The Nice Guys

Not rated yet!
Director
Shane Black
Runtime
1 h 56 min
Release Date
15 May 2016
Genres
Action, Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Overview
A private eye investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and uncovers a conspiracy.
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The Federalist Staff5
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Despite The Seedy Setting, ‘The Nice Guys’ Shine
    The thing that sets ‘The Nice Guys’ apart is the magic that happens between Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, and Angourie Rice.
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    (Review Source)
  • Despite The Seedy Setting, 'The Nice Guys' Shine
    Without the performances of the three main characters, “The Nice Guys” would be just another mediocre 70sploitation mystery. All the bell bottoms and disco in the world could never deliver the kind of chemistry Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, and Angourie Rice got goin’ on. Each of the actors plays a pure heart wading through the cesspool of 1970s Los Angeles. Crowe’s Healy is a world-weary tough who steps up just because someone ought to, even though he suspects the people he protects do not deserve it. Gosling’s March, equally world-weary, makes a living searching for missing people through L.A., but his driving force is to take care of his daughter, Holly. And Holly? She is a little girl who aspires to her father’s world-weariness but instead gives him something to live for. Healy and March join forces in search of a missing woman named Amelia who desperately, emphatically does not want to be found. Holly, always up for an adventure, manages to tag along even in the most inappropriate circumstances. Porn Exposes…The Truth And they are wildly inappropriate because Amelia’s trail leads right through the seedy world of pornographic movies. The plot has something to do with a porno that will save the world and the environment (no, really!), one that the powers that be must suppress at all costs. The idea that exposing truth could change the world seems a little retro in this age of online combat, but perhaps the film is a little naive and pure-hearted in its own right. Porno-to-expose-truth is a silly premise, but one the movie pulls off with flair and style. Porno-to-expose-truth is a silly premise, but one the movie pulls off with flair and style. The 1970s shine in all their disco glory, but with porn portrayed as somewhat boring, somewhat distasteful, just another factor in a world gone entirely off-kilter, a world so weary even illicit sex isn’t all that interesting. That’s not to say the movie is clean. Far from it. The nudity starts in the very first scene, and bare boobies keep popping up throughout, although no full nudity and no male nudity. Aside from a super-quick shot of the type of scene that these movies feature, lots of off-screen sexual noises, and plenty of discussion of porn, that’s it. For all the seedy setting, no one in the movie is actually having sex. All the action is removed, hyper-idealized, fictional, an image on a screen. Sex is a backdrop. Sex is a business. Sex is a bore. The whole dynamic is kind of fascinating, actually. Something Worth Protecting Enter into this wan and faded scene two men and a little girl who clearly adore each other. March and Holly, for all their parent-child bickering, are the suns around which each other revolve. She worships him the way only a 13-year-old daughter can. He would go to the moon and back for her. It’s lovely. She worships him the way only a 13-year-old daughter can. He would go to the moon and back for her. You get the sense that Healy has finally found something worth protecting. There’s nothing sexualized about Holly, nothing too old or too broken. She acts like a precocious little girl, not a small adult. She’s the contrast to the world gone off the rails, a light in a world fading fast. No wonder both men adore her. It’s not easy to pull off a connection like this in a raunchy ’70s comedy. Rice is luminous onscreen, a pretty little girl to be sure, but one with acting chops. She’s a match for Gosling and Crowe, a presence that gives the film its heart. Action and Humor at a Good Pitch The movie is funny, very funny, but it leaves easy laughs on the table. While Holly gets some laughs by being a little girl in some very seedy situations, there’s an innocence to her that a lesser movie would milk for cheap laughs. The humor brings you alongside him in a way that a spoof does not. The movie treats March’s repeated gumshoe errors the same way. He misinterprets clues. He falls off buildings. In a gun battle, he misses when tossing Healy a spare pistol. But the movie isn’t slapstick in the way a spoof would be, perhaps because March is more than just a character who makes errors. The humor brings you alongside him in a way that a spoof does not. There’s plenty of action, too: gun battles and fights as March bumbles his way through the mystery and Healy takes care of business. The level of violence is ramped up to what you would expect in an R-rated film, along with the language. The action is a lot of fun, all done in glorious polyester and amazing ’70s cars. It’s a taste of nostalgia, to be sure, but we’ve seen that before. The thing that sets this movie apart is the magic that happens between Gosling, Crowe, and Rice. If you’re world-weary yourself, and the type of person who doesn’t mind a porno setting, it’s worth seeing. ]]>
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    (Review Source)
  • 2016’s Most Neglected Movies About Men You Still Need To See
    Americans disagree whether it’s possible, necessary, or acceptable to focus on men. These movies explore these questions with insightful reflections on American society.
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John Hanlon3
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Nice Guys
    The Nice Guys is the type of adult comedy that we don’t see that often anymore. Set in the 1970s, more about the film features two male leads — played respectively by Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling — who are thrust into a conspiracy when they...
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    (Review Source)
  • “The Nice Guys” Reviews: Critics take on the new comedy
    Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling’s latest comedy isn’t scoring big numbers at the box office but it has become a critical darling. In fact, rx The Nice Guys reviews are extremely positive with the film receiving much praise for its two lead actors. Set in the late...
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    (Review Source)

Crosswalk1
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Nice Guys is No Blast from the Past
    Movies "I work in a cesspool," says P.I. Holland March (Ryan Gosling), and watching the film, you can't help but agree. You may have fond memories of the buddy-cop movies of the late '80s and '90s, but the genre has not worn well. A story about a dead porn star, a missing girl and the "lovable lowlifes" forced to work together to find her makes The Nice Guys one of the more unpleasant viewing experiences of the year. 1 out of 5.   Synopsis In 1977 Los Angeles, the death of a porn star leads to an investigation of a missing girl (Margaret Qualley). Hired for the job by the missing girl’s mother (Kim Basinger) is bruising tough guy Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), who specializes in physically assaulting people who bring trouble to his clients. Healy enlists the help of heavy-drinking private investigator March. March's 13-year-old daughter (Angourie Rice) assists in cracking the case.   What Works? Crowe and Gosling do their best with the material, but the script is so unsettled that it's difficult to adjust to their performances. The late-1970s period details are right, but the porn-industry milieu of much of the story makes it hard to care about such accuracy.   What Doesn't? Even on the terms of buddy-cop stories, The Nice Guys is middling at best. Much of its humor rises from the film's abundance of violence and its sex-industry setting. A few stabs at religious dialogue are played strictly for laughs but don't work. The excessive violence and retrograde sexual politics were tired back when this kind of film dominated the summer releases. A couple of decades later, they seem best forgotten rather than looked upon as something that was once enjoyed by mass audiences. Putting a 13-year-old character into the middle of such a story is some sort of new low.   googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); Christian Worldview Elements / Spiritual Themes A nun asks if one of the characters is ready to find God. A character is accused of taking the Lord's name in vain. A character says, "Hallelujah."   CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers) MPAA Rating: R for violence, sexuality, nudity, language and brief drug use  Language/Profanity: Lots of foul language, including multiple uses of the f-word and misuse of God's name. A girl confuses the phrase "rim shot" with a sexual term. Scatological talk and discussion of prostitution and strippers. Sexuality/Nudity: A boy looks at a nude centerfold in a men's magazine, then sees the centerfold in person, her breast exposed, as she lays dying. A nude woman swims in a pool. A young teen watches porn with an industry star, and a porn star shares an anecdote about anal sex with a young girl. Brief shots of a porn movie are seen. Nude strippers are shown. Violence/Frightening/Intense: A car plows into a house. March cuts his arm while breaking a window. Jackson punches a man and snaps March's arm. A man falls off a balcony. A corpse with a bloody face is seen. A gun battle. A grenade detonates, blowing up a man. Drugs/Alcohol: March drinks constantly.   The Bottom Line RECOMMENDED FOR: Those who miss this sort of violent action blockbuster and can laugh through the carnage and vile setting of much of the story. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR: Those who have lost their taste for movies that revel in seedy settings while substituting attempted humor for anything insightful or moving. The Nice Guys, directed by Shane Black, opened in theaters May 20, 2016; available for home viewing August 23, 2016. It runs 116 minutes and stars Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Margaret Qualley and Kim Basinger. Watch the trailer for The Nice Guys here.   Christian Hamaker brings a background in both Religion (M.A., Reformed Theological Seminary) and Film/Popular Culture (B.A., Virginia Tech) to his reviews. He still has a collection of more than 100 laserdiscs, and for DVDs patronizes the local library. Streaming? What is this "streaming" of which you speak? He'll figure it out someday. Until then, his preferred viewing venue is a movie theater. Christian is happily married to Sarah, a parent coach and author of [email protected]/* = 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Publication date: May 19, 2016 ]]>
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    (Review Source)

Plugged In1
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Nice Guys
    ComedyDramaMystery/Suspense We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewJackson Healy has a weird job: He breaks people's arms. Need to "encourage" someone to leave you alone? Well, then Jack's your man. And so it is that Jack slinks through the seriously seedy underbelly of late 1970s Los Angeles to show up at Holland March's door. Turns out March is a private investigator in the process of looking for a woman who's disappeared. Her name is Amelia, and she may or may not have quietly starred in a homemade porn film with her boyfriend. What we know for certain is that Amelia has paid Jack to make March (and several others pursuing her) go away for good. Perhaps the splendid spiral fracture Jack inflicts on March's left arm would have gotten the job done were it not for all the other odd, violent stuff swirling around both of them. First, porn star Misty Mountains ends up dead. (The woman's aunt is convinced she's still alive and has hired March to find out what's up.) Next, we hear that Amelia's boyfriend has met a fiery end, too. Then March and Jack discover the rotting corpse of the man who supposedly produced Amelia's secret film. Finally, a senior official at the Department of Justice hires Jack and March to find and protect Amelia, telling them that the young lady is actually her prodigal daughter. But remember, Amelia doesn't really want to be found. And who can blame her, since everyone she's recently had contact with keeps turning up very, very dead. As this convoluted, twisting, twisted buddy-noir mystery flick unspools, it seems increasingly likely that Jack, March and even March's teen daughter, Holly, could end up on that list of victims as well if they can't figure out why everyone's chasing Amelia … and why nobody can locate her pornographic film that seems to be the key to everything.Positive ElementsJack ends up playing a surrogate father role in Holly's life, trying to protect and guide her when March (frequently) fails to do so. As for Holly, the teen has flashes of keen insight into the moral shortcomings of the two men in her life, at one point going so far as challenging Jack to not kill a man who's been trying to murder all of them. Indeed, both March and Jack are lost, drifting men in need of redemption, and Holly's much-less-damaged outlook on life, it's hinted, might be the catalyst that inspires them to make better choices in the future. Then, through some pretty far-out plot twists, the film puts the two men in the unlikely role of becoming crusaders for justice and environmental responsibility. (It's a positive message that feels oddly shoehorned into an already overburdened narrative.) March, Jack and Holly grow genuinely concerned with Amelia's well-being. March makes a passing comment about how damaging no-fault divorce has been to marriage and society. Spiritual ContentA nun at a Catholic hospital asks March, "Are you willing to find God?" One of Holly's friends rebukes March for taking the Lord's name in vain. Amelia says of her mother's greed, "Mammon, that's her god."Sexual ContentSeveral scenes involve a topless porn star. One pictures her in a pornographic magazine, and we watch as an adolescent boy leers. Another occurs when she's the victim of a fatal car wreck, after which the same boy discovers her naked, bloody body. (He's initially excited and amazed to see the woman's completely bare chest, then covers her up with a coat as she dies.) A third scene pictures her sans shirt in a clip from a pornographic movie. The same film briefly but graphically shows a couple having sex. Many scenes visually and verbally reference the late-'70s porn culture in Los Angeles, one that various underworld kingpins compete to control. A wild party at a porn producer's home features women wearing as little as pasties and paint. A nearly nude woman's backside is used as a "table." Two topless women sport mermaid tails. And note that Holly sneaks into this party and watches part of a pornographic film. Jack talks about his ex-wife cheating on him with his father. Graphic sexual slang is thrown around, and Holly unintentionally uses a pretty explicit sexual phrase. There's a crude reference to Hitler's private parts. A teen boy with aspirations of starring in a porn movie repeatedly brags about the size of his sexual anatomy, even asking Jack and March if they want to see it. Repeatedly, porn films are visually and verbally referenced.Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentAs mentioned, a nude porn star is involved in a fiery accident. (Her car crashes down a cliff and through a house.) Jack cracks March's arm, and that's just the beginning. March is repeatedly beaten and kicked; he falls off a balcony, through a glass ceiling, onto the hood of a car, etc. He's hit by a car. He cuts his wrist badly while breaking a window. Jack likewise takes more than his share of close-in lumps via fists and kicks in various melees. Someone tries to drown him in a hot tub. He shoots a man, then brutally and repeatedly beats him with a shotgun. He rams a bartender's head onto the bar. He gets coldcocked. A man gets hit by a van and is then choked to death. A grenade incinerates someone. Someone else falls from a great height, and we watch as his body hits the concrete and bloodily bursts. March and Jack discover a decomposing corpse which they try to get rid of by hoisting it over a fence … where it falls onto a wedding-banquet table surrounded by horrified guests. We see the last gurgling moments of a man whose throat has been slit. Cars explode or catch on fire after accidents or being shot. Shootouts throughout the film claim numerous lives. Several point-blank shots involve handguns and shotguns inflicting brutal, bloody, mortal wounds. A teen is badly beaten (offscreen) and left in a dumpster. Holly and a friend are threatened by a hit man. The contract killer hurls a girl through a window, knocking her out. Holly is threatened by another man who tries to kidnap her as well.Crude or Profane LanguageNearly 80 f-words (including more than a half dozen paired with "mother"). About 20 s-words and 10 total uses of various harsh slang terms for the male anatomy. We also hear "a--hole," "b--tard," "b--ch," "p---" and "retard." Jesus' name is taken in vain at least a dozen times. God's is abused six or seven times, most often linked with "d--n."Drug and Alcohol ContentMarch smokes and drinks continually (to try to deal with the guilt he feels about not preventing the house fire that killed his wife). We see Holly frequently driving her dad's car for him because he's too drunk to do it himself. For his part, Jack steadfastly says no to alcohol until, in a moment of despair near the story's conclusion, he gets drunk at a bar. March quips, "At least you're drinking again." And in another sequence, Holly says, "I need a drink." Many scenes take place at bars, drinking parties, etc. We hear references to marijuana.Other Negative ElementsMarch quite often neglects Holly. And he tries to leave her locked in a car's trunk at the porn party. A conflict between the girl and her dad involves her swearing angrily at him. Jack says cynically, "Marriage is buying a house for someone you hate." He also says that matrimony is equivalent to having your "balls removed." Law officers and automobile manufacturing executives are shown to be so corrupt that they're willing to murder people to cover up their crimes. ConclusionThe Nice Guys has some nice moments. Amid all the neglect and craziness, Jack and March do share some fatherly interactions with Holly. But let's not get carried away. These are not nice men, and this dark dramedy is not a nice movie. Indeed, it never even pretends to be. Which, of course, is very much a part of the intentional irony of its title. No, life for the folks depicted in this late-'70s throwback portrait of Los Angeles is anything but pleasant. Porn stars get used, abused and murdered. Strongmen take what they want and get paid to inflict pain. Not even the "good guys" can figure out how to do the right thing, weighed down as they are with addiction and despair. This is a seedy, morally slippery world we're shown here. And if there's any redemption to be found, it's in the glimmer of hope that perhaps March and Jack will at least keep haltingly trying—for the sake of not-quite-so-sullied Holly. Or, you could look at it from the other side and simply bash this bad business over the head for being so willing to drag a teen girl into such a nasty narrative, for being so willing to drag us into it.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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    (Review Source)

Michael Medved1



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Nice Guys
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    (Review Source)

Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Wknd Box Office: The Nice Guys, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, The Meddler, A Bigger Splash
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews A Bigger Splash – R: As a general rule, whenever mainstream (liberal) movie critics rave in unison over a movie, it’s absolute trash. That’s the case here . . . in spades. I like weird and different movies. And this is definitely that, but not in a good way. It’s too weird, too different, and just all over the place. It’s also sick and warped and never really admits to anything it implies is going on. On top of that, it seems obsessed with nudity and sex. There are lots of topless scenes for the women here, and both the male leads have frontal nudity scenes, too. Not my cup of tea. Plus, this stars the ever-weird, androgynous oddity of whom I’ve never ever been–and am definitely still not–a fan: actress Tilda Swinton who recently modeled in a Chanel fashion show in Havana (while the Castros are still locking up Cubans for speaking out against the horrors of that country). The scenery and cinematography are beautiful. The plot and story, not so much. The story: Swinton is an aging rock star with fans worldwide. She’s recently had surgery on her vocal cords and cannot talk until they heal. She and her much younger boyfriend of five years (Matthias Schoenaerts) are staying at her seaside estate on an Italian island while she recuperates. Swinton’s inability to talk (she can whisper, but hides it from all except her boyfriend) is a plot point. Soon, Swinton’s ex-lover, Ralph Fiennes, is on the island, too. He and his newly-discovered, young daughter (the constantly sullen, highly overrated Dakota Johnson) are there for a vacation and find that there are no hotel rooms left. Soon, they are staying with Swinton and her boytoy, and it’s an uncomfortable crowd. Fiennes spends the rest of the movie speaking loudly and flamboyantly and trying to seduce win back his ex, Swinton. His endless braggadocio and bloviating fill the void of Swinton’s silence. And then there is the issue of Fiennes’ daughter, who is highly “sexual” in her behavior and is often cavorting around in see-through bras. What is her story and is she hitting on Swinton’s boyfriend? What is it between them? I didn’t really care because none of the characters in this movie are likable. Not even close. There are two scenes with whip snakes, who invade the estate. And though you wonder what the relevance is, it seemed to me the snakes were more likable than the rest of the players in this flick. On top of that, this movie tries to be all things: a romantic drama, a thriller complete with a killing, and a relaxing travelogue of an Italian island with a mild plot going on in the midst. It fails at all three. I like ambiguity–of which this is filled–when it’s done well in a movie. Here, it’s underwhelming and overwhelming. And ill-fitted. I wasn’t sure what the point or purpose was of this pretentious, long, slow, boring, and seemingly endless movie . . . other than the purport to make high art (but fail miserably) and maybe show me Ralph Fiennes’ schlong (which I really didn’t need to see–TMI, TMI, TMI). I just know that I wasted two hours and five minutes of my life on it that I’ll never get back. The only splash here–bigger or otherwise–is the one you see and hear as you throw your ten-bucks-plus down the toilet. THREE MARXES ]]>
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    (Review Source)

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