19% Transcendence Apr 18
53% Heaven Is for Real Apr 16
7% A Haunted House 2 Apr 18
88% Bears Apr 18
58% Fading Gigolo Apr 18

Top Box Office

89% Captain America: The Winter Soldier $41.3M
47% Rio 2 $39.3M
71% Oculus $12.0M
62% Draft Day $9.8M
77% Noah $7.6M
41% Divergent $7.4M
13% God's Not Dead $5.5M
92% The Grand Budapest Hotel $4.1M
79% Muppets Most Wanted $2.3M
78% Mr. Peabody & Sherman $1.9M

Coming Soon

40% The Other Woman Apr 25
—— Brick Mansions Apr 25
72% The Amazing Spider-Man 2 May 02
100% Neighbors May 09
—— Godzilla May 16

Premieres Tonight

100% Orphan Black: Season 2

New Episodes Tonight

100% Da Vinci's Demons: Season 2

Discuss Last Night's Shows

—— Continuum: Season 3
100% Hannibal: Season 2
—— Hart of Dixie: Season 3
—— Last Man Standing: Season 3
—— Unforgettable: Season 3

The Motel (2005)



Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 3,990

My Rating

Movie Info

Writer-director Michael Kang makes his feature debut with the coming-of-age comedy, The Motel. Newcomer Jeffrey Chyau stars as Ernest Chin, a chubby 13 year-old Chinese-American boy whose mother (Jade Wu) runs a sleazy motel in upstate New York. The clientele of The Motel are predominantly prostitutes and their johns, which spurs Ernest's budding sexual curiosity. When he's not cleaning rooms, eavesdropping on guests, avoiding the local bully, or tormenting his little sister Katie (Alexis Chin),


Drama, Comedy

Jan 30, 2007

Palm Pictures - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now



Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (4) | DVD (4)

The Motel gives the lie to all those mainstream teen sex comedies starring happy, horny gwailos .

November 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps The Motel meanders a bit too much -- hard to do in a 76-minute film -- but it is an engaging little movie.

October 20, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a modest triumph of unflattering realism, proving yet again that a camera, a few good actors, the right material and a sensitive director are all you need to illuminate any particular aspect of humanity.

September 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is honesty and integrity in the filmmaking and the performances, which make The Motel among the best character studies of the year.

August 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A well-worn coming-of-age tale enlivened by pungent detail and a sharp visual sense.

July 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even if writer-director Michael Kang doesn't exactly break new ground, he imbues his debut with a quiet, compelling inertia that mimics puberty's rudderless drift, its burgeoning desire for something, anything, to change.

July 27, 2006 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A wonderful reminder that adult life is never as difficult as puberty was.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A welcome addition to the "awkward adolescence" genre,

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source:

A most impressive feature film debut by writer/director Michael Kang who has crafted a compelling tale by examining rites of passage from a fresh perspective, namely, that of a Chinese-American adolescent.

January 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Upstage Magazine
Upstage Magazine

Each of Ernest's interactions and epiphanies is pure, calculated movieland.

October 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Kang and Chyau make for a great team, with Chyau able to give an honest performance that requires humiliation, but never disrespect.

September 21, 2006 Full Review Source:

As rundown as it is and as downbeat as its denizens are, only 76 minutes seems like too short a stay at "The Motel."

September 21, 2006 Full Review
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

It's pretty much a customary coming-of-age tale, though it is told with refreshing honesty and realism.

September 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

... suffers from rocky moments and an unsure eye, but [Kang's] sense of detail is rich with prickly contradictions and he resists tidying up the story.

August 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

...specific and detailed enough to separate itself from the pack.

August 5, 2006 Full Review Source: All Movie Guide
All Movie Guide

It's Kang's understanding of human nature -- not particularly profound, but true and sharp as a perfectly drawn arrow -- that makes this unpretentious production sing.

July 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

The third effort of Korean-American writer-director Michael Kang of New York brings attention to his unique demographic, but should have been a better made movie.

July 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

It's actually really touching in parts, as well as infuriating.

July 8, 2006
Greenwich Village Gazette

Audience Reviews for The Motel

Pretty short and low-budget, but a decent indie flick about a young chinese boy who works with his family at a suburban motel (hence the title). It's a very character-driven story and quite funny in parts. Sadly though, it got kind of dull after a while, as there wasn't much going on. The dialogue is also overly simple and doesn't hold much substance at all. So the only thing that really make this movie worthwhile is its originality, plus the humor bits. A fairly enjoyable watch, but I expected so much more than what I got.
July 24, 2009
Mike S

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "The Motel," 13-year old Ernest(Jeffrey Chyau) lives and works at a rundown motel managed by his mother, along with his younger sister and grandfather. As far as slice-of-life movies go, it is rather sweet and not bad but it is also so slight that it could be blown away by the first strong breeze. And it is rather precious in making the lead character a writer in training, Ernest having just won honorable mention in a writing contest. Plus, there are a couple of episodes late in the film which happen for no other reason than convenience's sake. Overall, the movie is not about Ernest growing up per se, as it is about his becoming a man.(His father has long since left, which sort of makes him the man of the house.)[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The motel is symbolic of purgatory. People are constantly passing through, some longer than others, but they are all at the low end of society's register. And it is surprising that Ernest's mother, strict as she is, does not apparently have any compunctions about her children being unsupervised in this environment. [/font]
September 24, 2007
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Hilarious low-budget film about a pudgy chinese boy and his struggle with his ethnicity and adolescense.
August 19, 2007

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Motel on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

Transcendence is a Sci-Fi Snooze

Total Recall
Total Recall

Johnny Depp's Best Movies

24 Frames
24 Frames

Picture gallery of movie bears

Good Friday
Good Friday

50 movie posters gallery

Summer Movies
Summer Movies

10 most anticipated blockbusters

Latest News on The Motel

June 29, 2006:
Critical Consensus: "Superman" And "Devil" Are Certified Fresh
This week's wide releases both involve publishing. In "The Devil Wears Prada," the setting...
Find us on:                 
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile