Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
329 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Go see this movie!!!
chmuptacular2 October 2018
Go into this film knowing nothing. Part of me wishes I hadn't seen both trailers because even though they didn't reveal much of the films plot, I would've loved to have been surprised. Hemsworth gives his best performance yet. He is truly menacing. He is what a Negan should've been on the past couple of Walking Dead seasons. The music is great! Cinematography is great! The hotel set is great! The one downside is that the build up is a wee bit slow, but it definitely pays off when the action and mystery begins.
157 out of 226 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's taken 10 months but 2018's Best Film so far is here.
lewtrah11 October 2018
This is a film where people expecting an action blockbuster will be disappointed at first, but will return to it later with a renewed appreciation. Writer/Director Drew Goddard channels Tarantino & DePalma to deliver an almost perfect crime mystery Thriller with a boldness to do its own thing and continuously subvert expectations with its twists and turns. Despite the slightest of pacing issues, the cast are all excellent amongst stylish production design & lush colourful cinematography. See. This. Film.
87 out of 131 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Complete subverts expectations and keeps you at the edge of your seat
Zachary_goodwin2 October 2018
Bad Times at the El Royale is an incredibly captivating mystery / thriller, and completely subverts expectations within the first 10 minutes. With an all-star cast, the acting is solid from start to finish, and Lewis Pullman (Miles, the hotel manager) steals the spotlight even with Chris Hemsworth in the mix. The structure of the film feels fresh and simulating, with non-linear storytelling and scenes from multiple perspectives, though at times, the pacing does tend to drag at certain parts. The more energetic scenes are accompanied by an incredible soundtrack, with classics from the 60's; that create a warm and versed vibe. The topics of ultimatums and self reflection are presented, and exceptionally highlight by the cinematography. Several scenes have the character looking through a one-way mirror, presenting a shot with what the character sees and, in the reflection, his/her reaction. There are also parts with vivid color and or contrast paired with beautiful composition that forms a stylistic vintage look. One of the film's problems is leaving open plot threads to hang, one character is believed to be promising and crucial in the beginning of the film but slowly dwindles away all, and connection and potential is lost. Overall Bad Times at the El Royale does a phenomenal job at luring the audience into a story that is at points unpredictable.
77 out of 117 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The greatest Tarrantino Fan Film
andreanthonyfoster12 October 2018
Bad Times at the El Royale was a superbly directed film. Drew Goddard truly shows his talent as a director by consistently keeping the audience engaged. For me personally I felt this movie never had a moment where I felt the least bit bored. The pacing was very consistent. In addition to that the cinematography was excellent and it really captured every single scene almost perfectly.

Another thing I loved about this movie was the performances. Each character felt unique and engaging and that is thanks mostly to the writing but also to the acting. Chris Hemsworth's performance was one that truly astounded me. I don't want to reveal any spoilers but trust me, this role is unlike any other role he's been in. Other than Chris Hemsworth all the other actors were exceptional as well.

Now a reason why I love this movie is that it firstly is a great, I guess you could call, a love letter to Quentin Tarrantino's films. The dialogue is very intriguing as each character seems to have something sinister hidden deep within themselves, and that is mostly expressed through the dialogue. I loved that none of the characters were cliché nice guys and I like how this movie makes you feel like any character could die at any point in the movie. It keeps your attention span and never fails at doing so. I also think it's a nice break from all those reboots, remakes, sequels and adaptations that are crowding cinema's nowadays. It's great to see a unique film like this one. It's sad that there aren't that many original ideas anymore.

Overall this movie most definitely feels like a Quentin Tarrantino fan film. And while it never reaches the level of quality as some of his better films. It does come very close to that mark in my opinion. And that is honestly a high remark especially for a less experienced film maker. All I can say is that this movie is layered with talent all throughout the movie and I'd highly recommend you go see it.
61 out of 96 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Must see
anushalolzz3 October 2018
If you like Tarantino movies.. This is for you.. Mind blowing screen play, ensemble cast, cinematography, music. I'll not be surprised if it bags few Academy nominations. Keeps the edge of the dear the whole time. I didn't for one bit felt the movie was lengthy. It was needed and well paced.
97 out of 159 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A fun ride with a hell of a lot of substance!
joeduttonx2 October 2018
Superb acting particularly by Jeff Bridges and Cynthia Erivo. Storyline was enthralling and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time - I'm usually able to predict what happens next to progress the plot, but this movie surprised me each and every time. Seamlessly blends comedy and mystery/suspense, which is what I feel like A Simple Favor failed to execute successfully last month. Would recommend for anyone who wants a fun ride with a bit of substance!
56 out of 90 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
...kind of just there
TateJ3rd12 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was ok. It wasn't good and it wasn't bad, it was kind of just...there.

It's a little too long. At times boring. Tries a little too hard to be like Tarantino but doesn't give you the satisfying payoff.

The beginning started off good and had me interested in the characters. But after a while it felt like this movie wasn't going anywhere. There isn't any real twist or turns and it was very predictable as to who was going to survive in the end. I guess the writer had a good idea at start but he didn't know how to end it. Just a bunch of random violence.

So out of a score of 10, I would give it a 5. Right in the middle. Started off good but fizzled out towards the end, especially when Chris Hemsworth's character shows up and slows the movie way down. There is a better movie out there similar to this and it's called Identity. And it has a way better ending.
125 out of 214 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Wannabe Tarantino Film
Yee_Reviews1 October 2018
Good: The time period 1969 provides a great stylistic approach to a hotel that has property on both California and Nevada, which adds to the idea of having a good side and a bad side and the hotel also creates a sense of entrapment. The cinematography is great as it makes slow pans to unveil the secrets of the characters and the El Royale. The hotel, costume design, and soundtrack help create a nostalgic setting. The directing and editing are also well done when incorporating sound/music to scenes especially when Cynthia Ervio sings. Erivo's musical performance is filled with heart and soul and helps develop the character and conveys her emotions. Other standouts are Jeff Bridges and Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth just has a charming presence and provides the slight dark tone of his character. Bridges plays his character well as he connects with Erivo and tries to execute his actions. However, the rest of the cast have trouble making their appearance known...

Bad: At a whopping 2h 20m runtime, the film is a slow burn where it takes a painstakingly long time to make it to the end and even the finale becomes a disappointment. At times it tries to be funny, but the humor is not a standout in this film. There is a lack of emotional pull to the characters which is evident in the finale where the characters are still not fully developed. The concept was there, but the creativity lacked, which ended up in poor execution.

Overall: Style over substance. I wanted to like this movie for the trailer was great with its editing, soundtrack, and cast, but does not live up to Drew Godard's directing predecessor "The Cabin in the Woods," or have the writing creativity from "The Martian." The film reminded me a lot of Quentin Tarantino films as it was divided into chapters and had the same style with flashback stories to gain background, however, I would rather watch "Hateful Eight," or any of Tarantino films that have excellent dialogue and action.

2.9/5 (Not fresh)
108 out of 191 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good times had seeing Bad Times
jg_197713 October 2018
First off let me say, Bat Times at the El Royale is most certainly not for everyone. The way the story unfolds and how information is withheld/presented is quite complex. Although this may make it a bit too convoluted for some, it makes it an absolute treat for anyone willing to dig beneath the surface and get analytical. Not unlike Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard's directorial debut), Bad Times plays with your expectations. Goddard takes painstaking care to build tension throughout a scene, only to have it all upended by a sudden twist. For that reason, I anticipate the reaction to this film will be divided, as many moviegoers simply don't like surprises or being unsure of what will happen. However, if you are a fan of Goddard's previous work, it's a safe bet that you'll like this one. I also need to talk about the cast, as they deliver an absolute treasure of an ensemble performance. Each person plays their part incredibly well, but Cynthia Erivo and Chris Hemsworth are the definite stand outs. Hemsworth especially shines, showing us that he can do more than play a quippy Norse god. This movie has so much to unpack both visually and in terms of foreshadowing that I cannot wait to see it again. If you're looking for a smart, stylish, and generally thrilling way to spend a few hours, look no further than Bad Times at the El Royale.
29 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Old School Movie In 2018
eddiewano-5240211 October 2018
More of a substance film than a style film. And it's nice to see a real ending to a thriller for a change, instead of the lucky escape formula that ultimately means nothing other than they got away (yawn).

Without giving anything away, it's definitely a must see movie in 2018.
49 out of 84 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Check in to the El Royale!
ptheaul4 October 2018
I had the opportunity to see a sneak preview of 'Bad Times at the El Royale' thanks to the Alamo Drafthouse.

If you've seen 'Cabin in the Woods' then you have a good idea of what director Drew Goddard brings to the table. He brings that same sense of style and flare to the El Royale. The film looks great and hooks you in from the start. If I had to describe the feel, I'd say it's Tarantino meets Hitchcock. It takes its time introducing and fleshing out the characters while unfolding the plot in a way that's always interesting. The revelations are put together with a ton of craft and it has a great mix of dark comedy. A little long towards the end but the pay off is worth it.

Speaking of characters, the cast is fantastic. Jon Hamm brings his 'Mad Men' charm along with a dash of great comedic timing. Jeff Bridges gives one of his best roles since 'True Grit' and he has great chemistry with Cynthia Erivo. Their scenes together are some of the best and this is sure to be a breakout role for her. Same goes for Lewis Pullman who plays the Hotel everything(you'll get the joke when you see it) as he delivers a purposefully awkward but strong character. Chris Hemsworth gives us something that we haven't seen from him before but the less said about that, the better. Dakota Johnson and Cailee Spaeny were a mixed bag for me. They had some great scenes but the characters were my least favorite.

Another star in the film is the perfect soundtrack. Not only because of the song choices themselves but also how they are intertwined with the flow and action of the scenes.

If you're looking for something fresh and different, this is one to check out as soon as possible. One of my favorites of the year. Its one that is difficult to review without giving away too much, so I'll just wrap this up. I look forward to watching it again.

8 out of 10.
39 out of 70 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good start, boring move
irusha_sunny18 October 2018
Started off nicely and promising, halfway became dragging. Ending was senselessly violent. Resembles Tarantino however lacks his ease and catchy dialogues. Regret wasted time
22 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
There's probably a decent film in here somewhere...
thechair16 October 2018
How I wish I was one of the 9s and 10s reviewing on here. Loved Cabin in the Woods and Drew's work in general, but unfortunately this is way, way off what it should have been. With a firm editor and some zip in the dialogue this could have been a nice 90s-Tarantino-esque noir, but as it is it is a collection of tiresomely overlong scenes held together by a storyline that is far from engaging on any level, and with a heavy tone ill-fitting the material. Every scene could (and should) have been slashed by 25% and nothing would have been lost (well, an awful lot of singing). There are no crackling verbal exchanges in any of them, and despite what remain good performances from an excellent cast, by the end (and maybe the 33rd or 34th flashback to another character's backstory) I just wanted the lights to come up and for it all to be over. 5/10 for the acting, a couple of good moments/surprises and the look of it, otherwise it would have been a 2 or a 3. Boring.
20 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Must Watch
thomasjay-5227714 October 2018
My most anticipated release for the rest of this month/year and it's fair to say I left satisfied, although taking a little while to get going pace wise with the majority of the opening being dialogue based once it gets going it's got no problem at all. Tense and odd but brilliantly executed the general plot is so interesting, Goddard pays magnificent attention to detail in every scene all of which becomes useful at a later stage and some of the action was strangely beautiful and original playing with lighting, environments and elements which I can honestly say I've never seen before. Shades of Tarantino and a lovely colour pallete this was a brilliant watch, Goddard strikes again I highly recommend you see this
19 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great time!
piggulu14 October 2018
Starts off slow with the characters coming together, but then the mysteries and tension pile up and the you ride the suspense all the way to the end. As many have noted, it does heavily channel Tarantino with the use of flashbacks and alternate viewpoints, but isn't jarring. The violence isn't gratuitous, either, which helps maintain the focus on the actual happenings.

All the characters were played well by their respective actors, but I do feel at least 20 minutes could've been shaved off the finale without detracting from anything.

Definitely a must see.
17 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great movie!
cdemirdu2 October 2018
Great movie. It is very unexpected. You can see the Tarantino effect. I can guarantee that you definitely wont be bored.
40 out of 78 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Boring Time at the El Royale
kmatej-2543512 October 2018
Great cast, nice shots and promising fundament for the story. Unfortunately that was the most boring experience this month or maybe even year....
44 out of 87 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Overlong and Pretentious
frebo313 October 2018
An overlong, pretentious homage to Agatha Christie (Ten Little Indians) Steven King (The Shining) and the TV film Helter Skelter, "Bad Times at the El Royal" is a generally tedious, disappointing, and ultimately gory portrayal of "unlikable people acting badly," my personal worst form of cinema. Individual performances by Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, and Jon Hammx are brilliant, and some production values are excellent, but many of the quick cuts between past, present, future, and contemporaneous events are ill-conceived and anachronisms abound. Why are 1960s songs on a Juke box played on 78rpm records? Why is an impoverished singer driving a mint-condition classic 1951 Studebaker in the 1970s? Evidently filmed in British Columbia, "Bad Times" so far detached from objective reality as to be allegorical, if not incredible - requiring far too much suspension of disbelief and tolerance of gore to be enjoyable.
44 out of 89 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Too long, boring, and pretentious
djac1319 October 2018
While watching this movie I thought I've seen it before. All the beats, all the flashbacks, all the music.

The acting was good, but seemingly dialed in at the same time.

Even the ending was one that came at a boring pace. If I hadn't seen it before in many other movies I would have liked it more.

I kept expecting a twist, but just got twists that I saw coming, and I really hate seeing the twists coming a mile away.

If you haven't seen a movie like this before, you will probably enjoy it. But if you've ever seen a QT film, you've seen this one too.

This was a tough review to write because I was expecting at least something new.
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
mindofchester-499-8770519 October 2018
A string of setups that doesn't pay-off at the end. Leaves you feeling cheated and deflated by end. Were we supposed to care about who survived ?
13 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Book a room at a different hotel
lempkecoleton18 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Bad Times at the El Royale is like a hit in baseball that makes the whole stadium stand up and cheer, but then about halfway through you realize the left fielder is gonna catch it at the warning track. For the first 1/3 or first 1/2 of this movie I was convinced I was about to see the best movie I'd seen in theaters for awhile. The second half of the movie took that hope and promise and dismantled it into a heap of practically unwatchable wreckage.

This movie ripped off just about every Tarantino movie I've seen off the top of my head. There were elements of Kill Bill story telling, and plot development mixed with basically the same setting as Hateful Eight combined with out of order storytelling from Pulp Fiction and a Reservoir Dogs-esque Mexican stand-off ending. Despite being almost impossible to ignore none of these blatant rip offs negatively impacted the movie for me. The only one that did was how it was a great movie for the first half, and then became horrendous in the second half like From Dusk Till Dawn.

Initially you're presented with a diverse group of relatively dynamic characters whose motivations and connections to each other remain mostly a mystery early on. This combined with a mysterious, and increasingly creepy setting create a very engaging, suspenseful atmosphere. From there the director promptly ruins everything he has going for him one foul move at a time until the audience is either walking out of the theater, snoring, jeeringly laughing out loud at how bad the movie is, or checking mlb playoff scores on their phones (all things I personally experienced in theaters).

First of all, Don Draper....I mean Jon Hamm.....easily has the most enticing storyline out of all the guests. He also does the most to advance what you assume is going to be the central plot line of the movie. However, instead of using this to keep a good thing going, they have him killed off by Dakota Johnson (who looked really hot in her hippy pants). My problem isn't necessarily that he died, even though I would've liked to see more of Don Draper....I mean John problem is how he does, and after he dies they completely drop anything regarding him or his storyline from the movie. First of all, an experienced undercover law enforcement agent is definitely going to secure who he believes to be a violent kidnapper before moving on and freeing a hostage. Instead he ignores her completely, doesn't check for any weapons, and dies. At least give me something more believable. After all, it's what Tarantino would've done. There's no more light shed on the people he was investigating at all, and all in all nothing really comes out of weird porn hotel operation they have going on at the El Royale. The only influence it has on the rest of the movie is vague references to a tape we don't get to see that has JFK committing some heinous sex act on camera. They don't even end up telling us what happens with the tape or who uses it for what it just disappears at the end.

Second of all, for a movie that's 2 and 1/2 hours long we did not need 20 minutes of it to be Darlene aka a blatant Diana Ross reference that gets shoved down your throat a million times like you aren't smart enough to catch it on your own. Her practicing singing in her room...fine. Hemsworth making her sing at the roulette table....fine, but even then can we shorten it up a little bit?

There wasn't too much wrong with Jeff Bridges character other than A.) for a guy with severe Alzheimer's he sure is able to recollect a lot of stuff after being drilled in the head with a glass liquor bottle B.) it seems like he can remember everything except his name C.) I understand him trying to team up with Darlene and explaining himself, but I didn't like how emotional he would just seemed off to me.

Dakota Johnson (man she looked good in those pants) and her sister are another example of this movie taking a good thing and ruining it. The vagueness surrounding her and why she's kidnapped her sister work well when combined with Draper's..........Hamm's.....investigation. Even after Hamm is dead you're still left wondering who her sister called, why they're running away, and why she had to subdue her sister. Despite all this promise they completely and utterly lost me when Hemsworth aka the handsome Marylin Manson strolled into town.

By the time Hemsworth shows up, they've already killed off the best storyline, Darlene has sung for a total of about 4 hours, all mystery surrounding Jeff Bridges is gone, and I'm already sick of Dakota Johnson's seemingly feral sister. The absolute last thing the movie needed was to introduce another character, plus backstory, plus have him slow the movie down to a crawl. On top of that, we definitely didn't need the hotel employee to have a flashback giving us even more backstory on him so he could "save the day" I was perfectly content with heroin addict hotel employee who uses drugs to cope with his traumatizing job. Now he's a Vietnam vet too?! Not to mention I don't believe for a second his ptsd from the war would stop him from at the very least saving the priest he feels such a strong connection to.

After the story was dismantled and I lost interest in all of the characters I was relieved when the final credits rolled. Save your money, don't even bother watching on Netflix, just wait to see Once Upon A Time in Hollywood if you want to see a real Tarantino movie set in the 60's. 4/10
13 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Downward Spiral
stebai6615 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Looked forward to this one having seen the trailers. Left dissapointed and a tad confused. Such a great first 45 minutes with loads of genuinely good moments. The rest played out like a hundred other movies I've seen where sadly, none of the clever twists promised eventuate. The opening grips you within seconds and leads to a murder but the perp is never identified, or even alluded to again in the following 2 hours. The hotel being on a state line, one of the big plays in all the hype, has literally the most tenuous link with anything that plays out. Seriously the hotel could have been in any state that allowed gambling in the '60's. No clever story around this Red Herring. I thought the bellboy/staff may had been the young robber at the heist, would have been an interesting development - he had been waiting at the El Royale for his payoff for years - nope another false lead. Infact this is what the movie provides in spades, Red Herrings. You as the viewer are looking for clues, all the way through that you think will all come into play in the final scene. There are none, don't waste your time. I expected so much more from the guy behind the Cabin in the Woods, one of the best horror movies for years. It was clever and not afraid to explore the genre in different ways. BT also felt like a showcase for the singing talents for Ms Erivo - every scene she sings in goes on for far too long and destroys the pacing of the movie. The good news is that the movie looks good and the performances are spot on. However, in the end, BTATER is nowhere near as clever as it aspires to be
12 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fun Times at the El Royale
sportsnut-6693513 October 2018
This movie is loads of fun. From the brilliant performances to the wonderful soundtrack to the incredibly bizzare plot and characters, Drew Goddard's Bad Times at the El Royale delivers. It's a slow burn thriller that has a number of twists and turns and contains spurts of violence. Going into any further detail would spoil some things. The hotel itself looked awesome and the whole set and production design are brilliant. The score fits the tone of the film wonderfully, and the actual music is just icing on the cake. This movie starts out slow and progresses forward leaving you wanting more and then explodes in your face for like the last hour. It feels very reminiscent of Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (minus all the swearing). This movie has an interesting puzzle that moves the pieces slowly together and then shows you how great the finished product is. The performances are great!! Bridges, Hamm and Erivo shine. Hemsworth is just an oddball in his limited screen time. I was most interested in seeing what Dakota Johnson could do surrounded by all this talent and given her biggest role is from 50 shades of grey. She was pretty solid in a role where she doesn't have to say all that much, but her nonverbal acting was well done. Overall, this movie is a slow burn mystery, that's fun, exciting and doesn't feel that long until the end. It drags a little there, but the film keeps you on the edge of your seat with Tarantino like twists of violence. 9/10
12 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Ending couldn't have come sooner
aliases-5333413 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Where to begin... this film started off well. The first 1.5 hours are compelling, creepy, surprising and will catch your undivided attention. It is true that the director has seen too many Tarantino films. A lack of originality is painfully obvious here, as the film unfolds into an ugly baby of "Identity" (strangers meeting in a stranded hotel) meeting "Reservoir dogs" and a bit of "pulp fiction" and "Four rooms". Having an inspiration is not a crime, ladies, but creating a copycat out of several movies is a badly crime of fashion. Still, the film was fairly compelling and enjoyable, until dear Hemsworth apeard, around 40 minutes to the ending. Somehow, this last, long, tortuous scene dragged the entire film to an empty dark hole of audience leaving the theatre or checking their phones. No more fun and games! From now on its bad cinema and terrible pretenious cult-leader Hemsworth, shaking his belly abbs in a bad Reservoir Dogs wannabe to a "cool" song, preparing to be very mean and violence. It all turns into an uncomfortable, annoying last scene that dragged forever and became sadly pointless as we learn more about some of the characters (details we did not want or need to know) and got a chance of seeing more of Hemsworth's body (at least some eye candy to make us feel better about all this). The whole film (literally) began smoking up in flames as it tries to show us it is actually about good and evil (?), the wrongs of men, racism and sexism, bad sisterhood, military and war (seriously?) and who knows what else. The point is, at this stage, nobody cares. Best part was the movie finally ended in the end.
78 out of 171 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Brilliantly different
sarareynolds-9360312 October 2018
Ok, so I admit to being drawn to this film by a shirtless Chris Hemsworth (who wouldn't be?!), but I'm so glad those abs led me to the cinema! I left having seen one of the best films I've seen in years. The entire cast does an amazing job. The set is stunning, and the story original. As others have said, go in knowing as little as possible, to enjoy the surprises along the way. I'm also convinced all those who say this is too long and has pacing issues, have just got very short attention spans. Settle in and enjoy your stay at the El Royale!
22 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed