Ranked: Every Edgar Wright movie rated from worst to best
There are a handful of directors on the planet who have a real following of their own, a name who can sell a movie regardless of stars, genre or what the critics say.
The British director’s career spans 25 years, beginning with beloved sitcom Spaced and moving to include a run of movies that have won critical acclaim and hundreds of millions in box office revenue.
For his next trick, Wright is making a giant sci-fi adventure, teaming up with Paramount on a new adaptation of Stephen King’s classic dystopian thriller, The Running Man. That project is going to take some time, with a 2025 release currently mooted, so it’ll be a while until he has anything new to shout about (a much-anticipated Baby Driver sequel and The Chain, a gnarly thriller he’s attached to direct, are also in the works).
So, while we wait, we thought we’d have some fun and rank the movies Wright has brought us thus far, from the worst to the very, very best.
For the sake of this list, we’re only going to focus on the movies Wright has directed, and haven’t included any movies for which he co-write the script (so no Adventures of Tintin or Ant-Man). We’d also love to include Wright’s directorial debut, A Fistful of Fingers, but we can’t. Why? Because we haven’t seen it. It was never formally released and you can’t stream it – it remains locked away somewhere, so it doesn’t make our list.
His other seven movies do feature, though, and here is every Edgar Wright movie ranked from worst to best.
7. Last Night In Soho
Wright’s most recent movie is also his weakest, a psychological thriller-cum-slasher horror that somehow ends up being neither.
Released in 2021, the movie stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie and Matt Smith, with Wright directing and writing alongside 1917 scribe Krysty Wilson-Cairns.
The movie follows McKenzie’s Eloise, a student with a passion for the fashion and design of the 1960s, who suddenly finds herself back in the decade she is obsessed with.
She is transported there inside the body of her idol, a singer named Sandie, played by Taylor-Joy. While in Sandie’s body, Eloise discovers that 1960s London is not what it seems, and things fall apart rather quickly.
Wright’s love of horror is obvious here and there are some chilling moments – we spoke with the director about them ahead of the movie’s release last year – but Last Night in Soho’s plot is muddled and lacks the director’s signature zing. A misfire.
6. The World’s End
The closing chapter of Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, his trio of movies led by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost that began in 2004 with Shaun Of The Dead, is by far the weakest entry of the three.
The World’s End is, however, still a great sci-fi comedic romp with big ideas and some great action sequences.
Pegg plays Gary King, a man who has just turned 40 but is still stuck in a teenage mindset. 20 years earlier, he and four childhood friends attempted an epic pub-crawl on ‘The Golden Mile’ in their hometown of Newton Haven, but failed to reach the final pub, The World’s End, with the entire crew intact.
Somehow, Gary persuades the old gang to reunite in order to attempt the challenge again, but something is amiss in the town, and it’s got extra-terrestrial origins.
An entertaining romp, but lacking the spark of Shaun Of The Dead and the trilogy’s second act, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End finds itself at number six in our ranking.
5. The Sparks Brothers
Though Last Night In Soho proved a disappointment, Wright’s other release in 2021, this lavish documentary charting the career and influence of alt-poppers Sparks, was a triumph.
Wright’s movie charts the pair’s career with a mix of interviews and animation, as well as contributions from other musicians who cite Sparks as a key influence.
Among the contributors to the documentary are Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea, New Order, Weird Al Yankovic, Jack Antonoff, Beck, Duran Duran, Giorgio Moroder, Patton Oswalt, Jason Schwartzman, Adam Buxton, Neil Gaiman, and Mike Myers.
It’s a loving portrait of a band Wright is clearly obsessed with, and one of the best music documentaries of recent years.
4. Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Despite rave reviews upon release, Wright’s big-budget adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic series underwhelmed at the box office. That, however, is no reflection of its quality as it’s a rip-roaring, day-glo spectacular.
Michael Cera stays as Scott Pilgrim, a slacking, broke musician with a wandering eye whose world is turned upside down by the arrival of Ramona Flowers, a beautiful drifter who is new in town. But, before they can begin a relationship, Pilgrim must defeat all Ramona’s evil ex-partners in a series of duels – then, and only then, can they be together.
Everything in this movie is turned up to 11 and Wright clearly had an awful lot of fun putting it together. It’s playful, funny, bold and deserved to make a tonne of money at the box office.
3. Baby Driver
If Scott Pilgrim was Wright’s sensibilities turned up to 11, then Baby Driver is it’s icy cool, stylish, slightly sulky, but thoroughly entertaining older brother.
The movie stars Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Sky Ferreira and Eiza González and follows Elgort’s Baby, a young, music-obsessed getaway driver who winds up getting into serious trouble after the mob boss he has been forced to work for refuses to let him leave the fold and demands that he takes part in a heist doomed to fail.
Powered by an incredible soundtrack and a series of rip-roaring car chases, this is Wright’s biggest commercial hit, and it’s easy to see why.
2. Shaun Of The Dead
Wright’s debut proper is an all-time classic, a perfect mixture of horror and comedy, and a movie which still brings a smile to the face of anyone who watches it.
Simon Pegg plays the titular Shaun, a down-on-his-luck salesman who is about to lose his long-suffering girlfriend. Suddenly, he finds himself caught in a zombie apocalypse with his best friend, Nick Frost’s Ed.
Whipsmart, gruesome, skilfully-plotted and surprisingly moving for a comedy and horror mash-up, this is one of the all-time great British movies. It’d be number one on most rankings, but for…
1. Hot Fuzz
Truth be told, there’s very, very little to choose between Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. They’re both outstanding, but, for this writer, Hot Fuzz just squeaks it.
Released in 2007, Hot Fuzz brings back Pegg and Frost and is another smooshing of genres, with comedy and action this time brought together for a spectacular, occasionally slapstick, but heartfelt adventure.
Pegg stars as Nicholas Angel, a high-achieving police officer in London, who is sent away to the countryside by his resentful colleagues on account of him doing such a good job he is showing them all up.
Stationed in the quiet village of Sandford in rural Gloucestershire, Angel is quickly bored with the mundane petty crimes he’s now forced to stop. Suddenly, though, there are a spate of accidental deaths in the village, and Angel suspects foul play. Now he’s just got to convince the other villagers, who are very fond of the quiet life, that there’s a killer on the loose…
In a run of brilliant movies for Wright, Hot Fuzz is our winner – and we can’t wait to see where the director’s next project lands…