In Theatres: 
Oct 30, 2015
Running Time: 
101 minutes

There are two things you’re guaranteed to see in a film that revolves around cooking; gorgeous shots of food and plenty of yelling in the kitchen. I blame it on the popularity of chefs like Gordon Ramsay, who has cultivated this larger-than-life persona on television and ingrained the “angry chef” idea into the minds of general audiences everywhere. Burnt features its own Chef Ramsay in Bradley Cooper, a brilliant chef looking for a second chance after ruining his life with drugs and alcohol.


Adam Jones (Cooper) was once the best chef in the business, earning a coveted two Michelin stars rating and was well on his way to three. But his addiction to drugs, alcohol, and women quickly took that all away and made him a pariah of his friends and family. After taking some time to reflect on himself, and shuck one million oysters, Adam returns to the restaurant scene as a new man determined to earn three Michelin stars and prove to his former colleagues that he’s no longer the screwup he once was.


Burnt is a story about redemption and follows the standard path associated with the archetype. Adam is looking to make amends, but struggles to actually care about anyone but himself at first. He wants that third Michelin star at any cost. Sure he’s no longer doing drugs or getting drunk, and he is quite the fantastic chef. That doesn’t make him a great person, though. Of course, it takes a rock bottom relapse for him to truly do a 180 and be truly sorry for his past actions.


Regardless, Bradley Cooper does give an interesting performance as a chef. Much of his time is spent channeling his inner Gordon Ramsay, berating his line cooks with insults and flaunting his talents. There is a hint of a good person in him, but the film takes a bit too long before he transitions into a likeable character.


Presentation is a huge component of high class chefs, and Burnt features a solid culinary palette . There are plenty of close-ups on delicious looking food, and you get a clear sense of how chaotic and fast-paced the kitchen can be. The food is oftentimes just as important as the characters.


Burnt is good, although it feels like a rather safe role for Bradley Cooper. He’s not particularly amazing; just good enough. It rarely strays from the stereotypical beats of the genre, and there are plenty of clichés. Yet when all was said and done, I still had this hunger for its story.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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