Movie Review: A24 Films' Good Time

Good Time
Director:  Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Writers:  Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie
Starring:  Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Taliah Webster
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A bank robber finds himself unable to evade his pursuers.

I appreciate order in the world.  A place for everything and everything in its place. Sitting through almost two hours of movie chaos is not fun for me.  I did not enjoy Good Time, opening everywhere this week.

To me, the whole thing was too much.  The film on which movie was shot was too grainy.  It looked outdated. It was too dark.  I don’t enjoy movies I can’t see. The coloring was too extreme and over the top.  Think 1970’s disco. The shots were too close-up and abrupt.  Felt like the whole thing was filmed on a camcorder.  The music was too overwhelming.  The score felt more like noise than music; it was distracting.  I get that this chaos was a created on purpose.  I just didn’t appreciate it. The chaos felt contrived and inauthentic, more like a gimmick.

Good Time also moved too methodically and slow for a traditional cat and mouse film.  The moments were either too loud or too quiet.  The quiet moments lagged.  There was nothing to engage my mind.  No questions or conflict to be figured out.  Nothing that hasn’t been seen before.  It’s a bank robbery gone bad, like every other bank robbery gone bad movie, ever.  Even the chase scenes seemed slow.

I was sad that the stylistic choices of the directors, Ben Safdie and Josh Safdie,  detracted from the fine acting of the cast.  Robert Pattinson (as Connie) is the best I have ever seen him.  Pattinson plays Connie with the right mix of cunning and crazy. He carries this film.  Jennifer Jason Leigh (as Corey) is also very convincing as the desperate and naïve girlfriend.  I also enjoyed Taliah Webter (as Crystal).  She was great as the too young side chick.  Finally, I liked that Barkhad Abdi (as Dash) was cast in Good Time.  I really enjoyed his performance in Captain Phillips and I haven’t seen him on-screen since then.  I didn’t take issue with any of the performances.  I just couldn’t get past the elements of the film that I mentioned above.

Good Time is a smaller film.  If you wanted to catch it in a theater, you may have to search-out an art house nearby.  This movie just isn’t worth that kind of effort.  If you want to see the great acting I referenced, wait to catch this movie on some at home video format.  If you must catch Good Time in a theater, its playing everywhere this weekend.

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