The Motel (2005)

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Thirteen-year-old Ernest Chin lives and works at a sleazy hourly-rate motel on a strip of desolate suburban bi-way. Misunderstood by his family and blindly careening into puberty, Ernest ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffrey Chyau ...
Ahma Chin
Alexis Chang ...
Katie (as Alexis Kapp Chang)
Stephen Chen ...
Gung Gung
Conor J. White ...
Jackson Budinger ...
Eleanor Hutchins ...
Ron Domingo ...
Jake Holbrook ...
Ian Boyd ...
Glen Brackenridge ...
Cheap Ass Naked Man


Thirteen-year-old Ernest Chin lives and works at a sleazy hourly-rate motel on a strip of desolate suburban bi-way. Misunderstood by his family and blindly careening into puberty, Ernest befriends Sam Kim, a self-destructive yet charismatic Korean man who has checked in. Sam teaches the fatherless boy all the rites of manhood. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Out of Place in the Middle of Nowhere.


Comedy | Drama



Official Sites:




Release Date:

24 January 2005 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,100 (USA) (30 June 2006)


$47,111 (USA) (6 October 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sam: I know what you were thinking. I hope this guy speaks english.
Ernest: No, You walk like you speak english.
See more »


Referenced in The Motel: Behind the Scenes (2007) See more »


Untitled #2
Written by Carol Bui
Performed by Carol Bui
Courtesy of Drunken Butterfly
See more »

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User Reviews

Fun, Fun, Fun.
23 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fun, this movie is hilarious. WATCH IT! This is a complicated story done very simply. The main kid in this coming of age story is a superb "first-time" actor. It's like "Napoleon Dynamite" meets a Wes Anderson film. This is a film lover's film, no doubt. I only accidentally purchased "Motel" at Amoeba Music because of its inexpensive price and its "Ghost World" style cover, being more like a Graphic Novel.

I absolutely enjoyed it's everyday-life humor about family and growing up, tossed in with a not so usual setting of a pay by the hour Motel used for drunks and prostitutes. Combined with its indie soundtrack, any Todd Solondz lover would admire this movie's dark spirit and its uplifting metaphors. I suggest to WATCH IT and pass on the word. If you're a collector like me, just buy it and put it next to your Gregg Araki/David Lynch collection that you keep separated from the other crap you accidentally bought on your DVD mantel!!!

Not kidding, if you ever loved somebody growing up that didn't love you back, had a parent that was your worst critic, or thought you were adopted because you're just so different then the rest of you family... well, you and everybody else that likes a good movie should watch this gem. Not kidding.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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