A24, an independent film studio, is like Weinstein or Focus but for the millenial set: their films are possessed of an edge and an immediacy, to say nothing of quality, that isn’t seen very often these days in the film market. “Good Time,” which debuted this morning, is the latest title to come out of this studio.
In this new film directed by Ben and Josh Safdie about a bank robbery gone wrong I saw Lou Reed’s New York. The city as seen through their lens lay under cover of darkness, full of danger and swarming with bad guys and cops. For his role in this Robert Pattinson shed his leading man image and plays Constantin “Connie” Niklas, a psycho loser who enlists his deaf brother Nick (played by Benny Safdie) to commit a bank robbery, only to fudge it. Nick gets arrested and Connie spends the rest of the film trying to help his brother escape arrest while avoiding getting arrested himself.
This leads to mistaken-identity shenanigans that would be hilarious if it weren’t for the restrictive and jarring atmosphere that the Safdie brothers create. This cool ambiance is in part aided by the film’s score, one of the most better film scores I have heard in a while, part-retro eighties, part-futuristic, signed by a Russian-American artist named Daniel Lopatin who signed on to British label Warp in 2013. The score to “Good Time” sounds like a mutant version of Kavinsky. Barkhad Abdi, who made his acting debut in 2013’s “Captain Philips” and has appeared in several films since, plays a amusement park security guard.
“Good time” is a thoroughly enjoyable film that asserts the Safdie brothers as the kind of contrarian and highly-talented filmmakers that we could use more of.