Fast Food Nation


by Tuna

Fast Food Nation is an indictment of the fast food industry, specifically focusing on hamburgers. The film begins by showing how Mexicans are smuggled into the country to work in the slaughterhouses, and demonstrates the terrible conditions there. Other parts of the film focus on the retail outlets.

Although it was made from a non-fiction book, it is not a documentary, but a fictional narrative. The film was supposed to be held together by a storyline about the marketing director for a burger chain who was sent to inspect a meat packing plant in order to find out why their hamburger meat contained cow shit. The slaughterhouse employees include two Mexican sisters. The unmarried sister screws a foreman to get an easy job. Lacking that option, the married one quits the packing plant after one night, but her husband stays. The retail side of the operation is seen through the eyes of a bright young woman cashier.

The fictional overlay is uninvolving, and the film's lessons never get beyond the obvious. It should be unsurprising to most viewers that slaughterhouses do not treat cows or illegal immigrants very well, or that fast food chains do not treat employees very well. It is only marginally surprising that cash registers send every keystroke of every order to corporate headquarters, along with demographic information on the customer who placed the order.

Some people found value in this effort, but I am not one of them, despite the fact that I agree with the message that fast food is dangerous, and that the condition exists because of corporate greed. The film does make its points, but just barely, and nothing about it would help to persuade the unconvinced or edify the uninstructed. 


Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


 ... and not one I am glad to have watched, despite agreement with its message.

DVD Book


2.5 James Berardinelli (of 4 stars)
64 Metacritic (of 100)
48 Rotten Tomatoes (of 100%)


6.3 IMDB summary (of 10)


Box Office Mojo. It grossed about a million dollars in 320 theaters.



  • Ana-Claudia Talancon showed her breasts in a sex scene in a truck cab.