Key. Clutch. Ignition. Gear. Pedal. iPod. Go.

Baby Driver, the latest from director Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Hot Fuzz), is a slam-bang, full-throttle helluva ride that goes from zero to 100 in a few seconds and never slows down. But as fast as it is, it’s also whip-smart and almost perfectly crafted. We’re barely halfway through the calendar, but it doesn’t seem early at all to proclaim Baby Driver one of the most fun (and funky) times you’ll have in a theater this year…and that includes to six months yet to come.

Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars) leads the way as Baby, the best getaway driver in the business. He doesn’t talk much and always has shades on, plus he always has his earbuds in—the music covers up the tinnitus he sustained in a tragic car accident as a child.

His boss is Doc (Kevin Spacey), the no-nonsense brains of the organization, who hires different crews to pull off every heist he plots. The one constant is Baby, who is in debt to Doc and needs to finish one last job to be all square. With the end finally in sight, Baby stops by his favorite diner, where he meets Debora (Lily James) and begins to picture a clean life where the two of them can just drive wherever the road takes them.

As with every “one last job”, though, it’s never that easy. In this case the last job isn’t the last job, and Baby finds himself pulled in one more time. The crew this go-round consists of all-business Buddy (Jon Hamm), his wife Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), and loose cannon Bats (Jamie Foxx). The target is the downtown post office, specifically the cases of blank money orders. The planning is barely underway, and already things start going wrong. Baby wants out, Bats is antsy (and trigger-happy), and Buddy and Darling are convinced the heist will fail.

Wright presents this all in his own inimitable, superbly-choreographed style, keeping the pace flying along while simultaneously developing characters and furthering the plot. Baby Driver isn’t just fun to watch, it’s a great story, and in Wright’s capable hands, it becomes something just short of a masterpiece.

And all that is before we even get to the music.

WIth a soundtrack that includes everything from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to The Damned to Young MC, Baby Driver confidently boasts the best film soundtrack in years. Each song is perfect for its moment, driving the movie forward with a backbeat for the ages.

In a summer full of disappointing comedies and failed blockbusters, Baby Driverstands alone, providing something entirely fresh and original—a legitimate reason to pony up your hard-earned bucks at the box office.


4.5/5 stars