REVIEW: Good Time

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Review by Dustin Heller

Good Time is the new crime-drama film starring Robert Pattinson in an almost unrecognizable role.  The film is directed by independent New York filmmakers Ben and Josh Safdie.  The film was selected for the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, which is quite an honor for any film and filmmaker.  Alongside Pattinson, the film stars Ben Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Barkhad Abdi.  The film is rated R for language throughout, violence, drug use and sexual content.

Connie Nikas and his mentally handicapped brother, Nick, are looking for a way out of their current situation on the streets of New York.  The only thing they have is each other and Connie has the plan of robbing a bank in order to make this happen.  All is looking good for the brothers as they walk out of the bank with the cash, but when a dye-pack explodes in the getaway car, they are forced to go on the run.  Nick is quickly tracked down and arrested and taken to jail, leaving Connie to search high and low for his bail money.  Connie feels responsible for everything that has happened and he fears for his brother’s life in prison.  It’s a race against time and against all odds for Connie to save his brother and right the wrong he did.

Good Time is a raw, realistic look into the underbelly of the impoverished streets of New York City.  The realism of the film is impossible to ignore and is really heartbreaking to watch.  The feeling of hopelessness is a constant theme throughout the film and the Safdie brothers manage to put the viewer in a state of uneasiness throughout its entirety.  This is not an easy task by any stretch, and it’s one that takes some very crafty filmmaking and an amazing script.

Not only that, but the actors have to be willing to get inside of the their characters head and become completely stripped of who they really are.  The performance by Robert Pattinson is a career best in my opinion.  He is hardly recognizable in the role and his character runs the full gamut of emotions.  I know some will only associate Pattinson as Edward from the Twilight series, but he’s actually done some exceptional work with some of the greatest auteurs in the world over the past few years.  He is one of the best actors working today and this role solidifies it.

Good Time is one of those rare films that transports the viewer into the action and stirs up emotions that could only be derived from a true piece of art.  This is a must see film for the arthouse crowd.

Grade:  A-

Good Time opens in Indianapolis on Friday, August 25

You can follow Dustin Heller on Instagram @eatindywatchindie

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