The Founder

Risk taker. Rule breaker. Game changer.
Risk taker. Rule breaker. Game changer.


D: John Lee Hancock

The Weinstein Company/Filmnation (Don Handfield, Karen Lunder, Jeremy Renner & Aaron Ryder)

USA 🇺🇸 2016

115 mins


W: Robert D. Siegel

DP: John Schwartzman

Ed: Robert Frazen

Mus: Carter Burrell

PD: Michael Corenblith

Michael Keaton (Ray Kroc), Nick Offerman (Dick McDonald), John Carroll Lynch (Mac McDonald), Linda Cardellini (Joan Smith), Laura Dern (Ethel Kroc)

McDonald's The Movie, telling the story of the fast food giant, from its humble beginnings in 1950's California.

Travelling salesman Ray Kroc struggles to earn a living selling milkshake mixers, but when he receives a large order from a restaurant in San Bernadino, CA, curiosity gets the better of him and he drives across the country to check the establishment out. 

Impressed with the speed of service and quality of the hamburgers on sale, he introduces himself to the owners, the McDonald brothers, who tell Ray their story and Ray subsequently implores them to franchise their business. The brothers are initially hesitant, as they attempted this before and it resulted in wayward supervisors and a reduction in quality. They finally agree to Ray's business proposition, dependent on a contract which give them overall control of the direction the business goes in.

Ray mortgages his home to finance new restaurants opening all over the Midwest, but when capital runs low and an attempt to a bigger percentage doesn't materialise, he discovers a way to circumvent the terms of his contract and wrestle control away from the brothers by forming his own company, The McDonalds Corporation, which ultimately becomes a fight over who owns the name McDonalds. 

Michael Keaton plays an excellent part as Ray Kroc, who you initially feel sympathy for, but as the film goes on, you begin to find him less and less sympathetic for all the same reasons. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch are also great as the McDonald brothers, and the production design team do a great job recreating convincing 1950's locations.

Though it technically is a film in which product placement is prevalent, this really isn't an advert for McDonald's, but a powerful story of corporate greed overpowering small, independent business.


Michael Keaton in The Founder
Michael Keaton in The Founder