Film Review: Good Time

Robert Pattinson finally shakes off that Twilight shame with this tense, foul-mouthed and ironically-titled character/crime drama from the Safdie brothers, namely Benny (co-director, co-star, co-editor and co-sound designer) and Joshua (co-writer and co-director).

This tricky star stops all that damn underacting and offers a fine, almost manic performance as a flawed guy trying desperately to do the right thing by his brother, even though he keeps on messing the Hell up.

Connie Nikas (Pattinson) is a shady New Yorker redeemed by his fiercely protective love for his brother Nick (played by Benny Safdie), who has learning and hearing problems and has obviously been through some terrible experiences. Connie is unconcerned by Nick’s disabilities during the planning of a suspenseful bank robbery and everything goes well until it’s Nick who’s caught by the cops and winds up facing a stretch at the much-feared Rikers Island prison.

Quietly ridden with guilt, Connie tries to “borrow” some of the money for bail from his girlfriend Corey (Jennifer Jason Leigh, as intense as ever in a small role) and then resorts to an attempt at kidnapping when Nick ends up in hospital after a beating. It’s here, however, that the action takes a surprising turn that’s hard to discuss and yet probably easy to guess, and suddenly Connie is forced to unwillingly team up with a whining stranger named Ray (Buddy Duress) and a local teen named Crystal (Taliah Lennice Webster in only her second film), who picks him for a baddie straight away but helps him out anyway. After all, he looks like Robert Pattinson.

The Safdies are definitely lads to watch (this is already their best-known film for obvious reasons). They’re not let down by their star, who allows himself to look convincingly strung-out and act like a hot-headed idiot throughout. Kristen Stewart’s sulky Bella Swan from that dire Twilight series would have been appalled.

Rated MA. Good Time is in cinemas now.

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