Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Fast Food Nation Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… good-intentioned … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Following up on Morgan Spurlock's wildly successful indie film "Super Size Me," critics of fast food were hoping that a one-two punch would further raise consciousness among consumers and purveyors alike. Alas, Fast Food Nation is punchless.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Linklater's working-class mosaic is seriously interested in how most of this country gets by for a living. And that, sadly, makes it distinctive.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Naturally, a subject this right-on draws a right-on cast. Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and Ethan Hawke pitch in.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Fast Food Nation reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Bloody exposé; not for kids. Want fries with that?

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that most kids probably won't be that interested in this exposé of the fast food industry (which is based on Eric Schlosser's non-fiction best-seller). And just as well. It includes an extremely graphic sequence on the "killing floor" of a meat-packing plant, which shows actual footage of brutal hacking at cattle. Other violence includes the difficult border crossing endured by Mexican workers and a bloody scene of a worker's leg getting caught and cut off in a grinding machine. Some sex scenes between a manager (who trades sex for favors at work) and his female workers show naked body parts. Characters drink, smoke marijuana, and take methamphetamines. Language includes some 20 uses of "f--k" and a variety of other curses.

  • Families can talk about the ethics of producing fast food. Why do the producers sacrifice quality to save money? What is a corporation's responsibility in protecting its workers? How honest do corporations that produce food need to be? Should they disclose errors and regularly occurring contaminations? How does this movie show connections between the corruption that runs throughout the company's hierarchy (from floor workers to managers to marketers to executives)? Do you think this drama -- which is based on a non-fiction book -- is more effective than a documentary on the same topic would have been? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Thematic focus is corruption in fast food (contaminated meat, cover-ups); frustrated workers strike back as they can (e.g., spitting in food); characters lie, cheat, and argue.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: The film's disturbing climax shows cattle slaughtered (actual bloody, graphic footage); crossing the U.S.-Mexican border is depicted as rough going (harsh conditions, thirst, exhaustion, passing out); discussion of McDonald's robbery (unseen); worker loses leg in plant machine (bloody and graphic).

  • sex false3

    Sex: Two brief sex scenes in vehicles (one shows breasts and indicates nude bodies, the other is "doggy style" and uncomfortable, as the creepy floor manager has sex with female employees in exchange for favors at work); another sex scene in the plant freezer (not explicit); sexual slang ("slut," "balls," "dick"); Doug plays a porn movie in his hotel room (you only hear moans, no image, as he looks at the screen); uncle offers his niece $1000 if she doesn't get pregnant by age 21.

  • language false5

    Language: Repeated uses of "f--k" (20+), plus other language, including "ass," "s--t," "hell," "damn," "crap," and "sons of bitches."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Thematic focus on marketing fast food (McDonald's-style, though the company in the movie is the fictional "Mickey's"); specific references to ESPN, McDonald's, Fuddruckers.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Smoking cigarettes, drinking, smoking marijuana, allusions to "meth freaks," snorting drugs; some workers are visibly high on the job.