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El Bulli: Cooking In Progress Reviews

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Mari Uyehara
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a sluggish portrait that neither captures nor replicates the dazzle, pacing and polish of an El Bulli meal. Check, please.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/5

July 27, 2011
Simon Miraudo

I wasn't necessarily expecting Blumenthal's ridiculously theatrical flourishes in El Bulli, but a little joy or wonder would have been nice. Instead, we are treated to visuals of lots of pretty looking food, eaten stoically by [Chef] Adria.

Full Review Source: Quickflix | Original Score: 2/5

August 17, 2011
Jesse Cataldo
Slant Magazine

The documentary glosses over practical concerns, instead choosing mute reverence for the magisterial Ferran AdriÓ and his bizarre methods.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 25, 2011
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express

Not only does the food look barely edible but the film is remarkably unilluminating about the history of the restaurant, the characters or those who ate there.

Full Review Source: Daily Express | Original Score: 2/5

July 30, 2012
Cara Nash
FILMINK (Australia)

It's intermittently fascinating, but this strictly fly-on-the-wall doco sometimes feels tedious and soulless.

Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)

October 11, 2011
Robbie Collin
Daily Telegraph

"Make it magical," AdriÓ often urges his acolytes, and it's advice Wetzel would have done well to heed.

Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph | Original Score: 2/5

July 26, 2012
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"What matters is that it's magical, that it opens up a new path," Adria reminds. Cooking in Progress is, in fact, all magic and no path

Full Review Source: Village Voice

July 26, 2011
Chris Barsanti

Wetzel gets in tight and close on Adria's dishes but resists turning the film into some food-porn banquet

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3/5

July 29, 2011
Jim Schembri
The Age (Australia)

Even docs need a third act.

Full Review Source: The Age (Australia) | Original Score: 2/5

October 18, 2011
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For those of us who don't have an deep interest in freeze-drying, 'El Bulli' is astonishingly, sub-'Masterchef' dull.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

July 24, 2012
Jessica Holland
Little White Lies

Chopping, frying, tasting... A snooze-bouche.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Original Score: 2/5

July 26, 2012
Jette Kernion

I enjoyed watching the chefs at work, both researching and preparing a meal with dozens of courses... but afterwards I felt oddly unsatisfied and in need of something a little more filling.

Full Review Source: Cinematical

June 3, 2011
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The flat camerawork and lack of a story beyond the framework of six months in the city lab and six months at El Bulli gives us little to sink our teeth into.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 1.5/4

August 4, 2011
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Anyone looking for the lowdown on haute cuisine will be sorely disappointed: devoid of emotion, context or narrative, the baffling avant-garde techniques and extreme politesse of the lab become oppressively dull.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 1.5/5

July 26, 2011
Marshall Fine
Hollywood & Fine

When Adria is on camera, he most often is tasting something one of his lieutenants is putting in front of him and saying something like, "Less parmesan - more coffee." But that's all.

Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine

July 25, 2011
Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

El Bulli barely registers a pulse stronger than a book's.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

August 5, 2011
Cynthia Fuchs

In El Bulli: Cooking in Process, the chef Ferran AdriÓ hovers and nods, sits and tastes, or -- most often -- walks through the frame, head bent and phone to his ear.

Full Review Source: PopMatters

September 8, 2011
Peter Bradshaw

As an advertisement for the restaurant, this works well, but the issues - the art of cuisine and cuisine as art - are not discussed very thoroughly.

Full Review Source: Guardian | Original Score: 2/5

July 26, 2012
Donald Clarke
Irish Times

There are enough outbreaks of culinary weirdness to keep true enthusiasts distracted.

Full Review Source: Irish Times | Original Score: 3/5

July 27, 2012
John P. McCarthy
Boxoffice Magazine

You can't help but appreciate the food's visual beauty -- and the physical, mental and emotional energy that went into creating it -- but you don't come away feeling you have to taste any of AdriÓ's food before you die.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

July 29, 2011
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