Bad Times at the El Royale


The first half of this neo-noir makings-of-a-cult-classic reminded me of a well-used Coen brothers set up. The lighting and style of the film is really colourful and visually appealing. Film slowly makes its way towards a Tarantino feeling climax and then wraps up with a surprisingly spiritually uplifting ending. Kind of.

Careful framing, mysterious characters, slow builds, violent surprises, and a dynamite parade of very nearly on-the-nose songs from the mid- to late-1960s.
San Diego Reader

Taking turns in the spotlight, everyone in the cast is outstanding.
Chicago Sun Times

Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption… before everything goes to hell.

Though numerically long, it didn’t seem it. Finally a film that gives characters a back story and we, the audience, are allowed the time to digest and become involved. Fantastic story along the lines of Tarantino or Leone.

A top acting ensemble. I think there could be a deeper message about heaven and hell with the state line running through the middle of the hotel resembling life and repentance. But I will need to watch again to pick up on all of the underlying meanings.

USA 2018, 142 min, rated R16 (violence & offensive language)
Directed by Drew Goddard
Starring Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Cynthia Erivo, Cailey Spaeney, Lewis Pullman & Nick Offerman

Back to showing now