Not a jump down the rabbit hole as much as a squeeze through the other end of the telescope, Good Time is when the bass drops at 3am and you can’t remember your own name.
Josh and Benny Safdie use every dirty trick in the book to deliver pure sensory cinema: neon visuals, a soundtrack throbbing with energy, and a transformative turn from Robert Pattinson as the antiheroic crook Connie. The moment he and his learning disabled/mentally impaired brother Nick step into a New York bank wearing masks, they put their feet on loose rock, a world of possibilities beneath them. The following 90 minutes are their hurtling descent down the mountain, smashing deliriously into one boulder after another.
Great scripts are often understood in terms of their dramatic power and narrative heft; less often are they appreciated as blueprints for a sensory experience. The Safdie’s words propel you into a chaotic, grotty thrill ride with barely a handrail to cling to. At times it feels like they’re making it up as they go along, but that’s part of the charm.
Pattinson’s irrepressible shitbag of a character is a revelation, played with an instinctual drive. You never know quite what he’s going to say or how far he’s going to go to protect his brother, but it’s not some dumb animal emotion. He has a brain and he’s not afraid to use it.
Can you give a film five stars if you can’t exactly say you enjoyed it? Good Time is a misnomer. Watching it is like being inside a 4am argument when the hangover hits. Nevertheless, the Safdie brothers have concocted a dive bar cocktail of a film: grotty, thrilling, mind-altering, always engrossing, and not something you’ll forget any time soon.
CAST: Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Taliah Wester, Buddy Duress
DIRECTORS: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie
WRITERS: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie
SYNOPSIS: After a heist goes awry, a bank robber spends a night trying to free his mentally ill brother from being sent to Riker’s Island prison.