A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hotel Artemis is about a nurse (Jodie Foster) and her orderly (Dave Bautista), who run a secret, high-tech hospital for criminals. Bad guys show up, some worse than others, conflicts occur, and there are lethal confrontations. Most of the violence/action is comic book-style, with occasional moments of gore. Expect martial arts fights, shoot-outs, and some visible wounds. The most gruesome moment is when a character's throat is slit. There's also drug use and abuse/addiction, smoking, kissing, and a character with an aggressive sexual attitude. Swearing is strong and frequent; words include "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," and more. The patients who frequent the hospital are played by many familiar faces, including Sterling K. Brown's bank robber, Sofia Boutella's assassin, Charlie Day's arms dealer, and Jeff Goldblum's top crime boss.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
HOTEL ARTEMIS is a secret, high-tech hospital for criminals in near-future Los Angeles. It's run by a woman known as the Nurse (Jodie Foster), who cares for the patients and follows the rules. She's assisted by Everest (Dave Bautista), a hulking orderly who enforces those rules as she requests. An array of injured folks shows up during a night of citywide riots. The patients include a bank robber (Sterling K. Brown), an assassin (Sofia Boutella), an arms dealer (Charlie Day), and a major crime boss (Jeff Goldblum). Conflicts ensue, rules are broken, and blood is spilled.
Is it any good?
The movie is entertaining, with a relevant social/political context, but you can't help but feel it could have been more fun. Hotel Artemis feels like a looser, mouthier page in the John Wick-ipedia, in which well-set-up killers have strict codes and slick clubs. After an opening shoot-out, the movie takes quite a long time to get to the slam-bang action we all know is coming when a movie features Boutella as an assassin. Some of the interpersonal stuff works, especially the fond relationship between Foster and Bautista. But some doesn't, such as the lack of chemistry between Brown and Boutella, the ordinary-feeling storyline between Brown's character and his brother, and the lack of big-dealishness projected by Goldblum's Big Boss. The always-welcome Jenny Slate also drops in, but her segment feels more like a detour than a twist. These bits slow down the ride and reduce the tension.
In his directorial debut, Drew Pearce (co-writer of Iron Man 3) has taken pains to create a world outside the hotel that increases the stakes inside it: In chaotic 2028 L.A., citizens are ready to burn the city down over the privatization and deprivation of clean water. Even more of that intruding into the hotel's insular world would be welcome. But there is some sly commentary, such as one obnoxious character talking about escaping LA by flying "south to the wall" and the Nurse saying in another scene, "This is America, lady. Eighty-five percent of what I fix is bullet holes." There's snappy dialogue, as when the guy trying to seduce/strong-arm Boutella's assassin complains, "You're gonna give me a superior act?" and she coolly replies, "It's not an act." The sci-fi tech is fun, and when we finally get to see Bautista and Boutella unleashed, it's popcorn time. So Hotel Artemis definitely has plenty of positive elements -- they just feel separated at times by character stuff that doesn't truly fascinate. You'll definitely leave wanting much more of Boutella doing her thing. She's awesome. But who knows? The door is open to a sequel.
Talk to your kids about ...
The movie feels like high-tech sci-fi, but it's set only 10 years from now, in a Los Angeles where people are rioting for clean water. How did this context affect your experience with the movie?
Is the nurse "good," "bad," or something else?
- In theaters: June 8, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: October 9, 2018
- Cast: Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Charlie Day
- Director: Drew Pearce
- Studios: Global Road Entertainment, WME Global
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence and language throughout, some sexual references, and brief drug use
- Last updated: July 16, 2020
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