The Founder (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Founder2017

The Founder (2017)



Critic Consensus: The Founder puts Michael Keaton's magnetic performance at the center of a smart, satisfying biopic that traces the rise of one of America's most influential businessmen -- and the birth of one of its most far-reaching industries.

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Movie Info

Directed by John Lee Hancock (SAVING MR. BANKS), THE FOUNDER features the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers' speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Writer Robert Siegel (THE WRESTLER) details how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire. The film also stars Laura Dern as Ray Kroc's first wife Ethel; John Carroll Lynch as Mac McDonald and Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald.

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Nick Offerman
as Dick McDonald
John Carroll Lynch
as Mac McDonald
Linda Cardellini
as Joan Smith
Patrick Wilson
as Rollie Smith
B.J. Novak
as Harry Sonneborn
Laura Dern
as Ethel Kroc
Katie Kneeland
as June Martino
Kate Kneeland
as June Martino
Griff Furst
as Jim Zien
Wilbur Fitzgerald
as Jerry Cullen
David Devries
as Jack Horford
Cara Mantella
as Myra Rosenblatt
Randall Taylor
as Owner (Ed's Drive-In)
Lacey King
as CarHop Girl (Ed's Drive-In)
Rebecka Ray
as CarHop Girl (Joe's Drive-In)
Adam Rosenberg
as Employee (San Bernardino)
Jacinte Blankenship
as Woman (San Bernardino)
Jacinte Blackenship
as Woman (San Bernardino)
Charles Green
as Loan Officer #1
David Silverman (XI)
as Loan Officer #2
Mike Pniewski
as Harvey Peltz
Catherine Dyer
as Mrs. Horford
Susan Williams
as Mrs. Cullen
Franco Castan
as Art Wolodarsky
Kenny Alfonso
as Kroc Corporate Lawyer
Kabby Borders
as Cheerleader #1
Valeri Rogers
as Cheerleader #2
Nicolette Goetz
as Cheerleader #3
Lauren Denham
as Cheerleader #4
Abbey Ferrell
as Cheerleader #4
Victor McCay
as Kroc Divorce Lawyer
Steve Coulter
as Doctor Reeves
Ric Reitz
as Will Davis (LA Times Reporter)
Joy Glover Walters
as Mother (San Bernardino)
Makabe Ganey
as Little Boy
Jody Thompson
as Customer (Schaumburg)
Chris Greene
as Grand Opening Customer
Conrad Whitaker
as Limo Driver
Afemo Omilami
as Mr. Merriman
Kim Banta
as Bingo Caller
Devon Ogden
as Gorgeous Blonde
Gerald L. Duckworth
as Owner (Joe's Drive-In)
Jen Cohen
as Female Passenger
Jen Cohn
as Female Passenger
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News & Interviews for The Founder

Critic Reviews for The Founder

All Critics (244) | Top Critics (62)

Hancock's bland biopic offers a sanitised and sympathetic take on the burger chain's beginnings and the man who turned it into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

February 19, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

One of the many pleasures in John Lee Hancock's study of the man who made McDonald's an empire is its reminder that even the simplest ideas need to be invented.

February 17, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The man, played with dark relish by Michael Keaton, has the fabulous name of Ray Kroc (there is a suitably reptilian air to his grin as he says things such as: "Contracts are like hearts. They're made to be broken").

February 16, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It is a surprisingly nuanced and barbed look at the American Dream and its flip side.

February 16, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

[A] bright, absorbing biopic ...

February 16, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The Founder could have been a Preston Sturges-style comedy/biopic - a high-mischief fairy tale with moral resonance. Instead it does little but polish Ray Kroc's boots.

February 16, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Founder


Pretty entertaining and well paced biopic about the making of McDonald's. While the beginning is pretty amusing and you feel sympathy for the ambiguous con man character played perfectly by Keaton, things get a little more serious in the end and you pretty much change your view of the man. That's an interesting untold story full of 1960s nostalgia but rather modern camera work and editing for our viewing convenience.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


Reads like an unpolished draft. Tried to cram too much in instead of focusing on only great scenes with emotional impact. More like a book report than a biopic. Made me crave a McD's cheeseburger though so I guess in that sense, it was a success.

_kelly .King
_kelly .King

Super Reviewer

Good movie, but about a hideous man. I didn't know the story of Macdonald's prior to watching this and I really felt sorry for the brothers who owned the original restaurant. That guy who took it over was a sleazy little weasel. I spent most of the movie wishing harm on him!

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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