Robert Pattinson in "Good Time"

Robert Pattinson, a long way removed from his years as a teenage heartthrob vampire in the “Twilight” series, delivers a masterful performance in “Good Time.”

Courtesy Photo

One of the more interesting aspects of living in southern California years ago was the televised police chases that broke into regularly televised programming on a nearly weekly basis. 

Filmed from a flock of overhead helicopters, these intense manhunts always seemed to end in a desperate act or crash by those fleeing justice. The inquisitive public watching the frantic pacing and bizarre behavior dramatically unfold live, whether it took mere minutes or even hours for handcuffs to be placed on the accused. That non-stop intensity dominates throughout “Good Time”, starring “Twilight” film series mega-star and vampire Robert Pattinson.

Directed by siblings Ben and Joshua Safdie, “Good Time” takes moviegoers on a distraught 24-hour, post-bank robbery ride by a pair of brothers (Pattinson and Ben Safdie). In one of the most thrilling and crazy days captured on film in 2017, Pattinson and Safdie underscore bad decisions in a disastrous relationship while attempting to stay one step ahead of the law. 

Shot entirely in New York City and Queens, trouble begins when Benny Safdie’s character, Nick Nikas, gets arrested and roughed up in jail awaiting his day in court. Excitement ensues when Constantine “Connie” Nikas (Pattinson), must find and free his younger brother in police custody at a nearby hospital.

A character-propelled movie, “Good Time” skillfully allows the audience to ride shotgun in this crime drama told from the criminal’s perspective. While both Pattinson and Safdie give remarkable performances, it’s Pattinson’s dominant role as decision-maker for the duo that affords him the opportunity to flaunt his most serious acting skills to date. Barely recognizable, Pattinson’s chaotic and restless mannerisms alone are worth the price of theater admission.  

It’s not surprising that this film earned a nomination for the coveted Palme d’Or honor, the highest prize given out at the Cannes Film Festival each year in France. Pattinson takes on his biggest, deepest role so far and shines brilliantly. Together, Pattinson and Safdie are a wrecking ball of caged personas, impatience and poor decisions against anyone or anything standing in the way of their brotherhood. 

Over the course of one night, the audience gets to peek inside the frenzied life to two brothers who love each despite bad life choices and the resulting dire circumstances that follows. “Good Time” is an adrenaline rush the end of which is impossible to predict-just like those televised police chases on L.A. freeways and offramps. 

 “Good Time” is now playing exclusively in the Century Theaters at the Oro Valley Marketplace.

Grade: A

(Patrick King is a resident of Tucson and writer for the REEL BRIEF movie blog at www.reelbrief.com.  You may email him at reelbriefmoviereviews@mail.com)

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