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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 118 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: 44 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  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 30, 2014
    I had pretty high expectations for this film, and they were met, I really enjoyed this film from start to finish. Its a believable, down-to-earth, and heartwarming feel-good movie, but it isn't at all cheesy or overly sentimental. The acting is superb, the pacing and length just right and it has some really funny moments. The characters are all very endearing and all very well scripted and acted. The cinematography is superb and the food looks sumptuous. I don't have anything bad to say about this movie, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely watch it a second time. Expand
  3. Sep 10, 2014
    This movie is clearly food porn. Only I don't have to turn off my brain for this movie.

    This feel-good indie movie is a nice change for the
    director Jon Favreau who also wrote and stared the movie after directing a couple of blockbusters including Iron Man and Iron Man 2.

    The food in this movie are yummy. Oh my god. Don't watch this movie with an empty stomach. I wish there is something that if you pay extra money to see this movie, one of the foods shown in the movie will be given to you to eat. I would pay extra money for that perk to happen.

    The cinematography is excellent, especially the food parts. lol.

    The direction is also great. Jon Favreau seemed to really care about this movie that even small details in this movie is something he should focus on.

    Speaking of care, I liked how he cared this movie that he is also dedicated in his role as a chef. He took tips from an consultant producer to replicate a chef's dish. That is dedication right there.

    The cast seems to be a very A-list-y for an indie movie. Maybe because Jon Favreau has connections with so many big stars that they won't mind being in a production like this especially they are offered free food! The cast did a good job especially Sofia Vergara and Emjay Anthony (the kid in the movie). I can sense they had a very good time making the movie in the set.

    The script and the plot is really good and well-organized. I liked how this movie isn't just about food but it's also about a father-son relationship as well as being happy for something you love the most.

    The soundtrack in this movie fits the entire movie especially on the food parts. lol. I can't stop saying food all the time. lol.

    Don't see this movie with an empty stomach.
  4. Jun 23, 2014
    This is probably best film that Jon Favreau has ever directed.
    It moved and the performances are stellar. Getting Bobby Cannivale
    and John
    Leguizamo to support him was genius. "Johnny Legs" as
    Leguizamo was finally given some material that he could sink his teeth into.
    Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey Jr. was great in their short stints.
    I like Sofia Vergara, but I had a hard time believing the two were involved.
    Scarlett Johanssen was sexy and smart. What really sells the movie is
    the music. New Orleans brass music as well as Salsa were big as stars
    as were the food and the actors. One minor hitch for me was the ending was too
    formulaic. Otherwise bravo!! Maybe Vince Vaughn can find something just as good
    to revive his dying career.
  5. Sep 30, 2014
    This is a wonderful heartfelt comedy and one of Favreau's best films. The acting is well done especially the food make sure your ready to eat after this movie. A- Expand
  6. Sep 6, 2014
    A delightful slice of life.

    Chef is, at its core, a mid-life crisis story where a middle-aged man is forced by circumstance (and internet
    notoriety) to find his true artistic voice and redefine his life. There's also a bunch of really great looking food and some amazing father/son stuff. Emjay Anthony gives an understated and spot on performance here.

    The film is somewhat flawed. Many of the actors are given far too much "strutting and fretting" time. Another round in edit might have made this a leaner and more palatable film.

    Despite this, I find it hard to believe that you won't find a great deal to like about Chef.
  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. Collapse

See all 48 User Reviews