Film Review: ‘The Kitchen’ is Once Upon a Time in New York City

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CHICAGO – It’s the ladies turn to harken back to the badass 1970s, more precisely 1977 in Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. In an adaptation of a DC Vertigo comic series, “The Kitchen” features Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss finding their destiny in taking over mobster duties. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

That part of the story is the most unlikely, but it makes for a nice parallel feminist fantasy alongside the women’s movement of the era (as adapted and directed by Andrea Berloff). It’s the performances that make this gritty film accessible, especially Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaiden’s Tale”) from the lead trio, who embodies and embraces every character she takes on. The supporting roles, mostly male, is highlighted by character actor fave Bill Camp, alongside Domhnall Gleason, James Badge Dale and Common (looking like the Common of now rather than trying a 1970s look). It’s the cast that makes this tale of larceny and New-York-in-the-1970s mobsters entertaining, although the R-rated gunplay and body dismemberment is not for the faint of heart.

The Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in 1977 New York City lives up to its hellhole reputation, as the Irish mafia keeps a firm grip on neighborhood graft. Three of the lower level men decide to start robbing liquor stores, and they are busted through a federal sting led by Gary Silvers (Common). They are sent to prison for three years, leaving their wives Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elisabeth Moss) to fend for themselves.

The ladies get together and figure out that they can take over their husband’s protection racket (getting payouts from businesses to prevent damage or crime), and through some guile and luck start to score big time. When they start expanding their operations, Brooklyn’s Alfonso Coretti (Bill Camp) is none too pleased, and the heat gets worse when their husbands are released early.

“The Kitchen” opens everywhere on August 9th. Featuring Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, Bill Camp, Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, Common and Margo Martindale. Screenplay adapted and directed by Andrea Berloff. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Kitchen”

Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy in ‘The Kitchen’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Kitchen”

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