Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

He was a culinary crusader with swagger…and a tragic ending.

Here’s the best doc on the legend:

Trailer for Roadrunner: Anthony Bourdain

Where to Watch Roadrunner: Anthony Bourdain

The Anthony Bourdain documentary is streaming on:

Check here for the latest Roadrunner streaming options:

Roadrunner: Anthony Bourdain on Netflix

Roadrunner is not on Netflix the day I’m writing this (Feb. 25, 2024) but, and this is strange: — when I Google “Anthony Bourdain documentary Netflix Roadrunner” I get a search result:

I got this search result when I Googled Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain. It looks like Netflix either had the documentary or will have it.

Netflix dedicates this page on Netflix that looks like it’s a placeholder for the Bourdain doc:

“Netflix Page for Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain”

So you can check back at that link to see if they added it!


  • My Rating: 98/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7 /10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 94/100 (User); 91/100 (Critics)

Review of “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain”

The teary, beer-soaked postgame—Bourdain’s forte.

We all loved the swaggering chef and documentarian for it; for elevating bar culture into an art form.

So Morgan Neville’s doc “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” (2021), which runs for nearly 2 hours, opens on a euphoric Bourdain.

He’s fresh off a raucous night of drinking about Bogotá in September of 2017.

Yet for every rousing scene like that 120-minute bender, another reveals someone more vulnerable—even haunted.

The film reminds us that behind the delicious abandon was, of course, a complicated soul and a workhorse ethic.

He blazes through a TV shoot in Kuala Lumpur that summer, or sits through seemingly endless edits with patient producers like Lydia Tenaglia in New York.

There are great celeb chef stories and scenes.

Like when Chef Eric Rupert reads Kitchen Confidential and calls Anthony Bourdain. Anthony shows up to their meeting with a camera crew.

Neville smartly focuses less on step-by-step biography—though we get that too, like his years coming up through revered NY kitchens in the ‘80s—and more on trying to solve the riddle of Bourdain’s inner psyche.

The globetrotting vagabond spirit was profoundly isolated and exhausted at times, like during his brutal work schedule in the spring of 2018, just weeks before his death.

Bourdain’s lust for life feels so genuine and infectious (across 12 seasons and 100 countries) we still crave even one more Far Eastern adventure with him slurping noodles in Hanoi or guzzling sheep’s milk liquor somewhere deep in the steppes of Mongolia.

Tony’s final days were full of ups and downs:

After giving up heroin, Tony finds a new obsession in jujitsu.

His life takes a turn when he fires his long-time cameraman, Zack, a move his friends attribute to the influence of his new girlfriend, Asia.

Shortly after, Asia publicly accuses Harvey Weinstein of rape on TV, a claim Tony supports with a simple “Boom” tweet.

However, their relationship comes under scrutiny when tabloids reveal Asia’s involvement with a younger man.

Tragically, Tony ends his own life (by hanging), with toxicology reports confirming he was clean of alcohol and drugs at the time.

A fan turned off by the realistic portrayal of depression here is no fan at all.

Here are some other highlights/factoids/quotes from the doc that didn’t fit neatly above:

  • Neville uncovered video footage of Bourdain’s earl years, which was shot by the photographer Dmitri Kasterine, for a documentary that was never released. Neville tells The New Yorker: “it felt like kicking off the lock on a treasure chest.”
  • “Tony made best friends one week at a time: he travels, he meets them somewhere and they think they have a new best friend, and then he would never see them again, because he was on to the next place. That sense of momentum, it’s both part of what made him great, and part of what must have been so tough to live with.” — Director Morgan Neville to The New Yorker (Source: New Yorker article)
  • Neville uses AI technologies for some of the audio of Bourdain. “I created an A.I. model of his voice.” In a world of computer simulations and deepfakes, a dead man’s voice speaking his own words of despair is hardly the most dystopian application of the technology. But the seamlessness of the effect is eerie. “If you watch the film, other than that line you mentioned, you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the A.I., and you’re not going to know,” Neville said. (Source: New Yorker article)
  • Apocalypse Now was a top 3 favorite movie of Anthony Bourdain’s. Source: his friend/biz partner Philippe Lajaunie.
  • Some great music from Queens of the Stone Age.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc