Review: Good Time (No Spoilers)

By Angel

Movie Description: “A bank robber finds himself unable to evade his pursuers.”

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Story

This was an insane race against time thriller, one of the best thrillers of recent memory. I absolutely loved this brutal movie because it really was a cinematic pleasure in every aspect. The narrative opens up with a handicapped man who is stripped away from his therapy sessions by the protagonist, which is his brother. I was enthralled by his entrance with the dialogue and relationship established between the characters. I connected immediately and knew I wanted to spend time in this cool world of gritty urban New York. Connie drags his brother along to rob a bank passively and when things get awry he embarks on a desperate mission to break his brother out of jail. This odyssey is a downward spiral that continued to hooked me further down the story as the main character had to overcome these rambunctious situations.

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The plot made me feel incredibly anxious and excited as the choices grew more irrational and desperate, which allowed the twists and turns to have enormous impact. The twist in this movie was brilliant, it made me laugh so hard while thinking at the same time, “holy crap how is Connie going to resolve this?!” There are some scenes that drag due to the unbalanced pacing, but that was a very minor issue. The execution of the comedy and suspense was masterful. The ending felt abrupt, I didn’t want my good time to end, I was having such a fantastic time watching this story. The conclusion felt anti-climatic compared to the rest of the energetic momentum of the movie, but as I thought about it more, it was a perfect ending that I just didn’t love immediately as the credits rolled.

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Performances

Robert Pattinson delivers the greatest performance of his career without a doubt. He perfectly embodied Connie Nikas who is an anti-hero that is manipulative, selfish, narcissistic, impulsive, and most interestingly loyal. There is a destructive nature to this character where he believes he can make things better, but in reality just makes things far worse. He’s a criminal that feels empathetic towards others, which is why he won’t wield a gun, but will be violent when he needs to be towards those he views as corrupted such as cops or anyone affiliated with the government.

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He’s motivated through loyalty to preserve the love and peace he has with his brother. The audacious decisions this character made were fascinating to me because I kept bouncing back and forth whether I should be rooting for him or not. This felt like a real person that captivated me completely and that is the result of ingenious collaboration from the incredible Safdie directors and Pattinson. He is Oscar worthy!

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Benny Safdie was able to keep up with Robert Pattinson, which was extremely surprising especially considering he also directed this movie. His performance as Nick Nikas reminded me of Leonardo Dicaprio’s Arnie from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, it was that good. I cared for him instantly because of how authentic his performance was. You see the pain in his face and his eyes. Everyone else in the movie didn’t feel like characters, they felt like real people. These directors have a bright future!

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Cinematography

To me, great cinematography is when the visuals are contributing to the storytelling. A film should SHOW us what’s going on rather than tell us. When it comes to analyzing cinematography, simply, I ask myself, “Was this film nice to look at?” Then I can choose to get in depth and look for whether colors were symbolic, placement of characters in the frame, composition, lighting, shadows, and point of view.

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Is Good Time a nice film to look at…..ABSOLUTELY! As of now, it should be nominated for best cinematography. This movie was so eye pleasing I could have watched it for hours. The use of neon lighting was just astounding and jaw dropping, almost felt like I was on acid. I loved the use of intense close-ups in the film because it created this atmosphere of emotional intimacy, especially between the brothers. The best way I could describe it was a visual language that looked jittery. Good Time is arguably the best looking film of 2017 so far.

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Music

The music was superb and I love how it payed homage to the great classics of synth-work in cinema. It helped built the atmosphere and conveyed feeling of adrenaline from start to finish.

Message

The lessons I got from Good Time: Eliminate negative stigma towards handicapped individuals, be as loyal as a dog, and currency in a materialistic/ capitalistic society can allow the financially challenged to manipulate their way to familial peace.

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Overall

This was a riveting film that felt fresh due to the documentary-esque style. If you are a fan of cinema this is a guaranteed good time. The story is wild, the performances are extraordinary, the cinematography is rich, and the music is compelling! I had to construct a message on my own which I am completely satisfied with, I don’t think this film focused on emphasizing a message. There were some scenes where I wondered when the plot would pick up it’s pace again, but other than that I’m definitely going to watch it more. It’s an AWESOME time! Thanks for reading my review. My rating for this film is 9.5/10!

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Grade: A

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