YESSSS. After a few clunkers, it feels great to finally see a film of some real substance. Directed by superstar director brothers Josh and Benny Safdie, you’d expect no less, surely. Though they’d previously co-directed three other feature length films, Good Time is the first in which they really begin to come into their own, and it’s what boosted them to global critical acclaim.
The movie stars Robert Pattinson post-Twilight but pre-Tenet, and is perhaps one of his most gritty performances to date. Here, the premise is pretty simple despite being extremely anxiety-inducing: a botched bank robbery lands Pattinson’s Connie in deep water. With his younger brother in prison, he embarks on a mission through New York City with the aim on getting him out. Sounds straightforward, but what ensues is anything but.
Good Time feels like the perfect predecessor to Uncut Gems and it is almost just as good. (I say this, yet Good Time was produced on a budget of only $2 million, whereas Uncut Gems had a – still relatively small yet much bigger – budget of $19 million). Watching them both as a double feature might give you a heart attack though…
Firstly, this feels like Robert Pattinson on a completely different level. Sure, everyone’s talking about his work on The Batman right now, but his performance here is incredible. In fact, I thought he was just fine before watching this, but I definitely have a newfound respect for his talent after seeing him here. I really wish he’d do this sort of thing more often and can only hope he’s got more of this to come in his future.
What’s most impressive beyond everything else though? The writing. Ronald Bronstein and Josh Safdie penned an absolute doozy with this one. There’s nothing in the script that doesn’t crop up somewhere else, and nothing that doesn’t become relevant again down the line, and the storyboarding is nothing short of impeccable. Not only that, but it is pacy, edited extremely well, and completely gripping consistently throughout. Very well put together indeed – there’s nothing superfluous going on here at all, which is perhaps best reflected in its snappy 102 minute run time.
Stylistically, this has the Safdies written all over it. The persistent up-close shots are claustrophobic and tense, the Stranger Things-sequel heavy synth music is perfectly placed and uncomfortable, and even the lighting is fittingly atmospheric. This is truly some well crafted cinema to say the least, and to say I had it on my watch list for years and never actually watched it? I can only wish now that I’d seen it sooner.
I’ll be honest, the only reason I’ve not given this five Qs is that I preferred Uncut Gems and there’s a pretty uncomfortable sequence involving a 16-year old girl… However, it is almost perfect. Trust me.
Good Time is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
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Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½