Is this movie too spicy for your family?

While Flamin’ Hot is an inspiring movie based on real people, it is rated PG-13. It is also the Eva Longoria’s Directorial debut. However, is the movie’s content too spicy for your family? In this Flamin’ Hot Christian Movie Review, I give you the information you need before viewing this movie with your children.

Flamin' Hot Christian Movie review

Flamin’ Hot Christian Movie Review

Studio Synopsis:

FLAMIN’ HOT is the inspiring story of Richard Montañez, the Frito Lay janitor who channeled his Mexican American heritage and upbringing to turn the iconic Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into a snack that disrupted the food industry and became a global pop culture phenomenon.

My Synopsis:

A Mexican-American high school dropout, Richard Montañez story starts as a child in a”labor camp,” in California. Later, he becomes a janitor at the Frito-Lay plant, but has a thing for machines. He wants to learn everything he can from the plant engineer, Clarence Baker, and hopes to one day take over the responsiblity of keeping the machines running on the factory floor. However, a recession threatens to close the plant, and Montañez develops new products that can change the future of Frito-Lay and his family.

A Mexican-American man with dark hair and a moustache wearing a Frito-Lay uniform.
Jesse Garcia in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Flamin’ Hot Christian Review – What Parents Want to Know


The language in the film is more extensive than I like and includes “be d-mned”, and repeated uses of a-s, sh-t, h-ll, and d-mn. In addition, bas-ard, p-ssed, and balls is used.

Also, God’s name is taken in vain repeatedly, including “Oh my g-d.”

Additionally, words such as stupid, dumb, and pricks are used. 

In elementary school, the children make fun of the Mexican students and the foods they eat. 

The word wetback is used which is a derogatory slur for “a Mexican living in the US, especially without official authorization.” It comes from the fact that many Mexicans come across the Rio Grande river. Furthermore, there are continued racial slurs used throughout the film.


A boy is falsely accused of stealing, and turns to a life of crime. He says, “When the world treats you like a criminal, you become one.”

One scene shows a man and a woman running from the police. 

Various street fights happen throughout the movie.

One scene shows a man beating a supervisor, but it was just in his imagination.

A woman hits her husband in the back of the head.

During a prayer, a man talks about how he was involved with guns, gangs, stealing, and drugs.

An abusive father is shown drunk and grabs his son harshly. The next day, a Mexican girl is at school with a bruise on her arm. The implication is that they both understand each other.

A Mexican-American man and a Black man standing in a Frito-Lay factory with Flamin' Hot Cheetos.
Jesse Garcia and Dennis Haysbert in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo by Anna Kooris. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Spiritual Content:

“Vacho got saved five years ago. He replaced gin and juice with some Jesus juice.” 

The Bible is mentioned.

One person gives a candle to another and tells them to light it and pray. She is later shown lighting the candle and praying. She warns her husband against blowing it out because she is afraid he will lose his job.

God is referred to, “When you don’t got nothing, the guy promising you everything, starts to sound pretty good.”

A man prays, “Dear God, Jesus, senor, you know who you are…”

The devil is mentioned several times.

Finally, this is not a Christian movie, but the family definitely displays faith in God.

Sexual Content:

A reference was made about being one of 9 kids, and “of course, my parents got down.”

Montañez’s future wife is shown with a positive pregnancy test.

Additionally, one woman occasionally wears low cut tops revealing cleavage.

A woman holds a young boy up to get some chili peppers in a convenience store.
Annie Gonzalez and Brice Gonzalez in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo by Emily Aragones. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Adult Content:

There are numerous instances of drinking, and frequent references to running drugs, drug dealing, and being a former drug dealer. One scene shows pills and drugs on a coffee table.

Furthermore, a reference is made about being able to “sell condoms to a nun.”

Other Content:

The lead character lies on a job application. He does not get away with it. 

There are repeated racial references. Additionally, most of the white people are depicted as being racists. However, the overall tone of the movie is one of unifying the races to work together. 

References are also made to “the Reagan” years, and Republicans are blamed for the recession. The reality (from someone who lived through those years) was Jimmy Carter caused a huge recession, and it was Reagan economics that actually got the country successfully through it. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t segments of the population who did not see benefits until after the Reagan years.

Positive Content:

The main character says, “Life is about choices. Big ones,” when he leaves drug dealing to become a family man.

Furthermore, this feel-good tale portrays the plight of Mexican Americans and the difficulties they encounter. Richard’s wife, Judy Montañez, continually says encouraging words to Richard. She has faith in him, believes in his abilities, and is a supportive wife. Additionally, Richard’s entire family is shown trying to develop products in their kitchen using a variety of peppers and hot sauce.

In addition, Richard calls Pepsico CEO Roger Enrico to pitch his product. This takes a lot of guts.

Overall, this movie is about perseverance and has some great messages of not giving up, faith and making a better life for you and your family. Furthermore, Richard embodies a classic success story and the true American Dream and shows how anyone can thrive with hard work and dedication.

A Middle Aged white man with black hair and wearing a navy blue suit and striped tie has his arms outstretched and welcoming. He stands in a factory with other white man in suits and ties.
Tony Shalhoub and Matt Walsh in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Christian Review of Flamin’ Hot – My Viewing Recommendations:

While Flamin’ Hot has some great moments and is definitely an inspiring movie, it may not be for everyone. In fact, the language in this film is a little spicier than I prefer. Additionally, it appears this movie skirts the truth as it was revealed that Richard Montañez did not develop the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. However, he was made a marketing executive at Frito-Lay. The Amazon Prime original movie, A Million Miles Away is a much better choice for a family viewing. 

About the Movie Flamin’ Hot:

Rating: PG-13 for some strong language and drug talk.

Release Date: June 9, 2023

Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Genre: Drama, Biography

Studio: Searchlight Pictures, Franklin Entertainment

Directed by: Eva Longoria
Screenplay by: Lewis Colick and Linda Yvette Chávez

Based on the book A Boy, A Burrito and a Cookie: From Janitor to Executive by Richard Montañez
Produced by: DeVon Franklin

Editor: Liza D. Espinas and Kayla Emter

Music by: Marcelo Zarvos

Distributed by: Hulu, Disney+

The Cast of Flamin’ Hot

Richard Montañez played by Jesse Garcia

Young Richard played by Carlos S. Sanchez

Judy Montañez played by Annie Gonzalez

Clarence C. Baker played by Dennis Haysbert

Vacho Montañez played by Emilio Rivera

Roger Enrico played by Tony Shalhoub

Lonny Mason played by Matt Walsh

Abuelito played by Pepe Serna

Tony Romero played by Bobby Soto

Hector Morales played by Jimmy Gonzales

Steven Montañez played by Brice Gonzalez

James Finley played by Peter Diseth

Concha Montañez played by Vanessa Martinez

Pablito played by Fabian Alomar

Diego played by Mario Ponce

Patti played by Lora Martinez-Cunningham

Hunter Jones

Nacho played by Eric Maro

Wade Carson played by Zach Rose

Quickie Mart Cop played by Vic Browder

Kid in Cafeteria played by Eli Bickel

A Middle Aged white man with black hair and wearing a navy blue suit and striped tie has his arms outstretched and welcoming. He stands in a factory with other white man in suits and ties.
Tony Shalhoub and Matt Walsh in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How accurate is Flamin’ Hot?

While it is based on a real-life person, and some of the events are true, it is not the real history of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, after an internal investigation by Frito-Lay, it was determined that Richard Montañez did not invent the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. While Montañez’s story is compelling, and he really is a man who didn’t finish high school and rose to executive level, there were creative liberties with Montañez’s claims.

Where can I watch Flamin’ Hot?

Flamin’ Hot was released on both Disney+ and Hulu on June 9, 2023, and can be found on both of those platforms.

How much did Richard Montañez make at Frito-Lay?

Montañez worked in various departments of Frito-Lay. Yes, he really did work as a janitor in the Frito-Lay factory in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Additionally, the plant is located in Southern California. He eventually was promoted to Vice President of Multicultural Sales and Community Promotions. It appears he was instrumental in marketing to the Latino market.

However, Richard retired in 2019, and we do not know what his salary was at that time. However, his net worth is estimated at $15 million.

Was there a man named Clarence Baker at Frito-Lay?

While there was a co-worker of Montañez at the Frito-Lay play, Clarence Baker is a fictitious name, and the character that he was based on died before the movie was made. 

Where was Flamin’ Hot filmed?

Flamin’ Hot was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

What year did Frito-Lay release Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos was released in 1989 in Plano, Texas.

What other Flamin’ Hot snacks did FritoLay release?

Frito-Lay also has Flamin’ Hot Fritos, Flamin’ Hot Doritos, Flami’ Hot Cheese Puffs and Flamin’ Hot Fries.

Did Richard Montañez ever get a high school diploma?

Ironically, Montañez never did get a high school diploma even though he became a VP at Frito-Lay.

Blue Beetle Christian Movie Review

Flamin' Hot Christian Review
Movie poster for Searchlight pictures movie Flamin' Hot: The Flavor You Know. The Story You Don't. It was released on June 9, 2023 on Disney+ and Hulu.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top