Burnt

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Burnt Movie Poster Image
Salty portrait of chef's comeback serves up fine acting.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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.

Sex

Passionate kissing.

Language

Frequent swearing includes "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "prick," "hell," etc.

Consumerism

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written bySparrowleaf February 16, 2016

Anger, swearing and drugs

Way too much swearing, loss of temper is very realistic through Bradley coopers amazing acting. During scenes where loss of temper occurs f***k is said a LOT of... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bysneto12 December 2, 2015

Over-cooked

"Burnt" has an interesting story, but the script is terrible. On the other hand, it handles (incredibly) well topics like addiction and sex, in a matu... Continue reading

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?

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  • 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?

Movie details

For kids who love foodie stories

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