WHAT I LIKED: I've always said there are 3 main ingredients in cinema - the engagement of your senses through atmosphere, your feelings through character, and your thoughts through theme. I only bring that up he because The Safdie Brothers' 'Good Time,' is a film almost entirely concerned with one of those things - atmosphere.
It follows a young bank robber (Robert Pattinson) who takes his brother with learning difficulties (Benny Safdie) under his wing, but then the job goes south and he ends up having to bail his brother out and stay on the run from the cops. The whole thing spirals further and further out of control, but what's so fascinating about it is that virtually every moment is exclusively set-up to just make you feel as tense as possible. Any development of the characters or themes takes a back seat from the off, and even though you're intrigued by the pair's relationship and the circumstances that led them to where they are, there's never really time to contemplate it.
Instead, the film jumps from one high-octane scene to the next; whether it's the pair literally running from the cops on foot, escaping from custody, or being forced to enlist the help of a range of questionable allies. The camera almost never cuts from close-up on Pattinson's face, and he plays everything extremely tensely from start to finish, and that - along with Daniel Lopatin's magnetic, pulsing score - creates an incredible sense of claustrophobia, stress and panic. That's arguably the most primal, fundamental thing that cinema can do in its purest form, and all it needs is the great filmmaking and acting that this film has to affect you on a deeply visceral and sensory level.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Whilst it grabs your senses by the horns, it (very deliberately) doesn't give much time to developing characters or themes, and that stops it from ever particularly affecting your feelings or thoughts.
VERDICT: The Safdie Brothers' 'Good Time,' never lets up with its claustrophobic filmmaking style, and the result is a truly visceral cinematic experience that's all about atmospheric tension and not much else.