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Critics Pan Bradley Cooper's 'Burnt' Film

Critics found the movie to be too predictable.


Actor Bradley Cooper's new film Burnt, which also stars Sienna Miller and Omar Sy, hits theaters next Friday. Cooper plays a troubled chef named Adam Jones who is hoping to return to glory and win three Michelin stars. While it was supposed to be released nationwide today, the date was pushed back due partly to an onslaught of poor reviews. Most critics felt that even though Cooper is a great actor, the story itself is too "predictable" and not very memorable. Even the food porn wasn't as impressive as expected. Like most food movies, the reviews are saturated with food metaphors with critics writing lines like Burnt is a "kitchen nightmare," and that the story line is "undercooked" and "half-baked." Below, the reviews:

The It's Missing Something News: Forbes' Scott Mendelson was impressed by the cast and the movie's characters, but thinks the story is far too conventional. Quote: "John Wells's Burnt, originally titled Adam Jones, feels like a dish missing the core ingredients... The film has both too much and not enough, making poor choices about which ingredients to keep and discard." [Forbes]

The Good News: Deadline's Peter Hammond found much to like about the film, calling it "smart adult entertainment." He was especially impressed with Cooper's acting. Quote: "There are moments in the film... where you just want to get up and slap Adam Jones into reality, but you also understand this man is a supremely talented perfectionist, a genius in the kitchen, who has lost his way. Oddly I was rooting for him... That's a tribute to Cooper, who gives this man real dimension. He's exceptional again and proves why he may be the hottest star working today." [Deadline]

The Seriously, This Movie Is So Predictable News: Justin Chang, the chief film critic for Varietywas not impressed by the movie and its unimaginative story line. Quote: "Unfortunately, Burnt never rises to the level of its characters' ambition, and with the exception of one smart, unpredictable twist, the story increasingly bogs down in perfunctory subplots... The script treats even the more essential characters not as individuals so much as, well, ingredients." [Variety]

The Seriously, This Movie Is So Predictable News, Part II: Philippa Hawker of the Sydney Morning Herald felt the movie was lacking in surprises. Quote: "Yet the set-up soon falls away into predictability. As Adam, Cooper embraces the role of obsessive perfectionist; he has plausible French and looks at home in the kitchen. But there are few surprises in the central character or the narrative: it's an odd mixture of the overblown and the underdone." Two and a half stars. [SMH]

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

The Seriously, This Movie Is So Predictable News, Part III: Tymon Smith of the Times Live was wholly unimpressed by the film's storyline, writing that the movie "goes down like dry toast." Quote: "Burnt suffers from a lack of depth and an unoriginal story that is about as memorable as eating a Big Mac on a Monday evening." [Times Live]

The Bradley Cooper Is Really Good News: The Hollywood Reporter's Jon Frosch found the storyline to be "undercooked" but Cooper's performance to be fun to watch, even though it was not enough to save the movie. Quote: "Cooper can do this kind of arrogant-but-irresistible golden boy shtick in his sleep, but that doesn't make it any less pleasurable to watch. Flashing his baby blues and a fiery temper, the actor gives a fully engaged performance that almost makes us want to forgive the movie's laziness. Almost." [THR]

The Food Looks Great News: The New Zealand Herald's Francesa Rudkin found a lot to like about the movie, even though she felt it lacked "soul." Still, she was impressed by the film's attention to detail. Quote: "What does shine through though is... director John Wells' (August: Osage County) genuine kitchen scenes. Foodies will salivate over the quality of knives, kitchen appliances, and experimental food combinations that double as art." Three and a half stars. [NZH]

Photo: Burnt

Photo: Official Website

The So-So News: Kimberly Truong writes on Mashable that she doesn't feel like the movie does Cooper's acting chops any justice and that the story is missing depth. Quote: "At first, the quick-fire pace is a thrilling introduction into restaurateurs' cutthroat world, but exhilarating as it is, it ultimately leaves you with what feels like a Wikipedia-skim level of insight into Jones. In some cases, that could work, but not when a film asks its audience to care about its protagonist without really showing them why they should." [Mashable]

The There's Too Much Going On News: Indiewire's Kevin Jagernauth believes the movie has potential but ends up being "muddled." Quote: "It would've been an ordinary, but likely decent and enjoyable little movie. However, either due to an overstuffed script by the usually reliable Steven Knight, some savage editing, which left a lot on the cutting room floor, or uncertain direction from John Wells (I suspect that it's a mix of all three), ‘Burnt' soon has more plates on the pass than it can handle." [Indiewire]

The Redeeming News: Bloomberg restaurant critic Tejal Rao saw the movie with professional chef Elise Kornack (Take Root, Brooklyn). She writes that while the movie is cheesy, it does have some positive qualities. Quote: "Burnt can be cheesy (Kornack calls it a "cheap thrill" at one point), but I liked that it celebrates the happiness that's possible when you don't actually measure success by the number of awards you receive." [Bloomberg]

The Very Bad News: The Wrap's Alonso Duralde had a hard time finding anything positive to say about the movie, especially Cooper's character. Quote: "Neither Cooper, Knight nor director John Wells (‘August: Osage County'), unfortunately, has figured out how to make this rock star chef protagonist anything but insufferable." [The Wrap]

The Wow Cooper's Character Is the Worst News: The New York Post's Kyle Smith finds Cooper's character impossible to like. He writes: "His crises are manufactured and internal, yet he can't stop talking about what a tortured artiste he is. When he puts a plastic bag over his head, you'll be rooting for the bag." Ouch. One-and-a-half stars. [NYP]

Eater exclusive: Burnt interview