Parents' Guide to

Bad Times at the El Royale

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Dark, violent crime movie has some inspired moments.

Movie R 2018 141 minutes
Bad Times at the El Royale Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 2+



This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 18+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12):
Kids say (8):

Part Agatha Christie and part Quentin Tarantino, this multi-character crime/chamber piece is too long, with too many stops and starts, but it has enough inspired moments to make it worth a look. Written and directed by Drew Goddard, Bad Times at the El Royale starts with a bang -- a flashback featuring Nick Offerman -- and then slows down for a long time. More flashbacks have the effect of stopping the movie dead in its tracks. And, despite the presence of such commanding actors as Hamm, Bridges, and Hemsworth, the characters are somehow a little flat.

But the movie is cleverly designed, with a fascinating use of space and sound. A sequence involving a kind of secret room is mesmerizing, especially when it involves Darlene. She's a real surprise in that she's actually not a criminal, though she certainly has a troubled past. When she cuts loose and sings in her room, all the characters stop and listen. The movie's canny use of echoey sound makes her songs all the more heartbreaking. The other ace in the hole is Miles, played by Bill Pullman's son, Lewis. Even though his flashback/origin story comes late in the film, his dark secrets are worth waiting for.

Movie Details

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