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Smart, stylish, and packed with solid performances, Bad Times at the El Royale delivers pure popcorn fun with the salty tang of social subtext. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

The El Royale is run-down hotel that sits on the border between California and Nevada. It soon becomes a seedy battleground when seven strangers -- a cleric, a soul singer, a traveling salesman, two sisters, the manager and the mysterious Billy Lee -- converge on a fateful night for one last shot at redemption before everything goes wrong.

Cast & Crew

Jeff Bridges
Father Daniel Flynn
Cynthia Erivo
Darlene Sweet
Jon Hamm
Laramie Seymour Sullivan
Dakota Johnson
Emily Summerspring
Lewis Pullman
Miles Miller
Nick Offerman
Felix O'Kelly
Drew Goddard
Screenwriter
Mary McLaglen
Executive Producer
Seamus McGarvey
Cinematographer
Lisa Lassek
Film Editor
Michael Giacchino
Original Music
Martin Whist
Production Design
Danny Glicker
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Bad Times at the El Royale

Critic Reviews for Bad Times at the El Royale

All Critics (252) | Top Critics (55) | Fresh (188) | Rotten (64)

  • Perhaps the most insufferable Tarantino knockoff since the 90s.

    March 3, 2020 | Full Review…
  • At some point during this logy 2-hour-and-21-minute exercise you want something more substantial than even Hemsworth's admittedly mesmerizing snaky hips.

    April 18, 2019 | Full Review…
  • An extremely well-directed film.

    November 20, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • It's a best-of-the-'60s jukebox, but it has a few hit tunes among the duds, and some enjoyable surprise B-sides that you really don't expect Goddard to spin.

    October 30, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The performances are all top-notch, especially from Erivo and Bridges. And Pullman's gradual emergence as someone who is more than a motel clerk is an eye-opener.

    October 26, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Every puzzle piece clicks together smoothly, and while there is joy in watching everything fit, the film feels like there's something missing. It lacks true substance. It's all aesthetics, no guts. But damn if the "Bad Times" aren't beautiful to watch.

    October 15, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bad Times at the El Royale

  • May 30, 2019
    Drew Goddard's original fluidity in Bad Times at the El Royale is both thrilling and smart. The film's intriguing characters, groovy vibe and surprising narrative is an underrated success that should be revered more than it is being resented. 4.2/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 30, 2019
    From writer/director Drew Goddard comes the thrilling noir crime drama Bad Times at the El Royale. The story follows seven strangers at a hotel built on the California/Nevada border who each has a secret, and before long things turn deadly. Starring Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, and Chris Hemsworth, the cast is quite impressive and delivers really strong performance; especially Bridges. And Goddard's directing style adds a lot of intrigue and tension. He also uses a Tarantino-esque narrative, breaking the story into character chapters, which enhances the mystery of who the characters are and what's going on at the hotel. Additionally, the set designs, costumes, and music do an excellent job at setting an atmospheric mood and tone. Bad Times at the El Royale is a well-crafted and compelling film that's full of suspense.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2019
    More often than not, the fragmented, time-jump-y form of storytelling (a la Tarantino) doesn't do it for me. But Bad Times at the El Royale nails the format, and just about everything else while it's at it.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2019
    Glad to see that Cynthia Erivo's star continues to rise and I've seen worse Tarantino knockoffs . . . but this movie is just too long and smug for its own good.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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