Movie Review: Bad Times at the El Royale 🛎️

A beautifully crafted film that is best watched without knowing anything beforehand.


Bad Times at the El Royale stars Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, and Chris Hemsworth. CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

This post for Bad Times at the El Royale is spoiler-free.

Bad Times at the El Royale (2018, written and directed by Drew Goddard) is a neo-noir film which follows seven mysterious strangers who cross paths at the bi-state hotel called the El Royale. The film features a superb cast of actors, which attracted me to watch it on its opening night.

The most magnificent aspect about Bad Times at the El Royale for me—no spoilers!—was probably a particular event sequence—which takes place in the second act—that was told through the perspectives of three different characters. The set was also a stunning masterpiece that really allowed the film to be unique in its own way. Each prop that was featured in the film—particularly the room keys, which can probably be sold as merchandise—really elevated the ambience of the late 60s.

With the addition of the fabulous cast consisting of Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Cynthia Erivo, Lewis Pullman, Cailee Spaeny, Jon Hamm, and Chris Hemsworth—director Goddard was able to tell his story beautifully on-screen with the help of these talented individuals. Also, the casting choice for Spaeny as Johnson’s younger sister is just so perfect—their resemblance is uncanny!


Shirtless Chris Hemsworth puts his abs on display in Bad Times at the El Royale. CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

Don’t be fooled by the film’s—lack of—promotional materials, which features Hemsworth strolling around with his chiseled abs on display for the audience, because his character only takes centre stage in the second half of the film. Also, his character does this ridiculous “squiggly wiggly” dance, which is hilarious! All seven characters do get their time to shine in the film—though some more than others. The particular stand out for me was Erivo, as her beautiful vocals really caught my attention.

Bad Times at the El Royale is worth a watch at the theatres, as you will be blown away by the cinematic aesthetics and quality that you see on-screen.

Rating: 4/5

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