The Founder Blu-ray Review


The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers’ innovative fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2016
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 115 minutes
Genre: Drama/Biopic

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/Spanish DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Laura Dern, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, B.J. Novak
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Music by: Carter Burwell
Written by: Robert Siegel
Region Code: A

Release Date: April 18, 2017

“Based on the True Story of a Fast Food Empire”

My Take:

The Founder features the true story of how Ray Kroc (Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. The film details how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.

I think it would be safe to say that everyone reading this has eaten at McDonald’s. The fast food chain has become a part of our popular culture and continues to feed people across the world. I knew a bit about Ray Kroc and his prowess as a business, but I wasn’t intimately familiar with the circumstances associated with his takeover of McDonalds. The Founder is an interesting and compelling drama/biopic that depicts the behind the scenes dealings, double dealings, and wink and nod antics Ray employed after his happenstance meeting with Mac and Dick McDonald, the brain trust behind the “speedy method” and foundational elements of fast food preparation that are largely still in use today.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Founder, finding it to be well written, directed, and featuring excellent performances by Michael Keaton, John Carroll Lynch, and Nick Offerman.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for brief strong language.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

The Founder comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.

This is pleasing video presentation that boasts plenty of refinement, stable contrast, vivid colors, and strong dimension. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are film like, and perfectly suited for the source material.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and discernible channel separation which enable the detection of subtle nuance within the recording. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren’t noteworthy but the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the bass associated with the soundtrack.

Bonus Features:

  • Behind the Story – 4 minute featurette
  • Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc – 3 minute featurette
  • The McDonald Brothers – 4 minute featurette
  • The Production Design – 7 minute featurette
  • Building McDonald’s: Time Lapse Video – 1 minutes
  • Q&A with the Filmmakers/Cast – 37 minutes
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on the true story of Ray Kroc, and the rise of McDonald’s from a single, successful, Southern California concern, into a fast food empire, The Founder is an interesting, entertaining and well-executed drama/biopic. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition audio/video and a complimentary assortment of bonus material. The Founder is recommended viewing, and deserves a place at the top of your Blu-ray rental queue.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package