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Bad Times at the El Royale | 2018 | R | – 3.7.6

Why is “Bad Times at the El Royale” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “strong violence, language, some drug content and brief nudity.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes several brutal and bloody murders, a war sequence, some obscured male nudity, some cleavage, sexual innuendo, and nearly 20 F-words. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


Crime drama about seven strangers, each one trying to hide a secret, who meet at a rundown Lake Tahoe hotel, which has its own secrets. With Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Lewis Pullman, Cailee Spaeny, Cynthia Erivo and Nick Offerman. Directed by Drew Goddard. [Running Time: 2:21]

Bad Times at the El Royale SEX/NUDITY 3

 – A man talks to a woman about her singing and offers to make her a huge success in exchange for something that we assume is sexual as he strokes her bare shoulder. A man tells two young women to “tussle” and whoever wins can sleep with him in the “big house”; after he breaks up the fight he tells them to “love each other” and they hug.
 A man makes reference to a motel renting rooms by the hour (there’s a sexual implication). A few people look at a reel of film (holding it up to light) and make remarks about a recognizable man presumably having sex with a woman. A young man talks about a man stripping off his clothes and lying in a bed with a wolf.
 A man speaks to a young woman on a beach where he removes his shirt and pants and walks toward the surf (we see him fully nude from the back but no detail is visible). A shirtless man (we see his bare chest, abdomen to the hip and back to the upper buttocks) walks through a field followed by men and women and one woman appears to also be shirtless (we see her bare back to the waist). A woman wears a low-cut vest that reveals cleavage and part of her bare back when the garment rises up. Women wear dresses that reveal backs and cleavage. A man’s shirt is partially unbuttoned and we see his bare chest. Women wear low-cut tops that reveal cleavage and bare abdomens in a commune scene.


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Bad Times at the El Royale VIOLENCE/GORE 7

 - A man holds a handgun inside a motel room and when there is a knock at the door he's shot in the back by another man (blood sprays out of the man's chest and onto the camera lens as he falls dead). A man breaks a door open, enters a room and hits a woman that's inside, hard in the face (she falls to the floor and we see blood on her head); she gets up and shoots the man with a shotgun (we see a gaping bloody wound in his back), and we hear gagging and coughing on the other side of a 2-way mirror where a young man was struck in the face with buckshot and glass (we see him very bloody and with shrapnel in his face; this scene is shown a couple of times from different perspectives, repeating the shooting and the blood). After spinning a roulette wheel a man shoots a woman tied into a chair and she falls to the floor (still tied in the chair and we see a bloody wound on her chest and blood splattered on her face as she dies). A young man shoots another man in the head (we see a bloody bullet hole). A young man shoots three people and they all fall dead with bloody bullet wounds. A young man shoots two men from a distance and they fall dead. A young woman stabs a young man twice in the abdomen (we see bloody wounds and blood on his shirt); the young woman is then shot and falls dead (blood spurts). A young man has a flashback to his youth where he uses a rifle to shoot birds out of the sky, and then we see him as a young man in the army as he shoots many other men in a war setting; he wakes up in a pile of bloody and dead bodies and the scene expands to show many dead bodies, fires burning and a crashed plane.
 Two men fight: one man throws the other into a fireplace and they roll around on the floor (sparks fly and we see one man with char on his face and chest), they continue fighting, and one man punches the other several times in the face. A young woman stands over a dead body and holds a bloody knife in her hand. A woman slams a man in the head with a wine bottle (we see this twice) and he falls unconscious to the floor with a bloody gash on his forehead).
 A woman has a flashback to her youth when she was beaten by her father (we see her with a bloody forehead) and she tells her younger sister to hide from him and not to make a sound "...not matter what she hears" (implying physical abuse). A man slams a young man against a wall and holds him by the throat asking for information. A woman holds a gun on a man and says, "I will shoot you in the face." A woman with a gun talks to a young man tied into a chair and he asks if she is going to kill him. Two men and a woman threaten several people with knives and guns as they tie them up. A man forces several people to play roulette for their lives. A man tells two young women to "tussle" and they fight, tackling each other to the ground, kicking and punching each other (one of the fighters has a bloody lip).
 A woman rolls a dead man over (we see blood on his back and abdomen and a pool of blood on the floor) to retrieve a car part and a handgun. A woman drags a bound and gagged young woman into a motel room and ties her into a chair. A young man is shown slumped against a wall with a hypodermic needle in his arm and a strap wrapped around the arm (there is a trickle of blood on the arm and he is unconscious). A young woman bound and gagged and tied into a chair struggles to get loose when she regains consciousness.
 An armored car is shown flipped on its top and three men clear the money out of the back; the driver and guard in the cab are shown bloody but not dead. A car speeds along the driveway of a motel and squeals to a stop outside the lobby. A woman pounds on a door when she and two men wait for attention at a motel reception desk; a young man enters the reception area and seems to have been asleep. A man disables several cars in a parking lot. A woman cries and pleads for guidance when her car won't start. A heavy storm blows outside a motel and the lights go out.
 We hear a news report of a husband and his wife having been stabbed to death (we hear the report a few times) and references are made to "multiple stab wounds." A man talks about a motel having lost its gambling license. A man speaks to a young girl on the phone and she apparently makes a reference to a bedtime prayer being "morbid" ("If I die before I wake"). We see TV coverage of Richard Nixon talking about a cease-fire in Vietnam. A man talks about having memory problems. A man becomes sad while talking about his brother, who is dead. A young man tells a man he believes to be a priest that he has done horrible things. A man is sentenced to 15 years in jail for grand larceny. A doctor tells a man with a bandage on his head and cuffed to a bed in a clinic after a prison fight that he has Alzheimer's disease and that the person he fought with "might not walk again." A young man talks about violent acts that he has witnessed and he describes a man beating a woman so badly that she had to put her stockings in her mouth to keep from bleeding out, and he talks about a "junkie painting 'sorry'" on the walls with his own filth, and about a man lying in a bed with a wolf. A young man talks about fearing for his soul if he doesn't confess his sins. A woman tells a man, "There was no violence 'til you," implying that a young woman committed violent acts. A young man says, "I can't kill no more people." A young man confesses and says, "I lied, stole and hurt people." When a woman asks a young man how many people he has killed, he replies, "123."
 We see several rooms with 2-way glass and a hallway on the other side where people in the rooms can be observed and filmed: A man watches another man pull up the floorboards in his room, he watches a woman put carpet up on the walls to soundproof the room so that she can sing, and he sees a woman with a young woman that she ties into a chair and she unpacks a shotgun as well as a handgun and a knife.
 A man goes into a motel room where he moves the furniture and lifts the carpet and then pulls up several floorboards and places a tote in the opening before replacing everything to its original position. A man opens a telephone in his motel room and finds listening devices and after scouring his room finds nearly 20 total devices.
 A motel is shown with several flames burning around the interior. A young woman jumps off a bar stool and swings from a chandelier in a motel lobby.


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Bad Times at the El Royale LANGUAGE 6

 - About 19 F-words (1 is written in a ledger book and we see the entry several times), 4 sexual references, 7 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 4 mild obscenities, 2 derogatory terms for African-Americans, name-calling (fragile little man, old horse, girl, bent, stupid, pervert hotel, creepy, son, boots, Mary Magdalene, all kinds of bad, bunny rabbit, morbid, weak, lost, old crook, I'm old), exclamations (dang, shut the [F-word deleted] up), 1 religious profanity (GD), 9 religious exclamations (Lord, Thank God, Oh Jesus, Jesus, Praise The Lord, Jesus [F-word deleted] Christ). | profanity glossary |


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Bad Times at the El Royale SUBSTANCE USE

 - A young man is shown slumped over on a bed with a hypodermic needle in his arm and a strap wrapped around the arm (there is a trickle of blood on the arm and he is unconscious), a man pours a whiskey for a woman and puts a sedative in her glass (she does not drink it; please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), a woman tells a young woman that she is going to get her clear (implying drug use), a woman holds a small plastic bag and asks a young man if he wants its contents (presumably drugs), and we see drug paraphernalia in a young man's room and he is embarrassed when a priest sees it. A man says that alcohol cannot be served in Nevada, a man drinks several glasses of bourbon, a man pours himself two whiskeys and tries to convince a woman to join him (he drinks one), and people drink and smoke in a casino lounge. A man smokes a cigarette in a motel room, a woman smokes in a car, a woman smokes in a motel lobby, a doctor smokes a cigarette in a prison clinic, a man smokes cigarettes in a couple of scenes, people smoke cigarettes in a casino lounge, and a woman smokes a cigarette in a lounge.


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Bad Times at the El Royale DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - Secrets, truth, lies, murder, child abuse, government surveillance, forgiveness, kidnapping, Richard Nixon, Vietnam, guerilla war, grand larceny, confession, fear, cults.

Bad Times at the El Royale MESSAGE

 - Secrets can be hard to keep.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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