Bad Times at the El Royale | Chicago Reader

Bad Times at the El Royale

In what is perhaps the most insufferable Tarantino knockoff since the 90s, writer-director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) blatantly invokes the baroque pulp plotting of Reservoir Dogs and the portentous style of The Hateful Eight, throwing in lots of familiar Tarantino-style sadism for good measure. What’s missing are the qualities that can make Tarantino’s movies pleasurable—his humor, intricate dialogue, and evident love of film history. This takes place sometime during the Nixon administration in a hotel straddling the Nevada-California border; a fortune in stolen money lies hidden in one of the rooms. Several strangers, all of them harboring dark secrets, show up one day, and by that night the place is a bloodbath. Goddard shows little interest in history and ethics (as Tarantino has shown in his films from Inglourious Basterds on); all he seems to care about is violence and kitsch. Bad times indeed. With Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Chris Hemsworth.



  • Drew Goddard


  • Jeff Bridges
  • Cynthia Erivo
  • Jon Hamm
  • Dakota Johnson
  • Cailee Spaeny
  • Lewis Pullman
  • Chris Hemsworth
  • Nick Offerman


  • Jeremy Latcham
  • Drew Goddard
  • Mary McLaglen

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