Good Time

Good Time ★★★★½

Directed by Benny & Josh Safdie, Good Time follows Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) who after a botched bank robbery embarks on a twisted odyssey through New York City's underworld to get his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of jail.

This had been on my list for a while and having already seen the excellent Uncut Gems earlier this year I was really looking forward to seeing the film that landed the Safdie’s into the limelight, whilst also cementing Pattinson’s reputation as not just the ‘Twilight guy’ and as I had hoped the film is an absolute tour-de-force. 

The plot is a continually escalating series of events and situations, basically all of them working against Connie as he frantically improvises and takes monumental risks to get the money for his brothers bail, including kidnapping, breaking and entering, assault and more. We also see Nick’s perspective and how his disability effects him and the impact it has on prison life. The film moves at a break neck pace yet has just enough moments of downtime for you to catch your breath before thrusting you back into the chaos.

The technical perspectives are masterful at keeping the viewer disoriented, anxious and completely involved in what’s going on. No one edits and structures dialogue like the Safdie’s and it’s completely head-spinning, frantic and the cuts make it feel like a whirlwind just building and building before one of the character’s snaps or the conversation stops. The cinematography is brilliant with many clever and unique shots and camera techniques. The lighting is neon tinged and bold and very unique, with locations lit a specific way to get the brilliant desired effect. The score is a blast of electronic distortion, hip-hop beats and guitars all normally layered with synth as well, truly elevating an already brilliant experience.

Pattinson is brilliant here, constantly on edge and fiercely intense, just about keeping his cool at times on the verge of a breakdown or completely lashing out, he has a great screen presence and really by now has surpassed the ‘Twilight’ card some people still pull. Though he doesn’t get as much focus here, Benny Safdie is good on screen whilst also delivering behind the camera. Jennifer Jason Leigh has a minor role as Connie’s girlfriend but she gives a ferocious and manic turn in one particular scene. Buddy Duress & Taliah Lennice Webster also deliver in their supporting roles.

Good Time delivers exactly what its title promises. A neon drenched relentlessly paced crime thriller with a career highlight performance from Pattinson and energetic and creative direction from the Safdie’s.

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