After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Connie Nikas embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city's underworld in an increasingly desperate-and dangerous-attempt to get his brother Nick out of jail.
Motivated by an almost ferocious love for his intellectually disabled brother, Nick, and an explosive mix of desperation and thirst for a better life, the abrasive and fledgeling criminal, Connie, involves his sibling in an ill-conceived bank robbery that swears to be a quick and easy job. Instead, things go utterly wrong, and Nick will wind up in Rikers Island after one unanticipated complication, forcing the desperate but determined Connie to embark on a nightmarish, no-holds-barred quest to bail Nick out. Inevitably, over the course of a long and violent night, Connie will go to great lengths to save Nick from a cruel fate, doomed, however, to do more harm than good. Is it all heading somewhere?Written by
Good Time is prison slang. It refers to a reduction in a prisoner's sentence for good behavior. According to the directors, "The backstory is that Connie behaved well in prison, got released on his good time, and this is how he spends it. Buddy Duress's character, Ray, as well. People refer to it in jail as their good time, but when they leave, there are such strict rules and opportunities to get caught up; you're not having a good time when you're on your good time. But it's better than jail, that's the one thing." See more »
In the end credits the directors thank the fast food chain Pizza Hut for using it as a location, but Connie and his brother Nick actually went to a Domino's shop. See more »
If I could ever experience what it's like to be a neon light inside a crowded nightclub, I imagine it would feel a lot like watching Good Time.
This movie exudes intensity, electricity, and neonicity (not a real word, just roll with it). The opening scene provides the movie's blandest color scheme, but it's serious and compelling and important, so pay attention.
From there, the movie leaps fearlessly into a techno blasting, adrenaline surging, rush of mayhem and terrible decision making. Two brothers rob a bank, run from the police, and one ends up in the hospital. Then it gets worse.
Constantine (played by Robert Pattinson, in a career-making performance) lives a life of dysfunction. He struggles to maintain healthy relationships with family or friends or anyone. The one thing in his life that he's sure of is that he wants to take care of his brother, who has intellectual disabilities. He spends a majority of the film frantically (frantic accurately describes the mood for most of Good Time) attempting to save his brother from the trouble that he put him in. The problem is that Constantine can't even properly take care of himself, so helping his brother is far beyond his abilities.
Try as he may, every attempt to help backfires. Despite Constantine's good intentions, he is a powerfully negative influence in his brother's life. He sees himself as his brother's savior, but that's very far from the truth.
It's tempting to sympathize with Constantine. He has real moments of decency. But just when you may think this isn't such a bad guy, he showcases another instance of unsavory behavior. That seems to be the story of his life—fleeting moments of hope, followed by swift slaps of grim reality that are mostly brought on by his own doing.
In the end, his brother, Nick, becomes the more likable character. We want what is best for Nick, just like Constantine does. Because of this shared goal, I want Constantine to succeed. I have never rooted harder for a character that I didn't really want to root for. That's all because of Nick.
Since this is sounding deeply dramatic, let me reiterate, this isn't a plodding sob story. The frantic pace, ludicrously rousing music and color scheme will make your eyes bug out and your hair stand up. Actually, you may literally stand up at certain moments because of the intensity.
See Good Time if you're up for an intense crime thriller. Just don't forget to think while watching. There's more to this movie than neon and techno.
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