REVIEW: Good Time (2017)

Release Poster – A24

The following is a short review of Good Time – Directed by The Safdie Brothers.

Have you ever been awake for more than twenty-four hours and then felt like a whole week has passed? Well, what if one night was so anxiety-inducing that it felt like it lasted a lifetime? That is Good Time, a misguided young man’s journey through a hellish night in New York to save his developmentally challenged brother from a hellish existence behind bars.

Robert Pattinson plays ‘Connie,’ the aforementioned misguided brother, who would probably risk it all for his brother even if he had been met with the ‘abandon all hope, ye who enter here,’ line in advance. He basically goes through hell for his brother

This is a remarkable performance from Pattinson — an actor who most might’ve disregarded as that guy from Twilight and nothing else. Performances like this one is going to distance Pattinson from the much maligned franchise that gave him his career. Critics don’t think of Kristen Stewart as that actress from Twilight anymore, and Pattinson isn’t just Edward.

With his performance in Good Time, Pattinson sets himself apart. There is an energy and a drive to his performance that I was particularly impressed by. It is, by far, the best performance I’ve ever seen Pattinson give, and that isn’t feigned praise — I, genuinely, think this is one of the best male performances of the year. Good Time‘s soundtrack and score by Oneohtrix Point Never — the alias of musician Daniel Lopatin — is almost as impressive.

I think the Safdie brothers manage to give us a very interesting observation of white privilege with the way it manifests itself in the events of the film. Connie basically destroys every life he comes across. He makes his way through the night with niceties, and, in his night-long chase for his brother’s life, he, ultimately, lays to waste the lives of, at least, two people of color.

My biggest problem with this film is that after the exciting first hour of Good Time, the film almost lost me with the subplot involving the character known as Ray (played by Buddy Duress). The second half of the film, unfortunately, isn’t as exciting as the intense first hour, but the film doesn’t completely go off track here, and the very end of the film works really well.

Ultimately, I still think Josh and Ben Safdie have delivered one of the most exciting original films of the year. Good Time is a compelling exploration of brotherly love that is undoubtedly rewatchable. Although this review has focused primarily on Robert Pattinson and his performance in the film, this isn’t just a film that will further the career of Pattinson. It is an intense but compelling drama that I think will appeal to both critics and the moviegoing public. Keep an eye on the Safdie brothers.

8.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen

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