Critic Reviews



Based on 47 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Keaton plays Kroc as a man both pathetic and singularly possessed, cannily resisting lovability at every turn, while delivering the internalized self-help speak of his sales pitches with chillingly glib precision.
The extent of Kroc’s greed is The Founder’s unique playing card, and John Lee Hancock delivers it with a depressingly special sauce.
[Hancock] turns the unlikely subject of a fast-food chain into a quasi-religious satire, a parable of American striving and, ultimately, a study of artisanal integrity gradually caving in to commercial compromise.
Hancock is not the ideal fit for the queasy mix of fascination, sympathy, and discomfort that Siegel brought to movies like The Wrestler and Big Fan. The Founder is drier than either of those movies, which means it’s less funny but also has even less potential for sentiment.
If The Founder comes up short of providing a satisfactory dramatization of its main storyline, at least it peels back the veil with sufficient intrigue. Yet it still leaves the sour impression that Kroc got the last laugh. Even in this less-than-flattering portrait, he remains its brightest star.
Hancock's apparently irrepressible penchant for folksy Midwestern types and perky montages dilutes any cynicism or misanthropy that might have given this material the edginess it deserves.
Like the product that inspired it, The Founder is tasty enough while it lasts but never quite fills you up.
The Founder never steps up to become the biting satire of American capitalism it so begs to be. The film is not here to praise Ray Kroc, but neither is it here to bury him.
This movie offers very few insights, and has no apparent point beyond mythologizing the early days of a company that doesn’t exactly need assistance in the self-mythologizing department.
Michael Keaton's powerful performance in The Founder is marooned in a wishy-washy story.

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