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5 best eat-the-rich movies, ranked

A man films a woman eating pasta in Triangle of Sadness.

Cinema has always been a tool for social and political critique, with some of the greatest movies ever made serving as thought-provoking reflections and condemnations of the worst parts of society. In recent years, a subgenre that many are dubbing “eat-the-rich” films has used sharp wit and clever satire to bring attention to the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots. Beyond being extremely entertaining and often award-winning, these films boldly probe the structures of power and privilege that exist today.

From the darkly comedic The Menu to the internationally renowned Parasite, these movies about the cathartic dismantling of inequalities were created to provoke discussion and debate. With economic divides more visible than ever, these films are an excellent reminder of the power of filmmaking to represent and inspire, one riveting plot twist at a time.

5. Ready or Not (2019)

Samara Weaving in Ready or Not.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Samara Weaving stars as the young bride Grace in Ready or Not, a darkly comedic horror-thriller that pokes fun at the customs and traditions of wealthy families. Grace is excited to marry into the eccentric Le Domas family and is more than willing to take part in their family tradition on her wedding night. What starts out as a seemingly innocent game of hide and seek quickly turns bloody as the family members try to hunt and kill her before dawn to appease an ancient curse.

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the 2019 film oscillates between jarring brutality and absurd humor while managing to mock the elite in the process. Its supernatural plot twist highlights how far the rich will go to protect their assets. Weaving’s fantastic performance as the badass final girl allows the audience to see the unfolding horrors through her eyes, which makes the eventual thrilling and bloody showdown that much more satisfying.

4. Triangle of Sadness (2022)

Charlbi Dean and Harris Dickinson in Triangle of Sadness (2022)
SF Studios

Triangle of Sadness is a satirical black comedy that takes place on a luxury cruise headed for disaster. Among the ultra-rich are two fashion models in a complicated relationship, Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean in her final film role). Under the command of the unnamed Marxist Captain (Woody Harrelson), the superyacht endures a storm before succumbing to pirates. All passengers are forced to flee to a nearby island, where the social roles are reversed, with the ship’s cleaning lady, Abigail (Dolly de Leon), becoming the de facto leader.

Serving as director Ruben Östlund’s English-language feature debut, the 2022 film received wide acclaim and ended up winning the Palme d’Or at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. Triangle of Sadness is a humorous reflection of the fragility of status, with the significant power shift on the island ripping away the privilege that the cruise’s guests are so used to.

Jamie Bell, Chris Evans, and other cast members standing in Snowpiercer (2013)
CJ Entertainment

Before Parasite turned director Bong Joon-ho into a household name, he was already making thought-provoking social thrillers like Snowpiercer. Based on Jacques Lob’s climate fiction graphic novel Le Transperceneige, the 2013 adaptation is set on the titular massive train that perpetually travels around the postapocalyptic frozen world where a failed climate-change experiment has killed all life except for the passengers on board. The train is rigidly divided by class, with the elite in luxurious front cars and the impoverished masses confined to the squalid tail section. One of the tail’s passengers, Curtis (Chris Evans), stages a rebellion to reach the front and overthrow the oppressive system.

Snowpiercer depicts what is essentially a microcosm of a society plagued by inequality, taking it to extreme levels and showcasing literal class warfare. Chris Evans breaks free of his typical action-hero archetype, and is impeccably cast as Curtis in one of the best sci-fi movies of the 2010s. His storyline transforms him from a bold and idealistic leader to a jaded and horrified fighter, especially when he learns the truth in the train’s engine room.

2. The Menu (2022)

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Menu.
Searchlight Pictures

Director Mark Mylod takes a massive satirical bite out of the culinary world and fine-dining culture in 2022’s The Menu. The plot is primarily centered on Margot (Furiosas Anya Taylor-Joy), who travels with Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) to dine at an exclusive restaurant on a remote island. Here, the mysterious and renowned Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) has a special evening planned, with each meticulously crafted course revealing increasingly bizarre and frightening intentions. The night of haute cuisine soon turns into a deadly game of survival, one which no one is meant to win.

The Menu takes aim at elite foodie culture, with many moments meant to replicate and deride documentaries about inaccessible fine-dining restaurants. This critique of elitism and the pretentiousness of the high-end dining world takes some extremely dark turns, which makes its genuine laugh-out-loud moments a welcome surprise. It’s worth watching if only to see Fiennes’ mesmerizing take on the murderous villain, and the way Taylor-Joy effortlessly meets his powerhouse performance with a deliciously wicked character worth rooting for.

1. Parasite (2019)

Kim Ki-taek with his family gathered together on the floor.
CJ Entertainment

One of the best South Korean movies ever made, director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is a film that needs no introduction. The genre-bending eat-the-rich movie has a deceptively simple premise: the poor Kim family infiltrates the rich Park household by posing as skilled workers. The father, Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), becomes the Park family driver, while his wife, Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin), works as their housekeeper. Their children, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) and Ki-jung (Park So-dam), pose as a tutor and art therapist. As the Kims enjoy their small luxuries, they discover a dark secret within the mansion that changes everything.

Parasite immediately became famous around the globe following its premiere in 2019, with its novel plot inspiring discussions and debates about class structure and even cinema. The film greatly benefits from the director’s attention to the tiniest details, use of visuals to convey social commentary, and flawless screenplay. It’s impossible to fully commend its plot without spoiling its brilliant midpoint twist, which propels the narrative toward a nail-biting climax. This compelling narrative and technical brilliance have helped cement its reputation as a modern masterpiece deserving every bit of praise.

Hannah Saab
Saab whips up SEO-optimized articles as a writer for Digital Trends and updates top-performing articles on Collider.
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