Considering how lackluster the entire month of August turned out to be, it’s a shame that Joshua and Ben Safdie’s GOOD TIME is on the verge of leaving theaters after going virtually unseen. Make no mistake: TIME is a smart, harrowing crime drama that features Robert Pattinson (yes, him) delivering what is, by far, the best performance of his career.
The opening fifteen minutes of TIME is the good kind of uncomfortable that keeps you on the edge of your seat while making you feel real concern for two ugly and unlikeable characters. After a bank robbery-gone-hysterically-wrong, Constantine Nikas (Pattinson) is forced to survive a nightmarish trip through the dark side of New York City in a desperate attempt to break his mentally-challenged brother (co-director Ben Safdie) out of police custody. GOOD TIME is extremely unapologetic for how politically incorrect and insane it truly is — and to its absolute credit.
GOOD TIME is not for everybody… and most certainly not for those who are hoping to catch a glimpse of Edward Cullen. Robert Pattinson’s work here is as unrecognizable as it is brilliant, and this is the kind of role that should provide a career resurgence for an actor who was all but written off following the conclusion of the TWILIGHT series.
The even bigger surprise, however, is Ben Safdie’s acting debut turn as Constantine’s brother, Nick. From the very first scene, Safdie’s performance is raw and unnerving; which perfectly sets the table for the film that follows. Both Jennifer Jason Leigh and Taliah Webster shine in brief supporting parts, but the lead actors draw you in from jump — and refuse to let go.
If there is a downside to this movie, it’s determined by the individual audience member’s reaction to the character of Ray (Buddy Duress). His introduction is a pivotal, yet obvious moment in TIME that, somehow, takes our story into an unexpected direction. Going in, the less known about the character (AND the actor), the better.
At 100-minutes long, GOOD TIME is an unrelenting watch that provides much more than the crime genre’s standard fare. Do what you can to catch A24’s latest tension-filled effort, and enjoy some of the finest performances of 2017.
Four out of Five Beers.