The Founder

"Excellent"

The Founder Review


This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's. And the most remarkable thing about this film is that it's not a feature-length advertisement for the fast-food outlet. Instead, it's a strikingly balanced, warts-and-all exploration of one man who pioneered a whole new way of making a fortune, even if it meant crushing some innocent people along the way. Which of course makes the film both entertaining and involving.

Michael Keaton delivers a storming performance as Ray, who we meet as a travelling salesman in the American Midwest in 1954. Unable to get anyone to understand his theory about simplified menus and faster service, he follows a lead out west to Southern California, where brothers Dick and Mac McDonald (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch) have done just that. He buys into their concept and begins opening franchises back in the Midwest, and his network rapidly expands. But a business partner (BJ Novak) shows him that he'll need to push the brothers aside if he wants to make some proper money.

Director John Lee Hancock keeps the film's tone light and the pace brisk, never bogging down in the darker edges of the story. But he never shies away from them either, which adds a blackly comical tone to Keaton's full-on performance as a man who will do whatever it takes to make a profit. As a result, the audience is able to sympathise with Ray even though he's increasingly unlikeable, a charming monster who shamelessly borrows ideas from everyone he meets. This makes his relationships with his fragile first wife (Laura Dern) and his more aggressive second wife (Linda Cardellini) fascinating, even if neither woman is very well defined.

Screenwriter Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) cleverly reveals Ray's ruthless ambition slowly as the film progresses. This is remarkably enlightening not just about the McDonald's phenomenon but global capitalism in general, most notably the moral relativism that's needed to strike it rich. But none of this is laid on too heavily, as the film bounces entertainingly along on the colourful surface letting the themes gurgle far below. So in the end, the movie feels like a cautionary tale about the high cost of creating an empire. But we can't help but admire the way Ray found a gap in the market and turned it into a game-changing business model. And if he sacrificed honesty and quality along the way, no one seems to have minded too much. Except perhaps the actual McDonald family.

Watch the trailer for The Founder:



The Founder

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 115 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th January 2017

Box Office USA: $7,433,899.00

Budget: $7M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Company

Production compaines: Weinstein Company, The, FilmNation Entertainment, Faliro House Productions, The Combine, Speedie Distribution

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 118 Rotten: 27

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Don Handfield, , Aaron Ryder

Starring: as Ray Kroc, as Dick McDonald, as Mac McDonald, as Ethel Kroc, as Joan Smith, as Rollie Smith, B. J. Novak as Harry Sonneborn, Wilbur Fitzgerald as Jerry Cullen, Kabby Borders as Cheerleader, Valeri Rogers as Cheerleader #2

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.