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Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Inspired by the incendiary bestseller that exposed the hidden facts behind America's fast food industry comes a powerful drama that takes an eye-opening journey into the dark heart of the All-American meal. (Fox Searchlight)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. 100
    Fast Food Nation has the dramatic flatness and willful lack of personality of some documentaries -- or at least how Linklater thinks a documentary should be. The movie nonetheless feels like both a work of investigative journalism and an immense human-interest story, veering into muckraking, horror, teen comedy, and what passes for "Twilight Zone" science fiction.
  2. Fast Food Nation offers no easy answers, but plenty of food for thought.
  3. Many reviews have suggested that this is as politically mild as a John Sayles movie, but Linklater clearly agrees with the frustrated kid who says, "Right now, I can't think of anything more patriotic than violating the Patriot Act."
  4. It's a bold proposition, and the resulting film has some powerful moments and strong performances, but it fails to be an involving or satisfying drama, and it's not half as effective as the book in creating outrage over what junk food is doing to us.
  5. 63
    One of the great frustrations associated with Fast Food Nation is the way it drops subplots.
  6. Following up on Morgan Spurlock's wildly successful indie film "Super Size Me," critics of fast food were hoping that a one-two punch would further raise consciousness among consumers and purveyors alike. Alas, Fast Food Nation is punchless.
  7. 12
    If I wanted to spend $10.75 making myself sick, I'd buy a bottle of cheap tequila.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 7 out of 18
  1. Sep 1, 2013
    10
    It's just incredible ...
    Just a stupid monkey can note this film bad ...
    He is like "Supersize Me" but we see here how is making the food
    and by who !!!
    Please guys, stop eat Hamburgers, that make you stupid ...
    PS We can eat hamburgers But they must respect what we eat.
    Expand
  2. steve
    Nov 21, 2006
    9
    Very well made film which provides intriguing arguments about the meat-processing industry in this country. However, it's more than just the beef industry. This industry is emblematic of the corporate machine that is all too powerful in this day and age with all the lobbying power in washington. Can one person save the system or has the machine become too powerful for anyone to resist? It seems to take a more pessimistic view on the issue although it may be a "realist view". Expand
  3. Enrique
    Nov 26, 2006
    9
    This is a great movie that comments on a reality that most people prefer to ignore. I understand why many viewers hate it. It is depressing and sometimes horryifing. Certainly not for everyone. Expand
  4. JimG.
    Nov 18, 2006
    6
    I don't know how to feel about this film. [***spoilers***] I like the idea of delivering the substance of the book to the screen through dramatization. But unless you root for the film to succeed, the execution is distracting. First: If, like me, you haven't read the book, the film will read it to you. A generous person would imagine this as recitative, and find it charming. To a more demanding audience, it reveals itself quickly and is instantly annoying. The characters are as multidimensional as is possible given the time in which their story is told. Expand
  5. MarkBayer
    Dec 13, 2006
    3
    Richard Linklater's misshapen interpretation of Eric Schlosser's rigorously researched best seller that blows the whistle on Ronald McDonald and his ilk may not be the worst movie of the year per se (Poseidon, The Black Dahlia, Lady in the Water, The Sentinel and You, Me and Dupree just put up too tough a race), but if there were a special designation for 2006's most ineffective film, this would win it in a walk. The wildly prolific and uneven Linklater, who in the last four years brought us the lovely, sublime Before Sunset, the visually striking A Scanner Darkly, the solidly entertaining School of Rock and the totally unnecessary Bad News Bears remake, makes (with not only Schlosser's blessing but also his co-participation) a fatal mistake that dooms it from square one: instead of molding Schlosser's material into the powerful documentary it should've been, Linklater turns it into a ponderous, lumpy, frequently inept and painfully dull work of fiction! It's a tragic shame, because Schlosser's work eviscerates not only the fast food industry but the culture that allows and encourages it to thrive in so many different ways that it cries out for a Michael Moore, Robert Greenwald or Errol Morris to do it justice. In doing so it would almost surely have been a far more effective indictment than Morgan Spurlock's overrated Super Size Me, which suffered from too many specious or dishonest arguments (let's face it, you can get a hair in your burger at any restaurant in town, not just McDonald's) but an idiotic premise and "hook" (anybody who's stupid enough to eat nothing but Golden Arches food for a month when there are affordable alternatives is of course not only guaranteed to get sick but almost deserves to!) To Schlosser's credit (and admittedly Linklater's) he asks us to look at our dining choices altruistically rather than merely out of a selfish concern for our health; while he has much to say about the impure elements that make it into Quarter Pounders in the factory (and that also occasionally make it ONTO them in the restaurant as well, depending on just how disgruntled your local servers happen to be) he also arouses our compassion and concern for the inhumane treatment both of the cattle that are used and of the immigrant labor who are more or less treated LIKE cattle. Linklater makes the miscalculation of, rather than SHOWING us much of this, having various guest actors mostly look at the camera and TELL us about it; he saves the gut-wrenching visuals until nearly the end, but given just how surprisingly wooden and amateurish most of his capable cast is here (except Maria Full of Grace's Catalina Sandino Moreno, who has some heartwrenching wordless moments) it's doubtful that much of the audience will be awake at that point to watch. (For all its faults, Super Size Me certainly wasn't boring!) Schlosser's book is this generation's parallel to Upton Sinclair's 1906 expose of meat-packing practices in urban Chicago, The Jungle; Sinclair always regretted that, for all the changes his book and its uproar forced upon the industry, that the public didn't see the bigger picture Sinclair intended and embrace socialism (or at least reform the more heartless aspects of capitalism). Any movie in which a group of high school kids (including a fast food employee) engage in an endless scene of agitprop chatter unpleasantly reminiscent of the worst campus-protest movie of 1971 before deciding to stick it to The Man by freeing a herd of cattle, and the main audience response elicited isn't solidarity or even sympathy with their cause but rather irritation at their naivete in wondering why Bessie and Elsie stay right where they are and DON'T make a break for it isn't going to come anywhere near achieving either Sinclair's or Schlosser's greater or lesser aims. In fact, it's emblematic of Fast Food Nation's total failure in communicating its arguments that less than 48 hours after seeing it, I bought and ate a Big Mac and fries...and the irony didn't even occur to me for several MORE hours! Expand
  6. ThaiK.
    Feb 28, 2009
    1
    Any book or video that exposes corporations as totalitarian top down non-democratic highly subsidized immoral institutions must receive some merit for their input toward social responsibility. This film hints at this concept. However, there is no question that the book this film is based on deserves substantial recognition for the effectiveness of clarifying this terrible reality of corporate interference that bleeds into society like an unseen plague. Just the one fact highlighted in the book, not mentioned at all in the movie, that details how the corporate sector has gone from advertising on the sides of busses to editing and providing school books that 'compromise' topics of health when fast food is mentioned should be enough to frighten the general population into learning much more about these parasites. The film is a terrible attempt at portraying anything near the value of the book, but like I said, any hint or mention of the nasties that go on because of the highly concentrated power in the corporate sector is worth something. My main suggestion is to please read the book. After that read another and another. Any book of any lean, right-left-middle, doesn't matter since learning is the reason for reading. Television and mass media, your own newspaper, all market what they want you to become by providing highly censored content. Books are usually written by passionate people with real purpose behind their concerns for society, just like Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation - the book, not the movie. Expand
  7. JasonW.
    Nov 19, 2006
    0
    Possibly one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It is bad on two levels: the first is that the movie does not deliver its message well, and the second is that its message is bad. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews

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