“Good Time” is a fast-paced, high-energy thriller about a small-time crook who, over the course of one frenetic day and night, can’t seem to catch a break. Or more accurately, all the breaks he does catch just put him into more and deeper hot water.
It’s a 24-hour chase film with almost no let-up for the bad guy or for the audience. It’s an adrenaline rush.
“Good Time” works on its own as a film, but it benefits immeasurably from its high-profile star as well. Robert Pattinson, the vampire heartthrob in all those “Twilight” films, will bring lots of deserved attention to this small, independent movie, but he brings a lot more than his celebrity to his role. His pretty boy face is nicely scruffed up behind a ratty beard and his eyes betray a desperation appropriate for his character, Connie, a man on the run in the mean streets of Queens, New York.
Connie’s on the run because he’s just robbed a bank with his brother. In addition to the getaway, Connie has to also worry about his mentally challenged brother.
What follows is a series of chases, close calls, rescues, mishaps, and one big whopper of a mistake. Given the nature of the thriller genre, it’s hard not to root for Connie to get away, but he’s no saint. He does whatever he needs to do to avoid capture and if that means preying on the innocent, so be it.
Pattinson is surrounded by a great supporting cast, including Oscar nominees Jennifer Jason Leigh and Barkhad Abdi, who deliver full-bodied performances in relatively short bursts of screen time. But as good as the cast is, the real stars of “Good Time” are the Safdie brothers, Josh and Benny, who wrote and directed it. The New Yorkers’ third film, it’s destined to be their breakout movie, thanks to its Cannes Film Festival debut, its world-famous star Robert Pattinson, and the Safdies’ very evident cinematic skills.