To say the new crime drama from Benny and Josh Safdie (Heaven Knows What and Daddy Longlegs) is intense does not quite convey the tension generated by every aspect of the film. A small-time criminal, Constantine “Connie” Nikas (Robert Pattinson, looking super strung-out in one of those early Brad Pitt type performances meant to make audiences forget about all his pretty-boy roles like Twilight) robs a bank with his mentally handicapped younger brother, Nick (Benny Safdie). But the robbery is merely the jumping-off point for Connie’s constant struggle to evade his pursuers and rescue his brother.
The score by Oneohtrix Point Never is the most electrifying since Drive; it is the film’s pulse, steadily thumping away while Connie shifts from one failed plan to the next. The film opens with an emotionally devastating sequence between Nick and his kind psychiatrist, who is rudely interrupted by Connie. Little did we know that scene would also be the film’s calmest until the end credits. One unexpected twist after another melts Connie’s obviously-not-foolproof criminal plan. The film is so intense you will be worn out by the end. Consider that guarantee as both recommendation and warning.
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