Babylon (2022)

“You either are a star or you ain’t. And honey, I am.”

Every once in a while, there is a movie that comes along that leaves you completely awestruck. A cinematic feat that leaves you in a perpetual state of amazement and wonder of how the film was even pulled off. And let me tell you, Babylon is one of those movies. Most similar to his beloved La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s newest film possesses all of the child-like wonder about Hollywood that drives La La Land, but injects sex, drugs, and madness into the veins of the story, creating a true cinematic epic for the ages.

"dares to be bold and ballsy"

We are dropped into Hollywood, 1926. Movies - silent movies - dominate. And those who are apart of the business are living the high life. They indulge in countless vices night after night, party after party. All coming from being swept into the break-neck speed of the cut throat and magical business. Manuel "Manny" Torres (Diego Calva) gets by. He does odds jobs for the big men of the business (say maybe transporting a live elephant up a steep hill for a party in a mansion). But Manny wants more. He wants to be in the movie business. And so does Nellie – Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie), whom he meets at this extravagant party. Nellie tells Manny she’s a star. She hasn’t been in any movies, but she is a star already. She just needs to get on a movie set to prove her talent. As fates would have it, and due to another young actress’s unfortunate demise, she is plucked from the crowd of the party to be on set the next morning. Manny, on the other hand, gets his break as well. When famous silent film star, Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt), passes out at the party, Manny must drive Jack home. After Jack takes a liking to Manny, Manny accompanies Jack to a film set the next day, and Manny’s film business career is ignited. All three enjoy a period of prosperity. Nellie becomes a star, Jack keeps his hits coming, and Manny slowly moves up. but with the “talkies” changing the entire industry in 1927, all three struggle to deal with the harsh changes that come with the new sound era.

I know that I already used this word, but this film is the definition of epic. Babylon is an explosive, drug-fueled, fever dream overflowing with debauchery and madness that pushes this medium to its maximum capacity. Through his writing and energetic direction, Chazelle is able to give the audience a true, visceral experience of Hollywood at the peak of silent film. Not just the insane parties, but the studio lots that had multiple films shooting at wild paces just feet from each other. And the montages that build and build to the explosive moments for our three main protagonists. There is so much excitement in this film that makes it absolutely fly by. But Chazelle is also able to masterfully bring the film to abrupt halt, exposing the issues of the industry, how lives were destroyed, how the audience can love you one day and hate you the next. And on top of both of those things, the film is also hilarious. One-liners, visual comedy, and even Tobey Maguire making a very comical (and terrifying) cameo appearance in a sequence that will make your skin crawl. This film packs so much into it and it is all part of something so grand in story and scale.Babylon (2022)

Every aspect of this movie is amplified to the max. It is not just the writing and the direction that make this movie so spectacular, but the cinematography gives the bright lights a surreal glow as it captures both the beautiful and craziness of Hollywood. And of course, I don’t think a Damien Chazelle movie would be complete with kick ass jazz music to carry us through it. Plus, Clava, Robbie, and Pitt all give such powerful, wild, and tragic performance as you watch them sweat their ways through the tumultuous time that the film depicts.

And I know what you all are thinking, but don’t pay attention to the box office numbers. Don’t pay attention to those complaining about it being another “movie about loving movies.” And don’t pay attention to those complaining about its three-hour run time (I see you binge watching an entire season of a television show on your couch in one sitting). Babylon is a film that should be seen in a theater. Period. And yes, it is sort of a love letter to movies, but it is also so much more. And those who are skipping out on seeing it in theaters are truly missing out, and I can bet you a lot will come to regret it. Babylon dares to be bold and ballsy. And to me, that is more impressive than any other superhero blockbuster or award-bait-y film that has come out this year.

Babylon is now playing in theaters.

5/5 stars


Babylon (2022)

4k details divider

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD Steelbook Edition

Home Video Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
Available on 4K UHD
- March 21, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English SDH; French; Spanish
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Three-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A

The fine folks over at Paramount Home Entertainment have shoved all their chips into the center of the table with their 3-disc, 4K Ultra-HD + Blu-ray + Digital Code Steelbook Edition of Babylon. It's a beauty!

In addition to the flawless Dolby Vision transfer, we get an equally impressive 1080p version of the film on the included blu-ray disc, as well as a digital redemption coupon for the film.

Inside the steelbook case is also a third disc (blu-ray) which includes a wealth of supplemental materials.

All in all, this is a very well-executed offering that will not only stretch your A/V to its limits, but will also look great sitting in your collection.


The 2.39:1 widescreen picture is rendered with a Dolby Vision/HDR10 transfer that will absolutely blow your socks off. Blacks are deep and rich, providing a luxurious canvas upon which to show off DP Linus Sandgren's vibrant color palette.

There are a lot of night scenes throughout the film and they come alive with reds and golds that sparkle and pop against the darkness, while daytime scenes are always sharp and crisp with a nice depth of field throughout.


The film's English language Dolby Atmos track is a lively one that will put your system to the test. There's a lot of dialogue – much of it the rat-a-tat-tat variety – throughout the film that never falters as it remains mostly front-centered with the occasional voice yelling from the side or rear.

But that's not to say there's nothing going on around the perimeter. The entire 360-degree soundstage never gets a rest as bands play, guns fire, and cars speed by. It makes for a beautiful cacophony of auditory madness.


Sadly, there's not a filmmakers' commentary track, but that oversight is more than offset by the wealth of bonus material included on the second blu-ray disc.


  • None

Special Features:

  • A Panoramic Canvas Called Babylon
  • The Costumes of Babylon
  • Scoring Babylon
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Digital Coupon

4k rating divider

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

5/5 stars


Film Details

Babylon (2022)

MPAA Rating: R for strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity, bloody violence, drug use, and pervasive language..
189 mins
: Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle
Brad Pitt; Margot Robbie; Jean Smart
: Comedy | Drama
Always make a scene.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Listen up, all you big dick mister men! Who wants to see my dad fight a fucking snake?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
December 23, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 21, 2023
Synopsis: A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.


Babylon (2022)