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New York’s heist society

Robert Pattinson stars in landmark film of the year that deserves to sit alongside classic portrayals of Big Apple pavement life

16 November, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Robert Pattinson in Good Time

GOOD TIME
Directed by Benny and Josh Safdie
Certificate 15
☆☆☆☆

WHAT an enjoyable, frightening, intriguing and funny ride this is.

Brothers Josh and Benny Safdie have directed a film about two brothers getting up to no good on the streets of New York – with Benny in one of the leading roles – and have created an engaging experience in terms of storyline, feel and soundtrack.

We meet Connie (Robert Pattinson, who smoulders in a Twilight kind of way but adds a chunky layer of real, grown-up acting on top) as he goes to an institute to forcibly collect his brother from a therapy session. We learn Nick (Safdie) has a form of unspecified learning difficulties, and is close to Connie.

Donning masks and hoods, they raid a bank but the hold-up is not a success: red dye splatters them and their takings and as they take off, Nick is arrested. It sets in train a series of events taking place over a night where Connie attempts to raise bail for his brother, avoid arrest, and in doing so gets involved in a series of escalating unbelievable scrapes and set-tos.

Two outstanding performances from the leads are helped by an excellent cast of supports – Crystal (Taliah Webster) excels as a duped teenager, and Peter Verby, as an unnamed therapist, sets an early tone for the believability of what is about to unfold. The borough of Queens provides a backdrop for the desperation portrayed, and there is a sense of city institutes desperately treading water to stop its inhabitants drowning. It is also, for such heavy subject matter, extremely funny. Human foibles can be ridiculous, and the situations the protagonists create are terrifically observed.

This is a landmark film of 2017 – a New York story that deserves to sit alongside other portrayals of pavement life such as A Bronx Tale, Once Upon A Time In America, Taxi Driver and Inside Llewyn Davis.

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