A couple (Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult) travels to a coastal island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef (Ralph Fiennes) has prepared a lavish menu for the affluent guests, with some shocking surprises.
The Menu is an original, tense, and hilarious time at the movies with Ralph Fiennes’ best work in years. Fiennes absolutely kills it as a man who’s controlling and intimidating yet vulnerable and easily provoked. Anya Taylor-Joy is commanding as possibly the only character you may find likable, but that’s completely intentional from the end of the script. All the other actors, like Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer and John Leguizamo are all integral and sneak up on you with moments that are key to the film’s themes and attitudes. Mark Mylod’s stellar direction alludes to his time on Succession with the themes about the snobby and incredibly rich, caught in their pretentious attitudes that they shove onto everyone. Combined with the suspense and occasional bursts of violence, as well as the lavish production design and structure of the high-end kitchen that parodies itself more and more, this movie has one of the most hysterical screenplays of the year. The style feels modern yet sophisticated, irreverent yet deep, and has something for those looking for an eerie and fresh thriller or a sophisticated dark comedy-drama with something to say about the world of art, as well as artists and critics who take themselves way too damn seriously — which gives it a meta angle that boosts the fun even more, and ultimately makes this one of the year’s best moviegoing experiences.