Four Rooms

1996

Four Rooms

Critics Consensus

Four Rooms comes stocked with a ton of talent on both sides of the camera, yet only manages to add up to a particularly uneven -- and dismayingly uninspired -- anthology effort.

14%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 44

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 55,572
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Four Rooms Photos

Movie Info

Four of the most celebrated directors in the independent film community pooled their talents for this episodic comedy. Ted (Tim Roth) is the new bellboy at a beautiful but decaying luxury hotel; he is not having a good time of it on New Year's Eve, his first night on the job. In one room, a coven of witches are trying to summon the spirit of the goddess Diana; each of the witches must bring a different bodily fluid for their spell to work, but Eva (Ione Skye), who was supposed to bring semen, managed to lose her supplies, and needs Ted's help for a last-minute replacement. Another room, where Ted was supposed to deliver some ice, turns out to house an angry husband (David Proval), who is holding his bound-and-gagged wife (Jennifer Beals) at gunpoint. A third room is taken by a tough-talking gangster (Antonio Banderas), his doormat wife (Tamlyn Tomita), and their two children; the gangster demands that Ted watch over the kids, who turn out to be mischievous terrors beyond Ted's wildest imagination. And room number four is where an arrogant film actor (Quentin Tarantino) is holding a party. One of his guests makes a bet that he can get a Zippo lighter to light ten times in a row, with his finger at stake if he loses. Allison Anders directed the first segment, which also featured Madonna, Valeria Golino, and Lili Taylor. The second segment was directed by Alexandre Rockwell, husband of his frequent leading lady Jennifer Beals. Robert Rodriguez directed the third story, while the finale was directed by its star, Quentin Tarantino; the final segment also features Bruce Willis, who appeared unbilled.

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Cast

Tim Roth
as Ted the bellhop
Madonna
as Elspeth
Alicia Witt
as Elspeth's Girl
David Proval
as Sigfried
Marisa Tomei
as Margaret
Sammi Davis
as Jezebel
Lawrence Bender
as Long Hair Yuppie Scum
Laura Rush
as Right Redhead
Paul Skemp
as Real Theodore
Salma Hayek
as TV Dancing Girl
Quentin Tarantino
as Chester, Chester (segment "The Man from Hollywood")
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News & Interviews for Four Rooms

Critic Reviews for Four Rooms

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (13)

  • The results are mainly awful, and even Roth got saddled with a mannered part that he can't comfortably play.

    Mar 13, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Four of the hottest indie directors--Anders, Rockwell, Tarantino, and Rodrigues--miss a unique opportunity to display their idiosyncratic talents resulting in a tedious anthology in which 2 segments are inept, one barely decent, and one OK (guess whose)

    Dec 28, 2006 | Rating: C-

    Emanuel Levy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • They should have called this One Room and released it as a Rodriguez short.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The less said about this career-denting fiasco, the better.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 1/5
  • Sounds better than it is.

    Feb 13, 2001 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Four Rooms has to be one of 1995's major disappointments.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Four Rooms

  • Jun 01, 2016
    A convoluted mess, Four Rooms is a black comedy based on a series of short stories by Roald Dahl. Broken into 4 parts, the film follows a hotel bellhop who gets drawn into the wacky antics of several guests while doing his rounds on New Year's Eve. Each segment features a different writer/director (two of whom include Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino), and have differing tones and styles; which can be disjointing at times. However, the all-star cast, which includes Tim Roth, Madonna, Jennifer Beals, Antonio Banderas, Marisa Tomei, and Bruce Willis, is rather impressive and gives some good performances. But unfortunately Four Rooms just doesn't work, and comes off as a bunch of thrown together nonsense that's not all that interesting or funny.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 14, 2015
    the opening credits is appealing and I'll review as I go. I quite like Roths overly weird characterisation as it adds a weird dimension and strength that is missing here. the first film is really odd and strange, I just couldn't get into it. They really needed a cracking start but this gets of with a serious dud. the second film is much better with it's music and story. I liked the story and the camera work, the music and the slapstick momentum. the third film has a lot of energy and delivers the best one so far. The final scene is an absolute corker, a darker twist compared to the others and makes me wonder why they didn't kick off with this one. the last and best is tarantino who acts and delivers a grand story. the camera moves and the story bounces with great dialogue. the man is brilliant and the payoff is great. not the greatest film but not the flop I was told about. Scattered film but it does okay in some aspects.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2013
    Four Rooms is a multi-directed film (which includes Tarantio and Rodriguez) that ends up being a failure of epic proportions. I mean as far as the segments they were all awful. The first one (The Missing Ingredient) had terrible performances, and was way to fantasy. The second was Room 404, which would probably be my favorite. It had a few moments, but still wasn't special. Then there was the Rodriguez one, room 316. I did laugh at the great reveal (while being disgusted) but I feel that it was over extended after that. Then Tarantinos The Penthouse, that one was way to long. It dragged leading to a stupid conclusion. But the greatest was Tim Roth, he had no place in that role. The character was to un-confident and famine for Roth, awful casting.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 22, 2012
    I remember liking this movie more back in the 10th grade than I did re-watching it 8 years later. The problem is that I vividly remember the last two 'episodes' of the film and I remember enjoying these two segments. These are the ones that Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino directed. The first two, while I had a recollection of the first segment, weren't as burned into my mind. Perhaps for reasons that we'll get into this review. If you want me to come straight out and say it, the first two segments are no good. They aren't particularly funny nor that interesting. Well I suppose the second one has an interesting idea of this couple sort of role-playing this argument that involves someone coming into their room by mistake. When you think about it, this second one, at least as far as the idea goes, has the best set-up of them all yet, somehow, it isn't funny. Same with the witches' segment, but the concept really doesn't work if you think about it either way. On top of that, again, it isn't very funny at all. And Tim Roth's performances in these first two segments while amusing, was really over-the-top to the point where he was clearly over-compensating for the segments' lack of laughs. Thankfully the third and fourth segments of the film make up for it. And really, Robert's segment really started clicking as it was nearing its end, when things become crazier and Tim Roth's character becomes unhinged. It's also a segment that, while infinitely more entertaining that the previous ones, still wasn't perfect. But it had its funny moments. Tarantino's segment is the best of them all really. It's definitely very Tarantino-esque. It's very talky, with a lot of talk about movies that, most likely, influenced him. So if you don't like Tarantino, you're not going to like this but the pay-off for this segment was certainly very funny and easily the highlight of the film. Really it's kind of a shame because, again, I had fond memories of this movie back in the day and going back to it I can see that the movie simply wouldn't have been much if it wasn't for Tim Roth's performances as he slowly loses his mind and Robert and Quentin's segments. You can most definitely skip the first two, because they only drag the rest of the film down unfortunately.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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