Dinner Rush (2000) Poster


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Tasty-looking food steals the show
raymond-1512 January 2005
The film is about a trendy family restaurant in New York. As one character says..."It's a joint with a buzz!" It's an apt expression, for the film surely buzzes non-stop as the characters crowd into this very popular restaurant noted for its delicious food. Down below the restaurant is the kitchen where the meals are prepared. This is the most stunning part of the film. Absolutely believable. Perfect cinema. Among the steaming saucepans and oiled fry pans there is the clatter of white plates on which the chefs and kitchen staff arrange the most surprising little temptations at lightning speed. The hand of the director is most noticeable here with superb choreographed movement of the actors in the confined space. There is clatter and chatter, laughter and fisticuffs.

The mood is different at the dining tables. Idle gossip among the clients and smart remarks to the staff about the appropriateness of hanging oil paintings in a restaurant. Then there is the presence of the food writers ready to criticize and gangster types insisting on a partnership with the management. It's all go...go...go...as the camera follows the dishes to the tables. There is a perpetual air of excitement.

The cameras constantly switch from dining room to kitchen and kitchen to dining room maintaining a lively feeling of urgency as the trays are carried up the stairs. The dialogue is fast too and I find it sometimes difficult to follow. The large cast requires some sorting out as well.

The ending comes unexpectedly with a surprising twist.

This film is really about revenge. Like some food preparations, revenge can simmer for a long time. One thing is made clear to me however. Revenge as a dish is best served cold.
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Precious Like Some Rare Wine!
demunfallopferseinefrau2 September 2003
"Dinner Rush" has not been released in Germany --- which usually indicates a not very successful B-movie... In this case, it is a B-movie (shot in only 21 days!), but, uuhhh baby, it is one of the best B-movies ever made.

Elegant camera movements, a superb ensemble cast (Danny Aiello, John Corbett, Edoardo Ballerini, Vivian Wu, Sandra Bernhard, Mark Margolis, and beautiful Summer Phoenix), an intriguing story, marvelously directed ... they usually don't make movies like that anymore. Bob Giraldi did an excellent job with his actors, and production designer Andrew Bernard created a stunning atmosphere.

"Dinner Rush" ranks among my all-time favorite films. It might be not suitable for everyone, but then, what movie is? It's an entertaining, witty, thoughtful portrayal of New York of the millennium --- enchanting!
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A brilliant film!
djhuckel4 July 2007
This film crackles with authenticity. Danny Aiello is great in the lead role as the owner of this eatery, rushed off its feet in the evening rush after the day leading to it. He plays ironically opposite to his oft gangster roles. Well structured with an interesting mix of characters, showing their chemistry with each other, the boss, the son, the dish hands, the restaraunts patrons, and food critic, the lust, and the great character John Corbett plays.

Dinner Rush is well worth a look. I am sure you won't be disappointed if you like films that simmer at a medium temperature so it becomes cooked nicely at the end with a good surprise in the end how it turned out.
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Brilliant and charming, a bit like a fine restaurant
claes-bertilson2 August 2005
This is really a hidden gem that should have had a major impact at the cinemas everywhere. It truly is a loss to anyone who misses it.

The characters are charming, obnoxious, familiar, unexpected and with a great many stereotypes this offers a fascinating mix played out at a weird and wonderful pace that switches easily between relaxed and frantic. The character gallery on its own is reason to see this film but the various tracks of the story offers added value not seen as comfortably intertwined in other films for many years. The stories are steered by an amazing screenplay based on non-stop dialogue that places you right at the centre of affairs, or indeed inside the restaurant where 90% of the film is set.

If you enjoy the witty repartee of Smoke or Clerks (although nowhere near as vulgar) then you must see this film.

Danny Aiello is brilliant, so are the majority of the not so well known cast and the supporting role of John Corbett offers a new perspective on an otherwise strong stereotype, almost worth the ticket price itself.
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A masterpiece in execution
George Parker23 January 2003
Fan a fresh deck of cards with the spots up and the coherence is immediately apparent. Shuffle the deck and coherence is lost...the purpose of the shuffle. In "Dinner Rush", Giraldi and company manage to shuffle a deck of plots, personal issues, and cuisine with the controlled chaos of a restaurant during the dinner rush while never losing coherence, building characters and stories, and wrapping everything up with a bow in just over 1.5 hours. Masterfully crafted, "Dinner Rush" has a story to tell, offers solid performances, works well in claustrophobic conditions, sports a cosmopolitan cast, and is imbued with gourmet cooking and an ever present taste of "the Big Apple". Not for everyone, this flick will appeal most to those who can appreciate a film as much for its execution and style as for its story. (B+)
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Dinner Rush goes straight into my all-time Top 10
tenten764 October 2002
I didn't think they made movies like this anymore.

The only thing wrong with this movie is the lack of marketing. Otherwise, it's superb on so many levels, and the ending (even though I knew what was coming) was a happy surprise.

Every single performance is good, with most of them actually great. The script is faultless, as is the plot, the pacing, and the directing. Even though it's a less-flashy style than in 99% or the movies these days, it's wonderful to be able to appreciate really good camerawork, clear dialogue, perfect editing..

I don't want to go into great detail, because the movie is such a pleasure to watch. I just hope this may convince you to see Dinner Rush, because it's quite possibly the best film of the year. I am now going to pester friends & colleagues to rent it, until I can actually buy it and then force them to watch.
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I absolutely love this film.......
nitesr2long18 July 2005
This is one the rare gems of independent cinema.

I wish more people had seen this when it came out. It is a beautifully shot film about the life of a restaurant on a busy night. But there is so much more to this film. It combines a fascinating mob element that you don't fully understand until the end with the delicate flair of a master chef combining ingredients in a meal. The ending is immensely surprising and gratifying. All the performances are believable, especially Corbett who is in his best film. It is the dynamic of a trendy restaurant dealing with a record-breaking night, however that makes this film superb. It takes so many lives and elements and brings them together with aplomb. This is one of the best films in recent years.
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Danny Aiello Hits Again
SmoothGrooves17 June 2005
I found this gem in the bargain bin at Wal Mart. How it got there, I don't know. The film stars Danny Aiello (Do The Right Thing), Mike McGlone (The Brothers McMullen) and John Corbett (Sex and the City). Set in the fast paced New York Italian restaurant "Gigino", we follow a restaurant owner (Aiello) and his son, the head chef, on a busy Friday night. The film is comprised of witty banter from different tables in the restaurant, following a uptight art critic, a mafiosi from Queens, a food critic and a real mystery man in Corbett's character. The staff has to deal with a power outage, whiny tables and a line chef who is into a bookie 35 grand. The film carries itself with panache every second, and no matter how often I see this picture, be it on DVD or on IFC, I just can't get enough. Check it out!
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Delicious Slice of One Night of NY Restaurant Life
noralee28 October 2005
"Dinner Rush" will inevitably be compared to "Big Night," and other food preparation/restaurant movies, but I think it holds its own as a delicious slice of one night of New York life. As one character plotzes: "When did eating out become theater?"

The wonderful, winsome multi-ethnic ensemble of mostly New York actors --many born in Brooklyn according to the IMDb--who have done a lot of TV work are clearly enjoying making a movie as a coordinated team. Danny Aiello has his best, and somewhat similar, role since "City Hall."

Many of the references may go over the heads of those West of the Hudson or East of the East River, whether to Tribeca (as a newly trendy neighborhood) or Danny Meyer (restaurant entrepreneur). Or even the digs at Queens as the home of mobsters, which were greeted by silence by the Queens audience I saw it with.

The upstairs/downstairs of the kitchen scrambles vs. the dining pleasures and everyone's personal spices are lots of fun. The actors playing obnoxious customers, like Sandra Bernhard, do so with relish but not overplayed.

Keep your palate clear by not looking at the ad campaign or reading the reviews, as I think they give the plot away and I was totally surprised by the ending, er, the dessert.

(originally written 9/29/2001)
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I LOVED this movie!!
Evedammit8 July 2003
Excellent filmmaking and acting meshed so fine. Great character study of people too. Danny Aiello is wonderful as usual. Eduardo Ballerini ("Udo"), slammed such as impression on me! And Summer Phoenix is AMAZING as the patient but put upon waitress Marti. And I loved/hated the art critic jerk. Sandra Bernhardt as usual, a fun to watch bi*ch. I applauded John Corbett's character.As for the chefs' domain, the pace and stress in the kitchen's so palpable. (As someone who once got canned after 2 days in a nursing home kitchen of all places, I so appreciate the stress they endure!) Screw any mobster's presence, if I lived in NY, I'd wanna go down right now to a Tribeca restaurant like this after seeing Dinner Rush!
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A Great Film Nobody Heard Of
ebuhrer-25 December 2007
Great acting, slice-of-restaurant-life, kind of like THE SOPRANOS OPEN A RESTAURANT MEETS THE FOOD CHANNEL. Excellent acting by Danny Aiella and some little-known actors and the filming must have been done in a real restaurant. It reminded me of a really great Italian restaurant in Clifton, New Jersey and another in Monterey, California. It also made me miss the Italian neighborhood I grew up in in Jersey. And you will definitely NOT guess the ending, I promise you. It will also give you a different and new perspective on people who work on Wall Street. Evidently, they're not all dorks with accounting degrees. But he really SHOULD burn that tie!
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A real feast
SamiAknine1 April 2002
Well, this movie certainly gives you an appetite. For that, and for many other reasons, it reminds me of Stanley Tucci's `Bight Night', another culinary gem put on the big screen. Not only do both movies show a great deal of food making and food eating but most importantly both do it beautifully. Both stories also happen in one night. But although `Big Night' features a failing Italian restaurant whose owners (two Italian-American brothers) are trying to revive with one special night, `Dinner Rush' transports us to an already successful and very trendy New York eatery (Italian as well, which confirms that Italian food can be a great inspiration for movie making). The food in `Dinner Rush' is more sophisticated (nouvelle cuisine, Italian style) than the traditional cuisine of `Big Night', and so is the movie itself: compared with the simplicity of the cinematography in Stanley Tucci's film, `Dinner Rush' opens with unfocused shots, saturated colors, unsteady camera work. It all looks very contrived at first and you wish for a more demure and simple atmosphere, the same way Louis Cropa (played by Danny Aiello) disapproved of his son's fussy cuisine, asking for something more nourishing, something that simply smells and tastes good. And that's exactly what you could ask from Bob Giraldi, the director of `Dinner Rush'. But once you get inside Cropa's restaurant, you're drawn to the warmth of the place, the rush of the night, the relationships among the staff and the show that some of the patrons put on (Sandra Bernhard is extremely funny as a wig-wearing food critic and the actor who plays the obnoxious art manager is hysterical). You become fond of characters such as Marti the waitress/artist (great performance by Summer Phoenix), Duncan, the sous-chef/chronic gambler, the English barman with whose cultural knowledge the customers bet and loose their money on, but most of all Louis Croppa, alias Gigi, the owner of the restaurants who's thinking of quitting both the restaurant and his bookmaking business. Danny Aiello is an amazing and under-used actor and with this performance he really hits the mark. He's cool, subtle, wise, tough and gentle. It's simply impossible no to succumb to the charm of this unpretentious film and all you want to do when you leave the cinema is fly to New York and have a true Italian dinner experience in lower Manhattan.
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A table just for you
Ed-Shullivan7 January 2014
The only negative comment I could make about this superbly crafted (and casted) movie gem would be the movie's title DINNER RUSH. If I was the producer I would have re-titled the picture "A TABLE JUST FOR YOU". Why this title name change? Because I actually felt like I was sitting in the New York Tribeca area restaurant named Gigino's. What a fantastic job by Director Bob Giraldi to make everyone feel as if they were actually having a meal at this fine Italian eatery. (Apparently Bob Giraldi actually owns the restaurant where the film was shot.) So what makes this movie rate a 9 out of 10? Heck, I would have given it a 10 but the only thing Giraldi could not pull off was to provide me with just one of the hundreds of beautiful meals prepared throughout the movie. I could almost smell and taste the authenticity of the food all the cooks were preparing in the kitchen. mmmmmmmm

As for the acting I can't say enough about this all star cast. Danny Aiello, a personal thank you for bringing the character of Louis Cropa to life. As the owner of Gigino's, Louis Cropa loses his business partner early in the movie as a result of a cold blooded murder. Thus setting the stage for the criminal element to demand a table at Gigino's with the intent to extort a big piece of the ownership away from Louis Cropa the sole survivor owner.

Also wonderfully cast as Louis's son and his head chef Udo, is Edoardo Ballerini. Controversy and tension between father and son plays out due to the head chef's menu choices. Udo prefers to wow his dinner guests with flare and presentation whereas Udo's father Louis recognizes the traditional fare of tomato sauce and meatballs which made his restaurant a mainstay in the Tribeca area. Also coming between Udo and his father Louis, is the Sous Chef named Duncan, who is a habitual gambler, played to perfection by Kirk Acevedo. His performance stands out because of the challenges he faces between mentoring some of the new chefs, preparing the fabulous meals he is known for, his relationship with the hostess who he loves, and the demons that keep him gambling well above his means to pay his debt to the gangsters who are sitting upstairs waiting to devour more than just their freebie nine course dinner.

There are so many great characters in this film, too many to mention. The ending of the film is one of the best I have seen. I would hate it if someone spoiled it for me so suffice to say the ending "is a dessert best served cold."

This movie rates a 9 out of 10, but if Giraldi brings me a meal, I will give it a 10. Bon appetite! Enjoy!
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If you liked 'The Pope of Greenwich Village' go for this one
johnnie01684 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Wait a minute... Isn't that the Wall Street guy who I just decided was a fuzzy little teddy bear just a few scenes ago? This is a brilliant and very well executed (pun) piece of writing. I came across it accidentally on the late night movie channels and decided even before it was over that it was one of the best movies I never heard of. I love those kinds of surprises. The character development is strong and authentic. You will love the good ones, hate the bad ones and roll your eyes at the obnoxious ones. I care far less about the subject matter of a film than whether it puts me there. I WAS there and enjoyed every minute of it. But most enjoyable of all, if I'm not revealing too much about my vindictive nature, was the retribution. After a well crafted buildup of hatred for this slimy bag of garbage and his brother in law the whole problem is taken care of in a most efficient and totally unexpected manner. And by - of all people... well you'll just have to see it.
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A Gem on all fronts, couldn't fault this film!
TheCurator2 January 2006
This film rates right up there with my all time greats, wonderfully acted and a twist ending that unlike most 'hollywood' films, one doesn't see coming! The attention to detail (my pet peeve) was perfect and Danny Aeilo is in perfect form. I would thoroughly recommend this film to anybody.

Not that it's in this film but as a 'by the way'- how on earth do directors film car scenes with the driver looking at the passenger for more than 3 seconds and leave it unedited - are they insane?? totally spoils a movie for me no matter how good the rest of it may be...

Apologies for digressing - WATCH DINNER RUSH!
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Food, sex, mystery, fun, and surprises
Tom Long15 March 2003
Did you like John Corbett in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? as Chris in Northern Exposure? He has a significant and charming supporting roll in this sleeper.

Why wasn't this movie promoted? Better than Big Night. Great portrait of a restaurant kitchen.

This movie is the most accurate portrayal of the type of Italian community where I grew up and the kind of men I knew.

Four out of five stars. See this.
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Very well done
cinematographer25 November 2001
A great movie, told from the interesting perspective of a restaurant kitchen. The acting is superb, the writing is great, and the picture is tight.

Surprisingly good.
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My Favorite Film
rmacartn26 March 2001
Last November at the 2000 Savannah Film & Video Festival I had the opportunity to see Dinner Rush. To this day when I am asked what my number one favorite film is I say Dinner Rush. I would love to see the film get distributed. But most of all I would like to have it on DVD. I think that I would enjoy watching it over, and over again. Plus all of my friends that didn't get to see it would finally get to. I can't believe a distributor has not picked this film up.
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Deserves distribution!
oldwobbly12 March 2001
I saw this film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival yesterday, and was blown away. Danny Aiello was as good as he's ever been, which is saying something. I haven't had this positive a reaction to a film in a long time. Great story, wonderful acting, delicious ending. A brilliant piece of filmmaking, with the edge and turn-over-the-rock-and-expose-the-worst-in-trendoids that we expect from Independents. Yet it isn't mean-spirited at all. Brilliant.
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Make sure you eat first or you will be starving by the end!
Malvernecinema19 February 2002
The more I watched this film, the more I enjoyed it. I thought the acting was terrific and the films timing was done at an even pace. The story itself was not so complex that you were ever lost. Simple and direct. I'm all Italian myself as well as a theatre owner who showed this film for weeks. People are still asking to see it. I'm proud to have added it to my line up of 2001. How about another Bob?
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Terrific family story, with garlic and basil
robertmarritz8 February 2002
This is one fine little movie, unexpectedly kicked into gear by a killing, then settling into a busy night at a coveted Tribeca trattoria.

It's got everything: the sensory allure of the food; constant menace; a father and his two very different sons; the striving, wannabe diners; the restaurant staff scrambling to cook and serve, sitting in judgment of the whole thing--and possibly a surprise. Mangia! Beve!
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Refreshing, touching, beautiful film in all aspects
stevekanger1 December 2001
This wonderful movie was a breath of fresh air in the midst of the formulaic, generic junk that gets put out in theaters these days. The movie is uncomplicated, dynamic, and beautifully filmed in a hip, Tribeca restaurant, where the entire film takes place. It has a Sopranos-like modern day Mafia backdrop. The film runs along seamlessly and captivates your attention artistically and emotionally the whole way. I don't want to say anymore other than the fact that this is EASILY the best movie I have seen this year and definitely one of the best I have seen over the last couple years. Just go watch it...believe me, you won't regret it.
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A Wonderful Tale of Revenge
Claudio Carvalho17 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Luigi Cropa (Danny Aiello) is a retiring bookmaker and "restauranteur" in New York, owner of a stylish restaurant, the Gigino Tratoria. He has two sons, the fashionable chief Udo Cropa (Edoardo Ballerini) and the gambler addicted sub chief Duncan Cropa (Kirk Acevedo) working in his legitimate business. His partner and old friend has just been killed by two Queen's mobster. Luigi invites the two mobsters and a New Yorker detective to have courtesy dinner in the full restaurant, having critics and famous persons among his clients, including a young man called Ken (John Corbett). The night has a surprising end. "Dinner Rush" is one of the most original low budget movies I have recently seen. The story is slowly developed practically inside a restaurant and its kitchen along one evening. The viewer feels like he (or she) is participating of a night in a famous restaurant, sharing the conversation of the clients and the work of the staff. This is the type of movie when the work of figurant is worthwhile, eating those delicious meals and deserts. The back cover of the DVD, showing John Corbett, is a kind of spoiler, because it is almost impossible to associate his participation along the plot if his picture with a gun. As mentioned in the final line, "revenge is a dish best served cold." My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Uma Receita Para a Máfia" ("A Food Procedure for the Mafia")
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A saucy visual
ZazuPitts29 November 2001
Bob Giraldi has give the world a feast of entertainment. The fast paced movement of the film and the superb acting hits the mark. The delicious performances are offered by the likes of Danny Aiello, Edoardo Ballerini, Kirk Acevedo, Mike McGlone, Vivian Wu, John Corbett, Polly Draper, Summer Phoenix, Ajay Naidu, Jamie Harris, Sandra Bernhard and Mark Margolis. Most of the story is set in Giginos a family owned, if you get my drift, trendy, New York, Italian eatery. Aiello is the owner and is ending his reign in the other family business, bookmaking. The food preparation scene of the critics meal(Bernhard)is alone worth the cost to get into the film. If you have a chance to see it on the big screen it is pure eye candy and even on the small screen you will consume it with delight. If you don't walk away from this film wanting to eat, even with the violence, you have missed out on this tasty morsel.
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A dish that should be tasted to be believed
kam-wing pang10 November 2005
This is a really good film that really captures the atmosphere of a kitchen. Maybe because my parents comes from the catering business, or maybe I just have a thing for good food.

The story mixes the emotions of the stress of running a restaurant, to a chef who is also a addicted gambler, the owner fending off the Mob and a killer waiting for his prey.

The actors are really good and gives the story a real edge to it. Stories within stories with good character building. It's pure delight watching them unfold.

I've seen this twice and it gets better after every viewing.
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