Time: 101 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence, offensive language, drug use & sex scenes
Robert Pattinson as Constantine “Connie” Nikas
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Corey
Ben Safdie as Nick Nikas
Barkhad Abdi as Dash
Buddy Duress as Ray
Director: Ben Safdie and Josh Safdie
After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Constantine “Connie” Nikas (Robert Pattinson) embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city’s underworld in an increasingly desperate—and dangerous—attempt to get his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of jail. Over the course of one adrenalized night, Connie finds himself on a mad descent into violence and mayhem as he races against the clock to save his brother and himself, knowing their lives hang in the balance.
I had been hearing some pretty good things about Good Time for a while, it received a 6 minute standing ovation at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Much of the praise was focused towards the direction and Robert Pattinson’s performance. So I was definitely excited for what I was going to watch. I’m happy to say that Good Time definitely lived up to all the hype and praise and deserves a lot more attention than it’s been getting.
Good Time is a very straightforward movie, Robert Pattinson has to save his brother in one night and from start to finish it delivers. However, the way they did it was so fantastic. First of all, it feels very realistic and gritty, from the story to the dialogue and characters. The movie despite its title isn’t really a “good time” (it is however a good time in the sense that it is a good movie), it is quite dark and there aren’t many bright spots, even the main character isn’t really likable at all and does some very questionable things. I have to give the Safdie Brothers credit for sticking with this approach because it made the movie better. This movie is 1 hour 40 minutes long and honestly that was the perfect length, the film takes place just over a night and it really benefited from that. The film keeps you riveted from start to finish and there is a constant sense of urgency and tension. I won’t say much about the plot, honestly it’s better going in not knowing a lot about the plot.
Just like Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson has shown how great of an actor he is post Twilight and should be taken seriously. Putting the general perception of him aside, Pattinson is fantastic here. His character doesn’t have many redeeming qualities, he is very manipulative towards pretty much everyone he encounters and goes to some low levels throughout the movie. The only thing keeping us kind of rooting for him is his connection with his brother. Robert Pattinson is absolutely transformative, not once do you think that this is the guy from Twilight, you just see the character, which is one of the highest compliments that one can give to a performance. Pattinson deserves a lot of praise for his performance here and I hope we get to see more of his talents in future films. Ben Safdie (who’s also one of the directors of the film) plays Pattinson’s mentally challenged brother and although he doesn’t have a massive amount of screentime he was great. Other supporting actor performances from actors like Jennifer Jason Leigh and Barkhad Abdi are good for the short screentime that they have and they all contribute and add to the movie. However aside from all that, it is really Robert Pattinson who gets to shine the most.
This is the fourth film that The Safdie Brothers directed together and the first film I’ve seen of theirs and I can say that they are definitely very talented after seeing Good Time. The night-time scenes in particular are so well filmed, a stand out aspect being the use of colour, they were so well utilised. There is particularly also a sequence which takes place in an amusement park which was directed very well. The film has a constant sense of urgency and the way it was directed and edited really added to that. Throughout the movie there is a lot of close up shots of people’s faces (maybe a little too much) which I guess is done to make things feel claustrophobic, it may be annoying for some people but I was fine with it. The music was also excellent, the use of synth really did add to the film and is used so well, often adding to the sense of urgency.
Good Time was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2017. It has a very gritty, realistic and dark story, great direction from the Safdie Brothers and featured an excellent lead performance by Robert Pattinson, which is one of the best performances of the year (and unfortunately didn’t get enough praise). I can’t wait to see more films from the Safdie Brothers, they’ve definitely shown that their talents with this movie. I also feel like it could possibly benefit from rewatches and I can’t wait to revisit it. Good Time is definitely worth a watch and more praise, at least more praise than its been getting.