The Kitchen

The Kitchen

In Theatres: 
Aug 09, 2019
Running Time: 
103 minutes

Whenever someone mentions comic books the first thing people’s mind races to is superheroes, but the worlds between the inked pages are so much more than that. Like any medium, comic books contain limitless stories on countless subjects. The Kitchen is the latest comic book adaptation to hit the big screen and is based on the Vertigo miniseries by the same name. It’s a crime drama that takes place in the 70’s in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. There are no fancy costumes or powers, just three women who are ready to do whatever it takes to get what they’re owed. 


Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish), and Claire (Elisabeth Moss) all married husbands who are members of the Irish mob, but when their men are caught by the FBI during a robbery and sent to prison, they’re left to make due with whatever little money the mob sends their way. Struggling to make ends meet, the three friends decide to take matters into their own hands and offer the surrounding businesses a better deal for protection than they’re currently getting from the Irish mob. As their influence throughout Hell’s Kitchen grows, they begin to draw the attention of everyone around them and have become more ruthless in order to make it to the top.


The Kitchen plays out very much like your typical period crime drama, only with an emphasis on women instead of men. It’s refreshing to see the talents of Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss on screen, but the true depths of their abilities feel wasted on a cliche story we’ve seen time and time again. The film has all the predictable twists, turns, and double-crosses as most mobster movies so a lot of it feels like you’re just going through the motions for an hour and 40 minutes. It’s not that it’s particularly bad, either. It’s just overall not that interesting.


Elisabeth Moss does kill it on screen and has some of the most interesting scenes of the film. Her husband was abusive before he went to jail, so to see her be free from that added some nice depth to her character. One of the more complex themes I would have liked the film to explore more was the fact that there really is no good guy/girl. Kathy, Ruby, and Claire initially pick up the slack from where the Irish mob was lacking and are acting nice and all to their new clients. Pretty soon however they realize that in order for them to grow their business, they’re going to be just as ruthless, if not more, than everybody else.


The Kitchen strives to be another Widows, but struggles to find its own identity as a result. There are the beginnings of some good ideas and the performances of the leads are noteworthy, but overall the film is just another lackluster addition to the genre.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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