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Wick's Review

Created Sep 02, 2017 01:13AM PST • Edited Jun 16, 2019 03:20AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Good Time is a helluva good time movie, if your taste in movie entertainment includes sickly funny slices of life from the underbelly of society. Mine does, for better or worse, so this demented masterpiece struck me and most of my entire theater as OMG and increasingly LOL pretty much all the way through. Wow.

    There weren’t a lot of us in the theater mind you, but everyone seemed to know what they were getting into. Happily, I wasn’t the only one laughing as one spectacularly bad decision after another led to a series of harmful outcomes. Being predictable, these pratfalls were therefore quite funny, in a sick sorta way.

    The Safdie Brothers have more than humor on their minds, however. Scaffolded around a bank heist and ensuing getaway, they interlace the world of the developmentally disabled with that of the entitled offspring of innocent elders, and last but not least, that of hedonistic criminals who live to get loaded and throw their weight around. It’s a festival of fuck-ups, with hardly a sympathetic soul in sight.

    Benny Safdie’s developmentally disabled young man comes closest, in a largely internal performance of shocking intensity and realism. He also co-directed Good Time with his brother Josh, who co-wrote it.

    The Safdie Brothers are now auteurs of note. From their movie’s opening scene (a mentally-handicapped guy rebels against his kindly psychiatrist’s ministrations) to its closing song (Iggy Pop croaks a promise to “Pet the Alligators”, encapsulating the entire movie), they ride the tiger without ever losing their grip.

  3. Great 4.0

    Robert Pattison, recently the silver screen’s greatest heartthrob as a sensitive vampire, plays an entirely mortal bloodsucker in Good Time. A small-time criminal genius, he’s capable of sizing up any situation for his own sociopathic advantage, spot an angle and play it without a second thought. He’s surrounded by true idiots, making him the ├╝bermensch amongst his dipshit associates.

    Pattison deserves major props for this perfect performance. The guy can act, not just smolder.

    Benny Safdie also deserves major props as his mentally-handicapped brother, the two sharing a sick fraternal bond. Safdie also co-directed the movie with his brother, Josh. One wonders about their fraternal bond. Anyway, Benny’s brilliant performance rings true to those of us who know developmental-disability.

    Standouts from the Large Cast (Most never appeared in a movie before.)
    • Saida Mansoor as Pattison & Safdie’s poor benighted grandmother
    • Taliah Webster as a teen girl with too little supervision
    • Gladys Mathon as her grandmother
    • Jennifer Jason Leigh as a grown woman who still acts like a spoiled teen
    • Barkhad Abdi as a Security Guard committed to doing a good job. Abdi will be familiar to anyone who saw him as the Somali pirate captain opposite Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips.
    • Necro the rapper as a booze-sucking scumbag
    • Peter Verby as a kindly psychiatrist
    • Eric Paykert as an amoral bail bondsman
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Really Great 4.5

    The Safdie Brothers – Benny & Josh – are now auteurs of note, considerable note. Their film is a tense and brutal tour through the underbelly of today’s society, full of deadbeat offspring (can’t call them kids), oxy-popping grandmothers, and nihilistic nitwits.

    It’s also the second great crime movie of 2017, coming hard on the heels of Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Really Great 4.5
  11. Music Perfect 5.0

    The Pure and the Damned featuring Iggy Pop closes out the film in perfect style.

  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 3.2

    Good Time is darkly funny until someone gets hurt, inevitably someone innocent. The guilty ones also get hurt, in fact are bound to get hurt, but that’s ok because they bring it on themselves.

  15. Sex Titillating 2.4
  16. Violence Savage 3.7
  17. Rudeness Profane 3.5
  18. Glib 1.3

    Good Time is circumstantially playful, but not too damn much, making it an even more impressive auteurial accomplishment by the Safdie Brothers.

    Reality tricks aside, two underlying realities get explored in the movie.

    • A special-needs, mentally handicapped guy gets accurately portrayed, including a touching and insightful scene at the end when he finally gets involved with a therapeutic mechanism that works for him, a game called Cross the Room.
    • White privilege gets implicitly indicted, especially good-looking white-guy privilege, as a scumbag who’s a good-looking white guy often gets an extra beat of indulgence before being made out as a scumbag. Even more pronounced in the craven use of race were the African-American masks worn by a pair of white bank robbers.
  19. Circumstantial Glib 2.0
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0

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