Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 10, 2011
    91
    El Bulli becomes a haunting celebration of the human desire to turn food into art - even if the results are consciously insane.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 30, 2011
    83
    I am not a fan of food you need a microscope to see, but if your idea of fine dining is pumpkin meringue sandwiches, bone marrow tartare with oysters, tea shrimp with caviar anemones, and ice vinaigrette with tangerines and green olive, then by all means make haste to El Bulli.
  3. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Jul 30, 2011
    80
    The film never quite pins the chef down about any of this but in his menu introduction to the staff or off-hand remarks to long-time colleagues you begin to understand the mindset. "The more bewilderment, the better," he declares. He is not joking.
  4. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Nov 10, 2011
    75
    A fly-on-the-wall look at the inner workings of the famed Spanish palace of avant-garde gastronomy that closed its doors in July. If you're passionate (and open-minded) about food, you'll be fascinated.
  5. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Aug 25, 2011
    75
    Wetzel's challenge is to film the experiments so that the process itself is legible. We're made to marvel at slow-cooked, freeze-dried, unappetizingly bagged food, the way some mushrooms, when delicately sliced, evoke fruit and some crustaceans resemble side-sleeping snooze-bar slappers.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 28, 2011
    75
    There's nothing particularly distinctive or engaging about Wetzel's fly-on-the-wall style, which feels like second-hand Frederick Wiseman. But for hardcore foodies, El Bulli offers a clear, unvarnished look at the master at work.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Sep 29, 2011
    70
    Adrià's philosophy of food emerges through watching him work; the look on his face as he tries dish after dish, the level of concentration applied to getting an ice vinaigrette just so, explains it all.
  8. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Oct 13, 2011
    67
    Fans of the considerably more pedestrian "Julie & Julia" will likely have to attach drool buckets to their chins in order to avoid hours of tedious mopping up, so lusciously bizarre are the comestibles on display here.
  9. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Jul 25, 2011
    63
    A unique restaurant like El Bulli probably deserves a more creative documentary than El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, a static portrait that comes off as less than inspired by its unusual subject.

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