Fast Food Nation (2006)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  17 November 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 20,311 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 163 user | 150 critic | 33 from

An ensemble piece examining the health risks involved in the fast food industry and its environmental and social consequences as well.


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3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Juan Carlos Serrán ...
Esteban (as Juan Carlos Serran)
Roberto (as Armando Hernandez)
Phil (as Michael Conway)
Jay Anderson (as Ellar Salmon)
Dakota Edwards ...
Stevie Anderson
Debi Anderson
Benny (as Luis Guzman)
Francisco Rosales ...


Don Anderson is the Mickey's food restaurant chain's Marketing Director. He is the inventor of the "Big One" the hamburger best seller of Mickey's. An independent research reports the presence of cow's feces in the Big One. So Don is sent to Cody, Colorado, to verify if the slaughterhouse, main supplier of Mickey's, is efficient as it appears and the production process is regular. During his investigations he discovers the horrible truth behind a simple hamburger; the reality is not like we think it is. Don discovers what the mass production system involves, from the temp workers like Amber, to the exploitation of Mexican irregular immigrants. It is not only the meat that is crushed in the mincing machine, but all our society. Written by 1felco

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The film everybody is sinking their teeth into See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing images, strong sexuality, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

17 November 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coyote  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$410,804 (USA) (17 November 2006)


$1,004,059 (USA) (26 January 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film features a number of castmembers from Director Richard Linklaters 2014 film, "Boyhood": Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, & Marco Perella. See more »


Greg Kinnear's character is credited as "Don Anderson", however, he clearly introduced himself as "Don Henderson" to the cashier after ordering at Mickey's. See more »


Alice: [to a cow] Come on, don't you want to be free?
See more »


Referenced in Screenplay Series with Syd Field (2007) See more »


Cabeza de Mojado
Written by Joey Burns, Bill Elm, Woody Jackson
Performed by Friends of Dean Martinez
Courtesy of Sub Pop Records
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User Reviews

A wasted opportunity: Fast Food Nation is about as satisfying as a happy meal.
1 November 2006 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Apparently, ever since Stephen Gaghan bored everyone senseless with his intertwining storytelling techniques for Syriana (2005), Richard Linklater's latest project, a political satire-drama about the fast food industry and its various potholes, adopts the same strategy to the same sort of effect in Fast Food Nation. Among the protagonists includes Greg Kinnear as Don Henderson, the newly acquired vice-president of fast food mogul "Mickey's". His job requires him to market a new type of burger – "The Big One" to the public. Elsewhere we get to meet a family of Mexicans, among them Wilmer Valderrama and Catalina Sandino Moreno, who venture into America illegally via the nasty, corrupt factory worker Mike (Cannavale), in order to fill his disgusting work stations. Mickey's employee Amber (Johnson) who grows tiresome of flipping burgers and pervy bosses – eventually decides to gather a revolt against the beef-slaughtering industry.

On paper – this could be the most cinematically violent satire one could hope for on the big screen. The fast food nation, for better or worse, is such an easy subject to tackle as the behemoth of an industry's only true worth is to fatten the western world into a huge wave of immovable mammoths. The operation of it is even worse, as KFC's documented treatment of its fowl is appalling, as is McDonald's lack of nutritional awareness. So much bag to swing at, surely an accomplished director such as Richard Linklater couldn't possibly avoid hitting something? Suffice to say Fast Food Nation is absolutely punch-less. It relays common truths to support its depiction, which completely washed over me. There is artificial flavourings in these foods? Apparently immigrants are put to work illegally and unsafe in factories, you say? No kidding. Tell me something new. Shock me. The devouring and slaughter of a cow isn't a plea to boycott fast food – it is vegetarian propaganda. Yes it is nasty viewing, but no more so than the limb-removal in Saw (2004) or the teeth extraction in Park Chan Wook's Oldboy (2003). I knew animals die in the process of food making – it is common knowledge. Vegetarian propaganda belongs in a film like Madagascar (2005) or Finding Nemo (2003) where children ponder the humane nature of eating meat, whilst realising that nature itself is fairly ruthless when it comes to hunger. The fact that the biggest indignation proposed unto the industry by this film is of the amount of animal feces going "undetected" in their products is certainly disconcerting, but underlines the weakness to truly devour this subject. It is edited, directed and written in such a pedestrian manner, that not only is there a lack of insight, there is none of the brio or genuine intrigue that Morgan Spurlock's superbly insightful, and utterly entertaining documentary Super Size Me (2004) garnered. Spurlock uncovered a plethora of grotesque truths about fast food that not only made you think about that kind of diet, but also offered a compelling cinematic experience.

It is after witnessing a film as disappointing as Fast Food Nation, that one appreciates a work like Thank You For Smoking (2006) all the more. Linklater has made a movie not just lacking punch, but spark too. Jason Reitman's film about tobacco lobbyists was a movie with similarly hackneyed message: think for yourself. It preached to its own choir much in the same vein is Linklater is doing here; only with verve, and a sense of humour, that more than made it worth the emission. Fast Food Nation is desperately lacking a humorous edge. There is none of that biting satire from Wag The Dog (1997), none of the cutthroat cynicism of Wall Street (1987) or the fluidity in Linklater's previous release this year A Scanner Darkly (2006). It even lacks the intelligence of Syriana (2005), which was not a particularly accomplished film. Instead what we have is an admittedly well-intentioned film, which lacks the wit, insight and storytelling to make this a worthwhile experience.

124 of 212 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Regardless of your beliefs, this movie adaptation is awful. uphollow
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