Bad Times at the El Royale movie review - Aussieboyreviews


Despite being long, this crime-mystery is violent, entertaining and thrilling. Bad Times at the El Royale has excellent performances and great ideas, but is sometimes quite slow-paced.


In 1969, seven shady strangers with different backgrounds check in at the El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of a fateful night, they will all have one last shot at redemption before everything goes wrong.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Drew Goddard
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Chris Hemsworth
Writer: Drew Goddard
Release Date (Australia): 11 October 2018
Runtime: 141 minutes/2h 21m
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

Thematic content includes murder, child sexual abuse, interrogation and hotel guests being spied on in their rooms.

Violence (MA15+)

The film contains scenes of strong violence, including a man being stabbed and multiple people being shot, accompanied by sprays of blood and blood detail.

Coarse Language (M)

The words “f**k” and “s**t” are used throughout the film.

Drug Use (M)

The film contains a visual drug reference, including a depiction of a character with a syringe injected into his arm.

Nudity (M)

The film contains brief buttocks and breasts nudity.

Sex (M)

The film contains verbal references to sex including use of the word “f**k” in a sexual context.

mpaa rating

R (for strong violence, language, some drug content and brief nudity)

Aussie boy's thoughts

When you merge Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile with Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, you get a slow, yet thrilling, appealing and isolated crime-mystery like Bad Times at the El Royale. It uses elements and very similar techniques that those films use to execute its crime-related mystery, often admirably and putting excellent screenwriting to good use. So question answered: get the popcorn and drinks.

In Bad Times at the El Royal, seven shady strangers who each keep secrets from each other as they come together in a rundown hotel. Eventually, the hotel’s dark past and their secrets emerge over the course of a fateful night. This movie is just superb, and it’s even more fascinating the more times you watch it. With all of the character staying at the hotel, and especially as the darkness increases, viewers will find that the film provides a strong feeling of isolation with nowhere to go, although the setting isn’t as claustrophobic or disastrous as The Hateful Eight. The sudden bursts of violence and the prolonged shots also send out Hateful Eight and Tarantino movie vibes, making it very captivating and well-built.

The actors are equally as fantastic, with the most memorable of them all being the secretive characters of Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth and just all of them in general. Although his script offers some very slow segments throughout the film, Drew Goddard’s work and effort is faultless and highly stylish. His direction alone makes it a cinema movie. It’s done like an everybody-dies-in-it sort of thriller, worth waiting until the end for after an excellent build-up.

Thank you for reading this page and for more Aussie Boy reviews, visit