The Million Dollar Hotel
Self-indulgent and boring; mature teens only.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is a lot of mature content here, but most older teens won't have the patience for it anyway. Parents should be aware of some mature themes (murder/suicide, the exploitation of mentally handicapped characters) as well as some extreme profanity and violence.
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What's the Story?
Directed by celebrated independent filmmaker Wim Wenders, THE MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL is a noir-style mystery narrated by Tom Tom (Jeremy Davies), who reveals the details of a Los Angeles murder investigation by FBI agent Skinner (Gibson). At a hotel on skid row, Skinner tries to uncover the truth about the death of Izzy Goldkiss (Tim Roth), who somehow fell off of the hotel's rooftop to his death. The hotel is home to some of Hollywood's weirdest, saddest folk, and Skinner finds himself interviewing "the fifth Beatle," a prostitute (Milla Jovovich), and a rock star's supposed fiancc (Amanda Plummer), among others. Meanwhile, hotel resident Geronimo (Jimmy Smits) is trying to sell off Izzy's abstract artwork.
Is It Any Good?
The biggest problem with The Million Dollar Hotel is that the supporting cast is made to be absurdly erratic. They twitch and screech and scratch up a storm, until the whole movie seems like the cinematic equivalent of a bad headache. Only Gibson plays the conventional, deep-voiced straight arrow detective, although he is stuck in a ridiculous brace (apparently he has had his third arm removed from his back) that makes him look like an extra from The Fifth Element.
All the atmospheric ticking and shrieking make it hard to see what the movie is intending to convey, or even who the characters are beneath all of that scenery-chewing. Teens are likely to be confused and bewildered by this movie, particularly since they'll probably fail to recognize many allusions to film noir conventions.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about film noir and perhaps see some better examples of the genre.
- In theaters: February 10, 2000
- On DVD or streaming: October 30, 2000
- Cast: Jeremy Davies, Mel Gibson, Milla Jovovich
- Director: Wim Wenders
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 122 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language and some sexual content
- Last updated: February 28, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
The Maltese Falcon
Classic film noir has mature themes, drinking, smoking.
Brief violence and lots of tension in top-notch classic.
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