The Kitchen, starring Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss is an interesting departure from the usual 70s gangster movies that we've come to know and love.
Set in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York city in 1978, the movie follows three wives in an Irish mafia family who take up the family business when their husbands are sent to prison for three years.
Melissa McCarthy plays Kathy Brennan, a bonafide member of the O'Carroll crime family and is married to Jimmy Brennan. Ruby O'Carroll (Tiffany Haddish) is married to her brother Kevin and Claire Walsh (Elisabeth Moss) is married to the abusive Rob.
When Jimmy, Kevin and Rob are sent down for three years, the family business is taken over by Jack ‘Little Jackie' Quinn but when he doesn't provide enough for the wives to live on they decide to take matters into their own hands.
Going door to door in Hell's Kitchen, the friends take over their husbands protection racket in the district, promising to rebuild the neighborhood and protect the small businesses that operate in it.
But when things don't run smoothly the three women have to up their game to retain control, make alliances with the neighboring Italian mob, and outwit their enemies.
Helping them is Gabriel O'Malley (Domhnall Gleeson), who used to work for the Irish mob as a hitman before skipping town to avoid the police. In love with Claire, he returns to help the wives take over.
Is The Kitchen Worth Watching?
Written and directed by Andrea Berloff in her directorial debut, The Kitchen is based on the DC Vertigo comic book series created by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle.
It is well cast and while the plot of the crime drama is straightforward, it does have three talented leads struggling to make the best of a very flat script.
We know who they are, we know what they want to do but somehow the script and story are just bland and monotone. There are no real highs or lows in the movie, it just plods along.
Everybody is just sort of civil and it ends up being a jumbled crime thriller devoid of any real emotion. Goodfellas this ain't!
It was panned by the critics, made a loss at the box office and while it's a perfectly ok movie to pass the time if you don't know what else to watch on Netflix, it's not going to leave much of a mark.
Is The Kitchen A True Story?
No, The Kitchen is not a true story. Hell's Kitchen is a real place but the film is based on the DC Vertigo comic book miniseries that was created by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle.
It was directed by Andrea Berloff and produced by New Line Cinema, Bron Creative, and Michael De Luca Productions.
It was released in August 2019, by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Where To Watch The Kitchen
The Kitchen was released in 2019 and was made available to watch on Netflix UK in March 2022.
If the movie isn't available on Netflix in your country, it is also available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
If you do not have an Amazon subscription, you can also rent or buy the film.
Cast Of The Kitchen Movie
If you're going to create a film about three mob wives then you have to cast them perfectly.
And while there is no doubting the acting chops of the female leads cast in The Kitchen, overall there was only so much they could do with the material they were given.
That said, as cliched as the characters are, they are played by a talented cast. And if you want to watch more Melissa McCarthy movies, check out our reviews here.
Melissa McCarthy as Kathy, Jimmy's wife and reluctant to enter the criminal world
Tiffany Haddish as Ruby, Kevin's wife and an outsider in the Irish community
Elisabeth Moss (Handmaid's Tale) as Claire, Rob's wife, a timid woman who enjoys the violence of her new life
Domhnall Gleeson as Gabriel O'Malley, a hitman who helps the three wives
James Badge Dale as Kevin O'Carroll, Ruby's husband and Helen’s son
Brian d'Arcy James as Jimmy, Kathy's husband
Margo Martindale as Helen O'Carroll, Kevin's mother who runs the Irish mob behind the scenes
Common as Gary Silvers, an FBI agent
Bill Camp as Alfonso Coretti, boss of a Brooklyn Italian crime family
Jeremy Bobb as Rob Walsh, Claire's abusive, controlling husband
E.J. Bonilla as Gonzalo Martinez, Gary's FBI partner
Wayne Duvall as Larry, Kathy's father
Annabella Sciorra as Maria Coretti, Alfonso's wife
Myk Watford as Jack ‘Little Jackie' Quinn, an Irish mobster who takes over the family
Soundtrack For The Movie, The Kitchen
If you're going to create a movie set in the 1970s then you absolutely have to have an incredible soundtrack to go with it.
The Kitchen may have failed on one or two levels but they definitely got the music right!
Paint it Black – The Rolling Stones
Hard Times – Baby Huey & The Baby Sitters
Liquid Love (feat. Sylvia Cox) – Roy Ayers
Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Let Love Live (A Little Bit Longer) – The Velvelettes
It's a Man's Man's Man's World – Etta James
St. Louis Blues – Jerry Gray
Rock Candy – Montrose
You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be In My Show) – Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
Darlin' – Twin Engine
Barracuda – Heart
Cissy Strut – The Meters
Midnight – Medicine Head
What a Shame – Foghat
It's In Your Blood – Linda Hopkins
Slave of Fear – Stone Axe
Carry On Wayward Son – Kansas
Just Me and You – The Dreamliners
Aquella Mujer – Bobby Valentín
The Chain – The Highwomen
Song of India – Tommy Dorsey
Let The Music Take You Down – The Rugbys
Gold Dust Woman – Fleetwood Mac
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right – Melanie