A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Good Time is a crime thriller starring Robert Pattinson, but it's definitely not for younger Twilight fans. Expect heavy violence, with scenes of fighting and pummeling and lots of blood, as well as a bank robbery, guns, and more. A secondary character drinks to excess, and there are mentions/subplots about drug dealers and a lost Sprite bottle full of acid. Characters are on acid, and a teen girl smokes pot. Cigarette smoking is also shown. Language is strong and frequent, with many uses of "f--k" and "s--t." There's a brief but graphic sex scene and other sexual material, including a scene of a man making out with a teen girl on her bed. But for mature viewers, this is a smart, emotional, and extremely well-made film.
What's the story?
In GOOD TIME, Nick (Ben Safdie) is being interviewed by a therapist, attempting to get to the bottom of his cognitive disability, when his brother, Connie (Robert Pattinson), bursts in and takes him away. They've planned a bank robbery, and it's time to go. The robbery seems to go well, and they walk out with a bag of money, but then the dye packs go off, staining their clothes and faces. As the brothers attempt to escape, Nick crashes through a glass door. He's arrested and sent to the hospital. Connie tries to raise the money to bail him out, but the dyed cash is no good, and his girlfriend's credit card doesn't work, so he plans to break his brother out. Over the course of a long, complex New York night, Connie meets several strange people, concocts a plan to retrieve hidden acid and sell it, and tries to stay a step ahead of the law.
Is it any good?
Directing brothers Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie have created an ode to intense 1970s New York crime cinema, but with their own vivid, confined close-up take, bathed in artificial, carnival colors. More than just an homage, Good Time feels bracingly fresh, rooted in honest-to-goodness desperation. (The brothers share a wounded past that's unspoken but powerful.) Good Time doesn't necessarily transcend its genre limitations, but within those limitations, it's superb. The movie's unexpected backgrounds, such as a shut-down amusement park at night, or a stranger's apartment, spring up as a result of the characters, rather than as empty decoration. And the film's great, ominous, wailing score adds more unspoken tension.
Better still, the characters -- including a whacked-out, drunken, would-be drug dealer, a young girl staying up too late, and a frazzled security guard (Oscar-nominee Barkhad Abdi) -- feel like they actually live in the corners of the story; they seem to have been there long before it began. Jennifer Jason Leigh is great in a small role as Connie's harried, distracted girlfriend, and Ben Safdie is astounding as Nick. But it's Pattinson, shaking off the last of his Twilight-drenched past, who gives a Pacino-worthy performance full of street smarts and fast talk, but with a human soul. Iggy Pop's shockingly gorgeous closing song sums it all up perfectly.
Talk to your kids about ...
How is sex portrayed in this movie? Are women objectified? Are the women too young?
Why is Connie such an interesting character, when he makes so many bad decisions? How does Connie compare to Pattinson's character in the Twilight movies?
How does the movie treat its character with a cognitive disability? Is it compassionate? Understanding?
- In theaters: August 11, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: November 21, 2017
- Cast: Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Safdie
- Directors: Joshua Safdie, Ben Safdie
- Studio: A24
- Genre: Thriller
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language throughout, violence, drug use and sexual content
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.