Good Time Review

robert pattinson good time
Connie (Robert Pattinson) and his learning-disabled brother Nick (Benny Safdie) rob a bank – but when Nick is picked up in their escape, Connie finds himself on a desperate quest across night-time New York to get his brother back and get them both out of the city.

by Helen O'Hara |
Published on
Release Date:

17 Nov 2017

Original Title:

Good Time

Shot in shades of neon and film grain, the Safdie brothers’ latest is an acid-bright, restless chase that finds still-mean streets in New York. Just when you thought the city had become a sanitised playground for tourists and the rich, these filmmakers have found the still-grimy corners and abandoned alleys to stage the most unusual, and maybe the most compelling, thriller of the year.

Director Benny Safdie also plays Nick Nikas, a learning-disabled young man we meet in therapy who’s just beginning to engage with his doctor despite his wariness of almost everyone. But just as he starts to trust, his brother Connie (Pattinson) breaks in to break him out. Connie insists that he needs Nick for a bank heist – the most interesting one since Out Of Sight – but you have the sense that Connie needs Nick around on a much deeper and more fundamental level, that his entire personality is hinged on a lifelong duty to protect his sibling.

An acid-bright, restless chase.

When disaster follows the pair, Connie tries to reunite with Nick by increasingly dubious means. From one bad decision tumbles steadily worse consequences, as Connie tries to hit up a troubled girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) for bail money and scams his way into a family home where he finds an accomplice in teenager Crystal (Taliah Webster).

Pattinson once again bids to be treated as a serious talent as the scuzzy but compelling Connie, and he makes a strong case. He’s twitchy but not showy, driven by some sort of unacknowledged demons underneath. With the authorities behind and the search for his brother in front, Connie can’t rest and neither can we. That relentless, nervy energy sticks in the mind, a paranoid sort of desperation that’s all too timely and far too familiar.

A throwback to the sort of gritty, character-driven thriller they don’t make anymore, this is a career highlight – so far – for both Pattinson and the Safdies.
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