Baby Driver

Movie review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Baby Driver Movie Poster Image
Car-centric crime action is stylish but shallow, violent.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 115 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 68 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The film gives Baby a sympathetic, loving foster father and a tragic backstory, but these attempts at emotional/positive themes are secondary to the stronger negative takeaways regarding violence and crime.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Perhaps the only notable role model is Baby's foster father, Joseph, who's loving and kind to Baby and tries to stop him from making mistakes. But he's treated shabbily by Baby (and the story). Female characters, all two of them, are sidelined and stereotypical; one's a manic pixie dream girl, the other a doomed femme fatale. Men are called "p--sies" and "ladies" to imply they're weak.

Violence

Constant, very unsettling action violence includes many mass shootings (generally of faceless "henchmen" types). Characters, including ones viewers are likely to sympathize with, are suddenly and brutally killed -- usually shot, but in one scene a character falls from a great height. Flying blood and gore, dead bodies, and use of big, flashy guns, including machine guns. Dead body stored in a trunk. A man's parents are killed in a car accident, which is replayed several times (viewers see a fast-approaching car and splintering glass); another car accident leaves the passengers covered in blood and one dead. Character run over by a car. Much of the action centers on getaway drives; these scenes are thrilling, but the violence is glamorized. (Remind teen viewers not to try this at home!)

Sex

Characters kiss and talk graphically about sex they've had or are going to have, including jokes about role playing and "getting it on." The camera ogles female bodies, lingering on legs and breasts; female characters are frequently shown in revealing clothing, and their looks are discussed and rated. 

Language

Frequent swearing includes "f--k," "f--king," "motherf--ker," "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "goddamn," "hell," "damn," "p--sies," "bitch." One man calls another a "retard" and a "freak" and asks if he has any "balls." 

Consumerism

In an extended segment, Baby works as a Goodfella's pizza delivery guy; the company's logo and pizza box are shown several times. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine at dinner; one character smokes cigarettes. References to drug addictions and dealing drugs. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Baby Driver is an action-packed crime drama about a young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) for a group of Atlanta bank robbers. Violence is constant and often glamorized. There are several mass shootings, with machine-gun deaths choreographed to music; you'll also see several car accidents with splintering glass and bloody dead bodies, sudden deaths, blood, and gore. Many of the characters eventually die sudden, terrible deaths. The main character is a reckless driver who performs over-the-top stunts; parents may want to remind teens not to try this at home. Characters kiss and make references to "getting it on" or "role playing." Female characters are in short supply, and the ones who are in the movie are sidelined, portrayed in a stereotypical way, and ogled by both the characters and the camera. There's lots of swearing, including "f--k," "ass," "goddamn," and more. One man calls another a "retard" and a "freak"; he also calls men things like "ladies" to imply they're weak. There's some smoking and social drinking; one character has a drug addiction he feeds by stealing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStevie111 June 27, 2017

Outstanding crime film from Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright created yet another masterpiece with Baby Driver. It is different for him, but still cool and just great. The cast all perform well. The story is s... Continue reading
Adult Written bySam Marrick July 1, 2017

Fantastic Execution of an overused story. Some gory moments

Has to be seen to be appreciated. All the heist cliches are there but they are complimented by great style and furious pacing for its taut plotline and engaging... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bycjkbear1 June 28, 2017

Not as bad as described

The cursing in this movie is over exaggerated by the review given on this site, they talk about sex 1 time and it is very brief and not graphic at all, violenc... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bygratem05 June 28, 2017

Buckle up for an amazing ride

First off, WOW what an amazing film! Even for those of you who are not into extreme violence, crime, gun heists, car chases, (like myself) you cant help but fal... Continue reading

What's the story?

Written and directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), BABY DRIVER stars Ansel Elgort as Baby, an emotionally damaged young man whose youthful mistakes landed him in debt to mysterious crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey). Now Baby is a getaway driver for Doc, and he's so good at what he does that he seems unstoppable -- and stylish, since he always selects the perfect song for each caper. Just one more job will get him out of hock; then he can get a real job and live in peace with his foster father, Joseph (CJ Jones). Maybe he can even go out on a date with Debora (Lily James), the cute waitress at his favorite diner. But with the volatile Buddy (Jon Hamm), Bats (Jamie Foxx), and Darling (Eiza González) on the job, complications are almost guaranteed -- and the likelihood that Baby's going to get away clean is getting smaller all the time.

Is it any good?

Whenever Elgort's Baby is behind the wheel, this movie is a ballet of stylish automotive mayhem -- but the minute everyone gets out, things quickly slump into stereotypes. One last job, really? A hero whose Tragic Backstory includes a Poetically Ironic orphaning (his parents died in a car accident -- Baby drives a car!)? Exactly two female characters, including a manic pixie dream girl and a gun moll with supermodel looks who's killed to give a villain murderous motivation? Baby Driver goes exactly where you expect it will, and it has the exact same beats you've seen plenty of times before. 

Nonetheless, Baby Driver isn't without its merits -- chiefly the incredible style with which its driving stunts are handled. With an impassive Elgort in the driver's seat, his ever-present earbuds clamped on and operatic songs by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or Queen swelling on the soundtrack, a succession of cars dart and climb and swerve and slide, drawing gasps and cheers from the audience. It's something truly beautiful to see. But it's so short on emotion that while it dazzles the eye, it fails to grab viewers on a visceral level. Baby is a hero you can enjoy but not truly cheer for. Too bad. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Baby Driver's over-the-top violence. How did it affect you? Does it seem at all realistic? How does that change its impact?

  • What does Baby Driver have in common with popular car-chase video games like Grand Theft Auto? Do you think shows and games that feature reckless driving have an affect on the people who watch and/or play them? Does exposure to violent media make people more aggressive?

  • Are any of these characters role models? How can they be heroes if they're stealing and destroying property? Can you think of other movies in which "bad guys" are the heroes?

  • How does the movie portray women? Does it objectify them? Does it present an unrealistic body type? Are there any positive or strong female characters?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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