There’s no denying that Edgar Wright is one of the most influential directors of modern cinema, one who has worked with everyone from Timothy Dalton and Simon Pegg to Jamie Foxx and Martin Freeman.
His style is also undeniably unique thanks to his comedic callbacks, trademark use of gore and quick-action montages. It’s no wonder that he’s developed quite the following over the years with fans who love that they know what to expect from one of the guy’s films.
When Wright debuts his TIFF-selected Last Night in Soho, however, he’s about to change his own game. Not only is the film his first female-led project, but judging by what we’ve seen so far it’s also a little darker than some of Wright’s previous stuff.
The horror movie stars Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer who is somehow able to travel back to the 1960s. There, she meets a wannabe singer named Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy). At first, it seems like a dream, but then the façade shatters and what’s underneath is scarier than Eloise could ever imagine. The late Diana Rigg and Matt Smith also star.
Will Eloise fail to jump over a fence in true Wright style while fleeing her horrific new “friend?” it seems unlikely. But as we wait for the TIFF premiere on Sept. 10, here’s a ranking of how Wright’s other films have stacked up according to audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. Start taking bets now on where you think Last Night in Soho will fit into this beloved cinematic treasury.
This year’s other Wright entry is also pretty different from his other works given that it’s a documentary. The film is described as a musical odyssey through 50 years with Ron and Russell Mael, the quirky siblings who formed the pop-rock group Sparks. Throughout the doc Wright leans on footage from the brothers as well as interviews with fellow quirky musicians like Fred Armisen, Mike Myers and Weird Al Yankovic, culminating in a movie that fans and critics alike widely praised.
There are many, many, MANY undead movies and TV shows out there about monsters that basically “live” to eat your flesh. Where Shaun of the Dead differs is that it uses zombies as a satire for the way we humans have begun to live our lives with phones, screens, and now social media. Simon Pegg stars as the title character who is too self-absorbed to even notice zombies have taken over at first, leading to many laughs and yes, a very sad attempt at jumping over a fence.
Speaking of fence-jumping, this flick (also starring Pegg) features a pretty epic recreation of that Shaun of the Dead scene. But it’s beloved for other reasons too, such as the chemistry between Pegg and co-star/co-writer Nick Frost (who also starred in Shaun) and its dark comedic undertones. The movie’s premise is simple: a hotshot London police officer is transferred to a small town, where a genius buddy-cop parody ensues.
In this action-packed heist drama, a getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) is forced to work for a crime boss in a robbery that’s doomed to fail. While the movie is packed with lots of action and signature Wright quips, critics fell in love with what many called a sharp script. An all-star cast including Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, Lily James and Jamie Foxx didn’t hurt, nor did a killer soundtrack that landed the movie Oscar nods for best sound mixing and editing.
Michael Cera was the face behind this movie, which also features actors like Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Kieran Culkin, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Based on a comic book by Bryan Lee O'Malley, It centers on a garage band bass guitarist who falls for a gal he can finally see himself with, only to be confronted by an endless army of her ex-boyfriends who want to take him out. The fast visuals and fun scenes won over plenty of viewers when this one debuted, while others just appreciated Wright’s snappy and savvy take on the romance genre.
Capping off what is now known as The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, Wright, Pegg, and Frost reunited for a third time on this apocalypse comedy. In it, five friends reunite to recreate an epic pub crawl from two decades ago, only to unknowingly becoming humanity’s last hope. While it received overall positive reviews when it debuted, the movie is widely considered the weakest of the three films and some viewers felt like it was a little bit repetitive.
Long before Wright was doling out zombie and cop-buddy satires there was this movie, a.k.a. his feature film directorial debut. In it he kicked off his career by tackling the western genre, delivering the story of a cowboy who seeks revenge on the man who caused the death of his beloved horse. It’s a lesser-known film with jokes and racist scenes that don’t really hold up today (or, ever?), so if you’re digging into the Wright collection but are pressed for time, you can definitely skip this one—especially since it was never released on DVD and is not currently available to stream.
[video_embed id='2278364']BEFORE YOU GO: Everything you need to know about the 46th annual Toronto International Film Festival[/video_embed]