Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: August 9, 2019
3.9
USER SCORE
Generally unfavorable reviews based on 23 Ratings
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5
GreatMartinAug 9, 2019
The main reason for seeing "The Kitchen" is if you really like the 3 actresses who star in the film. The one who impressed me the most was Elisabeth Moss who I have seen now and then but not her acclaimed "The Handmaiden's Tale". Here, as theThe main reason for seeing "The Kitchen" is if you really like the 3 actresses who star in the film. The one who impressed me the most was Elisabeth Moss who I have seen now and then but not her acclaimed "The Handmaiden's Tale". Here, as the abused wife of a gangster, she has the best arc in the film and does an excellent job.

I like Melissa McCarthy but have sort of rationed myself in the work I have seen her in. I love her appearances on Saturday Night Live, have watched and enjoyed a few of her "Mike and Molly" television episodes. I became aware of her first in "The Gilmore Girls" and thought she did a riveting portrait of Lee Israel in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" and was a standout in "St. Vincent". I, generally, skip movies she is in that has been written and/or directed by her husband.

I can understand the third lead, Tiffany Haddish, making as many movies as she can, doing television shows and specials in what seems every week as she came on the screen, quickly becoming the 'flavor of the month' and was everywhere and annoying me with her loud, brash, cursing, blue comments so I started avoiding her. I must admit she does good work here and you can see her potential as a serious actress who can be subdued when needed to be and can sustain a believable character.

The film about 3 women who take over their husband's 'gangster' business, offering protection in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York city when they are sentenced to jail is sort of far fetched but does include a lot of the violence that would come with the job.

Talking about the violence, aside from showing the occasional shooting, it was different in today's cinema world whereas like in the old days it was indicated instead of being shown though I am still wondering why there were laughs during the explanation of cutting up a body in a bathtub, showing knives and blood, to get rid of it!

The director/screenwriter Andrea Berloff did a good job sort of taming McCarthy and Haddish while offering the three strong actresses a male supporting cast who aren't blown away in their scenes with the women. Surprisingly Margo Martindale, having a one note role doesn't impress as usual.

"The Kitchen" isn't as funny or as dramatic as it should be but for a rainy afternoon in Fort Lauderdale it is a good way of staying dry.

Just a note: though the movie takes place in the last 1970s and the cars, clothes and building facades all are realistic the scene of 42nd Street between 7th & 8th Avenues with all the movie marquees does not have the Lyric theatre where I had one of my first jobs (in the 1950s)! :O)
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6
TVJerryAug 16, 2019
Since Melissa McCarthy & Tiffany Haddish are known for their comedy, you might expect a fun look at gangster life. You'd be mistaken. This is a serious story about 3 women who start running their Hell's Kitchen branch of the Irish mob afterSince Melissa McCarthy & Tiffany Haddish are known for their comedy, you might expect a fun look at gangster life. You'd be mistaken. This is a serious story about 3 women who start running their Hell's Kitchen branch of the Irish mob after their husbands are jailed. All of the actors are strong, but it's actually, the 3rd star (Elisabeth Moss) who turns in the most compelling performance (along with the always wonderful Margo Martindale in a supporting role). The story follows typical gangster guidelines, but the machinations seem too simplified for such a complex situation. While it's never boring, the bland direction by first timer Andrea Berloff renders the it rather tame (even with a few acts of mild violence). A bit of humor would have made the dramatic moments more effective. See it for the women in the leads, but don’t expect a memorable mobster drama. Expand
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4
JazGalaxyAug 13, 2019
The Kitchen is a mess. A mess, in cooking, could be defined as perfectly good ingredients combined so artlessly and unskillfully, without any plan or care, that the end result has no discernible flavor and betrays the integrity of itsThe Kitchen is a mess. A mess, in cooking, could be defined as perfectly good ingredients combined so artlessly and unskillfully, without any plan or care, that the end result has no discernible flavor and betrays the integrity of its components. The kitchen is mostly well acted, well intentioned and well shot. But it’s direction and editing is SO unskilled that it’s hard to understand what the film is even ABOUT. It’s structure is so sloppy that at times I found myself feeling as though I was watching a foreign film from some country I’d never heard of. At several points in the film, characters just... walk away in the middle of a scene. It’s plays out like a socially awkward friend who doesn’t know to excuse themselves when they choose to go elsewhere. In one scene even the other characters are like, “what? Did she just leave?!” The film is FULL of such bizarre content. A few vignette scenes interspliced between sequences are SO bizarre that i STILL don’t understand them, like a random scene where one character secretly watches two other characters have sex. It’s not explained one iota in the film and actually sent me to the Graphic Novel source material to try to sort it out.

The film also cannot decide if it wants to be funny. Some dark comedies will juxtapose humor with graphic violence and deep emotion. The Kitchen tries to do all of these things in the same SCENE. In the end, the kitchen is a nihilistic power fantasy for feminists who don’t realize that this film would have been far more feminist, and a better work of art, if it had dropped the childish feminist charicatures and plot contrivances.
It’s also with noting that a big problem of the graphic novel and the movie both is that the collective writers don’t seem to know a whole lot about how organized crime actually runs. It visibly lacks the authenticity of the major crime films that had contributions by people actually involved in the life,
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4
MarshallCavalliAug 15, 2019
Wow. Wow... This is bad. Really bad.

The writing is bland, characters make ridiculous choices and editing is incoherent. Elisabeth Moss is the highlight of the film while both Mellisa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish are struggling to make an
Wow. Wow... This is bad. Really bad.

The writing is bland, characters make ridiculous choices and editing is incoherent. Elisabeth Moss is the highlight of the film while both Mellisa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish are struggling to make an impact in a film. The pacing is sloppy, when it should be precise. There is a twist so silly it couldn't convince me that this was good. This also commits the crime that it makes me not want to read the comic that this film is based off of.

Overall, The Kitchen is a milktoast, uneventful and disappointing adaptation largely undone by a lack of subtlety. It's other elements try to convey something other than bad, but can't bring themselves up to the task.

Just don't watch it.
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