“Eat the rich” should be declared the hottest phrase to surround pop culture in 2022. The phrase, originally meant to be a criticism of the French nobility during the French Revolution, has now become a political slogan that wants to oust the capitalistic fervor governing society. It is also intricately linked with class, caste, and gender conflicts. The first “Eat the rich” movie that became a global eye-awakening affair was the South Korean film, Parasite (2019), directed by Bong Joon-Ho. 2022, especially, saw this phrase peppered into the criticism of three of its most popular movies, one of them being The Menu (2022), directed by Mark Mylod.

This film follows the story of a bunch of rich people who avail of a luxury fine dining experience at a restaurant called Hawthorn, run by the celebrity chef Julian Slowik (played by Ralph Fiennes). The party includes three business partners; a snobbish food critic and her editor; an old, rich couple; a washed-up actor and his assistant; and Tyler (played by Nicholas Hoult) with his date Margot (played by Anya Taylor-Joy). They are escorted to a private island, given its tour, and asked to take their designated places before the courses are served. As the evening proceeds and the chef progress through each course, it starts to become clear that his intention is sinister and hauntingly mocking. However, one person at this party has Chef’s sympathy – Margot, an escort, who isn’t the date that Tyler was supposed to bring to this dinner until the last moment. The film is laced with black comedy and humour that will either make your appetite shrivel in the guts or make you more thankful for the food on your plate. Whatever the case, The Menu – streaming on Disney + Hotstar now – is a fantastic addition to the new “Eat the rich” genre of films.

If you are interested in watching more films like The Menu, we have curated a list of 7 films for you. These seven films, like The Menu (2022), interchangeably advocate the “Eat the Rich” sentiment or focus on the survival of a sole protagonist or give you an insight into the fast-paced world of a restaurant kitchen. They will either leave you with more hunger for social commentary or a burp of satisfaction. Happy Reading!

7. Get Out (2017)

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Directed by Jordan Peele, this story follows a Black Photographer, Chris Washington (played by Daniel Kaluuya), who is invited for a weekend to meet the family of Rosie Armitage, his white girlfriend (played by Allison Williams), in Upstate New York for an annual get together. An interracial couple, Rose has repeatedly assured Chris that her family is not racist. However, after the initial formalities, Chris quickly realizes that Rose’s family is making several problematic comments about Black people. More and more guests pour in, and Chris becomes increasingly suspicious of the behavior of the Armitages, urging Rose to get out before it is too late. Does Chris see himself out of this invitation safely? Peele’s suspense thriller is smart and spine-chilling in equal portions.

Get Out comments on the horrors of casual racism in America. Like The Menu (2022), it brings out the corrupt core of modern society – capitalism and a blind disregard for class and racial consciousness. Its choice of tool is not a blatant commentary but a wicked sense of humor in the way it slowly unfurls the behavior of the Armitages, almost reminding you of Chef Slowik from The Menu (2022) and the way he presents each of the courses. Both films have a protagonist – Margot in The Menu and Chris in Get Out – trying to survive the doom that will befall them if they continue to play along.

7 Movies to Watch If You Like The Menu (2022): Get Out [2017]: Stay Woke OR Sink To The Floor

6. The Platform (2019)

Directed by El Hoyo, this Spanish science fiction depicts the life of residents living in the “Pit,” a.k.a the “Vertical Self-Management Center,” which has several hundred floors that house people and a central platform that shifts at fixed intervals to allow food to pass down from the first to the last level. Think of it like a Camu-Esque ecosystem! Goreng (played by Iván Massagué Horta) opted to be in the Pit to help quit smoking and start reading a book, Don Quixote, but he is soon fraught with the nightmare of the constantly changing floors and conditions for survival in this center. Will Goreng make it out of this delirious nightmare? This film is a tricky sick watch that will haunt you long after its end credits have rolled.

Like The Menu (2022), it comments on the tendencies of the rich to hoard resources for themselves and chastises them throughout its runtime. Also, food (an allegory for mortal needs and desires) forms the central driving force in this film. The class commentary that both these films opt for isn’t subtle, and they provide equally gnarly pleasure in the tense portrait of human despair in which human beings constantly sway from eating to being the food.

5. Triangle of Sadness (2022)

7 Films to Watch If You Liked The Menu (2022) Triangle of Sadness (2022)

Written and directed by Ruben Östlund, the story follows a bunch of rich people vacationing aboard a luxurious yacht. The guests include Carl (played by Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (played by lt. Charlbi Dean), two social media babies; Dimitry and his wife; the rich, elderly weapon manufacturers, Clementine and Winston; and Jarmo and a physically disabled Therese. While these super-rich people lord over the yacht’s crew, they must bow down to the natural and man-made difficulties that are about to come along their way during this journey. It promises to test their flimsy moralities and derive a satisfying black comedy out of the same. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

Like The Menu (2022), this film surrenders to basking in the cliche and stupidity of the rich. Both films initially isolate a bunch of wealthy people on a yacht or an island and then seek to compare and contrast them against working-class people and their struggles, like the unappetizing excess that the rich seek on this yacht against the calm servitude of the yacht’s crew. They will make you squirm in your seats and budge you till you pick a side, testing where your allegiance lies. While The Menu centers on a culinary experience, Triangle of Sadness portray food as one of the many objects of excess on this yacht that the rich exploit for their fancy at the cost of their physical well-being.

7 Movies to Watch If You Like The Menu (2022): Triangle Of Sadness (2022) Movie Ending, Explained; Themes, & The Corruption Of Power And Savagery Of Human Nature Analyzed

4. Boiling Point (2021)

7 Films to Watch If You Liked The Menu (2022)Boiling Point (2021)

Written and directed by Philip Barantini, this film takes us into the life and lives that run the restaurant kitchen of Jones & Sons. Andy Jones (played by Stephen Graham), Head Chef, is disappointed at the current 3-star Health and Safety rating. In contrast, Beth (played by Alice Feetham), the front of the house, informs the staff that they are overbooked for the evening, including a food critic’s presence and a planned wedding proposal. As the evening progresses, chaos in the kitchen and the dining room ensues, including a guest suffering from an allergic reaction. How will Andy hold it together till the end of service that night? Barantini’s one-shot 92 minutes-long film is an anxiety-inducing window into the hospitality industry.

The stress of working in a kitchen is held up perfectly in Boiling Point, a film like The Menu (2022) that doesn’t shy away from showing us the people who toil to serve us exquisite dishes at a restaurant. It is a film about human labor, the kind that we only see glimpses of in The Menu (2022). Jones isn’t a wicked mastermind in this film, unlike Chef Slowik. Still, they both bring their personal and professional together at work, making the food they serve a political language of their survival. Both Chef Jones and Chef Slowik’s choice of language for communication faintly resemble the American celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey.

3. Fresh (2022)

Fresh, movies like the menu

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Directed by Mimi Cave, the film follows Noa (played by Daisy Edgar-Jones), who finds her perfect match in a guy named Steve (played by Sebastian Stan), whom she meets at a grocery store. They share a dance, eat a take-out dinner, and, before long, decide on a weekend getaway. Before that, they must rest a night at Steve’s house. Noa is charmed by him and his place until she discovers – a drink and a spell of unconsciousness later – that Steve is a butcher who trades fresh human meat for his high-end clients. Will Noa fall prey to Steve’s cruel intentions? This survival thriller is gory but fun to watch!

This cannibalistic treat of a film is like The Menu (2022) in how food becomes a central character in the plot. Food is the sole theatrical tool used by the respective directors to comment on the themes of hunger, desire, and power in an age skewed by capitalism. The wicked humor of Chef Slowik, serving a main course without bread, is quite similar to the enthusiasm that Steve wears when cooking dinner with human meat. Both films have a female protagonist who must survive the madness by hook or by crook, with the exception that Steve is the villain who serves the human-meat-eating clientele while Chef Slowik is trying to avenge a privileged clientele and haunt them to their graves.

7 Movies to Watch If You Like The Menu (2022): Bones and All (2022) Movie Explained: Ending & Themes Analyzed

2. Ready or Not (2019)

Ready or Not, movies like the menu

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillnett and one of my personal favorites, the story follows Grace (played by Samara Weaving), who is newlywed to Alex le Domas (played by Adam Brody). According to the tradition of the Le Domases, she must play a game at midnight on her wedding day. Tony, Adam’s father, explains to her that this ritual was first started by their ancestor, Victor le Domas, in a pact with someone called “le Bail.” The card Grace draws from a puzzle box at the start of this game hints that they must play Hide-and-Seek, a deadly game requiring the family to hunt down the newlywed wife and sacrifice her to the devil by dawn or perish. Does Grace survive the night? This racy thriller-horror is a comedy of errors that is simply perfect for someone who has freshly watched The Menu (2022).

Like The Menu (2022), this movie sympathizes and sides with the female protagonist, the innocent one in a group of punishment-worthy corrupts. It is also one of the first “Eat the rich” movies that came out before the pandemic. The films keep you on your toes, always guessing at what is about to unfold next, and serve some stylish but macabre deaths. The final scenes of both these films are also quite similar (I can’t tell you more than this)!

1. The Feast (2021)

The Feast, movies like the menu

Directed by Gwledd, this Welsh horror movie could serve as a Double Bill to The Menu (2022). This is the story of a wealthy family of the politician Gwyn (played by Julian Lewis Jones), which is preparing to host a feast for the farmer Mair (played by Lisa Palfrey) and the businessman Euros (played by Rhodri Meilir). To help them with the preparation, they hire a young girl, Cadi (played by Annes Elwy), from the neighboring village, but she seems to be getting visibly upset by the family’s rich lifestyle and tendencies. At the dinner, conversations are awkward, and there’s a sense of unease until strange things start taking place before the feast has begun. Gwledd’s film is uneasy to sit through, especially the last 20 minutes, because of the haunting folkloric nightmare it pulls you into headlong.

Apart from the fact that both films share a pivotal connection with food and the idea of eating, like The Menu (2022), this movie too captures the ethos of capitalism and critiques it in the context of Welsh society. Both films are smart in their understanding and commentary on the privileges of the rich. Cadi’s eye for observation is also very much like Margot from the Menu (2022), their silence is the strength that they gather in the course of the narrative. Both The Menu and The Feast will make you want to decline all dinner party invitations and eat a hearty meal sitting at your dining table.

The Menu Links: IMDb, Wikipedia

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