Robert Pattinson had a rocket start to his acting career. He first starred in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and was cast as the co-lead in the Twilight franchise. However, like his other Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart, he’s had a tough time of shedding off the teenage vampire drama in order to be taken as a serious actor. He took on darker roles in independent films, but he’s only struck gold with his latest two choices: The Lost City of Z and Good Time.
Good Time can best be described as a New York City mobster-family flick. But it’s not the Scorsese or Godfather-like film you think, instead we’re delivered a modern twist and analysis to the struggle of the lower urban classes. Connie (Robert Pattinson) and his mentally challenged brother Nick (played by the film’s co-director Benny Safdie) rob a bank, but in the ensuing chase Nick is caught by the police, and he’s put into jail where he is abused by the other inmates. Connie, feeling undoubtedly responsible, goes about trying to get Nick out of jail, and the movie follows Connie’s struggles through legal and illegal means.
The film itself is an incredible work. We are always kept tight on the characters, never fully pausing, always moving along with them restlessly. Benny and Josh Safdie, who directed together, infuse a unique aesthetic using neon lights or TV glares to light up their scenes, so that there is this insomniac tone throughout. The story itself unfolds at a steady, but intense pace; visiting incredibly vivid characters played tragically by their respective actors the likes of which include the great Jennifer Jason Leigh and Barkhad Abdi. As for Pattinson himself, he can be happy to have completely shed off the teenage-actor veil as he gives a nail biting, yet subtle performance. And Benny Safdie gives one heck of a performance as Nick, his presence is magnetic in the few scenes that he has, where he cherishes every pause and awkward silence.
The problem some people might have with the film is that the story snowballs a little out of proportion in the end, and we never accelerate into the finale, we’re simply kept at a constant tempo throughout the running time. However, despite these drawbacks you would still have one heck of a movie. The atmosphere, the narrative, and the performances are all there, what more do you need?