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Hotel Noir (2012)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  9 October 2012 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 678 users   Metascore: 37/100
Reviews: 4 user | 5 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

Los Angeles, 1958: a detective holes up in a downtown hotel awaiting killers to come get him. During the course of one night he will meet various occupants of the hotel and the truth of how... See full summary »

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Los Angeles, 1958: a detective holes up in a downtown hotel awaiting killers to come get him. During the course of one night he will meet various occupants of the hotel and the truth of how he came to be in his present situation will be revealed. Written by Anonymous

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User Reviews

 
Detective Rufus Sewell holes up in a hotel after a robbery after he gets the loot
15 December 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Hotel Noir" is not a good movie. It has too many deficiencies that make it bad and make it uncomfortable to watch because it is so bad. I had almost given up on it when suddenly it began to come together better 53 minutes into the movie when it depicted a heist. At that point, the story picked up and the photography picked up. The acting and dialog then became at least tolerable. But before that, this picture is a disaster. Throughout the film, every actor has to deliver impossibly clunky lines. One thing that works well is how the interactions of the characters come together. That's done well, but forget the monologues.

Before that 53 minute mark, we basically have endlessly verbose scenes. If the dialog were good, this wouldn't be bad. But the dialog stinks. It's way, way off key. If this is the writer's idea of noir or noir homage or noir parody or noir anything, it fails badly. The main detective is played by Rufus Sewell, a Brit. His acting is OK, but he's miscast. His accent does nothing for an American-style film. His part is also bad, as he is so passive. He even puts a briefcase full of money under the bed! This is so bad. Robert Forster, who plays his partner, is much more effective. Even he has bad lines to deliver.

The makeup on the women doesn't look either good or right. The singing and dancing routines are flat, badly done, and off-key. Danny De Vito is fine, but mostly out of place. The sequence that starts the movie has no connection to it. The movie most certainly does not recreate the 40s or 50s or any noir movie from that era. I fail to see why the acting of Rosario Dawson is lauded by critics or admirers. To me, her acting is non-existent. She's totally unconvincing. Carla Gugino is better, but she seems lost in her part. Malin Akerman makes a valiant attempt to create her character, which is somewhat better written, but she simply does not succeed in bringing her to life as a real woman. This is a problem throughout the movie. The characters simply do not seem real, and that goes back to the lines they've been assigned to deliver.

I like some of the photography. It helps in sitting through this one. The ending is neat too.

John Grant thinks this film is terrific. He sees it as filled with notable one-liners. You'll have to make up your own mind.

I give the writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez credit for an honest attempt at something, but I do not know what. He created something here that came out of his artistic soul, but what is it? What's to be our critical judgment? Mine is that he didn't know enough about film noir to make an actual noir or even a neo-noir. He has given us a few good moments, but the rest of it is simply weird in any places. Characters deliver long monologues that are decidedly unmotivated, unreal, uninteresting and unrelated to the story. The actors cannot put this across. What was Gutierrez thinking? The movie isn't intended as a parody. It's filmed and edited smoothly. There is professionalism here. But the project is simply peculiar and fails to gel into something serious. It has a high dose of self-conscious introspection by the characters that they pour out to us. This is not how to achieve good drama, melodrama or noir. Shakespeare could do it in measured doses, but Gutierrez is no bard.


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