Film, Comedy
3 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
(1user review)

Bradley Cooper puts on a puffy hat and yells like a maniac in this enjoyable but somewhat silly and forgettable behind-the-scenes chef story

The better the chef, the bigger the jerk. It’s telling of his considerable culinary skills that Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a grade-A asshole. The one-time child prodigy turned enfant terrible of the Parisian restaurant scene, Adam nabbed himself two Michelin stars before souring his career with drugs, demons and diva behaviour. Now, two years sober – but no less arrogant – the rock-star chef relocates to London in a bid for a second chance and that elusive third star.

Cooper trained in a real kitchen with celebrity chef Marcus Wareing, and wears chef’s whites with ease. In his comeback kitchen, he barks orders at his staff – including single-mum saucier Helene (Sienna Miller, continuing her impressive streak of supporting roles) – with the foul-mouthed cruelty of a drill sergeant. But while the cooking scenes mimic the full-tilt pace of actual dinner service, it comes at the expense of any slow-burning tension. Even the film’s most searing moments (a tyrannical tantrum following poor table turnout) lose their intensity by how swiftly they’re snuffed out.

A fistful of undercooked subplots – drug dealers, rows with a rival chef – and pointless cameos (Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman) add unnecessary weight. By the credits, you might feel that ‘Burnt’ is fixated on the wrong chef. Cooper’s Adam is magnetic, sure, but it’s Miller’s scrappy Helene, with her lived-in, head-down hustle on the line, that will leave you wanting seconds.

By: Christina Izzo


Release details

Release date: Friday November 6 2015
Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Wells
Screenwriter: Steven Knight
Cast: Alicia Vikander
Jamie Dornan
Bradley Cooper

Average User Rating

2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

As a photographer who often works with chefs, and a big foodie, I was curious to see this film even though I'd heard mixed reviews. In the end, whilst I enjoyed it from a visual point of view - it was very 'pretty' to watch, including Bradley Cooper of course, it really left very little impression on me.

I am not sure anyone would have much sympathy with the main character, played by Cooper, Adam as he completely fails to redeem himself for his pretty obnoxious behaviour. Although the brilliant Emma Thompson, playing his psychiatrist does manage to unveil his inner demons allowing us to see a glimmer of humility.

The acting, and some of the kitchen scenes are great to watch and the food shots easy on the eye, but they feel very contrived, over dramatic and not too convincing. Helene, played by Sienna Miller, is the love interest, yet we're not sure why she would fall for someone who treats her so badly - expect of course like many women in movies, she sees his vulnerable side. Or perhaps, it's simply the fact that he is super hot and they like cooking together.

This is the kind of film that you can enjoy when it comes to Freeview or if there's nothing else to watch on a wintery Sunday. Like a warm bowl of soup on a cold day, it will be exactly what it says on the tin, comfort you whilst you slurp it down, but leave you slightly unsatiated at the end.