Flamin’ Hot, the story of how the Cheetos flavor came to be, dropped on Disney+ and Hulu this weekend, and we wanted to see what people are saying about the film. Luckily, Twitter delivered some spicy opinions and hot takes.

What is Flamin’ Hot?

Marketed as an inspiring origin story of the supposed creator of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, this 2023 direct-to-streaming release follows the life of Richard Montañez, a Frito-Lay employee who started as a janitor and worked his way up to an executive position by pitching the concept of the widely-beloved Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

During production of the film, controversy sparked when it was discovered that the story was fabricated. While Montañez did, in fact, go from janitor to executive within the span of 10 to 15 years, he did not create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The tale is more urban legend than truth. Despite this major discrepancy being the driving force of the film’s plot, initial critic’s reviews leaned positive. Now that the movie has been released to a wider audience, we searched Twitter, Rotten Tomatoes, and Letterboxd to see what the general public thought about the film.

Twitter’s reaction to Flamin’ Hot

It seems as though film twitter hasn’t got their hands on the movie yet, so instead of drawn-out threads or think-pieces on the app, there are just a handful of earnest memes and reactions to Flamin’ Hot.

Most people seem to agree that watching the movie while eating the product is the way to go.

Other users are enjoying playing at the seemingly straightforward nature of the narrative. It appears as though most of Twitter doesn’t know or care about the falsification of the story and are more interested in the event of it all.

Rotten Tomatoes’ score

The overall Critics Consensus the site concludes that “Flamin' Hot may have a little more than its share of empty calories, but this fun feel-good story is still a decent cinematic snack.”

Letterboxd reviews

The most scathing of the searched websites, Letterboxd users were unsurprisingly the least impressed demographic in regards to Flamin’ Hot. While the average rating is sitting at a sturdy 3.1 stars, the majority of the most popular reviews of the film are three stars or lower.

Most of the reviewers seem to take issue with the movie’s advertisement-feel, creating analysis based on what the movie seemingly says about capitalism, instead of fixating too much on the falsification of the story.

In fact, when the origin story’s lack of truth is brought up in reviews, it only seems to serve as an additional bullet point in how the movie’s thesis further creates an American Dream, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps narrative.

Unless of course, the review is solely intended for humor, not to provoke deeper insight, in which case, plenty of reviews mention the fabrication of Richard Montañez’s climb to the top of Frito-Lay.

I watched it, too! Here are my thoughts.

To see if it would be worthwhile for Spoon University readers, I watched Flamin’ Hot myself, and I’m conflicted on whether or not I’d recommend it. From a film perspective (as someone who has taken their fair share of film courses in college), it’s not that exciting, and the plot feels like it’s spoon-feeding the viewer. Instead of allowing room for the audience to think critically about what is going on, the script instead makes everything painstakingly clear, to the point where certain intended morals (like working hard and having religious faith) are not only obvious but repetitive.

However, if you’re a big Hot Cheetos fan or if you’re looking for something lighthearted and fun, then I’d say you’d probably enjoy it. It's only an hour and a half (99 minutes to be exact), and it goes by quickly and easily. Will you think it’s groundbreaking cinema? I doubt it. But will you have a good time watching it? There’s a strong chance!