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THE KITCHEN Review — Cooking Up Crime Seems All Too Easy

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The Kitchen review — All grit, no gravy.

The Kitchen reviewThe title of this film is not referring to a sparkling white modern farmhouse kitchen that would do Joanna Gaines proud. Au contraire, The Kitchen is set in the late 1970’s in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, long before it was gentrified, and when the Irish were frantically clinging to criminal control.

It follows three mob-linked housewives (Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy and Elisabeth Moss), whose husbands have each been sentenced to three years in prison. While their men are away, these ladies decide to take care of their business, giving their clients far better service, but running afoul of the misogynistic powers that remain unincarcerated.

It should come as no surprise that life isn’t very pretty in a city that is gritty. But the way these seemingly demure housewives suddenly take to a bloody life of crime is just too hard to swallow, even when you know it’s based on the Vertigo comic book series and is from DC Entertainment.

All at once these game girls are strong arming store owners, slicing dead bodies like meatloaf, and negotiating with Italian gangsters with the skill of seasoned Sicilians. When did they all learn to shoot straight? While the individual performances are superb, the plot doesn’t cook them up into anything very savory.

While you find yourself rooting for the ladies as they try to make their way in a man’s world, it’s hard to get past the fact that they’re still bloody criminals who kill, steal, lie and cheat for a living.

I was hoping for something more like last year’s stylish Widows, but at the hands of first time director Andrea Berloff (who was a writer on films including Straight Outta Compton, World Trade Center and Blood Father), it felt like sandpaper: all grit on the surface, with nothing underneath.

If, after reading The Kitchen review you feel like running out and grabbing a bite of it, get times and tickets on Fandango.com.

Rated R

1 Hour 43 Minutes

The Kitchen review — All grit, no gravy.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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