“Good Time” is directed by Benny and Josh Safdie and stars Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Taliah Webster, and Buddy Duress. The film is about a man named Connie who loses his mentally handicapped brother after both of them rob a bank, and from there, Connie must attempt to get enough money in order to get his brother out of jail.
I was quite intrigued by this film, as I hadn’t truly heard of it until this past month when critics really began to increase the buzz on it, but after watching the trailers, I became very excited, as this looked like a very unique and entertaining thriller. That, along with A24 being the distributor, had me coming in with relatively high expectations, especially after the dud that has been the month of August.
Robert Pattinson is able to break away from his tween performances of old and give easily the best performance of his career in this movie. Pattinson is absolutely tremendous in this movie, and he truly had to be for the film to work, as nearly the entire plot revolves around his character, Connie. Pattinson brings a presence that is unlikable, yet still charismatic, and the way he portrays the amount of craftiness and manipulation that his character needed to have was remarkable, and Pattinson totally blew me away in nearly every scene.
Alongside Pattinson, there are some really great supporting performances that really heighten this movie to new levels. I loved Benny Safdie‘s role, who also co-directed the film, as he is able to portray a mental illness very well, while never overdoing it, and I found many of the scenes with him as the focus to be the most heartbreaking and most emotionally charged pieces of the plot. I also loved Buddy Duress’ role as Ray, as he is a character mostly involved in the second half of the film, but I loved what he brought to the role, as his energy created a needed boost in the middle of the movie. While only in the film for a short while, both Jennifer Jason Leigh and Barkhad Abdi are great while they are on screen, though I wish I saw both of them more, as both have proven themselves to be tremendous actors in other films.
The Safdie brothers did a terrific job directing this film, as they use a unique flair and style to make this movie one that is consistently on its toes, and one that is always moving to the next step. I love how the plot and themes are wrapped in, as it makes a resolution something that feels very unclear, but by the time the credits roll, it is worked together beautifully, and it made for a film experience that felt very new and very fresh from start to finish.
The score, done by Daniel Lopatin, as well as the soundtrack by Oneohtrix Point Never, is absolutely astounding, as the music consistently accelerates the tension in every scene, and it is always very unique, very well crafted, and is a soundtrack that I would recommend listening, even without seeing the film.
While there are a lot of great moments throughout the movie, the opening thirty or so minutes are truly some of the best minutes in a film all year, as immediately I felt the emotion and I felt the tension, as the camerawork and stylistic choices made throughout this act really get the heart pumping, and had my jaw dropped to the floor until the movie slowed to get into its plot.
Because of how exhilarating and, to be honest, perfect the opening half hour of this film is, of course, other moments are going to feel lesser in comparison. There are a few moments in the plot that felt as if they dragged on a bit long, specifically moments involving the character played by Taliah Webster. I thought Webster’s performance was very good, but her character felt as if she was almost too incorporated into the storyline, and her character seemed to be kind of just there, and it did not seem to match up with the rest of the movie.
While the very end of this movie is phenomenal, there were a couple of moments right before the movie ended that seemed a little rushed, or a little unclear, and I wish that the Safdie brothers would have taken just a few extra minutes to fully develop these scenes to make a more satisfying conclusion.
“Good Time” is exactly that: a good time (look, you knew I had to do it once.) Robert Pattinson gives one of the performances of the year here, as he consistently makes this film work, as does the wonderful score, the fast-paced plot, and always creative direction. While I wish there were a few more moments of emotional impact, as when this film goes for the heart it gets it every time, this is a very entertaining, very well made film that deserves your attention, especially with how little is coming out in theaters this month.
What did you think of “Good Time”? Comment below with your thoughts.