By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Salty portrait of chef's comeback serves up fine acting.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
When you're down on your luck, there's nowhere to go but up. Also, there's always the chance for for redemption and a second (or even third) act. Other themes include addiction (and sobriety), self-destruction, and forgiveness.
Positive Role Models
Adam doesn't start off particularly likable, but viewers quickly realize he's accountable for his mistakes and is seeking a better way to handle things. Tony is a forgiving, supportive employer and friend, and Helene is a principled, determined, ambitious chef who also wants to be a good mother.
Violence & Scariness
When things aren't going well, Adam can lose his temper in an eruptive manner, screaming at his crew, throwing pots and dishes around, and leaving everyone quaking in their boots. He's shown beaten up. One disturbing scene shows a character seemingly trying to kill himself with a plastic bag.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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Frequent swearing includes "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "prick," "hell," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Lots of close-ups of food/dining establishments, plus restaurant-related name-dropping, including the Michelin star system, the Langham hotel, Burger King, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of allusions and outright references to a character's drugged-out, drunken past -- the consequences of which still haunt him.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Burnt is a fairly intense drama about a famous chef (Bradley Cooper) who disappeared at the top of his game after drugs and drinking undid him -- and who's now seeking redemption and a comeback. There are some pretty mature themes in play, including addiction, relationship problems, self-destruction, sobriety, and forgiveness. Expect tons of salty language, from "hell" to "s--t" and "f--k," passionate kissing, and frank discussions about the toll that addiction takes.
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Based on 1 parent review
Great movie suitable for any mature kids
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What's the Story?
Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) was once a celebrated, twice-Michelin-starred chef at a Parisian restaurant -- but he walked away from everything after his drinking and drug use overcame his culinary gifts. Adam gets clean back home in the United States, opting to spend his days shucking oysters ... until one day he decides that he's served his time, so he jets back to London for a third go at a Michelin star. Tony (Daniel Bruhl), the son of Adam's former mentor, isn't sure he wants to be embroiled with Adam again, but he can't deny the chef's genius, so he decides to invest in Adam's comeback. But has Adam really conquered his demons? An attractive sous-chef (Sienna Miller) and visits from friends and foes in his previous life show Adam that the past is very much in the present.
Is It Any Good?
BURNT is kinetic and compelling, even if it does stick to a well-worn cinematic formula. We can pretty much predict where Adam is headed and that the way there will be complicated (though even the complexities are fairly standard). Nonetheless, the entire ensemble -- led by an admirable Cooper -- is watchable. Anytime he's on screen, viewers are interested, because he grounds Adam realistically while still managing to imbue him with a certain glamour.
And the food! Director John Wells rightfully makes sure the food doesn't take play second fiddle here, offering it up in all its delectable glory, from street food to classic French cuisine. Prepare to leave hungry -- but still (mostly) satisfied.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Burnt handles the subjects of substance use/addiction and recovery. Does it glamorize them? Are the consequences realistic?
Does Adam deserve a second chance? Do you consider him a role model? Why or why not?
What's role does food play in the film? Is it meant for fuel and consumption or as a statement about sophistication? Can you think of other movies that revolve around food?
- In theaters: October 30, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: January 26, 2016
- Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl
- Director: John Wells
- Studio: The Weinstein Company
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Cooking and Baking
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language throughout
- Last updated: March 1, 2023
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