Chef ★★★★

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See this. But don't see it on an empty stomach if you can avoid it.

Favreau is banging on creative cylinders we haven't really seen him use since Swingers and Made. Crisp, real-feeling characters and relationships, and honest, hilarious dialogue make this a real treat that sparkles with Favreau's unique voice.

Cameos abound, but it's the core cast - including a return-to-form for John Leguizamo - that really make the film. Robert Downey Jr. And Dustin Hoffman are especially strong standout support members, and beyond a momentary hiccup in the form of (what can only be) a Russell Peters ad-lib, it's an all-around flawless casting.

Chef doesn't follow the paradigm of stasis-folly-realization-redemption that these types of 'find your heart again' narratives typically do. And that's part of what makes this movie stand out.

It feels fresh.

And that's something you want in a movie mostly about making food.