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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There's 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
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 & Scariness
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!)
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.