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Plenty of Vacancy

The world of Hotel Artemis is a capitalist hell hole. On this night, Los Angeles’ population riots on the street against the company who privatized the water system. Stopping them – poorly – is a private police force. That’s of far more interest than the key storyline.

Certainly, this is a creative, even exotically told tale of the criminal underworld. It’s led by a Jodie Foster performance that even on her credible resume, marks one of her most unique characterizations. She’s a nurse to society’s worst, holed up in the private penthouse suite of the title location. But she’s vulnerable. Tough, but afflicted with crippling anxiety and PTSD. Her rules and her control teeter on a barely balanced line.

The outside of Hotel Artemis hardly seems to matter. People riot and Foster’s nurse prepares for the worst. At one juncture, a cop seeks admittance to the hospital. That’s one of the few moments where the inside connects to the outside. Soon, that plotline is rendered obsolete. Hotel Artemis has action to get to.

Until the third act, Hotel Artemis broods. It’s flush with style by way the art deco production design and textured with characters that rapidly evolve to set their place in this story. Hotel Artemis, it appears, is headed somewhere. The script anticipates that intrigue. And then, Hotel Artemis does nothing to satisfy those elements.

If there’s some greater nuance to Hotel Artemis, that’s never made clear

This is a stacked production, hosting Jeff Goldblum, Charlie Day, Sofia Boutella, Sterling K. Brown, Dave Batista, and Foster – it’s a roster of cinema superstars, crammed into this story with places to be and things to do. They unfortunately go nowhere and do little.

By the time of Hotel Artemis’ action flourish, Batista mauls some faceless thugs and Boutella makes her case for a sexy heroine, but the latter is so tired a cliché that the close quarters hallway brawl offers nothing of merit. There’s no substance either. By this stage, Foster stitched up a number of wounded thugs taking advantage of a depleted police force, and… nothing.

Waiting for the anti-capitalist set dressing to close in and amount to something is an infinite wait. Hotel Artemis enjoys the imagery of a burning city and crashing police helicopters, but this is more or less a timer for the audience; once the rioters reach the building, it’s time for everyone to go, causing a collapse of control. If there’s some greater nuance to Hotel Artemis, that’s never made clear. While style counts for something (and Foster is tremendous), Hotel Artemis leaves on empty after only reaching a half tank.

Video (4K UHD)

Global Road Entertainment distributes Hotel Artemis to 4K UHD without an HDR pass. That’s a waste, doubly so for a 2K mastered feature.

While this UHD benefits in terms of compression parameters, there’s not much else to see. An artificial grain structure rests over the image, buzzy and harsh, but to no fault of this encode. Behind that lies passable sharpness and fine detail. Textural qualities of the hotel, from lavish painted murals on the walls, work overtime. Facial definition remains high and consistent.

Colors lie in a murky realm of green and yellow for much of the runtime. Flesh tones follow. Moments of primary colors stand out in this backdrop, including some hearty reds. Some key scenes opening the third act take place entirely in red courtesy of various warning lights. Impressively, the encode doesn’t introduce any artifacts.

Primarily low contrast by design, Hotel Artemis relies on thick black levels for most of its dimension. While minor crush is evident, there’s minimal loss in the shadows.

Video (Blu-ray)

Much of the above applies here. The key difference lies in compression. The saturated greens and yellows that make up much of the palette lead to some hefty chroma artifacts. Blocking is frequent. A scene with Boutella and her red dress brings a flash of thick compression issues. Oddly, a late sequence covered in red holds up well.

Fine detail holds consistency. Sharpness keeps things in check. A bit of crush never rises above a minor nuisance.


Both formats offer DTS-HD 5.1 mixes, slightly reserved with mild dynamic range. The few uses of notable LFE – a laser gun taking out a concrete wall and a bomb explosion – do pack some power, but nothing substantial. Shoot-outs prefer to ignore the low-end entirely.

Luckily, surround use keeps things lively. Energy in the surrounds separates widely, offering discrete effects during gun fights. Outside in the city, the riots keep a constant presence in the soundstage.

The soundtrack includes a few ‘60s hits and they sound fantastic, especially in regards to their stereo split. Stick around for the credits too, which slip some guitar riffs into the rears.


A commentary from writer/director Drew Pearce and producer Adam Siegel is oddly not on the UHD, only the Blu-ray. Also, this is the lone bonus feature.

Hotel Artemis
  • Video (4K UHD)
  • Video (Blu-ray)
  • Audio
  • Extras


While the world of Hotel Artemis offers an intriguing look at the future, it’s a limited and ultimately empty story held together by great performances.

User Review
1 (1 vote)

The 15 unaltered images below represent the Blu-ray. For an additional 12 Hotel Artemis screenshots, early access to all screens (plus the 17,000+ already in our library), 50+ exclusive 4K UHD reviews, and more, support us on Patreon.

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