Film Review: In ‘The Founder’ backstabbing at McDonald’s with fries on the side

In John Lee Hancock’s “The Founder,” about Ray Kroc and the making of McDonald’s, the ingredients for success are ruthlessly simple. When Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling traveling salesmen selling milkshake mixers, first beelines to San Bernardino, California, in 1954 to get a look at Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch) McDonald’s burger joint, he stands agog at the counter. Moments after he orders, Kroc is handed his burger and fries in a bag, but he might as well have been flame-grilled by lightning. “But I just ordered,” he stutters. Kroc quickly recognizes the revolutionary power of the McDonalds’ restaurant and becomes its franchise-driver. “The Founder” is a quintessentially post-war American story about a self-made man largely made by others. Kroc, who died in 1984, fashioned himself as the “big picture” visionary to the McDonald brothers’ enterprise. As a gathering place for families, it will be “the new American church, open seven days a week,” he says. More