Bad Times At El Royal review

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What we got here, is a failure to communicate...
So just fyi I dislike a lot of modern movies, and feel like there is a gradual decline in quality movies the further we go into the future. So I was super astonished to see this diamond in the rough. So baffled by greatness that I would put it in my top 20 movie list, and fyi no other movie that came out in the last 10 years will be in that list. The dialogue is great, the plot, the esthetic is great, (I love that time period!), the acting is great etc.

I just love how all these different stories of people go together so well causing you to be constantly engaged. Reminded me of Identity (which I also love).

Only problem I had was in the beginning when they showed some of the bank heist. I felt like it would have been better without that. Then we could have been wondering what in the hell Jeff Bridges character is up to which would have added to the suspense/mystery. So many movies now days have this scene in the beginning that is suppose to entice the audience right away (because our intention span is so small now days) but often these scenes don't add anything, or in fact a lot of times they spoil some of the story.

Anyways still an A+++++ on my end.

"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."

7thson's Avatar
Vacationing like a MOFO
I really enjoyed this movie as well, best peformance of carrer so far Hemsworth imo.
I had very few issues with the movie and these are minor. Overall its a 4.5 outta 5 for me.

Some really intense scenes that make you hold your breath. I need to give this another watch soon and remember to bring my "accoutrements".
Why can't I kill God in me? Why does He live on in me in a humiliating way - despite my wanting to evict Him from my heart? Why is He, despite all, a mocking reality I can't be rid of?

I enjoyed the film too, and it did seem to be somewhat overlooked or panned by the critics. Here is some commentary I posted back in January:

Good acting all around, especially from Jeff Bridges, John Hamm and Lewis Pullman. Chris Hemsworth was too good looking for the part, and seemed more like a motivational speaker than a Manson type character. Cynthia Erivo did a nice job, but her character made her seem like someone hired for their singing abilities who also had to act.

In a film in the vein of Wes Anderson or even Tarantino (without the gore fetish) there's no compelling reason to expect logic or reality, but several of the scenes or situations felt incongruous. How can a perfectly operational hotel/motel on Lake Tahoe have only the characters in the plot as guests? And later, how can such large fires in the hotel lounge not quickly spread to the entire interior? Also the Mansonesque character was not necessary, and seemed over the top. The guy could have just been a dominating criminal type.

Ironically the hotel was modeled on the Cal-Neva Lodge which is in Crystal Bay on Lake Tahoe, sitting squarely on the state line. But in the late '60s when the story took place, the hotel was very popular, especially with the Hollywood and Sinatra crowd.

However the movie provided an attention holding story, along with some interesting twists and a gratifying ending. We'll be on the lookout for some more Drew Goddard films.


Professional horse shoe straightener
I thought it was very average. The first half is pretty good. Stylish with some great mystery and sense of doom. Almost like one of the great Westerns. Then it just gets worse and worse as Chris Hemsworth comes in, hams it up and it just turns into a poor action flick.
"You break my heart. Then again, you break everyone's heart."