The Nice Guys (2016)

A private eye investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and uncovers a conspiracy.
Shane Black
Russell CroweRyan GoslingAngourie Rice
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Matt BomerMargaret QualleyKeith DavidBeau KnappKim Basinger
Joel SilverKen Kao
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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4.4 out of 5 stars

5953 global ratings

  1. 67% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 17% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

LisalyloveReviewed in the United States on November 11, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Well, that was gross.
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NOPE. Couldn't make it through the first 15 mins. In that 15 mins, a little boy is looking at porn, then gets to see the same female he is ogling in real life, buck naked of course. Then..a little girl is acting seductive towards a grown ass man to get to smoke weed. Normalizing perversion, as if its the norm much ? No thanks hollyweird. Keep your pedo-tude to yourself.
64 people found this helpful
M.A. KleenReviewed in the United States on November 26, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Film Noir for the Disco Era
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An unlikely duo must team up to find a missing girl before a secret cabal has her murdered in The Nice Guys (2016), a comedic crime drama written by Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi and directed by Shane Black. Set in 1977 Los Angeles, The Nice Guys is a film noir for the disco era, but wasn't originally written as a period piece. Thankfully, the writers decided to rework the concept and what resulted was one of the best films of 2016.

Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a muscle-for-hire who Amelia Kuttner (Margaret Qualley) pays to dissuade private detective Holland March (Ryan Gosling) from looking for her. March, an alcoholic who lives with his preteen daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice), believes Amelia is somehow connected to the death of porn star Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio). Misty's aunt, Mrs. Glenn (Lois Smith), hired March to investigate Misty's death because she believed Misty might still be alive.

When two anonymous men (Beau Knapp and Keith David) show up at Jackson Healy's apartment to press him for details on Amelia's whereabouts, he decides to pay March to help him locate Amelia before they do. Together, they discover Amelia and Misty were connected to an underground adult film allegedly exposing a conspiracy on the part of auto manufacturers to suppress the catalytic converter. Several people involved in the movie turned up dead.

Things get really complicated when Amelia's mother, Judith (Kim Basinger), a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, pays March and Healy to find her daughter. When Amelia literally falls into their laps, she accuses her mother of being part of the conspiracy. March and Healy slowly put the pieces together, but will they rescue her and the last remaining film reel in time to expose the truth?

Nice Guys was loosely inspired by true events, although it wasn't advertised as such. Because of its particular geography, Los Angeles has long suffered from lingering smog, which was a pervasive problem in the mid-twentieth century. The film pokes fun at activists protesting "bird killing" pollution, but people really did wear gas masks to protest LA smog and it did have negative and long-term consequences for public health.

Auto emissions were a contributing factor to airborne toxins until 1975 when the Environmental Protection Agency mandated all new cars come equipped with a catalytic converter. GM, Ford, and Chrysler (the "Big Three") agreed to research pollution-reducing technologies in 1953 but dragged their heels. The Justice Department filed an anti-trust case against the Big Three in 1968, alleging a conspiracy to suppress pollution-reducing technologies. So the events that formed a backdrop for the film occurred years before the film takes place.

Nice Guys is more concerned with evoking the Zeitgeist of the decade rather than a strict adherence to facts. It was a brief time in American history when adult films were socially relevant. The 1970s are sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age of Porn," when porn achieved some mainstream success with films like Deep Throat (1972) and The Devil in Miss Jones (1973). There were also widespread but unsubstantiated fears of Mafia influence in the adult film industry, which Judith uses as a red herring in this film.

Nice Guys features several strong performances. Ryan Gosling is a Canadian actor with a long career in film and television, most notably in [[ASIN:B000YMFCS4 The Notebook]] (2004) and [[ASIN:B00ECU2X9U The Place Beyond The Pines]] (2012). In 2016, he also starred in [[ASIN:B01MRR7AUU La La Land]], for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Holland March is a less serious role, demonstrating Gosling's versatility as an actor. Audiences and critics loved it. For this performance, he was nominated for "Favorite Comedic Movie Actor" at the People's Choice Awards and was awarded "Best Comedic Performance" by the San Diego Film Critics Society.

Angourie Rice, a young Australian actress, had her breakout role in The Nice Guys. Since then, she's appeared in [[ASIN:B073HJTTQ2 Spider-Man: Homecoming]] (2017), which was praised by audiences and critics, and [[ASIN:B073PMYXWB The Beguiled (2017)]], which was not. Her character in The Nice Guys, Holly, is an adorably precocious child, insisting she can help her father solve the case (since her father is an incompetent drunk, who can blame her?). Like Natalie Portman in [[ASIN:B000LPI68W The Professional]] (1994), Angourie is perfect for the role, and hopefully will have a bright future in film.

Nice Guys is funny, clever, and expertly manages a purposely convoluted and over-the-top plot ala [[ASIN:B000I9WW0E The Big Lebowski]] (1998) and [[ASIN:B0030MBX56 Fargo]] (1996). Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling perfectly play off each other's strengths, and bring a sense of ironic humor and style to an otherwise bleak and cynical world.
43 people found this helpful
phreejaxReviewed in the United States on March 10, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Shane Black ('Lethal Weapon,' 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,' etc.) does it again
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**** 3-1/2 Stars **** Shane Black (director and co-writer) does what he does best, once again. Part buddy movie, part neo-noir mystery flick, part ode to L.A., "The Nice Guys" is one hell of a fun movie .... and 92% 'fresh' on Rotten Tomatoes. Set in 1977 L.A., and blessed with a killer soundtrack, this movie really took me back to those days (I lived on N. Highland, just a block above Hollywood Blvd. back than) - and not just the great sets and locales, but the pacing and vibe of the flick is very much like a late 70's or early 80's action film. I would never have thought of pairing Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, but they work very well together, with Crowe as the straight guy and Gosling as his never-entirely-serious partner. Margaret Qualley (Andie MacDowell's daughter) gets a few good scenes as the mysterious Amelia (sort of the Maltese Falcon of this mildly noir plot). All in all, a very entertaining film. Thanks for reading.
23 people found this helpful
C. LundeReviewed in the United States on December 8, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Buddy comedy noir is quirky and fun
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The Nice Guys was my favorite movie of 2016, for all that it came out in spring: a crime thriller with an oddball bromance and a truly touching family story. Considering that this is crude (the case revolves around a porn star), violent (R-rated) and has more than its fair share of Tarantino-esque scenes, this is no small feat. The story begins with a porn star, Misty Mountains, crashing her car through someone’s house in California in the late ‘70s. Her murder coincides with a current environmental case against the auto makers in Detroit (which Mountains died to expose), and allows both a disgraced detective and a muscle man to find their footing and seek justice, not just for Misty but for a city protesting the effects of pollution caused by industrial giants.

I’ve been a fan of Ryan Gosling since Young Hercules in the mid-nineties (so yes, it has been an extremely long time). Here, he’s a private detective named Howland March. He’s paired with Russel Crowe as Jackson Healey, an actor I have mixed feelings for. They work so well together that my opinion of both has risen. Gosling’s idiot-savant detective and Crowe’s tough-as-nails/heart of gold strongman complement one another well, especially with the inclusion of March’s daughter, the precocious Holly (Angourie Rice). She gets all the best lines, and nearly runs away with the show; The Nice Guys has the most realistic—and loving—father/daughter relationships in all of cinema. My mom and I say “and stuff” all the time because of Holly. This movie changed our vernacular, for the better.

Gosling’s detective also spoke to me on a personal level: a veteran and an alcoholic who lost his wife, he’s incredibly depressed and only occasionally lifted by the brilliant inspiration of his mind. He writes “You will never be happy” on his left hand, and the first thing he tells us is that he “wish[es] [he] wished for things, man.” He is constantly falling from heights (the question, “Did you fall?” is a recurring humorous highlight), but every time he falls, he gets back up. Healey is not as emotionally compelling initially, but he has a more intense character arc: he goes from the type of man who kills in cold blood to the type of man who can’t.

The smaller characters are taken well—exception made for the rather wooden Basinger—and overall there are few weak links. The last act has a bit of squishy alcoholic oddity that I didn’t particularly care for, but the rest of the movie is note-perfect. Gosling’s star is rising (took long enough) so I am hopeful for a sequel. Pretty please? Bromances and buddy comedies are my jam, and there will never be enough of them in the world to suit my taste.
16 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on May 31, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good odd couple comedy about corruption in govt & corporations
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The Nice Guys was a good buddy film comedy about crime and corruption in government and corporations set in 1977 Los Angeles. Ryan Gosling plays Holland March a hapless and bumbling private detective who lives with his daughter Holly (Angourie Rice), while Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a hardened, tough guy enforcer. Holland gets hired to find a teen girl named Amelia and Jackson is hired by her to stop Holland. They eventually come to work with each other on the case, and that starts the odd couple story.

The comedic scenes come in all kinds of forms. When Jackson first asks Holland to work together he’s sitting on a toilet in a bowling alley. He’s afraid of Jackson for beating him up earlier so he pulls a gun, but he can’t keep the bathroom stall door open nor pull up his pants. Later they find a dead body of a porn king and dump the body over a fence to try to get rid of it, but it lands in the middle of a family party.

There’s plenty of action as well as tough guys and assassins come to get Holland and Jackson.

I appreciated the plot about the corruption of the government working to protect corporations as well. There’s deep irony to it, but I can’t say anything without spoiling the plot.
6 people found this helpful
Christina ReynoldsReviewed in the United States on February 1, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Genially Funny - great script and lead performances!
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“𝒀𝒐𝒖’𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅’𝒔 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒅𝒆𝒕𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔”

The Nice Guys is a 2016 American neo-noir action comedy film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Anthony Bagarozzi. The film stars Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David and Kim Basinger.

Set in the year 1977, ‘The Nice Guys’ stays playfully committed to its intended aesthetic and point of reference. Some of the techniques used run the risk of flying over audience members’ heads - like obscure quotes that may not be easily recognized - but ‘TNG’ also speaks to viewers that do not have an immediate or personal connection to this time period in question. Philippe Rousselot’s cinematography presents Los Angeles with a consistently dismal atmosphere: its muted color schemes with brief moments of reprieve capturing the energy of a story and an environment that is its own breed of sophistication and simplicity. There is some loose discrepancy at hand in terms of the soundtrack (Because, it is formally complained that many of the songs played were released in completely separate years. . . in the 70s) and the lowbrow attempts at character design, but between hearing Earth, Wind & Fire, and bearing witness to Gosling’s “pornstache”. . . .Let’s just be real: ‘The Nice Guys’ knows how to read an audience (and a room), if nothing else.

Having accepted their separate roles under the prospect of working with one another, the chemistry between Gosling and Crowe as actors and characters is exquisitely charming. Crowe sticks to his usual stoicism and in many ways is playing. . . .well, himself, and speaks more with his actions than he does with his words. A departure from his more typically dramatic roles, Gosling’s contributions are heavy in the dialogue department and offer some amount of wit and whimsical naivety into scenes that would otherwise be contextually inappropriate. The result is a pair of individuals that bicker as much as they bond - like siblings - with interactions that are sure to make viewers genuinely “laugh-out-loud” and see their shenanigans through until the conclusion. Even when the jokes don’t land the casual and chaotic fashion in which these two characters gather the minimum amount of decency needed to finish their separate assignments (A sly and ironic departure from this film’s given title) always does.

To call the overarching plot of ‘The Nice Guys’ convoluted would be generous, but the nod it makes to an industry during one its peaks (the pornography industry) while simultaneously touching on mandates that had a real-world impact on the automobile industry makes for a film with a glaring self-awareness in regards to its overarching context and its implications; none-the-less it is a far cry from 𝑩𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒌 (2005) in that as it doubles down in debauchery it doesn’t care to keep its viewers fixated on miniscule details but instead guides them through an investigation with a stylized (but sometimes overzealous) fluidity. As mentioned by previous reviewers ‘TNG’ also suffers from having a primary “villain” that is largely forgettable in both appearance and impact due to how late they are introduced and how long they are on screen, but it follows up with a fragmented catalogue of criminals and chaos that is equal parts realistic (in nature) and thoroughly entertaining.

Left with a meaningful convergence amongst characters originally introduced as could-be enemies it is only a shame that ‘The Last Guys’ has not been able to follow up with a sequel nor go on with what was originally pitched: a television series.
An homage to buddy comedies of a now bygone era ‘TLG’ confidently and successfully revels in and sells its mediocrity to the most unlikely of buyers with the ingenuity of its script and the compelling relationship of its leads.
I would recommend!
3 people found this helpful
JonathanReviewed in the United States on June 15, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Funny movie; watch it again.
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Great movie. Wraps up nice. Funny interactions. Mr. Gosling and Mr. Crowe play off each other well and really allow for believable characters alone and together. Both truly show a range here that meshes together and makes the other look that much better. Truly hilarious bits, not just the lines said, but how the actors portray the moment. “That’s a lot of blood” and “You fell, didn’t you. “ are two scenes that get better with each viewing. The actor playing the daughter held her own and never seemed flat next to anyone else.
Overall, great comedy with some action. Great buddy flick. You can definitely see why Ryan was associated with Harrison Ford from this movie and I would say he could play a revised Indiana Jones based off this movie alone. Russel really comes off well here as the tough guy with a good heart. His straight delivery and timing make for a modern Leslie Nielsen. (Could totally see Russel Crowe playing himself in “Fightn’ Round the World with Tugger”, seriously)
3 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on May 28, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fun Crime Comedy--70s Style!
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If you're a fan of crime comedies and period pieces, then this will certainly make for an entertaining couple of hours. Set in Hollywood, circa 1977, amidst the smut-filled porn industry and drug- and alcohol-fueled parties common at the time and place, "The Nice Guys" is great for some hardcore action and lots of laughs! Crowe plays a thug-for-hire, but with a heart and somewhat of a conscience; Gosling is a nickel-grabbing and often half-witted P.I., who struggles to be a good dad to his precocious 13-year-old daughter--who actually makes a better detective than he does. When these two partner up to solve a case involving a missing girl and a dead porn actress, an unlikely bond develops, as several bizarre murders along with plenty of raunchy, albeit funny, situations unfold... Definitely a must-see for anyone who enjoys the crime-comedy genre!
3 people found this helpful
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