The Menu

A young couple travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, Horror
  • Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, John Leguizamo, Judith Light, Rob Yang, Reed Birney, Janet McTeer, Aimee Carrero, Paul Adelstein, Mark St. Cyr, Rebecca Koon, Peter Grosz, Christina Brucato, Adam Aalderks
  • Director: Mark Mylod
 Comments
  • drakath_eu - 13 January 2023
    The Copy
    This film has great characters with great actors, great shooting and phenomenal editing. It is very obvious from the start that this is going to be a slaughterhouse, so the end should be thing that surprises you. It does not. The reason is that this movie is basically Split with a different context. Anna Taylor Joy kidnapped by a maniac, same plot points, almost same movies up and downs, the radio scene and the window scene, all the interactions they have and the conclusion where she gets to walk away for being smart, although not entirely equal, it feels, looks and smells like Split. Hell, the final sequence of her eating a burguer made me feel that if you put the girl in split in this movie, it would be the same movie. They feel like a copy of each other with some traces changed so it fits the narrative. That truly ruined it for me, I knew the ending and solution by the moment I made the connection. As she clapped her hands I stood emotionless for the whole duration of the scene that took place. Same concept, same idea and same execution. Honestly disappointed.
  • Neon_Gold - 13 January 2023
    Satisfyingly Unique
    It's not perfect but I was engaged for the whole things at least. I was looking for a deeper meaning I think and there just wasn't one there. Motives get muddled and start to just knot them selfs together. There seems to be two concurrent motives. I would have cut the basic one and stuck with the deeper, more subtle one. Because without that, this becomes an episode of Criminal Minds about a disgruntled chef.

    However, it's tense(even tho it shows it's hand too soon), it's gorgeous, the acting is good and like o said, it's engaging so I did enjoy it..

    It was really refreshing to watch a well made movie tho so I would definitely recommend.
  • LansTaylor - 13 January 2023
    Dark Satire at its Finest
    First off, "can we get some actual bread now"?!

    The pacing and tension throughout the film was impeccable. There wasn't a dull moment that I could think of. With every meal and every introduction, I constantly felt as if someone was gonna explode or something. The comedy was subtle but enough to give me a good laugh and allowed me to have a breather in-between all the tension. The menu, along with its description, that appears on the screen was a nice added touch. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each one.

    The relationship between the critic and the chef falls along a sensitive line. People obsessing over an art while not being able to participate in said art can irks the artist in the wrong way. It's hard to take criticism while also knowing that the critic could never recreate your craft to the same degree. Critics have power over how successful an artist can become, which is the overall theme of the movie.

    Overall, I really really enjoyed the film as it reminded me of what Ratatouille would look like if it was rated R. Chef Slowik's reaction to the cheeseburger was identical to Anton Ego's when he had his flashback.

    On a final note, is that not the tastiest looking cheeseburger ever shown in a movie?!
  • chrismwolfe - 13 January 2023
    Entertaining absurdity that doesn't fully land
    While I found this one solidly entertaining, I don't know if it quite landed the way that I wanted it to. It was certainly intriguing and engaging, but at some point almost felt a tad repetitive and a bit preachy.

    The shining star of this production was most certainly the acting. Awesome casting and everyone did a great job... by far my favorite part. The movie also looked beautiful with some really lovely shots.

    If this was one thing I would definitely say unpredictable as they kept you guessing where it was going, therefore keeping you engaged. It wasn't my favorite but I definitely liked it. I would still recommend this, maybe not to everyone, but I would.
  • grimmy-51186 - 13 January 2023
    Very entertaining and original
    There are not many films like this, the only other I can think of is Perfume - story of a murderer. The film is probably best taken solely for entertainment value there are hints of some kind of deeper meaning, but these don't go much of anywhere.

    What's so good about this film is how it can be taken for entertainment solely for entertaining, and its entrancing and refreshing to see without traditional hollywood stereotypes or even trying to push some indie cultural meaning which will doubtlessly have been beaten to death through the media and internet.

    The actors are superb and the plot is well executed, I'm glad films like this can still be made.,
  • redbeardceltic - 13 January 2023
    A dark comedy satire reflecting the nation today
    From the start and the trailer, I think many will realize this is not a typical film. It means that you cannot watch it as a story narrative but understand it is a representation, a satire. And what is that satire?

    Most people jump right into the usual cliches; classism, socialism vs capitalism, even the film's direct mentioning of the service industry vs the customers.

    However, it is actually much more obvious than that. It isn't classism per say, as the chef himself is of higher class. Yes, he did also admit the restaurant was part of the problem. It is not about socialism or capitalism, wealth was never brought up. It is not specifically about servers and takers either, though it is heavily influenced.

    The premise of the film is about losing passion and purpose. The chef's suicidal tendency and the plot of the film was about losing his purpose, his joy and desire to fulfill that purpose. This was reflected also in his conversation with Margot, who also felt that way. And once more with the actor, as the chef called him out as someone who has lost the passion for acting.

    Why is this not about classism, capitalism, etc... b/c the ending, Margot called it all out. She said, the chef's one purpose, only purpose was to create food which a customer might enjoy. He failed. That was the whole premise and whole point.

    Why did the chef fail? Because of the society's tendency to pressure, to please. This again was stated early and carried to the end. When you try to please the impossible, you end up losing your purpose, joy, and desire. This is why chef invited these people, of all he blame as the "cause" of sucking out his soul.

    The ending is straight to the point. Margot did something unexpected. She told the truth. Everyone is afraid, they're afraid of the chef. Why? Because they're afraid of offending. Margot never liked the food from the start. She wanted to send it back, and was stopped. In the end, at the face of death, she stood up and told the chef the truth, she did not like his food and she has the courage to send it back.

    When the chef asked her what she wanted to eat, she remember the photo she saw in his room. The ONE time chef was ever smiling, back when he started it all as a greasy teen, back when he knew the joy of his purpose as a chef, to serve the food and not about pleasing people. She reminded him of that. Remember what he said earlier through each course, the pain subsides but still some remains. She took away his pain, but for a brief moment... but that moment is enough.

    To sum up what is the point of the movie. The restaurant is America, what it has become today. It has become a nation bent on pleasing the unpleasable. The people no longer owns the nation, like the chef, but they are owned instead by wealthy "angel investors." And like the chef, including the rest of the staff, the joy and soul, the purpose of this nation has been eroded away.

    The cheeseburger. It is what America "use to be." When the chef was making and and cooking it, joy was restored into him as he remembered what it means to be a chef, how it all started. Many today, when we look upon the time of the past, the 1950s and 60s, we remember what we use to be, the joy and purpose of being an American.

    ---

    Additional Details:

    Why did the chef allow Margot to leave?

    Margot acted like a true customer. Remember early on she told Tyler "You are the customer, you are paying him to serve you."

    Americans have forgotten that our politicians work for us, like the people in the restaurant. Margot re-established the customer and server relationship, earning the chef's respect. A customer is always right and a chef cannot deny her request to take the food to go.

    Who are these people in the restaurant?

    They represent a major aspect of the nation. The chef mentioned they would've succeeded if they tried to escape. However, they complained, they know they were going to die, but did nothing. This can go into details such as the old man represented lust, the young men greed, the critic is pride, Tyler is gluttony, etc...

    The bread scene?

    This scene is their version of the emperor's new clothes. There is no bread, no food, but they all pretended it was a dish and went along. Margot was the only one who spoke the truth. There is no food. Again reflecting a nation today, where many are just going with the groupthink, even though there is no bread.
  • lunarmoonlight-59254 - 13 January 2023
    I LOVED THIS
    I cant lie this was a brilliant and interesting freaking movie i love and would watch again no matter what in fact i may just watch again.u yall should watch this its the best i wish there was more movies like this. I will get my family to watch this and i got to say the food look really good i want some. I have to keep typing but i dont know what else to say lol but others should for really watch this. Hmmmmmmm oh i do not get y that one dude died i mean he didnt really do anything he was just in a movie and he died cuz some crazy guy watch the movie like what and that girl to she did noting.
  • steveyleeginger - 13 January 2023
    If you don't "get it" or think this movie sucks - you're on th menu
    Pretty simple really.

    If you've ever worked in hospitality or had ANYTHING to do with the service/restaurant industry, this movie is for you.

    Perfectly brilliant. Acerbic. Biting. Satisfying. Astonishingly simple yet comprehensive; an unerring and multi-faceted blend of revenge thriller and absurdist theatre.

    Don't like it? Don't understand it? Maybe this is your sign to finally take a little look in the mirror. Try a modicum of self-reflection and peel back some layers... just try to think what on earth could POSSIBLY be some of the reasons WHY that could be....?

    Oh wait - if you were actually capable of something like that, then you wouldn't be the one sitting at the table... M.
  • jacksoncooley-88025 - 12 January 2023
    Ice cream sundae
    Looks good on the outside, but does not sit right with you at the end of the meal. The film started off pretty good, but oh boy does it really take a nose dive. I did love most of the performances and the visuals are quite stunning. But by the end you are left quite frusturated. Am I too dumb to understand this movie or maybe they thought they could get away with some half-assed pretentious "symbolic" ending so the critics can eat it up. This had all the makings of an ari aster film but it ended up being a lot worse. I am also lost on why no one tried to overpower these chefs? They just let themselves get burned? Even before that, after the old dude got his finger chopped, No one tried to make even the slightest of plans to overpower, and test thier luck? The movie became so uninteresting at the point because what was the point of caring about the next course in the meal, if they are all just sitting ducks waiting for the inevitable.
  • msofv - 12 January 2023
    Original
    Movie is original, and it will keep you entertained. It is both bit scary and bit funny at times. However, what is predominant throughout the movie is the unease feeling you get from customers relationship and, of course, the chef and staff.

    Expect the begging to be a bit slow, middle part of the movie is where the action happens and the end is big weak (in my option) but is not an unexpected ending.

    Regarding acting: everyone gave a great performance and of course, Ralph nailed it. Wish we would have seen more development of some characters, but in general is ok.

    Of course, visually the movie has few unique touches that actually are what makes it unique, plus the plot indeed.

    So, enjoy :)
  • ekurtg - 12 January 2023
    There's the signpost up ahead
    Caught The Menu on HBOMax (after a hassle with my computer HBOMax link)...It's okay but disappointing. I'd heard good things but anyone worth his salt will see where it's going right from the start. A gaggle of obnoxious types are gathered on a remote island by a famous chef to be treated with his culinary masterpiece. It stars Ralph Fiennes, Any Taylor-Joy, Nicolas Hoult, John Leguizamo, Judith Light and Janet McTeer It essentially feels like a drawn out Twilight Zone episode. "Professor...The rest of the book..." I suppose it could be a satire on the habits of snobbish gastronomes. There used to be restaurants in New York that would serve an appetizer of one asparagus spear with a squiggle of Hollandaise.
  • atticussilkee - 12 January 2023
    A brilliant and insane satire. One of the best of 2022
    The Menu Directed by Mark Mylod. Written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy

    This movie was always on my radar. I'm a fan of Anya Taylor Joy and naturally that put this movie right in my wheelhouse. It is also a horror satire. There's some elements of comedy and some genuine terror but outlandish terror. What is the Menu, you might be asking?

    The Menu is about a group of people visiting a high end artsy restaurant. It is theatrical in nature and tailored to each person visiting. The staff are run like a well oiled machine, almost cult-like. But this night is not like any normal night. There is something special planned from this celebrity chef.

    This is all I'll say about the specifics. This movie is best when you are allowed to discover it on your own. You need to allow the story to unfold at the pace that the filmmaker wants you to experience it.

    This one is difficult to talk about because it is all in the experience. Movies like this are special. They don't come around very often. Ones this thought out and planned and know when to take each blindfold off for you to discover a new sensation. It fits with the food motif of the story. You were brought in by the imagery and the mystery. You stay for the people. Ralph Fiennes is amazing in this movie. He does so much with so little. His eyes carry the brunt of the soul. That's the best asset of an actor. His words and his body language tell as much of the story. He carries within him so much. You're fascinated and spellbound at the same time. It is a performance like very few.

    Anya Taylor Joy also carries with her a different story. She carries moxie and her will to fight. She refuses to be stuck in this situation. No clues here folks. This is a class warfare exercise as well. It is about those who serve and those being served. What does that do to people? We sometimes have this idea in our heads of what our dreams will be like in execution and they rarely turn out that way.

    I always dreamed of making a movie and having people watch it. It hasn't turned out in the fashion in my head. Very rarely am I able to grasp the reality of execution. This contains some of that. It has us against them. Is this life worth living? What happens when the flame of creation is snuffed out by commerce?

    It takes these elements and combines them in the best way possible. You have so few questions about the execution. Follow along with the chef. Experience this menu the way it was designed. I think you will have just as good a time as I did. This movie genuinely caught me by surprise. This happens so rarely. I keep chasing it. I want this feeling again and again when watching a movie. I want the world to fade away and give this moment in time. I want to transcend this landscape and be one with the story.

    Movies have done this to me my entire life. It is magical. The Menu was able to achieve that. It makes you hungry. It makes you laugh. It makes you terrified and it makes you angry. It achieves so much. Bravo

    I give this movie an A.
  • sameenuk - 12 January 2023
    Silly romp
    This is kind of a very dumb film, reminiscent of Beeetlejuice. But deliciously well acted. I appreciated the way the films first act introduced all the key players in particular the chef.

    I can't get Ralph Fiennes channelling Hannibal Lecter, Pope Benedict and Anton Bourdin out of my head. I admit by the end, I was rooting for Team Chef.

    The Bettlejuice analogy is quite good for this. It's a horror film but the horror isn't in the gore but in the characters who themselves become victims to their own avarices, notably the foodie superfan.

    I enjoyed the cinematography. Beautifully shot scenes. The script dialogue was a little empty, with some gaping plot holes. But I think this is one where you take as a comedy with a pinch of salt.
  • tylerkom - 12 January 2023
    Very good but not great
    Oh yes, this was a fun one. Don't be fooled by the trailers and movie previews, The Menu is a (very good) dark comedy through and through. The film pokes fun at the sophisticated snobbish foodie culture that we see a lot of today and does not take itself too seriously in the meantime.

    The writing does almost all of the legwork for the enjoyment of the film. It is smart and witty and devolves into something dark and hilariously satirical. It is an absolute joy to see the characters interact at their separate tables and learn more about what drives them and where they come from. The writers make great use of 'show don't tell', not giving us more than a couple minutes of exposition at the beginning of the film. The acting by Ralph Fiennes is great; he does an excellent job at portraying the grand chef that takes himself a bit too seriously. Anya Taylor Joy is pretty decent in the lead with no obvious issues and she exactly portrays the character she is meant to be. Perhaps a bit too pretty though from a casting decision standpoint. The other lead in Nicholas Hoult is a bit of a red herring and there is not much to say because his character turns into a walking joke by the end of the film.

    The issues of the film come from the lack of creativity beyond the writing. It is all serviceable but I can't help but think that so much more could have been done. The cinematography is completely generic (although serviceable), the color palette is muted (and generic), the set and costume design is average and perhaps a bit too on the nose (excusable for a satire film, I suppose). I can't help but wonder how interesting the film could be if it was a bit more daring in any of these other categories. I think it could have been incredible in a one-set 12 Angry Men-esque bottle scene or with more interesting cinematography.

    So instead of being great, it is simply very good. Everyone who is into food culture or has hobbies that they are passionate about should watch this film. The critiques are cutting and yet unserious when they come from an unreliable critic. Or don't worry about how good the film is at all and just enjoy the ride...