The Founder

the founder poster

Year of Release: 2017

Genre: Drama

Related to/Remake of: N/A

Directed By: John Lee Hancock

Music By: Carter Burwell

Starring: Michael Keaton (as Ray Kroc), Nick Offerman (as Richard “Dick” McDonald), John Carroll Lynch (as Maurice “Mac” McDonald), Laura Dern (as Ethel Kroc), Linda Cardellini (as Joan Smith), B.J. Novak (as Harry J. Sonneborn), Patrick Wilson (as Rollie Smith), and Kate Kneeland (as June Martino)

Basic Plot: A struggling traveling salesman, Ray Kroc, discovers a small burger joint in the 1950’s that has created the first effective fast food process in America.  Obsessed with the idea of franchising the business, he convinces the two brothers who created it to add him as a business partner.  Soon, the ruthless side of Kroc begins to show itself, resulting in one of the most recognized businesses in the world: McDonald’s.

Rating (Out of 4): 3

Pros: This is Michael Keaton’s movie, and he knocks it out of the park.  The script’s portrayal of Kroc begins as sympathetic and morphs in to a monster, and Keaton makes you buy every minute of it.  The rest of the cast, especially Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch as the McDonald brothers, are great in their roles as well.  A great feel for the time period it takes place in.  Due to some of the more treacherous tactics that Ray Kroc engaged in to take over the McDonald’s brothers’ business, it’s surprising that the McDonald’s corporation allowed their logos, etc., to be used for this film, but it adds to the authenticity.

Cons: The movie glosses over Kroc’s adulterous relationship with a franchise owner’s wife, which doesn’t make sense given what we’ve seen about Kroc throughout the film.  Other than that, there’s not much to complain about here.