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Twentieth Century Fox | Release Date: October 12, 2018
7.4
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Generally favorable reviews based on 107 Ratings
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81
Mixed:
21
Negative:
5
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7
AaronRadcliffOct 14, 2018
El Royale has an undeniably beautiful look, strong cast performances, and a story that- while convoluted a bit- does keep you invested and trying to piece things together. There are, without a doubt, the makings of a great movie and yet itEl Royale has an undeniably beautiful look, strong cast performances, and a story that- while convoluted a bit- does keep you invested and trying to piece things together. There are, without a doubt, the makings of a great movie and yet it feels just short. I don't know if it's the lack of more memorable personalities and stronger dialogue. Maybe it was because I kept trying to shake off the Tarantino vibe the whole time. Or maybe it was because it is a film that, while good, isn't unique. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
FanofDisney1994Oct 17, 2018
This is a great noir film set in the late 60’s. It has some great performances especially from Cynthia Ervio and Jeff Bridges. I highly recommend Bad Times at the El Royale the way the film is set up reminds me of someone Quentin TarantinoThis is a great noir film set in the late 60’s. It has some great performances especially from Cynthia Ervio and Jeff Bridges. I highly recommend Bad Times at the El Royale the way the film is set up reminds me of someone Quentin Tarantino would do and that is a high compliment. If you haven’t seen it yet I suggest you do yourself the favor and watch it. The film might be over 2 hours long, but it is well worth it. Also it has a really good soundtrack. With some laughs, excellent suspense, and great performances you can’t go wrong and have a Good Time watching Bad Times at the El Royale Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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7
Compi24Oct 16, 2018
In many ways, "Bad Times At The El Royale" embodies a lot of the good and bad to be found in writer/director "passion projects." There's definitely a lot to chew on throughout as an audience member, and the story itself is accompanied by aIn many ways, "Bad Times At The El Royale" embodies a lot of the good and bad to be found in writer/director "passion projects." There's definitely a lot to chew on throughout as an audience member, and the story itself is accompanied by a respectable amount of impressive images and performances as well. But it's a little too self-indulgent and showy for my tastes. This usually comes about when a writer/director gets their first shot at finally making a movie that they have 100% control over the creative process for, ultimately leading to them not killing enough of their proverbial darlings for the audience's convenience. Whether or not this is exactly what happened, it certainly feels like it. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
defdog99Oct 13, 2018
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The story was missing something near the end. Perhaps it needed a meddling cop -ala Die Hard- researching the Malibu murders or maybe hunting for the lost money . Or at the very least make the roll of film more important, like "do you want to escape alive but with nothing, or try to get the money, or try to get the roll of film?" But overall it's a great adult movie w/ Tarantino-esque story crossovers. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
JDX_AwesomeOct 22, 2018
I’ve heard people call this movie one with inspiration from Tarantino, with which I completely agree. That’s probably why I like it so much, I’m a huge Tarantino fan. It reminds most of probably ‘Pulp Fiction’ if the general idea was takenI’ve heard people call this movie one with inspiration from Tarantino, with which I completely agree. That’s probably why I like it so much, I’m a huge Tarantino fan. It reminds most of probably ‘Pulp Fiction’ if the general idea was taken even further then it that movie. I’m not saying this movie is better than ‘Pulp Fiction’, by the way, I’m saying it’s the same sort of idea that ‘Pulp Fiction’ toyed with. There are a lot more parallels between this movie a Tarantino movie. Great characters, great visuals, great dialogue, a ton of unnecessary violence, and the movie is even split into chapters, but sadly, I don’t think that aspect was executed very well. Usually, when a movie is split into chapters, it focuses on one character, one storyline, or just one thing in each. In this movie, it feels like they just put the title card into there for no real reason for a few of them. It works for the chapters starring Jon Hamm’s character (forgot the name), Miles, and Billy Lee. Otherwise, not really. I heard a few people complain that the plot doesn’t move fast enough because they keep showing the same scene over and over again just from different perspectives. I noticed that, and I see that it’s a big flaw of the movie, but it didn’t really distract me or ruin my enjoyment in any way. All the acting was really good except for Dakota Johnson. I personally don’t think she’s a great actress in general, and she wasn’t great in this movie. The scenery and visuals were great, I loved that they show what time it is through almost exclusively visuals and music. It’s very interesting. I liked pretty much everything. In the end, a lot of things work, but some things feel out of place or just done poorly. Despite that fact, I still highly recommend this movie. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
Datzman290Oct 13, 2018
OK, I went into this movie with NO expectations and didn't know much about it (outside of a few actors who were starring). I really enjoyed it! I'm guessing that's because I had no pre-conceptions, and saw professional reviews had been mixed.OK, I went into this movie with NO expectations and didn't know much about it (outside of a few actors who were starring). I really enjoyed it! I'm guessing that's because I had no pre-conceptions, and saw professional reviews had been mixed. Laughed a few times, was startled a few times, and left the theater thinking about/discussing the movie and characters. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing this is exactly the type of movie I go to the movies for! Well done :) Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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10
Fb29Oct 15, 2018
I'll echo another reviewer, this is a crafted movie. The acting is superb. Great cinematography. The plot moves. What a treat that Cynthia Erivo sings in the movie, she has to be the best voice on earth right now. The soundtrack for thisI'll echo another reviewer, this is a crafted movie. The acting is superb. Great cinematography. The plot moves. What a treat that Cynthia Erivo sings in the movie, she has to be the best voice on earth right now. The soundtrack for this movie was outstanding. I plan to see it again in theaters, partly for the soundtrack and that Jon Hamm monologue, but mostly to be able to enjoy the movie while also remembering to breathe. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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8
GinaKOct 17, 2018
Who knows what this movie is? I heard that some critics likened Drew Goddard’s work to that of Quentin Tarantino. I don’t think so. I think Goddard’s style is totally his own, and the film was a lot of fun, dragging in all sorts of culturalWho knows what this movie is? I heard that some critics likened Drew Goddard’s work to that of Quentin Tarantino. I don’t think so. I think Goddard’s style is totally his own, and the film was a lot of fun, dragging in all sorts of cultural artifacts – like cults and shell shock – all elements in a search for the “gold” (the spoils of the robbery that kicked the plot off). The cast was great, and totally believable, which is not easy in such an absurdist film where everyone was caught in a kind of sharply constructed and directed cultural maze. Reality starts things off, but then everything goes cockeyed. I had a great time. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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6
BrianMcCriticOct 12, 2018
Most people are using the word Tarantino a lot and for good reason as Drew Goddard attempts to dabble in those waters with the results being mixed. All the performances are strong and I commend the films spirit and originality but I foundMost people are using the word Tarantino a lot and for good reason as Drew Goddard attempts to dabble in those waters with the results being mixed. All the performances are strong and I commend the films spirit and originality but I found myself underwhelmed as the dialogue is not nearly as sharp as a Tarantino film and the story lacks the punch to put you fully on board. Overall a middle to high 6 a B-. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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8
Davrosdaleks1Oct 12, 2018
Drew Goddard has done it again bringing an entertaining Tarantinoesque noir/suspense film.

This is a really well executed. Goddard does a great job of leading the viewer. There are some impressive visual shots in this, including one big
Drew Goddard has done it again bringing an entertaining Tarantinoesque noir/suspense film.

This is a really well executed. Goddard does a great job of leading the viewer. There are some impressive visual shots in this, including one big reveal near the beginning that kept me captivated for every second. No lodger is who they initially appear to be and the script does a great job of jumping backward and forward in time as information is revealed little by little. Excellent cast all across the board. Dialogue is pretty slick and funny at points. Though the standout of the film may be the actual El Royale hotel itself. All credit should be given to the designers. It is a perfectly orchestrated distillation of sixties nostalgia. (I didn't even know there was a time when hotels could have a main building with a room or rooms, and adjoining motel units. Neat.) There are only a few people there because its the off-season and the hotel's popularity had declined. The brightness and cleanliness of the place also offers an unsettling coldness when contrasted with the lack of life.

Admittedly the third act isn't quite as strong as the first two. It is a solid finale but once most of the reveals happen it gets easier to predict how things will transpire. Also, the movie excels in its execution but once once its all said and done the film is a mash-up of similar elements from several modern crime/thriller/noir films.

This is one of those films where I don't know if you need to watch it at full price in the theater, but I do highly recommend that you catch it at some point.
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3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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10
HipzillaOct 15, 2018
A wonderful crafted film! Truly a secret masterpiece that did have quite a few turns I did not expect. The trailer did not spoil anything really, and I highly suggest that you don't watch any to keep everything a surprise. The film playsA wonderful crafted film! Truly a secret masterpiece that did have quite a few turns I did not expect. The trailer did not spoil anything really, and I highly suggest that you don't watch any to keep everything a surprise. The film plays out from several perspectives and is akin to a play-like style. Definitely worth the admission price. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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8
HucksterOct 15, 2018
Visually interesting and almost hypnotic at times - this is a fun and engaging film with a strange who-done-it feel. Clever, atmospheric and surprising but maybe a little soft in the third act - the shocks and twists might have been moreVisually interesting and almost hypnotic at times - this is a fun and engaging film with a strange who-done-it feel. Clever, atmospheric and surprising but maybe a little soft in the third act - the shocks and twists might have been more confronting. The flashbacks certainly give depth and value and ultimately help with the various redemptions. Overall very enjoyable with some brilliant photography. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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7
moviemitch96Oct 12, 2018
This turned out to be a pretty fun film with a solid all-star cast that included the likes of the legendary Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Chris Hemsworth to name a few. In addition, it provided great action and TarantinoThis turned out to be a pretty fun film with a solid all-star cast that included the likes of the legendary Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Chris Hemsworth to name a few. In addition, it provided great action and Tarantino vibes-a-plenty! Overall, there's not a whole lot else to it other than that, so just sit back, relax, and have fun with it like I did! Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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8
dashtagOct 14, 2018
Saw the trailers and was really excited because I didn't know what it was about. You can't really explain this movie without spoiling it, and the best way to explain it really is to say that the El Royale is a messed up hotel with a bunch ofSaw the trailers and was really excited because I didn't know what it was about. You can't really explain this movie without spoiling it, and the best way to explain it really is to say that the El Royale is a messed up hotel with a bunch of secrets, and everyone brings their problems there. All the problems connect and build on each other to cause some major consequences. Very violent, very long, but it has some really good scenes. The performances were great, especially Jeff Bridges, parts of the movie were very intense and creepy, smart writing by Mr. Goddard. Some scenes with dialogue went on for a bit too long, showing how extensive the movie wanted to be. Still enjoyed it a lot, great twists, had no idea what was coming in this movie, which was great. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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8
RelaxedmikeOct 19, 2018
A little slow here and there until it climaxed towards the ending. Old man Bridges seems to get better with time. Great acting. And the Black lady can Blow (sing!) I enjoyed this movie.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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7
azzabarOct 17, 2018
Not bad, not great. It was pretty good. We liked it. Good acting, Chris Hemsworth is always easy on the eyes and what a part he played.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
amheretojudgeOct 17, 2018
the lies and deceits are more chilling than the confession itself..

Bad Times At The El Royale Goddard's crime drama is more Tarantino-isc than it is Polanski-ish. In its initial stages it may come off as "The Hateful Eight", but the
the lies and deceits are more chilling than the confession itself..

Bad Times At The El Royale

Goddard's crime drama is more Tarantino-isc than it is Polanski-ish. In its initial stages it may come off as "The Hateful Eight", but the euphoric energy quickly wears off as the amateurly edited sub-plots interfere poorly. The sweet moments where it sweeps away the charm is when the scene is about to transition. It somehow feels obliged to gut punch the viewers everytime before doing so, and in those moments, the makers create their long lasting impact. This revealing natured script is more shady and edgy than it is disclosing. The writing is gripping since it focuses only on astoundingly high pitched dramatic sequences that is written with fluid conversations. Now these well choreographed conversations is aware of the final vision and hence is a borderline risk throughout the course which is how Goddard keeps its thrill alive. The characteristics of each characters and the props or the set pieces, everything is utilized to its best on the narration, they hold you much more than the trick itself, since the silence that builds up to the scare is comparing more intense. The camera work is manually handled and is up close to the viewers that offers it the aspired personal touch especially when Hamm in the beginning discovers the entire structure of the hotel. Bridges is the real deal in this snidy hotel. Not only his character has the range to fuel this entire more than two hours of journey, but his riveting performance is jaw dropping and moving at times. The lies and deceits are more chilling than the confession itself. Erivo's performance unfortunately doesn't justify the strength that the character is given, she seems distracted and at times amateur too. Similarly, Johnson too falls short on delivering the anticipated uncertainty that her character is brimmed with. And as much as slick and easy Hemsworth is on putting on this character and literally taking off his clothes, he fails on giving the scares to his actors and the audience. Supporting Bridges thoroughly, is Hamm in his blatant and firm portrayal. Goddard's core strength that was this mixture of plethora of emotions and opinionated hot heads floating around, also evolves to be its weakness by the end. The adaptive grippiness that he had achieved by ping-ponging the ball from one room to the other, makes him obliged to follow the semantics throughout the course for the sake of the closure. And it backfires vigorously since the obviousness overpowers its potential to be a compelling storyteller. So now, when he wishes to be focused on one and only one track, the missing traffic on the other lane isn't feasible. The ruggedness of the gunpowder, the smell of the forsaken money and the taste of the innocent blood, this essence of the early 70's crime drama is what amps up the charge. Bad Times At The El Royale actually comes with a good time guarantee card, but if flipped and searched under the layers, you better book some other hotel.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
Bertaut1Oct 22, 2018
Following the genre-bending, utterly insane, and extremely funny The Cabin in the Woods, Bad Times at the El Royale is the second feature from writer/director Drew Goddard, and is a similarly stylised cine-literate genre mash-up. However,Following the genre-bending, utterly insane, and extremely funny The Cabin in the Woods, Bad Times at the El Royale is the second feature from writer/director Drew Goddard, and is a similarly stylised cine-literate genre mash-up. However, whereas in Cabin, the twist upon twist upon twist had a cumulative effect, with the story getting better the longer it went on and the weirder things got, in Bad Times it's a case of ever diminishing returns. By the time we reach the end of the lengthy 141-minute runtime, with everything and everyone shoehorned into neatly explained niches, the film has been shorn of its vitality, leaving one with an overriding impression of "meh". If Cabin was a genuinely new spin on a clichéd old story, playing with and subverting genre at every turn, Bad Times is singularly unable to free itself from the most oppressively derivative of its generic constraints.

Set in 1969, the film takes place almost entirely in the titular El Royale Hotel (actually a motel, and obviously inspired by the Cal Neva Lodge & Casino), and if the set-up reminds you a little of Identity, you're not completely off course. Bad Times shares very similar DNA, at least up to the point where Identity goes totally **** crazy; both are set in an out-of-the-way motel where a group of strangers are trapped overnight, and all, or some of them aren't who they appear, with the audience slowly filled in on their backstories via flashbacks. However, whereas Identity failed because the last half-hour is patently ridiculous, completely undermining the excellent build-up of tension and mystery, Bad Times has the exact opposite problem – the conclusion is decidedly underwhelming, failing to build on an excellent set-up, with the last twenty minutes or so lapsing into utter mundanity, and, most unforgivably for a mystery film, twists for twist's sake.

To start on a positive note though, Bad Times looks terrific – Seamus McGarvey's cinematography is faultless, whilst Martin Whist's production design and Michael Diner's art direction are superb, with the ultra tacky period detail dripping off the screen. Directorally, Goddard also has his moments with some eye-catching compositions, locked-off cameras, POV shots, and lengthy single-take Steadicam sequences, with the opening sequence in particular a masterclass in slow-burning tension.

In direct contrast to the opening, the ending is both narratively and directorally formulaic, predicable, and trite, with the least compelling and well fleshed out character taking centre stage, mano-a-mano good guy/bad guy dialogue aplenty, and even a ludicrous shoot-out. Additionally, whereas the opening is effortlessly enthralling and distinctive, as the film lumbers on, and Goddard begins to run out of directorial tricks, there are sequences which scream "look how cool I am." For example, Billy Lee whirling toward the camera, eating pie, shirt agape, hair soaking wet, dancing to the sounds of Deep Purple's "Hush" is so desperate to appear iconic that it instead comes across as self-parody.

Another significant problem is that the characters all feel like generic archetypes ripped out of other films, with none giving the impression of being a real-person, with their own agency and interiority. They are, in essence, walking plot-points. The script is also exceptionally weak in how it handles exposition (of which there is a significant amount). There seems to have been little attempt to organically introduce heavily expositional scenes, or integrate them with the surrounding material. Instead, on several occasions, the plot literally stops whilst characters explain things to one another.

A final problem is the 141-minute runtime. Padded, and massively self-indulgent, there is enough narrative content to barely fill a 90-minute duration. One of the most egregious missteps in this respect is Goddard's tendency to ponderously play out the same scene from multiple points of view, but in such a way as to give the audience only a smidgeon of additional information. Also, with this runtime and so little content, the bottom falls out entirely during the middle section, as things become unrelentingly slow and contrived.

Part 1930s-style pulp fiction, part 1940s and 50s-style film noir, and part 1960s-style paranoid thriller, the film flirts with a few themes (redemption, forgiveness, karma, political corruption, the seductive nature of power), but none get off the starting grid, and ultimately, Bad Times isn't really about anything. Hyper self-aware, and attempting to both subvert and celebrate generic conventions, Goddard seems to think he has a bonafide epic on his hands, a portent piece of celluloid mastery which samples the best of hard-boiled crime fiction, and imparts valuable lessons in the process. He doesn't. It's more self-indulgent folly than paean of universal truth.

5/10
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6
SaraClementsOct 15, 2018
Pulpy fun up to a point. The El Royale guests are all fleshed out incredibly well with interesting backstories and the jump to all their differing perspectives was something I really quite enjoyed - with wonderful performances to match,Pulpy fun up to a point. The El Royale guests are all fleshed out incredibly well with interesting backstories and the jump to all their differing perspectives was something I really quite enjoyed - with wonderful performances to match, especially from Cynthia Erivo. Hemsworth’s cultist villain lacks this exposition, but Billy Lee still makes for an interesting antagonist. The cinematography is slick and the music elevates the era in which it’s set. Unfortunately, the film is so drawn out. While you’ll still be interested in what’s happening, you’ll be pulling out your phone to check the time. And when the climax comes, it doesn’t hit you like it should - you’ll just know that it’s over soon. Some plot elements go unanswered, but the twists, turns, and the mystery surrounding the characters and the El Royale made it worthwhile. (Xavier Dolan’s British accent tho). Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
VAFOct 20, 2018
I just need to jump in on these reviews because I really loved this movie! I didn't know a whole lot, had just seen the trailer. However, if you have a little patience and a little appreciation for the influences on this movie, and the timeI just need to jump in on these reviews because I really loved this movie! I didn't know a whole lot, had just seen the trailer. However, if you have a little patience and a little appreciation for the influences on this movie, and the time period that it deftly reflects (still awfully relevant) it stays fun and thriller-noir-y. The acting was great, and even though the movie was long it did not bother me one bit. I loved the time and attention that was given to the story. I loved the pop references, the California(Nevada) kitsch vibe, the storytelling, and again, the acting! It was great- just after all this ADD storytelling we have, amp up your patience just a tad, I guess. (I had no problem with this) Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
TVJerryOct 15, 2018
It's not clear what kind of movie this wants to be. It feels like a Tarantino wannabe on slow motion without the snappy banter or extreme violence. What's left is the back stories of a group of people who checked into this unusual hotel andIt's not clear what kind of movie this wants to be. It feels like a Tarantino wannabe on slow motion without the snappy banter or extreme violence. What's left is the back stories of a group of people who checked into this unusual hotel and how they converge for dark outcomes. The cast includes Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Chris Hemsworth (who makes the experience worthwhile by strutting around semi-shirtless for an extended period). Having patience as the disappointing plot unfolds doesn't pay off with a shocker. It's attractively shot and interesting, but ultimately a long disappointment (2:20). Two newish actors turn in the most interesting performances: The woman who plays the singer (Cynthia Erivo)and the man who plays the hotel clerk (Lewis Pullman). NOTE: He's the son of actor Bill Pullman. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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6
TuneisonOct 13, 2018
Bad Times at the El Royale is a cleverly written film that takes it's time to get to the meat of it's story but, that is just fine. In a culture that demands fast and mindless films BT@TER is refreshing. Granted it isn't the most expertlyBad Times at the El Royale is a cleverly written film that takes it's time to get to the meat of it's story but, that is just fine. In a culture that demands fast and mindless films BT@TER is refreshing. Granted it isn't the most expertly crafted film you can see in theaters but, it certainly gives enough of a **** and, is overall pretty good. Expand
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0
TrillcosbeyNov 2, 2018
Bad rip off of Quentin Tarantino films, not even close. It is an old Hollywood trick. They find out some one is making a period film about the Manson family and attempts to beat them to the gate and steal the thunder. Trash.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
whoischarlotteOct 23, 2018
Not enough Jon Hamm. This film means well and could have been really great but scene were very hit and miss.
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5
LarBrd33Oct 18, 2018
Pretty mediocre and loooooooong winded Tarantino wannabee. It meanders a bunch, has far too many shots of someone signing, and doesn't really have any point or purpose. Style over substance. Fun set piece and has the makings of a premise.Pretty mediocre and loooooooong winded Tarantino wannabee. It meanders a bunch, has far too many shots of someone signing, and doesn't really have any point or purpose. Style over substance. Fun set piece and has the makings of a premise. Solid performances by most. I give it 57.6 out of 100. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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6
thieleOct 23, 2018
Bad Time at the El Royale is trying to be a Tarantino film. There, I said it, the one thing that was on my mind the entire length of the film. Imagine "The Hateful Eight" but instead of a cold cabin in the middle of a snowstorm and eightBad Time at the El Royale is trying to be a Tarantino film. There, I said it, the one thing that was on my mind the entire length of the film. Imagine "The Hateful Eight" but instead of a cold cabin in the middle of a snowstorm and eight strangers with something to hide, imagine a cold motel in the middle of a thunderstorm and 5 strangers with something to hide.... wow it really is just "The Hateful Eight" in another era. But don't let that stop you watching the film. While it tries to be a Tarantino film, it lacks dialogue that flows, it chooses the wrong time to change the mood, and it has pacing issues especially in the final two acts of the film. While the dialogue isn't great, at times I could see that the actors were trying their best to make the most out of it. There really isn't a main character, with the story jumping perspective throughout the film. This at times is done really well, with the first two acts being non-linear (another Tarantino trait) however, in the final act, in the last 30 minutes of the film, a character is given more backstory which seems to come out of nowhere and feels like it's been thrown into the story to make another plot point. I could rant about it all day, but I'll leave it because I'll be getting into spoilers. So overall the characters have some interesting backstory, and all have something to hide or be ashamed of. Cynthia Erivo is the stand out for me. Also Chris Hemsworth's antagonist reminded me of Joseph Seed (Far Cry 5) with a lot more crazy in him. I think he was an interesting character but, I wish was used and developed more. But not all is bad, the music, was used tremendously throughout most of the film. The only negative was that at times I felt the music didn't fit the scene but often the camera work would pull me back in. Because visually the film is amazing, the cinematography was on point, starting with symmetrical framing and ending with a noir film look and feel while the lighting starts neutral it again takes on a film noir look. Sadly, the visuals don't save the film it from its plot and structure. With many plot point going unsolved or just forgotten, and many instances where the pacing changes because they want to add another subplot to the already congested main story. Yet, I enjoyed watching it but because it kept going and going, I slowly lost interest. (sorry to bring it back to the plot, I really didn't enjoy the structure of the film.) I still think it's worth a watch. It has the body of a Tarantino film, making it enjoyable even if it's long. But it doesn't have the soul of a Tarantino film. TL; DR: The weak structure of the film and the not so great dialogue would pull me out, but I'd find myself going "wow that looks cool" So well done Drew Goddard. Expand
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2
ProteusOct 21, 2018
2 hrs and 21 minutes is way too long. Some excruciating long dialogue scenes panning back and forth between 2 characters with absolutely nothing happening. Cut 50 minutes out of this film. Spice up the dialogue and put original music in place2 hrs and 21 minutes is way too long. Some excruciating long dialogue scenes panning back and forth between 2 characters with absolutely nothing happening. Cut 50 minutes out of this film. Spice up the dialogue and put original music in place of oldies and you have a real good film. Expand
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5
MrMovieBuffNov 2, 2018
'Bad Times at the El Royale' is fiendish and dark, not to mention a very sly movie that I'm sure many film-lovers will absolutely enjoy. But for me, there was a lack of spark, I admired the film's somewhat originality and its diverse range of'Bad Times at the El Royale' is fiendish and dark, not to mention a very sly movie that I'm sure many film-lovers will absolutely enjoy. But for me, there was a lack of spark, I admired the film's somewhat originality and its diverse range of characters. But overall, the film feels flat and rather underwhelming not to mention that I felt it takes too long to get to the point. The first characters we meet are Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges) a priest who checks into the hotel alongside another guest Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Ervo), a soul singer who is currently struggling in the industry to make the career she had hoped for. The hotel is currently placed right in the middle of California and Nevada with the structure split into two halves and contain two different themes. We meet Salesman Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm), who also checks into the hotel with its only employee Miles Miller (Lewis Pullman) and the last guest to arrive is Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson), they all book their rooms and we see the different stories each character experiences. The movie spends a lot of the time building on these different character arcs and showing us what they get up to. It's broken up into different chapters with each event affecting that of another character's. Every story is the same, but told from a different point of view, and everything seems to add up once we get a bigger picture of what's going on. I would mention that Chris Hemsworth is in this movie, but I cannot discuss what his role is without spoiling it too much, what I can say is; the movie does pick up slightly the moment his character comes to play. Writer and director Drew Goddard ('The Cabin in the Woods' and writer of 'The Martian') has structured a movie I'm sure he's waited to make for so long. He knows what characters he wants to see and he knows what story he wants to tell and how to tell it. I liked the puzzle piece style of storytelling that he was able to craft here, I guess what really placed this movie in the gutter for me was the lengthy run-time of 141 minutes as well as my overall indifference to any of the characters. It felt gimmicky from time to time, and I think that, had Goddard got straight to the point, I would have enjoyed myself a little bit more. I admire his ambition and craft, but was underwhelmed by the overly ambitious result. Expand
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10
moviecritic68Oct 25, 2018
It's really tough for me to dish out a 10 rating and since there is no 9.5, I had to come to grips that this movie was the best I have watched this year. So let's just say this is this year's 10. It captivated the audience throughout with aIt's really tough for me to dish out a 10 rating and since there is no 9.5, I had to come to grips that this movie was the best I have watched this year. So let's just say this is this year's 10. It captivated the audience throughout with a mixture of comedy & suspense. Let's just say I haven't flinched in my seat since the inaugural release of Jaws until now. Jeff Bridges is outstanding as was the rest of the supporting cast. MOVIE OF THE YEAR Expand
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9
TubaFettOct 31, 2018
This extremely well-crafted movie is not told in the usual linear fashion. Instead it alternates points of view to tell the complete and engrossing tale of several patrons at the El Royale hotel. It's a bit confusing at first, but the styleThis extremely well-crafted movie is not told in the usual linear fashion. Instead it alternates points of view to tell the complete and engrossing tale of several patrons at the El Royale hotel. It's a bit confusing at first, but the style enhances the mysteries surrounding the characers and the ending richly rewards patient viewers. Every character is believable and you feel like you're transported in time to observe the incredible events and history of the hotel and its patrons. Overall, a very satisfying experience and well worth your time and money. Expand
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7
HTGamerOct 26, 2018
"Bad Times at the El Royale" is a neo-noir thriller movie set in the late '60s/early '70s. It's the kind of movie where several characters are by chance present in the same place, right when something happens that entails all of them.

This
"Bad Times at the El Royale" is a neo-noir thriller movie set in the late '60s/early '70s. It's the kind of movie where several characters are by chance present in the same place, right when something happens that entails all of them.

This movie's got great acting and production values, a nice soundtrack of the '60s, and each major character has a touching backstory. Unfortunately the main plot (despite the twists and turns) is hardly original. You have already seen this kind of movie a dozen times before. And this is what makes this movie just good, but not great.

"Bad Times at the El Royale" is enjoyable for what it is, but it's not memorable either. If you want a more modern approach to this classic thriller genre, you'd better watch movies such as Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight".
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8
DavidusW426Oct 27, 2018
Well worth seeing. Lots of unexpected plot twists. Aspect of cults shows how easily susceptible individuals can be ‘group hypnotised’ to perform nefarious acts. Aka the Manson family.
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10
jimhillmeyerOct 16, 2018
I couldn't agree less with two of my most reliable critics on the Metacritic "pro" reviewers, who didn't like El Royale; same goes for most of the other reviewers who didn't like it! El Royale was different, for sure; even a bit weird byI couldn't agree less with two of my most reliable critics on the Metacritic "pro" reviewers, who didn't like El Royale; same goes for most of the other reviewers who didn't like it! El Royale was different, for sure; even a bit weird by usual storyline rules and writing. It was a noir style film done in the Tarantino fashion, as others point out. That alone makes its quirkiness okay. I thought it plodded a little in the early stage, but that was deliberate in order to set up what was going to happen in the remainder. A riveting, jaw-dropping, eye-popping film is what followed nearly flawlessly in style from then on. It delivered! Expand
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8
GrantD243Nov 3, 2018
Bad Times at the El Royale follows a group of people who find themselves at a hotel that, while once a popular spot for people to stay, is now a rundown spot that people only stay at if they have to. All of these strangers have secrets andBad Times at the El Royale follows a group of people who find themselves at a hotel that, while once a popular spot for people to stay, is now a rundown spot that people only stay at if they have to. All of these strangers have secrets and all of them have a role to play. Dock O'Kelley (Jeff Bridges) is a former thief that poses as a priest, Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo) is the innocent one in the bunch as she's just a singer, Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson) is a trigger-happy woman who's trying to save her sister from a cult, Dwight Broadbeck is a CIA agent undercover as a vacuum salesman, and Miles Miller (Lewis Pullman) runs the hotel. It's clear from the beginning that there's some tension between some of the characters, and when a moment of confusion leads to a character's death, all hell breaks loose. I wasn't exactly sure what the tone of this film was going to be as I walked into the theater. I only watched one trailer and it looked a little Tarantino-esque and it also reminded me of Murder on the Orient Express. So I was expecting a bit of a murder mystery, but was more or less open to whatever. This isn't a murder mystery, though. This is a slow burn thriller, and a pretty good one at that. It takes its time setting everything up and it never exactly hits that point where everything starts moving really quickly, but that's okay because if it did this film would feel very rushed. There's a lot of story for them to get through here, and if it was a fast-paced thriller it would have come off as shallow and frankly kind of bland. But the slow pace really allowed for me to settle into the environment and start to care for the characters and their situations. None of the characters are unsympathetic, quite the opposite really as it's hard to dislike any of them. The two-hour and twenty-minute runtime is mainly composed of flash backs, dialogue-driven scenes, and tension building, but there are some moments of violence and it doesn't hold back when it happens. The film begins with a fantastic scene that doesn't really matter until later in the film, but it's incredible well done. The editing and cinematography throughout this film was pretty top notch. It fit the quirky, but serious, tone of the film perfectly. We are then introduced to each of the characters as they meet each other in the lobby of the hotel, before they split up into their rooms where we find out more information about each one. Then interactions start to occur and the story starts to develop, and from there it's a slow-jog to the finish. The entire cast puts in some great performances, which isn't that surprising considering how stacked the cast is. I will say that Jeff Bridges and Lewis Pullman stole the show for me, though. There's a scene towards the end with Jeff Bridges' character that made me feel a sense of dread that I never thought I would while watching a film like this, and I really was shocked by that.

My main grip with this film actually comes at the end, as I feel like one of the main "twists" (it has to do with the background of a certain character) that greatly affects the ending was a bit cheap and easy. I don't think this was an attempt at subverting expectations, either. I think Goddard genuinely thought it would be a good twist that the audience wouldn't really see coming, but in the end it just didn't have the impact he was hoping for. Apart from that, though, I enjoyed this film from beginning-to-end. Because it's a slow burn, this won't be for everyone, and some people will undoubtedly just say that Goddard was just trying to copy Tarantino, but it's worth a viewing for fans of the thriller genre.
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8
JackusBlackusOct 26, 2018
I must say that I enjoyed the movie with its intrigue and mystery and the assortment of curious characters. But I left feeling like it could have been a great movie rather than just a good movie. The first half of the movie had my fullI must say that I enjoyed the movie with its intrigue and mystery and the assortment of curious characters. But I left feeling like it could have been a great movie rather than just a good movie. The first half of the movie had my full attention, but then it seemed to lose its way. The mystery and intrigue just evaporated at some point and what was left seemed like a different movie. Expand
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4
clarkaddisonOct 27, 2018
With interesting and amazing actors/actresses left and right you would think Bad Times is a fun amazing film. Yet it all comes together in a heap. With set pieces that do excite the viewer it does have some redeeming qualities but overall IWith interesting and amazing actors/actresses left and right you would think Bad Times is a fun amazing film. Yet it all comes together in a heap. With set pieces that do excite the viewer it does have some redeeming qualities but overall I think of it has not cashing in on what it could have been given its cast and crew. Expand
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8
moviechatterOct 28, 2018
60s Crime Thriller Drama Sure to Get an Oscar Nod

Drew Goddard’s (screenwriter for Cloverfield, World War Z, The Martian and Director for Cabin in the Woods) wrote and directed a thrilling and violent masterpiece weaving the secret back
60s Crime Thriller Drama Sure to Get an Oscar Nod

Drew Goddard’s (screenwriter for Cloverfield, World War Z, The Martian and Director for Cabin in the Woods) wrote and directed a thrilling and violent masterpiece weaving the secret back stories of seven strangers that meet by accident for one fateful night at the El Royale, a once high-class casino, with a dark past, in Lake Tahoe circa 1969. The incredible ensemble of actors includes Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey), Chris Hemsworth (Thor Ragnarok, and Jeff Bridges, who plays a pivotal role as Father Flynn. Two of the best performances were provided by up and coming stars twenty something Lewis Pullman who plays a neurotic concierge, Miles Miller, and Cynthia Ervina plays, Darlene Sweet, a struggling Motown singer on her way to a gig in Reno. Another character in the movie, it the glitzy 1960s El Royale itself. Its interior has an awesome giant juke box that keeps the music rolling, and secret corridors with two-way mirrors (much like Goddard’s Cab]bin in the Woods), that allows the audience to become voyeurs. Designed with a red line going through the hotel and parking lot to show it was built literally on the border of Nevada and California. Unfortunately, you can’t stay at the El Royale, as it was built in Vancouver, the creation of set production designer Martin Whist (Cabin in the Woods, A Series of Unfortunate Events and RoboCop).


You will want to download the classic Motown and early sixties rock soundtrack which includes Bernadette by the Four Tops, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli, The Letter by the Box Tops, Bend Me Shake Me by The American Breed, Unchained Melodies by The Righteous Brothers, Hush by Deep Purple, and You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes, just to name a few that played throughout the movie in Dolby Atmos sound.

This often-bloody violent Tarantino-esque crime thriller perfectly builds to a final dramatic crescendo. The clever and unique script explores themes of redemption, voyeurism, and corruption of power, was never boring or predictable. Don’t miss this one. Loved it.
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10
hmitOct 30, 2018
I really can't believe the score most review sites have given this film, it's worth so much more than a 7. This film is a masterpiece, it's so well put together and without a wasted word or scene. It's incredibly refreshing to see a filmI really can't believe the score most review sites have given this film, it's worth so much more than a 7. This film is a masterpiece, it's so well put together and without a wasted word or scene. It's incredibly refreshing to see a film trying something new like this. Don't listen to negative reviews about this film - even if you don't like the genre, it's worth seeing just to see a great work of art. Expand
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9
raaaaaaaaarterNov 12, 2018
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Bad Times at the El Royale was thrilling, and intense. The music was good, and I liked the whole "California and Nevada" thing in the hotel. Expand
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