Reviews - Chef (2014)
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Chef (2014)

Country: USA

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Taglines: Starting from scratch never tasted so good.

Director: Jon Favreau

Writers: Jon Favreau

Stars: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Emjay Anthony, ...

Carl Casper is an acclaimed chef with a family life that seems as decaying as his artistic freedom. Those frustrations boil over into a raucous viral-videoed public confrontation against a restaurant critic who panned his cooking of food that his boss ordered him to make against his instincts. Now with his career ruined, Carl's ex-wife offers an unorthodox solution in Miami: refit an old food truck to offer quality cooking on his own terms. Now with his young son, Percy, and old colleague, Martin, helping, Carl takes a working trip across America with that truck to rediscover his gastronomic passion. With Percy's tech savvy and Martin's enthusiasm, Carl finds that he is creating a traveling sensation on the way home. In doing so, Carl discovers he is serving up more than simply food, but also a deeper connection with his life and his family that is truly delicious in its own way.

100 | 2014-05-15 | Mick LaSalle

Chef is the best thing he (Favreau) has ever done, as writer or director or actor. It's the sort of thing of beauty that filmmakers are ultimately remembered for.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

91 | 2014-04-18 | Drew McWeeny

The film is loose and genuine and makes great use of place.
Read More: Hitfix

90 | 2014-05-08 | Gary Goldstein

If this all sounds fairly rote, it's far from it. That's because the filmmaker largely eschews done-to-death family dynamics, forced obstacles and predictable responses for authentic interaction, organic humor and a hopeful vitality.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

88 | 2014-05-22 | Joe Williams

Best of all is Favreau. Instead of mass-producing another superhero epic, he has given the overfed public a dish of right-sized comfort food.
Read More: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

88 | 2014-05-15 | Ty Burr

An engaged, engaging voyage of (re)discovery that’s too in love with its subject to qualify as food porn. It’s food romance.
Read More: Boston Globe

88 | 2014-05-15 | Michael O'Sullivan

There’s nothing terribly profound about Chef. But its message — that relationships, like cooking, take a hands-on approach — is a sweet and sustaining one.
Read More: Washington Post

88 | 2014-05-08 | Scott Bowles

A slow-cooked film that's one of the most heartwarming of the young year.
Read More: USA Today

88 | 2014-05-08 | Peter Travers

Buoyed by a Latin-flavored score and Favreau's knack for improv inspiration, Chef is the perfect antidote to Hollywood junk food. Like the best meals and movies, this irresistible concoction feels good for the soul.
Read More: Rolling Stone

83 | 2014-05-22 | Jeff Baker

Favreau's a big man who knows how to wield a chef's knife and shoots the food truck scenes with a hectic good nature that's infectious.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

80 | 2014-05-23 | Mike Scott

Here's a film that feeds the heart and the soul.
Read More: New Orleans Times-Picayune

80 | 2014-05-10 | Christina Izzo

A meandering middle and sticky-sweet third act can be overlooked if only for the savviness with which Favreau portrays the food world.
Read More: Time Out New York

78 | 2014-05-21 | Marjorie Baumgarten

Chef is filled to the brim with the kind of heart and vivacity that makes up for the film’s familiar storyline.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

76 | 2014-03-09 | William Goss

If the Favreau-written “Swingers” concerned itself with the pursuit of meaningful romance and the Favreau-directed “Made” tackled the pursuit of a better living, then the slight if continually amusing Chef is clearly his paean to rekindling one’s passions, whether as an artist, a husband or a father.
Read More:

75 | 2014-06-05 | Craig Offman

Chef is compelling, somewhat convincing and, according to many who know better than I, it’s largely on trend.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

75 | 2014-05-15 | Richard Roeper

Funny, quirky and insightful, with a bounty of interesting supporting characters and not a ton of concern about telling a conventional story.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

75 | 2014-05-15 | Connie Ogle

Favreau worked hard to replicate an authentic restaurant world, and it shows in every frame that involves chopping, dicing, slicing, sautéing or otherwise cooking (he also finds an ingenious way to visually portray Twitter, so vital in the marketing of food trucks).
Read More: Miami Herald

75 | 2014-05-10 | Roger Moore

Chef is Favreau’s most personal film since “Swingers,” an overlong comedy full of his food, his taste in music, his favorite places and a boatload of his favorite actors.
Read More: McClatchy-Tribune News Service

75 | 2014-05-09 | Susan Wloszczyna

This is comfort comedy, pure and simple.
Read More:

75 | 2014-05-07 | Clark Collis

The first two thirds of Chef crackle with hunger-inducing imagery and laughter-provoking gags.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

75 | 2014-05-07 | Lou Lumenick

He’s great as a celebrity chef who’s forced to re-examine his priorities in this extremely funny and big-hearted comedy that Favreau also wrote.
Read More: New York Post

70 | 2014-05-09 | Bilge Ebiri

A comfort movie about comfort food, Chef won’t knock your socks off, but it believes in itself — and for Favreau, that’s all that matters.
Read More: New York Magazine (Vulture)

70 | 2014-05-08 | Joe Morgenstern

Like so much in Chef, the plot resolution seems contrived and a bit silly. By then, though, we've had plenty of laughs, and generous helpings of warm feelings—the meat and potatoes of real life.
Read More: Wall Street Journal

70 | 2014-03-10 | Joe Leydon

The final destination is entirely predictable — right down to the deus ex machina reappearance of an erstwhile antagonist — but the trip itself is never less than pleasant, and often extremely funny.
Read More: Variety

67 | 2014-05-09 | Peter Rainer

There’s a pretty good movie buried somewhere deep inside the ungainly pastry that is Chef.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

63 | 2014-05-15 | Michael Phillips

Favreau's masterly light touch as an actor hasn't yet translated to a similarly deft offhandedness behind the camera. The movie, slick and shallow, is fairly entertaining anyway.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

60 | 2014-06-23 | Angie Errigo

Eat well beforehand or you’ll be in tummy-rumbling, tongue-hanging-out agony as the merry band cook their way across America. Good fun and happy, filling fare.
Read More: Empire

60 | 2014-05-08 | Stephen Holden

[A] shallow but enjoyable all-American morality play.
Read More: The New York Times

60 | 2014-05-08 | Joe Neumaier

Scenes of Favreau at the grill bantering with Leguizamo and Cannavale could almost sustain an entire movie.
Read More: New York Daily News

60 | 2014-05-07 | David Ehrlich

It may not be for all tastes, but there’s genuine value in a feel-good film that works this well without making viewers feel bad first.
Read More: The Dissolve

60 | 2014-03-10 | John DeFore

The easygoing comedy keeps a familiar story going despite minor plot hiccups.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

58 | 2014-05-07 | A.A. Dowd

For anyone who’s followed Favreau’s career since the mid-’90s, the temptation to read Chef as veiled autobiography will be overpowering.
Read More: The A.V. Club

58 | 2014-03-09 | Eric Kohn

By its later scenes, Chef only finds respite from its bland qualities through the scrumptious-looking dishes constantly on display. As self-indulgent vanity projects go, this one's pretty innocuous, if only because it's always easy on the eyes.
Read More: indieWIRE

50 | 2014-05-01 | Amy Nicholson

Chef is so charmingly middlebrow that it's exactly the cinematic comfort food it mocks: Favreau has made not a game-changing meal to remember, but a perfect chocolate lava cake.
Read More: Village Voice

40 | 2014-05-08 | Inkoo Kang

Personal or not, this lazy fantasy doesn't offer many more pleasures than an Instagram account.
Read More: TheWrap

38 | 2014-04-23 | Chris Cabin

Jon Favreau's film comes off as flippant in its view of independent labor as a universally liberating experience for an artist and businessman.
Read More: Slant Magazine

16 | 2014-03-10 | Drew Taylor

While the more down-to-earth Chef does offer some fascinating autobiographical dimensions, the film is also an overlong, unfunny, largely insufferable bore.
Read More: The Playlist