Talk Film Society - Seal of Approval: Bad Times at the El Royale
The Talk Film Society - Seal of Approval is awarded to those films the staff here deem worthy of your attention.
This week, we recommend the second feature film from Drew Goddard. That’s right, Drew Goddard has only directed two films in the span six years. While he’s been busy screenwriting (Cloverfield, World War Z, The Martian, Netflix’s Daredevil) we’ve been waiting far too long for a follow-up to the certified cult classic The Cabin in the Woods. Does Bad Time at the El Royale even come close in quality to his directorial debut? At 141 minutes, does it make good use of its runtime? Is this really one of the best cast ensembles of the year?
Our answer to all those questions is yes. Absolutely. Now put something on because it’s too quiet in here.
Here’s what our writers have to say:
“Drew Goddard does not suffer from the dreaded directorial sophomore slump here. This expertly-crafted thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout its well-spent, 141-minute runtime. If nothing else, we get Chris Hemsworth dancing to Deep Purple — that’s Seal-worthy.” - Marcelo Pico
“The film’s many exciting performances are the biggest draw… It’s nothing short of a delight to watch the likes of Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, and Jon Hamm clearly having fun competing with one another to steal every frame…” - Marcus Irving, from his review.
“Beautifully shot, expertly written, and drenched in atmosphere, Drew Goddard’s Bad Times... is one of the most satisfying films of the year. The ridiculously stacked cast came to play, but damn if newcomer Cynthia Erivo doesn’t walk away with the whole thing. I, for one, welcome our new triple threat overlord.” - Sam Van Haren
“Goddard knows exactly what he's doing and if there's another six year gap between his films I'll be very disappointed. This is a slick character drama with huge genre overtones and a mean-streak that would make even Ridley Scott proud. Gorgeously framed; it's just a joy to observe the hotel guests try and make it out of both California and Nevada alive.” - Matt Curione
"Moving on from haunted cabin movies to Tarantino-style thrillers, Drew Goddard writes his characters with more depth than we're used to in this often overdone genre. Add in a killer soundtrack, a half dozen stellar performances, and you've got an instant classic." - Mark Watlington
Bad Times at the El Royale is now in theaters.