Best Film Performances of the 2010s

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

Back in April, I revealed my lists of the best podcasts, TV shows, TV episodes, albums, songs, and movies of the 2010s. I declared that that was it for my Best of the Decade curating for this particular ten-year cycle. But now I’m back with a few more, baby! I’ve been participating in a series of Best of the 2010s polls with some of my online friends, and I wanted to share my selections with you. We’re including film performances, TV performances, directors, and musical artists, so get ready for all that.

First up is Film Performances. Any individual performance from any movie released between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2019 was eligible, whether it was live-action, voice-only, or whatever other forms on-screen acting take nowadays. For actors who played the same character in multiple movies, each movie was considered separately.

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This Is a Movie Review: Robert Pattinson is a Low-Level Bank Robber and Devoted Brother in the Grainy, Queens-Set ‘Good Time’

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This review was originally posted on News Cult in August 2017.

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Ben Safdie, Buddy Duress, Taliah Webster, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Barkhad Abdi

Director: Ben and Josh Safdie

Running Time: 99 Minutes

Rating: R for the Vices of a Night in the City

Release Date: August 11, 2017 (Limited)

How far would you go for a better life for yourself and your brother? If said brother is mentally handicapped and you are the lead character in a crime-on-the-streets movie, then chances are the answer is “pretty far.” Ergo, there is no surprise about the general forces that pushes Good Time along, but the details are quite unpredictable.

The majority of the plot follows Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) in a desperate night through Queens as he attempts to correct his mistakes and bust his brother Nick (co-director Ben Safdie) out of jail following a botched bank robbery. He first attempts to cover the bail money by turning to a friend/lover (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who is way too old for him and for her own lack of emotional maturity. But another snag pops up when it is revealed that Nick is under police supervision in the hospital. Connie plows forward with his improvisation, but it becomes more and more obvious that he is not going to pull off his scheme, what with law enforcement always nearby and the caprices of fate constantly messing with him. It all adds up to a night of drugs, mistaken identity, and an empty amusement park in a land where cliché need not apply.

The joys of Good Time – and its biggest weakness – are aesthetic. The Safdie brothers exclusively favor extreme close-ups for conversations and kinetic camera movement when characters go from here to there. The shot selection, combined with the grainy digital cinematography and bass-heavy synth score, create a sensorially overwhelming experience that too few films attempt. The photography does get into a bit of trouble whenever the action moves into especially dark corners, rendering it nearly impossible to make out anything that is happening. That is possibly intentional, but it is not advisable. But in a film with this much clarity and consistency of vision, that is only a minor quibble.

Good Time is Recommended If You Like: Robert Pattinson’s auteur collaborations, Miami Vice, The economic desperation of Don’t Breathe

Grade: 3.5 out of 5 Dye Packs