When you think of filmmakers whose crafts can apply to any movie genre, you might think of movie directors like Edgar Wright. He has a small yet diverse filmography, with each film having its own distinctive style that stands out from the rest of its genre.
With clever scripts, dynamic camerawork, fast pacing, frisky editing, fun soundtracks, recurring gags, and lots of visual comedy, Edgar Wright sees every frame as his cinematic playground.
Need examples of his playful sensibilities? See his roots in the sitcom Spaced, where he first collaborated with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
As of this writing, Edgar Wright has another movie on the way: Last Night in Soho, starring Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy, which will be his stab at a straight-up horror movie.
While we wait, we thought it’d be fun to revisit his filmography. Here are the best Edgar Wright movies where he served as either producer, director, or screenwriter. They’re all fantastic!
10. A Fistful of Fingers (1995)
Edgar Wright’s first directorial effort is also his most obscure. A Fistful of Fingers is a Western spoof about a cowboy who swears revenge on a man who killed his horse named Easy.
On his journey, the cowboy No-Name crosses paths with other colorful characters in this Western farce. Funny thing is, this movie is actually a feature-length remake of one of Wright’s student films!
While it’s far from his finest work, it’s an earnest piece of comedy. From the Spaghetti Western tributes to the playful camera, you can see some streaks of inspiration that Wright is known for.
9. Ant-Man (2015)
Remember the time when Edgar Wright was almost part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? It nearly happened with MCU Phase 2 entry Ant-Man, the origin story of Scott Lang/Ant-Man.
Sadly, due to creative differences, Edgar Wright and co-writer Joe Cornish both left the project while retaining screenwriting credits. Truly a missed opportunity, Marvel!
Still, there are moments in Ant-Man that are straight out of Wright’s playbook: the lighter tone, fast-paced humor, snappy dialogue, and the quirky monologues by Michael Peña’s Luis.
8. Attack the Block (2011)
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Attack the Block is a sci-fi/horror set in the tower block neighborhoods of London about a group of teenage hoodlums who fend off an alien invasion by teaming up with a nurse named Samantha.
For an overlooked piece of sci-fi horror, this movie is packed with talent! Especially its cast that’s led by John Boyega (as the leader of the gang) and Jodie Whittaker (as the nurse).
Director Joe Cornish is a regular collaborator of Wright, who served as executive producer on the film. Boyega and Whittaker went on to become the faces of two big sci-fi franchises, but this movie itself is an exciting creature feature.
7. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
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Based on the comic book series by Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin is a motion-capture animated movie about young journalist Tintin (played by Jamie Bell) who teams up with ill-famed seafaring Captain Haddock (played by Andy Serkis) to find a treasure before the villainous Ivan Sakharine (played by Daniel Craig) does.
Being a Steven Spielberg movie, every scene is packed with action and intrigue, made possible by Weta’s motion capture.
But none of it would be possible without Wright’s script, which he wrote in collaboration with Joe Cornish and Steven Moffat. The result is a fun adventure, straight out of Hergé’s comic panels.
6. The Sparks Brothers (2021)
The new wave band Sparks has a colorful history that spans more than five decades. Yet despite putting out more than 345 songs across 25 studio albums, the musical duo is largely underrated by the public.
So allow Edgar Wright to give you an introduction to Sparks with his documentary The Sparks Brothers, which tells the history of the Sparks band up until the present day.
Alongside Ron and Russell Mael, we see interviews with their bandmates, managers, producers, other musicians, and even some actors. Mixing it up is Edgar Wright’s style, a fitting approach for a movie about an idiosyncratic act.
5. The World’s End (2013)
The World’s End is the final film in Edgar Wright’s famous “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy of movies. Funny and exciting, The World’s End is a fitting end to the trilogy.
It focuses on five estranged friends, led by Gary King (played by Simon Pegg), who return to their hometown to redo a failed pub crawl from their childhood. But the town descends into chaos with aliens.
The movie embraces its sci-fi backdrop with obvious inspirations from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but at its core it’s a tale about a flawed man who’s seeking redemption. It just happens to have aliens.
4. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a cult classic about a slacker bandmate named Scott Pilgrim who can only pursue the new girl in town, Ramona Flowers, by defeating her Seven Evil Exes.
Edgar Wright fully embraces the movie’s graphic novel roots and lets every scene leap out of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s panels. It’s a masterclass of editing, transitions, and video game aesthetics.
While the story may be problematic in parts, it’s never enough to ruin the energy of its cast and musical performances.
3. Hot Fuzz (2007)
Hot Fuzz is an action-comedy movie about Police Constable Nicholas Angel (played by Simon Pegg), an overachieving by-the-books officer who gets transferred from bustling London to rural Sandford.
There, he teams up with fellow officer Danny Butterman (played by Nick Frost) to investigate a string of horrific deaths, which all leads to a vast conspiracy behind the Sandford townsfolk.
In this second movie of in his “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy, Edgar Wright fully embraces his knowledge of action-cop movie tropes. More than just an homage, it’s arguably one of the best in the genre as it unpacks the character of Angel being an actual role model cop.
2. Baby Driver (2017)
Do you like heists and car chases? And you haven’t seen Baby Driver yet? Then what are you waiting for?!
Baby Driver follows a getaway driver named Baby who suffers from tinnitus and always listens to music for relief. Baby wants to walk away from crime and pay his debt to kingpin Doc with one final heist. But things go awry for the heist crew.
In a genre that’s overly predictable, Baby Driver is a breath of fresh air—and much of that is thanks to its synchronized-to-music action and awesome soundtrack that’s a feast for the senses.
1. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Edgar Wright’s greatest movie to this day is the first entry of his “Three Flavours Cornetto” movie trilogy.
Shaun of the Dead follows an aimless salesman named Shaun who’s caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse—so he holes up in a nearby pub with his girlfriend, his mother, and his friends.
Like most of his movies, Edgar Wright’s cult hit is really a fable of man who gradually realizes his need to grow. The zombies are just there as a source of conflict and catalyst.
The result is a fun horror-comedy with heart and soul. To this day, Shaun of the Dead is regarded as a genre winner.