
Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver for Doc (Kevin Spacey), a job he performs as payback for breaking into Doc’s car as a teenager. He has tinnitus in his ears from the car accident his parents died in when he was a child, so he constantly has his headphones in to drown it out. This has led to a habit of sound-tracking everything he does, whether it’s a high-speed car chase or a stroll down the street to fetch coffee (which he does in a great long take where the lyrics to the song he’s listening to appear as graffiti on the buildings behind him). With his debt to Doc soon to be paid off he plans to go on a permanent road trip with an adorable waitress called Debora (Lily James), but Doc isn’t about to let his lucky charm get away so easy.
Edgar Wright has admitted that he wrote the script around the playlist of songs he had in mind, and although for some directors this technique can result in lazy film-making (Cameron Crowe is occasionally guilty of this), in Wright’s case it has resulted in a film packed with gloriously choreographed scenes – in the same way that Scott Pilgrim could be considered a ‘fight-sical’, this could easily be described as a ‘chase-sical’! It’s got the coolness of Drive (and an undeniably similar premise) and the energy, wit and (yes) romance of True Romance. The influence of Wright’s pal Tarantino is clear – the characters are all too-cool-for-school, the violence is stylishly shot, and the dialogue is full of quotable one-liners (my favourite involves a ‘Hate’ tattoo that one of Doc’s criminals had changed to ‘Hat’ to improve his job prospects – “Who doesn’t like hats?”). The only scene where the dialogue feels forced and silly is one where a gun salesman compares his products to pigs, but at least it’s followed by a superb shoot-out.
Baby Driver has been billed first and foremost as a car chase movie, and people who go to see it expecting nothing more than that will definitely be satisfied – Paul Greengrass should really watch this film and take notes on how to effectively shoot and edit a great car chase. And Wright’s love of the original Point Break (as witnessed in Hot Fuzz) is once again illustrated in an exhilarating foot chase that rivals the one in Bigelow’s classic. However, this is so much more than a disposable popcorn movie – the characters are what keep you invested when the action dies down. Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey are both excellent, playing characters similar to the ones they played in Horrible Bosses (albeit more deadly and confident), Jon Hamm veers between laid-back and desperate to great effect, and despite being little more than the ‘dream girl’, Lily James still shines as Debora. The scenes where she and Baby fall in love discussing classic songs with their names in the titles are just the right side of cutesy, and their chemistry gives the audience a real reason to root for them. The only character who I felt was a little bit lacking was Baby himself – he’s certainly an iconic character (his black and white costume giving us a glimpse of what might have been had Ansel Elgort been cast as the young Han Solo), but his trademark silence means he’s more defined by his actions than his words – not necessarily a bad thing, it just means he doesn’t get as many memorable one-liners as some of the other characters.
The final third of the film, involving a bungled heist and a hostage situation, is both exciting and unpredictable, as everyone has to either flee or fight for survival. It’s exciting and unpredictable, but admittedly there were a few moments where the characters’ actions stretched believability – i.e. there were sudden shifts in loyalty, and opportunities not being seized. Also, I felt the epilogue was a strange combination of realistic and unrealistic – not quite the euphoric air-punching finale I was hoping for after two hours of build-up. Still, it shows that Wright cares enough about his main characters to see their story through, rather than to cheapen the whole affair with a flashy yet hollow ending. Minor niggles aside, Baby Driver is still one of the most purely entertaining films of the year – a return to form from one of the world’s coolest film-makers.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★★★★★ / Movie: ★★★★★
- Amie Cranswick
Author: Jon Lyus
This sweltering evening in London town saw the return of one of the brightest stars in the cinematic sky. Director Edgar Wright brought his latest film to the capital and we were there to meet him and the cast on the red carpet of Baby Driver.
The new film from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz man Edgar Wright stars Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Eliza Gonzalez, Cj Jones, Jon Bernthal, Lanny Joon, and Paul Williams which is a ridiculously good cast. They are elevated in the film by Baby’s Driver secret weapon – the soundtrack. You can see the full tracklist below, and will no doubt have enjoyed the kinetically pleasing trailers. Wright’s command of editing and his keen ear for cinematically apposite music is put to full use in the film, and you can read our 5 star review of the film right here.
Baby Driver is released in UK cinemas June 28.
Baby Driver European Premiere Interviews
Baby Driver Motion Picture Soundtrack Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – ‘Bellbottoms’ Bob & Earl – ‘Harlem Shuffle’ Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – ‘Egyptian Reggae’ Googie Rene – ‘Smokey Joe’s La La’ The Beach Boys – ‘Let’s Go Away For Awhile’ Carla Thomas – ‘B-a-b-y’ Kashmere Stage Band – ‘Kashmere’ Dave Brubeck – ‘Unsquare Dance’ The Damned – ‘Neat Neat Neat’ The Commodores – ‘Easy (Single Version)’ T. Rex – ‘Debora’ Beck – ‘Debra’ Incredible Bongo Band – ‘Bongolia’ The Detroit Emeralds – ‘Baby Let Me Take You (in My Arms)’ Alexis Korner – ‘Early In The Morning’ David McCallum – ‘The Edge’ Martha and the Vandellas – ‘Nowhere To Run’ The Button Down Brass – ‘Tequila’ Sam & Dave – ‘When Something Is Wrong With My Baby’ Brenda Holloway – ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’ Blur – ‘Intermission’ Focus – ‘Hocus Pocus (Original Single Version)’ Golden Earring – ‘Radar Love (1973 Single Edit)’ Barry White – ‘Never, Never Gone Give Ya Up’ Young Mc – ‘Know How’ Queen – ‘Brighton Rock’ Sky Ferreira – ‘Easy’ Simon & Garfunkel – ‘Baby Driver’ Kid Koala – ‘Was He Slow (Credit Roll Version)’ Danger Mouse (featuring Run The Jewels and Big Boi) – ‘Chase Me’
A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
- Jon Lyus
It’s one of the drawbacks as life as a filmmaker: you can sink months or even years of your life into a screenplay that will never be sold or a movie project that will never go into production. Such was the fate of Ant-Man, director Edgar Wright’s take on the Marvel superhero; Wright departed the project in 2014, eight years after he began working on it with co-writer Joe Cornish. The film was finally brought to the screen by Yes Man director Peyton Reed; like David Cronenberg’s Total Recall or Guillermo del Toro’s The Hobbit, Wright’s Ant-Man became one of cinema’s what-might-have-beens.
See related Poldark series 3 episode 2 review Poldark series 3 episode 1 review Poldark: a beginners’ guide
Still, if Wright’s brush with Marvel took the wind out of his sails, »
Assembling your favorite movies list always poses a great challenge, but if you’re Edgar Wright the task is never definitive. Empire Magazine has published its list of the 100 greatest movies ever made, and in compiling their list of titles they reached out to both readers and their favorite directors, one such filmmaker being Edgar Wright. The magazine tweeted out Wright’s handwritten list of his 40 favorite movies, but the director made note that it’s “fluid and fluctuates a lot.”
Topping Wright’s list of favorite movies as of June 2017 is the Coen Brothers’ 1987 crime comedy “Raising Arizona,” starring Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter. The Top 10 includes works by Brian De Palma (“Carrie”), Martin Scorsese (“Taxi Driver”), Clint Eastwood (“Dirty Harry”) and Stanley Kubrick (“2001: A Space Odyssey”). Walter Hill’s “The Driver,” which Wright is »
- Zack Sharf
Sneak Peek more new images, plus footage from "Baby Driver", the upcoming crime, action comedy feature, written, directed by Edgar Wright, starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal ("The Punisher"), Eiza González, Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Jamie Foxx ("Django") opening June 28, 2017:
"....a criminal 'getaway driver', 'Baby' (Ansel Elgort) relies on the personal beat of his preferred soundtrack to be the best in the world of crime.
"When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway.
"But after being coerced into working for a mysterious criminal (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when an ill-fated heist threatens his life, love and chance of freedom..."
- Michael Stevens
His short answer for what took so long to get his passion project to the big screen? He was waiting for Ansel Elgort to be the leading man.
Elgort, who plays the titular character, and Wright were joined by co-stars Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Lily James and Eiza Gonzalez for the Los Angeles premiere of “Baby Driver” at the Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A. Wednesday night.
This musically-propelled heist thriller follows Baby, a young talented getaway driver who relies on his headphones, and a number of iPods, to get a job done. The soundtrack was developed simultaneously along with the story, as both songs inspired scenes, and scenes were written to songs, Wright said. »
- Rebecca Rubin
2005’s “Pride and Prejudice”
Everyone knows Jane Austen is a master of wit, but as a new musical suggests, she also has serious vocal chops. BroadwayWorld reports that an invitation-only musical lab called “Austen’s Pride” will be held June 19 and 20 at the 5th Avenue Theatre in New York City. The project from writer-composers Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs centers on Austen (Lisa O’Hare, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”) as she reflects on her most famous novel, “Pride and Prejudice.”
“Austen’s Pride” sees the author searching for new inspiration. “Her latest work has sold out and become a huge success, which has her publisher looking for another manuscript,” BroadwayWorld summarizes. “Jane’s sister Cassandra (Courtney Balan, ‘Falsettos’) suggests that she revisit one of her earlier manuscripts, ‘First Impressions.’ To please her sister, Jane revisits her earlier manuscript and as the characters come to life on stage, she discovers them evolving and changing alongside her. By the end of the musical, she has come to learn who she is as a writer and as a woman.” The lab will also feature Kara Lindsay (“Wicked”) as Elizabeth Bennet and Ryan Silverman (“Phantom of the Opera”) as Mr. Darcy.
“Pride and Prejudice” was first published in 1813 and traces the passionate sparring and eventual romance between Miss Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. The beloved book has received dozens of screen adaptations and retellings including the 1995 miniseries toplined by Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, Sharon Maguire’s 2001 romantic comedy “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” and the 2005 feature film starring Keira Knightley. Its most recent iteration was last year’s “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” a supernatural-horror take on the novel toplined by “Downton Abbey’s” Lily James. A modern, Texas debutante ball-set retelling of the classic is being developed at Warner Bros.
Go to the “Austen’s Pride” website to learn more about the musical.
Jane Austen-Centric Musical Lab “Austen’s Pride” to Be Held in NYC was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
In Edgar Wright’s sixth feature film, “Baby Driver,” due out June 28, Ansel Elgort plays a getaway driver whose job is propelled by his own musical playlist. His cherubic face and gentle nature belie a focused intelligence beyond his years — everything is mapped out in his head, even when those around him think he’s not paying attention. He also possesses a savant-like skill with music, using it as both motivation and security.
There’s a direct correlation between Baby the character and Wright, the writer-director who created him. “You said it, not me!” laughs Wright’s longtime producer Nira Park. Baby uses music to drown out his tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ears; Park learned during the making of the film that Wright had the same ailment as a child.
Wright, too, has a quiet, focused intelligence that surfaced when he was in his early 20s working with Park on “Spaced, »
- Jenelle Riley
People has the exclusive first look at the brand new character posters for the upcoming thriller, featuring the entire star-studded cast in all their criminal glory.
Ansel Elgort plays Baby, a young and talented getaway driver who literally cruises to the beat of the music always blasting through his headphones – which are, of course, featured prominently in his poster.
Doc’s crew is »
- Liam Berry
James Corden is going to be the death of a Hollywood starlet one of these days, and Flinch is likely the game that’ll do it. The “Late Late Show” host had four female guests on Tuesday — Lily James, Kate Mara, Iggy Azalea and Jane Krakowski — and he fired fruit at all of their faces. In Flinch, a CBS guest stands behind a plexiglass wall while Corden controls a high-powered cannon filled with fruit. Mid-conversation, he pulls the trigger — it’s even frightening to watch from home. Also Read: Tom Cruise Is a Good Sport About James Corden's Dumb Riverboat Business. »
- Tony Maglio
For your chance to receive a pair of complimentary passes to see the new film Baby Driver at the Mjr Troy Grand Cinema in Troy, Michigan on Wednesday, June 21st at 7:00Pm, just look for the “Enter the Contest” box further down on this page. But hurry because there are a limited number of passes available and when they’re gone, they’re gone!
About The Film
Baby Driver: Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a talented, young getaway driver who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), he sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. »
In a couple of weeks, British filmmaker Edgar Wright will release his fifth theatrical directing effort, the action-packed heist movie Baby Driver, which stars Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey and many more. The early word is good, but thoughts are already turning towards what Wright will do next. For the past couple of years, the director has been attached to a variety of projects, including an adaptation of the young adult novel Grasshopper Jungle, where six-foot preying mantises take over a small town. More on Edgar Wright’s next movie below.
“Potentially. It’s »
- Paul Heath
“He’s a good kid, and a devil behind the wheel.”
That’s Baby (Ansel Elgort), an innocent-looking getaway driver who gets hardened criminals from point A to point B, with daredevil flair and a personal soundtrack running through his head. That’s because he’s got his escape route plotted to the beat of specific tunes that go from his well-curated iPod straight to his ears, and which translate into expertly timed hairpin turns, gear shifts and evasive maneuvers that leave his passengers on the ride of their lives.
Wamg invites you to enter for the chance to win Two (2) seats to the advance screening of Baby Driver on June 21st in the St. Louis area.
Answer the following question:
What is »
- Tom Stockman
James is noted for her role as 'Lady Rose Aldridge' in the ITV period drama "Downton Abbey"...
,,,followed by her title role in the feature "Cinderella" (2015).
She started her career as 'Ethel Brown' in the 2010 BBC production "Just William".
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Lily James"...
- Michael Stevens
Foxx spoke with Et's Nischelle Turner while promoting his new action caper, Baby Driver -- along with co-stars Ansel Elgort and Jon Hamm -- and the actor opened up about art and burgeoning artists, revealing, "I had Ed Sheeran sleep on my couch for six weeks."
"Before he made it, he came to my crib," Foxx recalled. "So did Anthony Hamilton, Nick Cannon, all these [people]. You gotta press anybody that's got that artistic feel, that touch, you've got to lift them up."
One young artist that Foxx also helped was 23-year-old Elgort, who had nothing but praise regarding his time on set with the Oscar winner.
"He really »
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