Critic Reviews

64

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Fast Food Nation has the dramatic flatness and willful lack of personality of some documentaries -- or at least how Linklater thinks a documentary should be. The movie nonetheless feels like both a work of investigative journalism and an immense human-interest story, veering into muckraking, horror, teen comedy, and what passes for "Twilight Zone" science fiction.
83
Entertainment Weekly
Naturally, a subject this right-on draws a right-on cast. Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and Ethan Hawke pitch in.
75
It's less an expose of junk-food culture than a human drama, sprinkled with sly, provoking wit, about how that culture defines how we live.
75
Philadelphia Inquirer
Fast Food Nation picks up, and drops off, various members of its cast, sometimes without a satisfying resolution. But its final scenes, inside a real working meatpacking plant, on the killing floor, are brutally to the point.
75
Chicago Tribune
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.
75
Premiere
What sets Fast Food Nation apart from other recent multi-character studies like "Crash," "Bobby," and "Babel" is that Linklater doesn't set up a single incident that ties all the story strands together.
63
Miami Herald
Fast Food Nation would have benefited from a longer running time -- the movie often feels like it's missing big chunks of plot -- but Linklater's cautionary message gets through.
63
Presenting facts in a wrapper of fiction only muddies the waters, and many of the film's subtler points are likely to slip by viewers who haven't first read Schlosser's book. Other salient points are shoehorned into the dialogue, rendering key scenes preachy, heavy-handed and dramatically inert.
50
For all the filmmaker's good intentions, Fast Food Nation isn't a particularly good movie. It doesn't hold together or grip you the way a documentary might have.
50
New York Daily News
Dispiriting, unsubtle and unpleasant.
50
The Hollywood Reporter
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.

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