Good Time

Directed by the Safdie brothers, starring Robert Pattinson (2017)

This fast-paced highly volatile crime thriller went unnoticed by me and by a lot of moviegoers back in 2017. Now, after finally getting a chance to sit down and watch it I regret not going to see it in theaters. The best way I could describe this movie is stressful. The movie opens up with a drawn-out, tedious conversation between a psychiatrist and Nick Nikas, a mentally disabled young man played by Benny Safdie– one of the directors. I loved how slow this first scene feels. It set up the character of Nick while allowing me to begin sympathizing with him. Then, Nick’s brother Connie, played by Robert Pattinson, bursts into the room to take Nick away. The pacing instantly switches to the rushed and frantic style of the rest of the film. The two brothers head straight into the bank robbery, not even giving me a chance to take a breath or adjust to the new speed of events taking place. Of course, it doesn’t go exactly as planned and Connie is left doing anything within his power to free his brother.

As the story follows Connie through his desperate and manipulative schemes to free his brother I felt progressively more and more stressed out. I might have even started sweating at one point, and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. It really pulled me into the story and made me feel as if I was there with Connie, yelling at him to stop and think for just a second. Everything he tries to do leads to another thing, which leads to another thing, which leads to another thing, creating this painful cycle where nothing is going is right and everything is going wrong. The movie takes place over the course of only 2 days, and this just played into the intensity and the urgency of the events that take place. This along with the run time, one hour and forty minutes, put a weight on me while I was watching because I was constantly worrying in the back of my mind about how Connie was going to pull this off.

Robert Pattinson acted his ass off! An amazing performance from him, how he portrayed the sheer desperation to help his brother while also showing that Connie is very much a horrible and manipulative person was very well done. I have been loving watching his journey as an actor and how he finally has been given opportunities to show off how much talent he has. My favorite character was Ray, played by Buddy Duress. He is a criminal who has just been released on parole who gets tangled up with Connie. The character was comical but it wasn’t taken too far as to be goofy. He had a seriousness to him that fit in with the story and the themes of the movie well while giving me a welcomed laugh.

I couldn’t find too many things to complain about that were major issues, but one thing I did have a problem with was the setup of the relationship between Connie and Nick. I felt as if I was just dropped into their lives right as the action was starting without enough background information about the two. Throughout the movie, the brothers’ tragic past is hinted at a couple of times. I would have loved to get to know more about it. If there was just one scene about what they have been through together, instead of just hinting at it, it would have added even more emotion and realism to the story. I realize that this was probably a decisive choice made by the Safdie brothers to build on to the disorienting effects of the movie but I would have enjoyed a scene near the beginning of the movie just to give a little backstory information.

Good Time is available on Netflix and available to rent on almost every other streaming service out there. If you are interested in the film or liked it as much as I did, here is an interview with the Safdie brothers by NPR.

Rating: A-