In this adrenalised Cannes sensation from guerrilla-filmmaker siblings Josh and Benny Safdie, Robert Pattinson is riveting as a small-time criminal on a frantic nocturnal odyssey to break his brother out of custody.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2017
“This eyes-open-to-the-world NYC crime thriller from filmmaking brothers Benny and Josh Safdie is cocky, grubby and electric. It features Robert Pattinson on top form as Connie, a quick-thinking chancer who we first meet extracting his mentally challenged brother Nick (Benny Safdie) from a therapy session so they can spend the morning robbing a bank. Connie is violent and dangerous, but he’s also quick-witted and charismatic, so he’s teasingly fun and rewarding company – for us at least; not for those he meets...
Once the Brooklyn bank job goes south the film stays on the move, running, punching, tumbling, stumbling over 24 hours as the fallout drags us through streets, vehicles, homes, jail, a hospital, a theme park and more. Racing through the gutter of the city, it’s all shot in a scuzzy, real-world style, although the photography by Sean Price Williams also runs with a theme of neon and scarlet – and bathing some scenes in brothel-red isn’t the only thing here that nods to early Martin Scorsese... It also boasts a terrific, throbbing electronic score by Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never. Pattinson is great in this, surely his best post-Twilight performance to date: he’s quick and coarse yet he also lends the character a glint in the eye and a spark in the brain –he’s always more than just bad. The Safdies are show-off filmmakers, for sure – this is a directing tour de force. But what makes the film more than just a hugely enjoyable thriller is that it so clearly has its eyes on the world around it.”—Dave Calhoun, Time Out