The Founder is a fast-food confidential on McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc.
Following the lead of the acclaimed The Social Network, which dressed down Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, The Founder gives the same treatment to controversial business magnate Ray Kroc, who wheeled and dealed the McDonald brothers out of their burger joint to create a worldwide fast-food juggernaut.
Beginning as a lowly milk shake machine salesman, Ray Kroc (a deliciously devious Michael Keaton) is modestly successful but wants more. And he finds it with the McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch), who operate a simple but efficient walk-up diner in San Bernardino. Seeing potential in their system, Kroc convinces them to franchise, with him leading the development. The brothers insist on quality over cost-efficiency however, and it doesn’t take long for tensions and debts to mount. But Kroc finds a silver bullet for his financial troubles and pesky business partners – real estate. With biopics of deeply flawed captains of industry going back at least to Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, The Founder is in illustrious company; but Kroc is no Charles Foster Kane, and as classy as one of his cheeseburgers.