Burnt (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Wells
Screenplay bySteven Knight
Story byMichael Kalesniko
Produced by
CinematographyAdriano Goldman
Edited byNick Moore
Music byRob Simonsen
Distributed byThe Weinstein Company
Release dates
  • October 22, 2015 (2015-10-22) (New York City premiere)
  • October 30, 2015 (2015-10-30) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$36.6 million[3]

Burnt is a 2015 American drama film directed by John Wells and written by Steven Knight, from a story by Michael Kalesniko.[4] The film stars an ensemble cast including Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Brühl, Matthew Rhys, Riccardo Scamarcio, Alicia Vikander, Uma Thurman and Emma Thompson. The film was released on October 30, 2015, by The Weinstein Company. The film was not well received by critics and grossed $36.6 million.


Adam Jones was the chef at a high-class Parisian restaurant owned by his mentor Jean-Luc, until his drug use and temperamental behavior destroyed his career and the restaurant. In the aftermath, Adam went into self-imposed exile in New Orleans by shucking a million oysters to sober up, planning to head to London to restart his career and attempt to earn a third Michelin star.

In London, Adam searches for old colleagues, beginning with his mentor's former maître d'hôtel, Tony Balerdi, now a hotel manager of The Langham Hotel in London, under the ownership of the Balerdi family. Adam checks into one of The Langham's rooms then visits an old friend, Conti, and notes the talent of his sous-chef Helene, but she dislikes his arrogance and dismisses him immediately. A Paris colleague, Michel, whose restaurant Adam had sabotaged out of jealousy, tracks him down. After a brief fistfight, they talk and Michel forgives Adam then asks to work for him. Adam also visits a cutting-edge eatery run by Reece, with whom he has a long-standing rivalry, and the visit ends poorly. Adam's former drug dealer realizes he has returned to Europe and attempts to collect Adam's outstanding debt.

Adam convinces famed restaurant critic Simone to dine at Tony's hotel. Tony realizes that Adam set this up and is reluctant to let him cook, but his kitchen is in such poor condition it would result in Simone shutting his restaurant down. Seeing no other way, he allows Adam to cook. Simone's favorable review convinces Tony to renovate the hotel's kitchen and hire Adam as head chef permanently. He stipulates that Adam must submit to weekly drug tests with Tony's psychiatrist Dr. Rosshilde. Adam agrees to the tests, although he is uninterested in therapy and throws himself into preparations for the grand opening. Another old friend, Max, joins Adam's team after being released from prison. Helene rebuffs further job offers until Conti fires her and sends her to Adam's kitchen. Helene is irate about being fired, but Adam convinces her to work for him by tripling her salary.

Opening night is a disaster, and Adam furiously closes early, blaming Helene. He publicly humiliates her, escalating from verbal to physical aggression, and she quits. Tony convinces Helene to return with a doubled salary and some insight about Adam's behavior. Adam goes on a talk show that he previously turned down to drum up publicity for the restaurant. At his second opening, a restaurant critic gives a positive review, enraging Reece. Adam improves his attitude, but refuses Helene's request for time off for her daughter Lily's birthday. Later, he notices his kitchen acting in a strange manner. Helene reveals that her daughter is at the restaurant under Tony's supervision, since she did not want to spend her birthday at home. Adam is upset, but relents and bakes Lily a birthday cake, which impresses Helene.

With the restaurant's reputation established, Adam sets his sights on three Michelin stars, still avoiding his drug dealer, even after Tony offers to pay off his debt. Adam takes Helene to the reopening of Reece's restaurant. Adam and Reece are civil, but the night derails when Adam spots his ex-girlfriend Anne Marie, the daughter of Jean-Luc. Adam finds Anne Marie surprisingly forgiving after he abandoned her in Paris and missed her father's funeral. The encounter leaves Adam shaken and introspective about his failure in Paris. Early the next morning, Helene finds him at the fish market where they kiss in the alley behind The Langham on the way back to the restaurant. They are interrupted by the drug dealer's thugs, who take Adam away. He returns that night during dinner service beaten and bruised.

Kaitlin, the front of house host, advises Tony that two Michelin reviewers have arrived, and he cooks for them rather than going to the hospital. They send their meals back as it's too spicy, and Michel reveals he sabotaged the sauce with cayenne pepper as revenge for Adam's past cruelty before walking out. On the verge of a breakdown, Adam leaves the restaurant.

He wanders the city, eventually arriving at Reece's restaurant drunk. Once inside, he begins to break down emotionally. Reece soothes him, and they part on better terms the following morning. Adam attends a group therapy session, then returns to the hotel, where he learns that Anne Marie has paid off his debt. She gives him her father's knives and tells him that she approves of Helene. Tony and Helene find Adam in his hotel room, and Tony tells him that the two men they assumed were Michelin inspectors were actually just businessmen on a trip. Adam rejoices at getting a second chance and kisses Tony out of gratitude.

Adam admits his insecurities to Helene, and she comforts him by telling him that he needs to trust his crew. She tends to his wounds and they kiss, their relationship rekindled.

Adam returns to the kitchen to prepare for the Michelin inspectors' meals; when Tony asks him what they will do, Adam says that the whole kitchen will do it together as a team. As a result of increased teamwork in the kitchen and Adam's new attitude, the restaurant receives its third star. Adam later enjoys a family meal with the rest of the crew, which he had refused to do earlier.


  • Bradley Cooper as Adam Jones, a disgraced, two star Michelin chef who sets his sights on redeeming himself and earning his third Michelin star
  • Sienna Miller as Helene Sweeney, a chef recruited by Jones to work at his restaurant
  • Omar Sy as Michel, Jones' sous chef with a grudge against him
  • Daniel Brühl as Tony Balerdi, owner of a two star Michelin restaurant and maitre'd, who has great affection for Jones
  • Riccardo Scamarcio as Max, Jones' grillardin
  • Sam Keeley as David, a young chef Jones' recruits for his restaurant
  • Alicia Vikander as Anne Marie, Jones' former girlfriend
  • Matthew Rhys as Montgomery Reece, a three star Michelin chef and Jones' rival
  • Uma Thurman as Simone, a popular food critic and friend of Jones
  • Emma Thompson as Dr. Rosshilde, Jones' therapist
  • Lily James as Sara, David's girlfriend
  • Sarah Greene as Kaitlin, fine dining server of Balerdi's restaurant
  • Henry Goodman as Conti
  • Stephen Campbell Moore as Jack
  • Lexie Benbow-Hart as Lily Sweeney, Helene's daughter
  • Charlotte Hawkins as TV Presenter

Jamie Dornan played the part of Leon Sweeney but his scenes were deleted.[5]



In 2013, John Wells was set to direct a cooking comedy film, then titled Chef, with Bradley Cooper signed to star as a former Paris chef, Adam Jones.[6] Sienna Miller signed as lead actress.[7]

Omar Sy, Jamie Dornan, Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl, Alicia Vikander and Lily James were also set to star in the film.[8] Dornan's appearance was later removed due to cuts and adjustments in the storyline and Lily James's role revealed to be a cameo.[5] Dornan's scenes were added to the home release.[9]

In July 2014, it was reported that the film's title had been changed from Chef to Adam Jones, to avoid confusion with Jon Favreau's film Chef. Uma Thurman joined the cast around this time.[10] According to Deadline Hollywood, as of July 28, 2014, Weinstein was calling the film Untitled John Wells project, until they could decide on a better title.[11] On August 7, 2014, Matthew Rhys was added to the cast, playing chef Jones' rival, Reece.[12] In July 2015, it was announced that the film had been retitled Burnt.[13]

The film was executive produced by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.[14]


Principal photography on the film began July 23, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, filming for two days.[15][16] Production then moved to London[10] and West London Film Studios.


On October 2, 2014, Nick Moore was hired for the film editing job.[17] During editing of the film, Jamie Dornan's scenes were cut from the finished version.[5]


The first poster, with the new title Burnt, was released on August 7, 2015.[18][19] Cooper introduced a sneak peek of the film on the Today show on August 10, 2015.[20] The Weinstein Company released the teaser trailer on August 14, 2015.[21] On September 21, 2015, the first international trailer was released.[22] On September 28, 2015, producers released the first full-length trailer for the film and on October 29, 2015, released a clip featuring Vikander and Cooper online.[23][24]


The film was scheduled to be released on October 2, 2015, but in July 2015, The Weinstein Company moved the release date to October 23, 2015.[13] The plan then was to give the film a limited release on October 23, 2015, before a wide release on October 30, 2015.[25] However, they cancelled the limited release plan and immediately released the film nationwide, on October 30, 2015.[26]


Box office[edit]

Burnt grossed $13.7 million in the United States, and $23 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $36.6 million, against a budget of $20 million.[3]

The film opened on October 30, 2015, alongside Our Brand Is Crisis and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, was projected to gross $7–9 million from 3,003 theaters in its opening weekend.[27] However, it only ended up grossing $5 million, finishing sixth at the box office, and marking the second straight underperforming opener for Cooper, following Aloha ($9.7 million opening against its $37 million budget).[28] In it second weekend the film made $2.9 million, finishing seventh.[29]

Critical response[edit]

Burnt received negative reviews from critics, who praised Cooper's performance but derided the script and storytelling. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 28%, based on 159 reviews, with an average rating of 4.90/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Burnt offers a few spoonfuls of compelling culinary drama, but they're lost in a watery goulash dominated by an unsavory main character and overdone clichés."[30] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 42 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[31] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale.[27]

Justin Chang of Variety praised Cooper's performance but was critical of the script: "Steven Knight’s script pours on the acid but holds the depth, forcing its fine actors (including Sienna Miller and Daniel Bruhl) to function less as an ensemble than as a motley sort of intervention group."[32]


  1. ^ "BURNT (15)". British Board of Film Classification. October 27, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  2. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (October 28, 2015). "Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper face 'The Martian' as Halloween spooks box office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Burnt (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  4. ^ Chang, Justin (October 21, 2015). "Film Review: 'Burnt'". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Jamie Dornan's part in 'Burnt' has been cut". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "John Wells Deal To Direct Bradley Cooper In 'Chef'". Deadline Hollywood.
  7. ^ "Sienna Miller Boards John Wells' 'Chef' with Bradley Cooper". MovieWeb.
  8. ^ "Jamie Dornan's First Movie After 'Fifty Shades of Grey' – Bradley Cooper's 'Adam Jones'". TheWrap.
  9. ^ Heimbrod, Mimi (January 5, 2016). "'Fifty Shades Darker' Star Jamie Dornan's Deleted Scene From 'Burnt' Released". Design and Trend. Archived from the original on February 10, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Bradley Cooper's Chef Pic Whips Up New Title, Adds Uma Thurman". Deadline Hollywood. July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (July 28, 2014). "'Chef' Re-Title Sent Back To Kitchen As Harvey Weinstein Cooks Up Something Tastier". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  12. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 7, 2014). "'The Americans' Matthew Rhys Is Bradley Cooper's Nemesis In TWC French Food Pic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Lowe, Kinsey (July 29, 2015). "'Carol' Gets A Head Start On Awards Season, 'Adam Jones' Retitled 'Burnt'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  14. ^ Hatic, Dana (April 26, 2016). "Gordon Ramsay Has Launched His Own Production Company". Eater. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  15. ^ Christine (July 24, 2014). "'Adam Jones', starring Bradley Cooper, filming in New Orleans this week before moving to Ealing Studios in London". onlocationvacations.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  16. ^ Kay, Jeremy (July 24, 2014). "Shoot begins on Adam Jones". Screen Daily. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  17. ^ Caranicas, Peter (October 2, 2014). "Below the Line Bookings". Variety. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  18. ^ "Check out our official movie poster over on @IMDb!". Burnt Movie. Twitter. August 7, 2015.
  19. ^ Evry, Max (August 10, 2015). "Burnt Poster: Bradley Cooper is a Chef on the Edg". ComingSoon.net.
  20. ^ "First look at Bradley Cooper's next film 'Burnt'". Today. August 10, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  21. ^ Official Teaser Trailer. August 14, 2015 – via YouTube.
  22. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (September 28, 2015). "Bradley Cooper Cooks Up Drama In New International Trailer And Images For 'Burnt'". Indiewire.com. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  23. ^ BURNT - Official Trailer. September 28, 2015 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ Zuckerman, Esther (October 29, 2015). "Bradley Cooper And Alicia Vikander Meet Awkward In This Exclusive Burnt Clip". Refinery29.com. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  25. ^ Alessandro, Anthony D' (October 7, 2015). "Bradley Cooper Chef Dramedy 'Burnt' Changes Up Its Serving Plans Slightly". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  26. ^ Sharf, Zack (October 30, 2015). "Bradley Cooper-Starring Chef Drama 'Burnt' Pulled From Limited Release". Indiewire.com. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  27. ^ a b "Bradley Cooper, 'The Martian' To Scare Away Sandra Bullock And 'Scouts' At Halloween B.O. – Preview". Deadline Hollywood. October 27, 2015.
  28. ^ "Star-Driven Casualties 'Our Brand Is Crisis' And 'Burnt' At The B.O.: What The Hell Happened?". Deadline Hollywood. October 31, 2015.
  29. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 9, 2015). "'Spectre' $70.4M Opening: Still 2nd Highest 007 Debut Behind 'Skyfall', But Not That Far From 'Quantum Of Solace' – Monday AM". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 15, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  30. ^ "Burnt (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  31. ^ "Burnt". Metacritic. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  32. ^ Chang, Justin (October 21, 2015). "Film Review: 'Burnt'". Variety.

External links[edit]