The Founder

The Founder

John Lee Hancock (2016)

110min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
In Saving Mr Banks, director John Lee Hancock chronicled how Walt Disney's charm offensive persuaded the creator of Mary Poppins to allow a movie adaptation of her precious novels. Hancock's follow-up is another tale of capitalist chutzpah-made-good, as we see downtrodden salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) grab his big chance when he visits a small burger restaurant named McDonald's. Agreeing franchising rights, Kroc's expansive plans then begin to cause friction with the eatery's true founders. A story of ambition taken to its most extreme, the plot is interesting but non-committal. It's as if the director is unsure whether Kroc is a heroic visionary or a ruthless capitalist. Thank goodness, then, for Keaton's performance, a secret recipe that elevates the film from diverting to gripping, as he slowly unveils a man who will step on everyone and everything to achieve his dream. It's uncomfortable at times, but Keaton is utterly captivating, particularly when toying with the wholesome McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch). Here's a morally ambiguous, by-the-numbers story that's given bite by a star at the top of his game. You may never look at your local fast-food joint the same way again.

Cast & Crew

Ray Kroc Michael Keaton
Dick McDonald Nick Offerman
Mac McDonald John Carroll Lynch
Joan Smith Linda Cardellini
Rollie Smith Patrick Wilson
Harry J Sonneborn B J Novak
Ethel Kroc Laura Dern
Director John Lee Hancock
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Studio CanalGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 17 Feb 2017