Review: The Royal Hotel

Official synopsis:
Backpackers Hanna (Julia Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick) take a job in a remote Australian pub for some extra cash and are confronted with a bunch of unruly locals and a situation that grows out of control.

A synopsis like that sounds intimidating, at least to me, but thankfully we have a woman behind the camera in Kitty Green. With her, while the unease is there, nothing is gratuitous. The film was inspired by a documentary made in 2016 called Hotel Coolgardie. I have not seen it, so I cannot compare.

I find myself appreciating what this film isn’t more than enjoying what it was. While Green’s previous film The Assistant (also starring Garner) was a quiet, uneasy film like this, The Royal Hotel did not grip me in the same way. The men are creeps, one friend is a partier, the other reserved, it’s very standard. At one point, I paused the film and realized I only had 33 minutes left. An hour had gone by where not much at all had happened.

Garner and Henwick are good, but this isn’t something I feel anyone need to rush out to see. Though if you’re interested, it’s now available to stream on Hulu. It passed my time in flight well enough.

Grade: C-


  1. I might check it out though there's so many other things that I really want to watch right now. I'd rather see The Assistant first and then this film.

    1. The Assistant is definitely worth seeing. This can be skipped.

  2. I will pass on the riveting


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