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This is a fun movie, especially given all the reality cooking shows on TV now and the popularity of food trucks. A chef follows his dream after quitting his steady job when his boss insists he keep the same old menu instead of flexing his creative muscles. There is a food truck road trip where he forms a close bond with his son, and a funny public rivalry with a food critic (who is his nemesis) which plays out on Twitter. This movie is rated R likely for an incidence of marijuana use, some crude language and crude jokes but there is no nudity and no sex scenes. Even if the plot is a bit predictable it is still enjoyable in my opinion.
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I was looking for a wind-down movie at the end of the evening that didn't have a lot of action and one that I didn't have to decipher and landed on this. It's a story about a Chef and a food truck, but the deeper layer involves being true to who you are and what makes you happy, as well as a story about relationships (particularly parent-child). The acting is excellent and Jon Favreau is phenomenal, all the way down to his impressive knife skills (I later researched and learned that he went to France to train for those). I also really enjoyed Oliver Platt's brief appearances as the food blogger. It bumped it up to 5 stars for me when I learned that Chef Roy Choi, an early founder of the food truck movement, was involved in this.
Love this film so much I've watched it twice. This was one of those films I had never heard of and stumbled upon by accident and took a gamble on it. Everybody was great and authentic in this from Jon Favreau who plays the lead, the "Chef", Sofia Vergara was charming as his ex-wife, as well as other great supporting parts by Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, and Dustin Hoffman. The top notch supporting cast of names no doubt did this as a favor for Jon Favreau, and how could you say no to him. He directed, wrote, produced, and starred in this amazing film. That may sound like a vanity project, but what an incredible passionate vanity project this was.
The story is more or less about this incredible Chef who cooks and runs a kitchen at a posh restaurant, but he butts heads with the owner on occasion played by Dustin Hoffman. Because this Chef wants to cook what he wants, but that's not how it works in the restaurant business. His ex-wife played by Sofia Vergara talks him into buying a taco food truck, which might sound doubtful, but turns into a real rags to riches kind of story. This is about going after your dreams and creating your own work. This film was lively, passionate, funny, moving, touching, and brilliantly acted by all performers. Loved this film!
This was a great movie! Great story line, Great acting. I loved the character that played the chef. The kitchen scenes and food prep scenes were fabulous. I was glued to this movie from beginning to end. I loved the food truck and what they did with it. But the foul language ruined the movie! Was it necessary to use the 'F' word? And it was used repeatedly, over and over again. I really would have wanted to watch this movie with the entire family, but there is no way I could do that. And that is a shame. I would have rated this movie 6 out of 5 stars, but the foul language knocked the rating down to 3 stars.
Family, Food, Friends, Road Trip! All the ingredients needed for a good time and a great movie. Best of all was the relationship between father & son; friends who help you when you're down; good relationship between exes (divorced parents); the pleasure (and peril) of telling off a critic; the joy of doing something really well, and loving what you do; tackling the unknown and the fear of doing something new; the dangers--and opportunities--of social media; teaching your trade to your child and learning about life by living it with your parent; giving your child the same respect you would give an adult (not "talking down"); and Real Food prepared lovingly. One regret: I wish there had been a longer road trip. It was so cool to visit the different areas and their cuisines!
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2017
What a cast! Watched it at work on some down time! Had to share with my wife! Sat down to eat dinner and forgot how the movie starts! Lol Such a good movie! The script is unbelievable how everything is connected! The relationship between father and son makes me wish for a better relationship with my own son! The language is pretty bad but when you realize that is how people talk in the real world not necessarily on the big screen you can get past it.
Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2015
Such a delightful movie about the love of food and most importantly family and friends! I had heard such great things about this movie and I was truly not disappointed! I have always enjoyed movies with the theme of food ( Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, Like Water for Chocolate, Soul Food, The 100 Foot Journey) well, because, I LOVE food! And the story itself was just heartwarming, and gorgeously produced and well acted. I have been a fan of Jon Favreau since "Swingers" and he brings such a complexity to his role as Carly. You truly understand his passion and art in the food preparation process as well as his frustration in not being allowed to be creative as head chef at the restaurant that he is employed at. I loved the friendship between Carl and John Leguizamos' Martin and they balanced eachother quite nicely. Sofia Vegara, Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman and a hilarious Robert Downey Jr. are minor yet key players in Carl's transformation throughout the movie. However, it is his relationship with son Percy which really establishes the film and you get real life dynamics between a lost father and abandoned tech saavy son with Percy and Carl. GREAT acting all around, with the gorgeous food cinematography and awesome Cuban soundtrack, watching Carl's transformation during the film satisfied me on all levels and I had a smile on my face until the very end. JF did VERY well with learning the cooking techniques for this role and he was quite convincing as a well renound chef. All in all, a fabulous film and I highly recommend it to anyone. One of my favorites from 2014 along with the Leggo Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy!
Where do you start with a movie this good? I already like Jon Favreau's direction (Iron Man 1 & 2) and knew he had a comic touch. This is his comic masterpiece.
Favreau plays Chef Carl Casper, a talented chef, whose life is in a mess. Bullied into bland commercial cooking by Dustin Hoffman's money-mad restaurant owner, divorced from the woman he loves. Even worse, he on the outs with his young son because his frenetic lifestyle does not give him the time to be with him.
Favreau has always had a gift for the smart funny retort and here they come thick and fast. But what raises this movie above the ordinary is that Favreau plays Casper as a man passionate about food. In those scenes where Casper is talking food, or preparing food, he becomes heroic and you really do feel his passion.
And it is not a one-man show. John Leguizamo, as Casper's loyal assistant chef, almost steals the movie. He has a couple of lines that made me roar with laughter. Sofia Vergara is very good here as the ex-wife, her scenes are pivotal and move the action forward. Emjay Anthony plays his young son (9/10 years old?) with just the right amount of grit, to stop the movie getting sappy. Throw in a Robert Downey Jnr cameo with RDJ doing weird dude, as only RDJ can and you have a whole lot of good players acting their heads off.
Colourful, fast-moving and with pin-sharp direction and acting, Chef is funny, touching and lively. It runs at just under two hours. I would have watched it if was over 4. Utterly superb.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 27, 2017
I love Jon Favreau but found his character in this to be incredibly disappointing. The storyline felt like two films - disjointed, and I just couldn’t like the main character which made it incredibly disappointing. For myself, it hit home in a lot of ways (divorced parents and disappointing relationships with the father figure) and I just couldn’t enjoy it - my partner on the other hand loves it. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who’s watched their parents go through a rough divorce.
Bought this movie after a recommendation from a friend and was not disappointed. Favreau throws himself into the cooking side of things and it shows. Watch The Chef Show as a companion to the movie!
The story is a little by-numbers but honestly, it doesn't tarnish the experience. Some good performances and some excellent food shots. I've never been so captivated by a cheese toastie as I have been whole watching Chef!
Get it watched, I've since made the headline dish and it's reinvigorated my own enjoyment of being inthe kitchen :)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 30, 2020
Brilliant feel good movie that is prefect for remedy for even the worst of days if you love food! John Favreau is brilliant and plays the part prefect and love seeing RDJ in a supporting role that just suits him (I know he’s a nice guy in real life)
One of my favourite movies! Make sure you prepare the most amazing meal for when you watch this though, or you will be starving. I met Jon Favreau in a restaurant in London and he couldn't have been nicer or more excited that I liked the movie! Fingers crossed for the cook book that was muted!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 30, 2015
Wasn't expecting too much but was pleasantly surprised by this well-acted tale of a chef who sets up his own business from a van. Jon Favreau is an absolute delight. This is one of those movies that seemed to slip by almost unnoticed but is certainly worth watching.