Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 75 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 15, 2014
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 15, 2014
    An engaged, engaging voyage of (re)discovery that’s too in love with its subject to qualify as food porn. It’s food romance.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    May 22, 2014
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    May 7, 2014
    The first two thirds of Chef crackle with hunger-inducing imagery and laughter-provoking gags.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Mar 10, 2014
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    May 8, 2014
    [A] shallow but enjoyable all-American morality play.
  7. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Mar 10, 2014
    While the more down-to-earth Chef does offer some fascinating autobiographical dimensions, the film is also an overlong, unfunny, largely insufferable bore.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Jun 1, 2014
    Who knew a movie about a food truck could turn into one of the best movies of the year? Of course, that's a rudimentary plot synapsis, but it is the heart and soul of the film. It's sometimes sweet, but sometimes serious. It has a nice blend of wit and humor, and features an amazing script that just feels like everyday conversation. The best part of the movie is what many directors strive for but never fully achieve: it shows how skilled professionals work, and how they feel when they do what they love (or hate for that matter). The food shown in the movie makes you lick your lips and just want to eat all the gourmet dishes Chef Casper prepares. And in some ways, the movie resembles the food he prepares: fresh, irresistible, and easily taken in. I could go on and on about what a good movie this was. Expand
  2. Jun 5, 2014
    Pure delight. Funny, heartwarming, true to life. It helps to know a little about the difference between chef's food and street food, but the movie has something for everyone. I wasn't a Favreau fan, but I am now. Vergara proves she doesn't need to be a Latin bombshell to make you love her, and Leguizamo and Cannavale are perfection--my only complaint is that the latter doesn't get enough screen time. A gem. Expand
  3. Jun 2, 2014
    This is really a fantastic movie, however the one thing I absolutely must say (and if only one person benefits from it, it will be enough) is DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE TRAILER! Even moreso than most movie trailers in general, this one gives away the entire plot and leaves 0 surprise. While knowing all of that before seeing it doesn't exactly ruin the movie, you already know everything that's going to happen so when it does it really has no weight at all. Expand
  4. Jul 7, 2014
    Chef was an unexpected pleasure. I have to admit, even though I attend movies all the time, I had no idea who Jon Favreau was. Turns out he's both a talented actor and director. The movie is about the relationship between a father and son, and choosing to live a life that makes you happy. There are a few moments of unbelievability, such as his ex wife and girlfriend are two of the most beautiful women working in Hollywood (Scarlett Johansson and Sofía Vergara), and just when you think he finally realizes his relationship with his son is the most important thing in his life he nearly blows it yet again. But that is nitpicking. It's well written and acted and funny throughout. Especially the road trip. Really enjoyed it. Expand
  5. May 19, 2014
    CHEF is a total delight! I was expecting a forced attempt by Hollywood veterans to make a "charming" and "heartfelt" indie. Instead, I discovered a truly genuine film that is both charming and heartfelt for real with no unnecessary plot points (OK, the end is a bit rushed and tagged on). This is the best film since SINGIN IN THE RAIN to depict the pleasure and fun of hard work, friendship, and camaraderie. CHEF has a great spirit that is never forced and every performance is truly perfect. Just spot on in every way. Favreau really shows what a great director of actors he is in the direction of Emjay Anthony. This is a real kid, not a movie kid.

    CHEF will surprise you in the best way! Work hard, appreciate what you've got. A great message.
  6. Jun 9, 2014
    Funny, smart, interesting, full of Latin music but too long and sometimes unemotional. The portrayal of Favreau is good and the simplest interpretation of Vergara was enjoyable. I was a little lost in the Robert Downey Jr scene, for me, totally unnecessary. But, I had a good time seeing this movie. I recommend it. Expand
  7. Aug 26, 2014
    Don't expect great cinema here. Lame, cheesy, boring at times. A movie about Twitter, etc, first of all. And about someone rising from defeat and failure to do what he Really Loves to do, and connects with his son, and, oh yeah, a road trip movie. Feel-good?, yes, but again, done in such a poor manner. Expand

See all 33 User Reviews