The Kitchen Blu-ray Review

Can you stand the heat in The Kitchen? I’m pretty sure you can.  Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss take the screen for all (well, at least some) of what it’s got in this crime drama from Andrea Berloff (writer of Straight Outta Compton).  I was excited to see this one despite the box office demise and the negative reviews.  Something had to come out of this mostly serious drama for its two comedy superstars, right? Read my weigh in below and click the link at the end if you want to grab yourself a copy of The Kitchen. As Amazon Associates, we at Whysoblu take a small amount of your purchase price on Amazon to keep this fantastic site humming along for you fans of physical media!



The Kitchen is the film directing debut of screenwriter Andrea Berloff.  She is best known as the writer of Straight Outta Compton, a movie I personally love.  Here, she teams Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss as three mob wives who take over the family business when their husbands go off to prison.  The setup is based off a DC/Vertigo comic of the same name and had the potential to be a very interesting film overall.

Hell’s Kitchen (the film’s “Kitchen” namesake) is the home of Kathy (McCarthy), Ruby (Haddish) and Claire (Moss) and their husbands.  It’s 1978 and their husbands work to keep the neighborhood “protected”, taking a cut of the small business’s in the area’s earnings monthly.  In truth, a lot of what the wife’s husbands do is pocket money and do nothing.  They’re dirtbags in short.  When they’re sent up the river after being caught during a robbery, the three wives learn that their support comes up short too.

Fueled by their frustrations, headstrong Kathy and Ruby go to the head of the operation, Little Jackie, and ask him for some more financial help.  He rudely dismisses them, and in turn, Kathy and Ruby go to one of the local businesses and offer protection of their own.  They get lucky and get a monthly payment from them.  They employ two muscle men who will help them protect the businesses they take away from the mob protection and begin a journey into the business of the underworld.  They offer true protection and begin to gain trust in the neighborhood.  This is the overall cool part of the film.

Prior to this, the backstory of all three women is to keep quiet, keep a nice home, and do as their husbands say.  To have the husbands go to jail gives them a sense of freedom.  This is especially true of Claire, as her husband is an abusive man on top of already being a notch above rat fleas.  She strikes up a relationship with Gabriel O’Malley (Domnhall Gleeson) who is also a mob assassin.

Ruby takes to the new business like a duck to water.  She feels her freedom but is also trying to prove herself worthy to her ruthless, manly mother in law (Margo Martindale) who hates her for being black, among other things.  She is one part of the movie that I felt compelled by, as I wanted her to get what was coming to her throughout the length of the film.

The parts of the film that I’ve mentioned only add up to a few interesting points.  Overall, The Kitchen is a divisive, slow paced, been there/done that type of crime drama.  There is nothing new to savor here.  The three leads are all capable and fantastic overall, but they’re not given that much to work with.  Even the twists towards the end are unoriginal.  This one was frustrating for me to watch in the end.  I truly enjoy the three lead actresses, but they could’ve been in something much better.  The male characters are all one dimensional and stiff, not to mention cliched and the moments of tension between the ladies as they work together are also kind of tired.  I wanted so much to enjoy this one… but I just didn’t.



  • Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: This is a sharp, striking image. The tone of the film has a warm 70’s vibe to it (which is appropriate given the time it’s set in…) and the image looks beautiful and detailed overall.
  • Depth: This film was obviously captured digitally and at a rate higher than 2K, as depth here is nice and rich. You won’t be having Melissa McCarthy jumping through the screen, but you’ll appreciate all the immersion nonetheless.
  • Black Levels: Perfect black levels here
  • Color Reproduction: The colors here are fantastic. Nice and warm overall, a nice color palette for 70’s New York.  Wardrobe is a major color showcase as are many interiors throughout the film
  • Flesh Tones: The lead actresses all look beautiful here, with flesh tones looking natural with every actor on the screen.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Clean



  • Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Dynamics: Even though this is only a 5.1 mix, this is a truly dynamic one. Music is a great source of the great sound here. The source cues and the score are lovingly reproduced. Dialogue and sound effects also receive that same love, and there aren’t any complaints from me with the dynamics.
  • Low Frequency Extension: Gunfire and drumbeats lead the way for the low end. You would be hard pressed to find complaint with the bass reproduction here.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Interior scenes give great use to the din of the given space. City scenes are no slouch either. Small chatter, music, and city atmosphere all show up in the surrounds frequently.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is prioritized beautifully.



The Kitchen comes to Blu-ray with a slipcover and digital code. No DVD is included.  There are a few standard fare features:


  • Running Hell’s Kitchen (HD, 9:01) – The main cast, director, and the writers of the source comic come together to explain the comics, how the movie came together, and other mob films. This is an OK feature, but not too deep.


  • Taking Over The Neighborhood (HD, 5:22) – A good chunk of the folks from the previous feature return to discuss Hell’s Kitchen overall and how they worked to recreate the 70’s in 2019. The most interesting bit is about wardrobe.


  • Deleted Scene (HD, 1:25) – A short scene with Tiffany Haddish and her on-screen husband. Nothing lost on us with this being removed.



The Kitchen had an opportunity to present something fresh to the mob movie subgenre. Strong acting can’t invigorate the blandness here. Technically speaking, this film looks and sounds wonderful, and it’s clear that Warner bailed on releasing this one to 4K Blu-ray after the failure of the film theatrically. They weren’t wrong in cancelling the idea out, but this is yet another film that visually would’ve looked wonderful for those of us who love the 4K format. As it stands this is a very nice looking, paper thin and tired film. If you like movies that look good, check this out. If you want more substance, or more bluntly, to see a movie that doesn’t suck, then skip this one.


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