Bad Times at the El Royale

Critics Consensus

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

75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 238

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,916
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Movie Info

Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption... before everything goes to hell. Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Cynthia Erivo lead an all-star cast in BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE.

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Critic Reviews for Bad Times at the El Royale

All Critics (238) | Top Critics (34)

  • 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.

    Apr 18, 2019 | 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.

    Oct 15, 2018
  • This Irwin-Allen-sized B-movie mostly works thanks to Goddard's knack for nesting-doll-style narrative compartmentalization and his talent for bringing out the best in his uniformly strong ensemble cast...

    Oct 15, 2018 | Full Review…

    Simon Abrams

    NPR
    Top Critic
  • Somewhere along the line... Goddard loses his own plot and succumbs to sentiment.

    Oct 14, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Bad Times at the El Royale starts with a lot of promise and a full head of steam; even half-way through I was engaged. But the movie eventually careens off the track.

    Oct 12, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Taking turns in the spotlight, everyone in the cast is outstanding.

    Oct 12, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | 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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