‘Bad Times at the El Royale’: An Entertaining Thriller

Film Is a Twist Filled Spectacle

Chris Hemsworth in <em>Bad Times at the El Royale</em>

Bad Times at the El Royale is a spectacle, twisting in rapid, unsuspecting ways. A priest (Jeff Bridges), a salesman (Jon Hamm), a singer (Cynthia Erivo), and a hippie (Dakota Johnson) walk into the El Royale, a run-down hotel in Lake Tahoe that is literally marked in half by the California-Nevada border. The guests — who are unaware of each other at first — check in with baggage in the form of secrets and lies. But the El Royale has hidden mysteries of its own, ones that will ultimately bring together and then bring down those staying there. In less than 24 hours, the guests become tangled in each other’s schemes triggering a melee of confusion and violence. Ultimately, events at the hotel serve as a microcosm of the social and political turmoil occurring during 1969, the year in which the film is set. While the storyline is revealed slowly in the beginning, by the third act it is overburdened by its own complicated plot, causing it to drag on for too long. Despite falling flat at the end, however, the film is an entertaining thriller that will leave the audience squirming in their seats.


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