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The Menu - Everything You Need To Know

Who's ready for dinner? The black comedy horror film "The Menu" has finally arrived, landing in theaters on November 18. The film takes savage aim at the world of high cuisine, skewering both the foodies in the dining room and the intense cults of personality that can form in the kitchen. If you finished watching "The Bear" and ended up saying to yourself, "I wish there were more torture sequences," then this is the film for you.

Produced by Adam McKay, directed by Mark Mylod, and written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, "The Menu" is a good, gory time. It also features a killer cast and quite a few delicious dishes. If you want to know more about this messed-up dining experience before catching it on the big screen, then read on to discover everything we know about "The Menu."

What is the plot of The Menu?

"The Menu" follows young couple Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), who, at Tyler's urging, attend a very expensive night of dining at Hawthorn, a private restaurant on a private island — only 12 guests attend at a time for the price of $1,250 each. They pay to experience the talents of the legendary Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes), whose creations are treated more like edible art than food. However, Chef Slowik turns out to have more in store for his guests than meets the eye.

As for the tone of the film, Anthony D'Alessandro of Deadline wrote, "Think of 'Midsommar,' but at [a] great haute, out-of-nowhere restaurant. Like the kind you see on Netflix's 'Chef's Table.' That's the conceit of Searchlight's wildly dark-humored 'The Menu.'" Relatedly, Fiennes told Variety that he watched "Chef's Table" in preparation for the role. "I love that series, every single character, every single chef is so brilliantly portrayed," he said. "They're all so different. So that was very rewarding."

The movie does have a very twisty ending, but rest assured, it has nothing to do with cannibalism as many rumors suspected. We don't want to give it away, but you'll be surprised who doesn't make it out alive.

Who is starring in The Menu?

As mentioned above, "The Menu" stars Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy in the leading roles, alongside Nicholas Hoult. Longtime actor Fiennes has most recently appeared in 2021's "The King's Man" and the newest James Bond film "No Time to Die" as M. Taylor-Joy, who gained prominence for her leading role in 2020's "The Queen's Gambit," has most recently appeared in 2022's "The Northman" and "Amsterdam," and is also wrapping up her role as Gina Gray in "Peaky Blinders," which concluded this year. Hoult currently stars in Hulu's "The Great" and also co-starred in 2021's "Those Who Wish Me Dead" and 2020's "The Banker."

According to IMDb, the cast of "The Menu" is rounded out with "Watchmen" actress Hong Chau, "Ozark" and "Jessica Jones" alum Janet McTeer, and "When They See Us" actor John Leguizamo. Additionally, veteran actress Judith Light — who has most recently acted in "Julia," "Impeachment: American Crime Story" and "tick, tick ... BOOM!" — is also a part of the cast. Finally, additional cast members include Arturo Castro, Reed Birney, Paul Adelstein, Rob Yang, and Christina Brucato.

Who directed The Menu?

We know that Ralph Fiennes' Chef Slowik runs the demented kitchen, but who ran the movie? Directing duties for "The Menu" go to Mark Mylod, and while you might not recognize the name, you've definitely seen his handiwork before as he's an incredibly prolific TV director. 

Mylod has directed some of the very best and most popular TV shows, such as "Game of Thrones," "Shameless," "Entourage," and "Succession." In fact, he directed two of the very best "Succession" episodes — Season 2's "This Is Not for Tears" and Season 3's "All the Bells Say." He's also done a few films, although most of them will most likely have a very different feel from "The Menu," with titles such as the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy "Ali G Indahouse" and the Anna Farris/Chris Evans rom-com "What's Your Number?" We're interested to see Mylod bring his gritty, intense TV background to the big screen with "The Menu."

What is The Menu rated?

"The Menu" has been compared to some of the grisliest horror movies ever made like "Saw" and "Midsommar" – movies known for their messed-up kills and nasty torture scenes. "The Menu" follows suit with an R rating, thanks to "language throughout, strong violent content, and some sexual references." So yeah, that pretty much confirms that things are going to get a bit intense at this restaurant. Adults can reserve a seat, but it's probably best to leave the kiddies at home with their fast food.

How did The Menu do at the box office?

"The Menu" opened in over 3,200 theaters on November 18. The film brought in $9 million in its opening weekend domestically and earned $6.2 million internationally according to Box Office Mojo. According to Deadline, "The Menu" had a $30 million budget, and with its opening more than likely the biggest weekend haul it'll have, "The Menu" might struggle to come out in the black. But movies like "The Menu" aren't made to be blockbusters — they're arthouse, indie films that care much more about the content than how many people might trek to see it in theaters dominated by superhero flicks.

What are critics and audiences saying about The Menu?

"The Menu" is sitting pretty at a 90% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this publication. The audience score sits lower at 79%, but both are applaudable ratings. Looper's Reuben Barron rated the film 10/10, calling it "an ingeniously clever horror-comedy." 

Many critics are praising the satire for its take on foodie culture while noting that "The Menu" is incredibly original. Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy are commended for their performances, and the scenes where they share the screen are some of the best in the film. The pacing is also applauded, as the movie doesn't ever feel slow or rushed, and its dark comedy is perfectly executed. Some of the issues the audience has with "The Menu" is that the trailer is very misleading and makes you think the movie is about one thing when it's entirely something else. The film certainly has the element of surprise going for it.