Goddard Textiles, TSG Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox,

Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Chris Hemsworth, Nick Offerman, Russell Crowe, Alvina August, Mark O’Brien

The El Royale is a run down hotel on the border between Nevada and California near Lake Tahoe. Half of the rooms are in one state and the other half are in the other, decorated especially for each state, but there is a red line running down the middle of the main lounge that divides the room in half. The hotel used to be a hot destination, but is dying since they lost their gambling license and all the slot machines are out of order. Now no one stays here. A tired old priest (Jeff Bridges) shows up at the same time as a lounge singer (Cynthia Erivo) who is staying at the El Royale because it is very cheap. When they enter the lobby the find the hotel empty except for a traveling salesman who is also looking for an attendant. Over time, a few more people show up, but nobody is what they appear, all are hiding deep secrets, and things are going to go bad due to a whole bunch of bad choices as well as a great number of misunderstandings, and it truly is Bad Times at the El Royale for everyone.

I was intrigued by the trailer and really wanted to get to see it in the theater, but for some reason I never made it. I was excited when this was released on DVD, and was anxious to see it. It was well worth the wait, and I’m glad I finally got to see this. In fact, it was so much fun, I watched it twice. This is a mystery from start to finish, and it was really fun trying to figure out who the people really were. As you go along, as soon as you figure it out, you find out you’re completely wrong. As the pieces are revealed bit by bit, the puzzle comes together, and it was a really exciting movie. This reminded me a lot of “The Hateful Eight” in the way that nobody actually was who they claimed to be. This was a very insightful film, very dark, but yet somehow really beautiful. The way they built the set completely from scratch, and built the entire lobby building as a single set, allowing them to do long and complex shots in a single take without a cut. It was very well crafted and I enjoyed the movie twice from start to end, and really enjoyed the extra features that were were included on the DVD with info about how and why the film was made the way it was. The actors were superb. Jeff Bridges and Jon Hamm were outstanding. Cynthia Erivo did all the singing herself, and she was exceptional. Though this movie is pretty dark, there are enough puzzles and loose ends to keep us very interested in what’s going to happen. I am glad they didn’t tell us who was in the film at the end. I’m sure I know, but I’m only guessing. I really enjoyed this film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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