I never thought I would write this, but I think Robert Pattinson—formerly the glittery heartthrob vampire of Twilight fame—might win an Oscar for this. Good Time, directed by Josh and Bennie Safdie, blends a neon pulsating quality with the grittiness of Queens, New York to create a new-century Kids that is both miserable and fantastic.
Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) is something of a deplorable. He robs banks. He lies. He cheats. He commits petty larceny. But his one praise-worthy attribute is his steadfast devotion to his brother who lives with a mental disability. So what does one do with their handicapped sibling? Make them an accessory to a bank robbery, of course. The brother Nick provides muscle (or the illusion of strength) due to his stalwart build. However, after a bank heist, Nick gets caught and Connie runs loose.
Pattinson, who dons a hoodie and CZ studs, makes the quintessential New York area hoodlum. The worlds he explores cast light on a perpetual underclass, and the movie is a fascinating study of how this character will grift his way forward. Part crime drama and part thriller, I also feel this movie was almost part horror. I paraphrase Japanese horror novelist Shimako Iwai who once said that she doesn’t like to write horror about ghosts and goblins—she prefers to examine horror stemming from terrifying situations that occur in real life. The demi-world of New York’s underbelly that Pattinson et al. inhabit in Good Time is particularly scary as it feels oddly realistic.
Verdict: Go see it. Caveat: it’s pretty grungy and miserable.
Can I take the kids? Rated R for violence, drugs, sex, language. Racial aspects of this movie might make some uncomfortable.
Image via Elara Pictures and Rhea Films