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Drama - Crime, Uncategorized

Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

Elevator Pitch

A disparate group of people collect at a run down hotel on the Nevada/California border.. They are a priest with a poor memory, a singer on her way to Reno, a vacuun cleaner salesman and a young woman who drags a hostage from her car into her room. There is a young man who seems to be the only employee. The salesman turns out to be an FBI agent who discovers listening devices in his room, in addition to those placed there by his organisation and a secret passage giving access to every room by means of a one way mirror. As time passes we find out more about the guests, their motives and their potential fate.


The hotel is deserted except for the guests and the meek consierge, the priest and the singer have a few drinks, their back stories are revealed; the young woman is rescuing her younger sister from an extreme Manson-like cult. There is an increasing level of violence from the early stages surprising and shocking and events allow the younger sister to call the cult leader who turns up with his cohorts. Outnumbered and out gunned the remaining guests and the consierge are held prisoner. Will they survive? So there is some drinking, quite a lot of smoking but no nudity or sex.

A View I saw this in a cinema on the outskirts of Madrid, by myself in the screen, which allowed me to try  one or two seats until I found the best one. I thought it was terrific. Some events caused me to gasp out loud and despite the running time I was not bored, maybe because Jeff Bridges is brilliant, and there was throughout an atmosphere of impending doom. So absolutely worth the ticket price – said to be “neo-noir”. If that sort of movie appeals don’t miss it (Though now you’ll have to try to find it).
Duration 2h 21m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay, but set maybe in 1969 when aspects of the plot relate to the relationship between the FBI and the American political aristocracy.
Director Drew Goddard
Writers/Script Drew Goddard
Starring Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Lewis Pullman
Additional Info Cynthia Erivo sings a version of Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Coming” over the closing credits. It is worth going to the cinema just to hear that.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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