"Yo bro – who over the age of 21 still wears Ecko Unlimited?!" Constantine "Connie" Nikas (Robert Pattinson) walks with his mentally challenged brother Nick (co-director Benny Safdie, right) walk down the street trying to remain incognito as possible in a scene from Josh and Benny Safdie's crime drama GOOD TIME. Credit: Courtesy of A24. All rights reserved. 


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Taliah Webster, Buddy Duress, Ron "Necro" Braunstein, Barkhad Abdi, Peter Verby and Erik Paykert

WRITER(S): Josh Safdie and Ronnie Bronstein

DIRECTOR(S): Josh and Benny Safdie


HERE'S THE STORY: Constantine "Connie" Nikas (Robert Pattinson) is a bad guy. But he's the worst kind of bad guy ... For he's a bad guy that doesn't think he's a bad guy despite all the bad things he does and no matter who he drags into his mess. And worse yet, a lot of the things he does are actually done in an attempt to make things better for his mentally challenged brother Nick (co-director Benny Safdie). 

So, when Connie drags Nick along for a bank heist, it would be safe to assume things aren't exactly going to go as he has planned ... Which results in both brothers on the run from the police (and only Connie escaping capture). This results in Connie now desperate to raise the extra $10,000 needed to bail Nick out of Rikers Island before he gets himself severely hurt – or worse. Of course, Connie doesn't exactly plan to "raise" the money as much as to take it by any means necessary, which means whether it comes from his girlfriend Corey (Jennifer Jason Leigh) or random encounters like Crystal (Taliah Webster) or Ray (Buddy Duress), Connie is out to do whatever it takes to bail out his brother.

But will his desire to live the good life ultimately fail him since he seems to value himself even more than anyone else? The course of his night will reveal the truth.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? People who enjoyed the gritty, New York City dramas of the mid to late 1970s; rappers who love sampling movie clips and/or love the narrative of the street hustler and the choices he makes

WHO WON'T (OR SHOULDN'T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People uncomfortable with depictions of criminal behavior/violence and/or drug use on film; those uncomfortable with seeing scenes involving underage sexuality; those who have difficulty watching portrayals of varying forms of mental disabilities 

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? A film that harkens back to films like Dog Day Afternoon where you get to see a man at his most desperate in an attempt to help those closest to him, the ironically-named Good Time grabs and keeps your interest with strong characters driven by the performance of Patterson's young career.

We've all met and/or seen guys like Connie Nikas. Smooth talking, always scheming, they charm you with their slick verbiage or sway you with the passion you can feel flowing from their body. But you also see their fatal flaws: the inability to realize that their chances are running out, the knowledge to know when they are overmatched and the failure to take a smarter path because their undying faith in themselves is ONLY possessed by them. All of these flaws are on display in Good Time as Patterson's character keeps committing acts that leave you in awe of his inability to stop himself before his life completely unravels. Much like Pacino in Dog Day, he is driven by what seems to be a genuine concern for a person he holds dear, yet uses everyone around him and becomes so obsessed with his ideals that he can't see how his ultimately ruining the life of the very person he supposedly is trying to help. 

While Patterson's character's raw emotion and desperation is the driving force of Good Time, the humor injected by Safdie brothers' frequent collaborator Buddy Duress and the complex performance by co-director Benny Safdie bring two completely different yet great elements to the film. Duress, bringing a pure Jersey Shore (and yes, I mean THAT Jersey Shore) energy to the film showcases the various shades of Pattison's character in regards to the party level dummy vs. the criminal with a focus ... Whereas Duress' character is more of just an average schlub that does dumb stuff, all of what Pattinson's character loathes about him exists within him as well, making for an interesting if not ironic relationship between the two as the story progresses. 

It is co-director Safdie's performance, however, that likely will haunt you long after the movie is over. For his performance as a confused young man (and not just because of the effects of his disorder) trying to make sense of everything going on around him and trying to piece it all together just sticks with you. While one is trying to make sense of all the craziness he has thrust himself into, the other brother is busy trying to make sense of the world in general and how it relates to him.

It's those two elements in particular that make Good Time quite a good movie to watch. 



Popular Posts