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.
Since making a name as the primary love interest in the ‘Twilight’ series, Robert Pattinson’s screen choices have been particularly diverse and interesting, and ‘Good Time’ is another example of these choices bearing fruit. In this film, he plays Connie, a low level crook who instigates a plan to rob a bank with his mentally challenged brother Nick (played by Ben Safdie, who also directs with his brother Josh), and the film follows the duo as they carry out the crime and attempt to get away clean. The film takes place over a period of approximately 24 hours and there’s a frenetic energy to proceedings, driven by the increasing desperation that overcomes Connie and a pulsating score from Oneohtrix Point Never, and I was gripped from start to finish.
I think the key to ‘Good Time’ is that whilst it begins with a fairly conventional premise for a crime drama, it manages to rise above these beginnings to become something more thrilling and unique. In many ways it’s more of a character study of someone who has got in over their head, who has taken an action that can’t be reversed and now has to come to terms with the consequences over a very short period of time. Pattinson is superb in this role, performing with a manic energy and there are great thrills in not knowing what Connie is going to do next, in large part because he’s established as a character that makes bad choices. The Safdie brothers direct this story with a great deal of visual flair, and a knack for camerawork that puts us up close with Connie, emphasising the claustrophobic nature of the situation he’s got himself into. I don’t think it would have been nearly as effective without the phenomenal electronic score, which pulsates throughout every scene and delivers an atmosphere the film couldn’t have achieved otherwise.
‘Good Time’ is a striking crime drama and a perfect showcase for a fine Robert Pattinson display, who commands the screen in this finely directed adrenaline ride. I really liked it, and it’s disappointing it didn’t get a wider cinematic release when it came out last month.
Directed By: Ben and Josh Safdie
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Ben Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Barkhad Abdi, Buddy Duress and Taliah Webster