The Hundred-Foot Journey - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hundred-Foot Journey Reviews

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February 27, 2019
Every minute was magic!
February 24, 2019
It's a delightful, beautiful film with a few twists.
½ February 13, 2019
Culturally eye opening and music enhances the senses of the movie effortlessly!
February 9, 2019
Live action "Ratatouille", slow at times, but a satisfying rom-com.
½ February 1, 2019
I certainly didn't expect to like this movie, let alone LOVE it. The Hundred-Foot Journey is a subtle masterpiece set in the beautiful French countryside. Not only is the cuisine excellent so are the performances that are scattered throughout this film.

Manish Dayal is clearly the centerpiece and does an exceptional job, before this the only time I had seen him was in Law and Order: SVU. Helen Mirren is also a powerhouse throughout the film, but that is to be expected from someone of her caliber.

The movie overall is quite delicious, full of fun moments and plenty of moments that will make you stop and appreciate the plot. Would definitely recommend and will probably watch again.
October 6, 2018
We enjoyed it very much! No surprises, but many smiles and beautiful pictures.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2018
It's apparently become a running joke now that I end up writing reviews later and later, as it's now 9:24 pm Of course, I also haven't had dinner yet, so it rules to be me, I guess. Anyway, I think it should be known, for the record, that I am an awful cook. Or at least I think I am, since I'm the only one who has eaten my cooking thus far. Sometimes there are moments when I look at a particularly skilled chef working their magic and I think to myself that I wish I could do that. I suppose you might say that I could take classes but, realistically speaking, one is born with that. Might sound like a cliched thing to say, but I feel that it's true in this case. Also, and this might sound ignorant, but I find food criticism to be a bit snobbish. I'm not saying that food critics' opinions are invalid, but it's just a profession that I do not understand. Obviously, there's a stereotype associated with a food critic that might not always reflect the reality, but, as a whole, I don't know what the point is of reviewing food. I suppose you could make the argument that it serves to promote great meals and restaurants, but what's great to one person might be shit to me. The difference between food criticism and, say, film criticism is that, at the very least, you can come to learn to trust someone's opinion on a movie. Maybe your tastes align or whatever, so you can seek them out knowing that the reviewers' thoughts might match your own. You don't necessarily have that in food criticism because, again, it involves literal taste. It's so much easier to enjoy a movie that a critic you followed enjoy than it is to enjoy a meal that a food critic you follow loves. I don't know how to explain this, but it makes perfect sense in my mind. So fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that, in part, this film deals with Madam Mallory's restaurant's search for their second Michelin Star. This Michelin Star thing is a bit of a guide book that tells you which restaurants you should visit based on their star rating. There are three stars, one is very good, two is phenomenal and three, well, you are basically one of the greats. Mallory has been eagerly anticipating their second star year after year for 30 years at the time of the film's events. This is where Hassan, his father and the rest of his family come in. They open a restaurant across the street from Mallory's restaurant, hence the title, after leaving India (losing everything they had in a fire, including the matriarch) to start anew in Europe. Their car breaks down in this village and Hassan's father comes across the property that is being sold. Of course, he buys it and they start their own restaurant. A lot of the movie is the obvious culture clash, where the stuffier and uptight Mallory has to deal with the more lively, (sometimes) louder and spicier Indians living 100-feet from her. Naturally, they also feud. Mallory takes a look at her competition's menu and proceeds to buy all the ingredients at the local market just to fuck with them. It's all the typical stuff you would expect. Hassan falls for Marguerite, who works for Mallory's restaurant as a sous chef, I think. Of course, though, not everything is so pleasant. Hassan's arrival with his family ruffles some feathers among the racists in Mallory's kitchen, who proceed (with a group of friends of his) to torch Hassan's family's restaurant. Here's the thing, I get why they did it, but it felt so forced and heavy-handed. For how pleasant the rest of the movie is, this racism shit just didn't really fit in with the rest of the movie. I suppose it was necessary in that this is what brings Mallory close to Hassan and his family. It's what ends their rivalry and allows Mallory to see Hassan as a potential chef for her restaurant instead of her competition. But, to be completely honest, this could have been done in an entirely different way. Racism is still alive and well (and this was a movie released in 2014), but I do not like the way how the movie handled it here. Again, it just doesn't fit thematically with the rest of the movie. Mallory, eventually, hires Hassan to work for her at her restaurant, which puts him at odds with Marguerite since, essentially, they're both 'fighting' for the same position as top chef. Eventually, though, Hassan's excellent cooking gets Mallory's restaurant the second star she's waited for for three decades. This, apparently, is a really big deal as Hassan becomes an overnight sensation. He's getting offers from major restaurants and he proceeds to take one of them. Of course, working in a major restaurant lacks the passion and the love for him that cooking for a 'smaller' place brought to him. Here's the thing, and I don't know if this is an actual thing, but I find this idea of Hassan becoming a celebrity because of his Michelin stars to be a little exaggerated. I mean, I'm certain that there's some fame associated with that, but it's also fame that's known to a very niche group of people. I don't think most people would really care one way or the other honestly. So this idea that Hassan is now a major celebrity because of this was difficult for me to buy. Name me a famous chef that's not Wolfgang Puck and Emeril. Go on, I'll wait. That's not to diminish the work of chefs who have managed to earn these stars, but I don't think one becomes a major celebrity ala, I don't know, Sandra Bullock because of that. Maybe it's just me. But, of course, all of this is set-up so Hassan eventually gets tired of working in a restaurant that has drained his passion and creativity to return to a smaller place where he can feel passionate about what he loves once more. It's basic, simple stuff. I'll be honest, though, I definitely enjoyed this movie. I wasn't a fan of the racist stuff, not because it shouldn't have been done, but just how it felt in contrast to everything else. Hassan's fame was also difficult for me to buy, but this was still an enjoyable enough movie. Helen Mirren is great, as always. And the rest of the cast is really solid all around. The storytelling is definitely predictable, but, again, I think the movie's tone and pacing definitely helped out a lot. The characters are likable and you want to see them do well or well enough given their circumstances. It's not a perfect movie, by any means, but I connected with its message about the importance of family, particularly with what's been going on personally. Again, to me, this is an enjoyable movie. Wouldn't give this a glowing recommendation, but if you come across this on cable TV then it's worth a watch.
May 12, 2018
A wonderful story! Critics say it doesn't plow new ground, but it doesn't have to.
February 10, 2018
It had it's pleasant moments, but a little bland. They don't spend enough time with any one thing ...two romances, going to Paris, family tragedy, etc etc. It's too fast and not committed to detail, accepting the occasional foodie love. French restauranteur is miscast.
January 6, 2018
A sweet film very enjoyable
½ December 24, 2017
Helen Mirren's performance makes the movie worth it, imo.
December 10, 2017
The Hundred-Foot Journey 4 Stars
There is nothing new or groundbreaking in The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014, Lasse Hallström). There is no statement beyond that which is contained in the story and the story has been presented in the same way in many different forms and by many different directors. The joy of The Hundred-Foot Journey is not that it is different from any other fish-out-of-water, coming-of-age romance. It is in its execution, it is in the superior direction by one of the world's most underrated directors. It is the rich colors and the idea of food as identity. The movie manages to transcend its used and, in some cases, clichéd plot. One can almost taste the dishes as they are served, not to the characters but to the visceral senses of the viewer. Helen Mirren, of course, is superb along with the direction. Hers is not the only stand-out performance, however. Om Purri, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte Le Bon are never overshadowed by Mirren and shine in their own right.
If you are looking for something that challenges or something that expands the art form, this is not your film. However, if you are looking for a movie that is well-crafted and celebratory of, not only the art of cooking, but also filmmaking and diversity, then give this feel-good movie a try.
½ December 6, 2017
This is a movie that starts out a bit slow and stays in depression mode for a bit longer than I would like. In the end I understand it's to give the viewer a sense of despair about the circumstances of the subjects. Nice twists in the plot keep the storyline interesting in ways you may not have considered.
December 4, 2017
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a delightful treat. Predictable but sweet, The Hundred-Foot Journey is a feel-good film that both looks and taste good.

Director's Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat and What's Eating Gilbert Grape) and Steven Quale (Final Destination 5) brought this summer's sweetest film that's both good for the mind and the soul. Yes, The Hundred-Foot Journey most definitely has its faults, but the tenderness of the story and Helen Mirren's performance pull at your heartstrings.

Based on Richard C. Morais' 2010 bestseller, the film takes place in a quaint French village that only has room for one prestige restaurant ... Madame Mallory's (Mirren) Le Saule Pleureur. However, things are about to change for Madame Mallory's business when the Kadam family arrives to the village. After Mama (Juhi Chawla) is killed in a devastating fire the Kadam family leaves Mumbai to start fresh and begin a new life. But when their car coincidentally breaks down near the French village, Papa (Om Puri) decides that this is the right spot to open his new Indian restaurant ... Maison Mumbai. The restaurant is, of course, only a hundred feet from Madame Mallory's restaurant. Mon Dieu!

This leads to a food war and racial antagonism, but in the end comes love, harmony and friendship. The heavy plot and cliches weigh down the film, but thanks to the wonderful performances from the actors (Mirren, Puri, Manish Dayal, Sarah Wayne Callies and Amit Shah) you forgive and enjoy. The lively music (A. R. Rahman) and vivid cinematography (Linus Sandgren) also help play to the film's benefit. Like the delicious food being cooked right on screen Hallstrom knows how to craft a film based on passion and taste as he did in Chocolat. In the end, The Hundred-Foot Journey succeeds at hitting the viewers' sweet spot and will make your mouth water at the delicious cuisines shown on screen.
½ October 27, 2017
I enjoyed this movie as it had a little bit of everything in the story it told. Good job
½ September 25, 2017
This was a really good choice for me to watch in between Master Chef episodes. I really like the idea being in the kitchen and being creative so I enjoyed this movie quite a lot even thought it was predictable.
August 20, 2017
SCOTT: (Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond) Greg, I do believe that a hundred feet would emit a terrible odor.

GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) Not if it was at the Maison Mumbai where wonderful spices are used. Let s recap...

SCOTT: The Hundred-Foot Journey begins in Mumbai, India, where a family restaurant is burned to the ground by political protesters. The mother of the family is killed, and the father, known only as Papa (Om Puri), flees with his children to Europe. The family car breaks down near a charming French village, and Papa sees it as an omen that they should open their new Indian restaurant in that town. As fate would have it, the perfect building for their new restaurant is located directly across the street from an excellent French eatery owned by a proud, tough woman named Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).

GREG: It turns out that Papa s young son Hassan(Manish Dayal) is a natural chef and learned to use spices at his mother s feet. Papa and Hassan go to the local food market to buy ingredients for their opening night when they learn that Madame Mallory has bought up all their goods. And now the war is on. Meanwhile, Hassan has taken an interest in Madame Mallory s sues chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon). She hesitantly shares the secrets of French cuisine with Hassan who takes to learning these details like a duck to water. And now the stage is set with a competition for the tastebuds of the town and a budding romance.

SCOTT: Greg, The Hundred-Foot Journey is the perfect movie for people who are obsessed with food. Yes, there are two key relationships that unfold in the story, but they unfold around food, for food, and because of food. I will admit, of course, that this movie is far more than a food movie. Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey have joined forces to produce a moral tale about ethnic differences and how they can inflame hostilities but also how these hostilities can be overcome. The Hundred-Foot Journey isn t a great movie. Events unfold in a slightly too predictable way, and things wrap up just a tad too nicely at the end. Madame Mallory s sudden change of heart about her Indian rivals also stretches the bounds of believability. But having said all that, this is a film well worth watching. The performances are all first-rate, and we re introduced to characters we grow to care about.

GREG: You summed it up pretty well, Scott. I had some problems placing this movie in time. The village the story is set in looks like it fell out of the 1940s. It s not until Hassan makes the big time and moves to Paris that we get the sense that we re in modern times. The movie s message seems to be that bad things happen when cultures clash, but good things happen when we learn to appreciate our common bonds - especially, in this case, a love of food. The hero of the story is young Hassan who starts out naive and grows to become more adult and worldly. And he plays the part well. He is naive not only in the ways of fine dining, but also in the ways of love. He innocently plays on the affections of the young lady and gains insights into becoming the chef in Madame Mallory s kitchen. Madame Mallory is both the villain and the mentor in this story. She starts out as an adversary to both Papa and Hassan. After her main cook sets the Maison Mumbai to fire, she has a change of heart and realizes that she has taken things too far. It s a different villain pattern than we ve seen so far this year - that of the villain turned mentor.

SCOTT: You re exactly right, and that s probably why the good Madame s character defies believability. I suppose I should shed my cynicism and just accept her huge change of heart in the middle of the movie. Although unlikely, this transformation from evil to good is something we all dream about seeing in difficult people. If we keep our focus on the true hero of story, Hassan, we recognize in him a nice coming-of-age tale of a young man who grows personally, professionally, and romantically. Hassan is a bit too perfect of a character, showing virtue and competence at every turn, but he does grow as an individual as he s thrown into the fire, so to speak. As you point out, Greg, the villains do shift around during the course of the story. At first, Madame Mallory is the villain, but then the obstacles our heroes face begin to shift. Standing in Hassan s way is the cutthroat competition of the restaurant business. We learn that the grooming of a top chef requires more blood, sweat, and tears than the U.S. Navy Seal training program. So we first have a Man vs. Man theme (or should I say Man vs. Woman ) that evolves into a Man vs. Nature villainesque structure.

GREG: I enjoyed The Hundred-Foot Journey but I won t be sending back for seconds. It was a sweet, albeit a bit slow, story. You re right, Scott, it was a bit predictable. But I found it satisfied me rather than coming off as trite. The performances were delightful and I liked everyone in the story. I can recommend this movie, especially to my foodie friends. I give The Hundred-Foot Journey 3 out of 5 Reels. The hero of the story is a bit of a Mary-Sue. Nothing he does is evil. Mostly he acts out of naivete more than animus. In that sense, he lacks dimension and I can only give him 3 out of 5 Heroes. The villain, Madame Mallory, is more dimensional than the hero. She displays pride, envy, even racism. She plots to destroy her competition. But ultimately, she comes to realize that she is a better person than she has been and has a change of heart. This is a nice villain s journey. It s one of the few characters who we have reviewed over the last year that starts out as a villain and turns into some sort of hero. I give her 3 out of 5 Villains. Movie: Villains: Hero:

SCOTT: The Hundred-Foot Journey is a fine meal that is memorable for its color and its texture, but alas, you ll discover that it is a light supper or heavy snack only. I recommend this film for anyone who loves the process of preparing fine food, or who adores French countryside scenery, or who relishes sappy endings to stories about inter-family conflict. Like you, Greg, I award this movie 3 Reels out of 5. Out of an ensemble hero cast, we see Hassan emerge as the main hero who represents the best of humanity. He is the catalyst for peace between the two families and then boldly pursues a challenging career as a top French chef. It s a fairly strong hero s journey, as we see Hassan navigate his way through cultural barriers, encounter a love interest, and receive mentoring from an unlikely source. I ll give Hassan 4 out of 5 Heroes here. Madame Mallory proves to be an interesting and touching villain-turned-hero, even if I found her transformation to stretch the bounds of credibility. After her change of heart, there are plenty of social, cultural, and personal obstacles standing in Hassan s way of success. This film s villain structure is complex and shows us that humans are usually their own worst enemies. I ll agree with you, Greg, that the villains here deserve a rating of 3 out of 5. Movie: Villains: Hero:
August 12, 2017
a little bit of everything in one movie; yet paced incredibly well to my taste.
½ July 8, 2017
The story can be a little too cute and long, but it's a wonderful acting and visual treat featuring competing cooking cultures.
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