Daniel Antebi’s ‘God’s Time’ isn’t just a few syllables away from the 2017 Safdie brothers’ thriller ‘Good Time,’ but it also shares some of its DNA. For one, it is also set on the streets of New York City (which is not as bustling as the aforementioned, having been set during COVID), and second, it also has the same anxiety-inducing thrills that lead its morally ambiguous characters into exceedingly dire situations.

The result is a microbudget indie that is part – a buddy comedy adventure and part a look at addiction – both to drugs and to people. To make things interesting and always lively, Antebi, who is making his debut here, populates his movie with stylistic flourishes that both feel kinda cool and peppy but also excessive and frustrating.

The film opens and ends at AA meetings and introduces us to Regina (Liz Caribel Sierra) as she narrates her daily set of boyfriend-hating jargon. Dev (Ben Groh), who constantly breaks the fourth wall and is our unreliable viewpoint to this story, tells us that she is repeating the same set of words as she always does. Most of her confessions, with slight variations, always end with the phrase ‘“he’ll die on God’s Time.” While these words are meant for her ex-boyfriend – who, according to her, first moved into her apartment and then asked her to leave, taking over her boarding and her dog. They are never meant to be taken seriously.

But today! Today was a little different. Regina doesn’t end her confession with ‘God’s Time,’ which would feel completely okay to a normal person, but to Dev, it feels like a whole other ball game. He first convinces himself, then the audience, and then his best friend Luca (Dion Costelloe) that Regina is out for blood. Luca (who, along with Dev, has a sort of thing for Regina) is not entirely convinced, but he is slowly dragged into this adventure across the city where the two team up to find out what’s up with her – leaving their very important audition astray.

God's Time (2023) Movie

Now, their adventure is full of rando cross-overs; at one point, Dev seems to magically fly into an ad-spoof, and there are like a gazillion whip-pans and mysterious close-ups which feel technically astounding for a low-budget film, but often also end up feeling frustrating. Except for a really well-done superhero sketch, these sequences don’t feel as funny as they were intended to be. To add to that, the film, which is closely cut down to a little under 90 minutes, feels like it has a lot of unnecessary clout that could have been avoided.

That said, God’s Time, in spite of a not-so-serious tone, carefully maneuvers over its theme of addiction and self-realization. The chemistry between Ben Groh and Dion Costelloe works because their mutually conclusive characters cancel out each other in a way that also clues us into the toxicity of what is keeping them from being completely honest with each other. And while much of the film’s focus is on the two of them, it is Liz Caribel Sierra’s Regina that ends up being a complete standout.

In what is a definite star-making turn, Sierra, who constantly shifts from her New York street lingo to Spanish with ease, knocks it out of the park with a character that is hard to like. It is a treat watching her reach that point of self-actualization, and with that, God’s Time becomes a Good Time at the movies.

Read More: 20 Most Anxiety-Inducing Movies of the 2010s Decade

God’s Time (2023) Movie Links – IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
God’s Time (2023) Movie Cast – Liz Caribel Sierra, Ben Groh, Dion Costelloe
Where to watch God's Time

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