Set in 1970s Los Angeles, the film directed by Shane Black and produced by Joel Silver is being described as “groovy,” “meticulous entertainment” that is “breathlessly crammed with goodies.” Gosling and Crowe’s dynamic is praised by most of the critics, including TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde.
“Ultimately, it’s the comedic rapport between Gosling and Crowe that makes this enterprise work,” he wrote in his review. “We’ve seen Gosling do this sort of befuddled deadpan before, but you might have to go all the way back to 1994’s ‘The Sum of Us’ to find a film in which Crowe allows himself to be this loose and funny.”
In “The Nice Guys,” Holland March (Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Crowe) morph from bitter rivals to grudging pals. March has been hired to investigate the mysterious Amelia (Margaret Qualley, “The Leftovers”), but she in turn has hired Healy to scare off the man she says is stalking her. When Amelia goes missing, the two must team up to find her.
The film is opening this Friday against “Neighbors 2” and “Angry Birds,” and is looking to gross around $10 million for Warner Bros.
See 9 of the best reviews below.
Brian Truitt, USA Today:
“The movie is a throwback in many ways but also proves a dynamic duo can still be just as effective in modern cinema as a superhero ensemble cast. For ‘The Nice Guys,’ it takes two to make it outta sight.”
Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News:
“It’s overlong by about 15 minutes and goes in too many directions at once. But thanks to a groovy period vibe and the A-list stars, you’re along for the ride.”
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly:
“Basically, it’s ‘Inherent Vice’ without the highbrow aspirations, or ‘The Big Lebowski’ with two Dudes. Gosling and Crowe have a surprisingly fizzy, ferret-and-bull chemistry, and the hedonistic Me Decade setting is groovy.”
Matt Prigge, Metro:
“The mystery yarn in ‘The Nice Guys’ may be only worth half-following, as they so often are in detective fiction. But every second demands your attention. It’s a brightly colored confection breathlessly crammed with goodies. Watching it you can picture its makers — director Shane Black and his co-writer Anthony Bagarozzi — agonizing over the script’s every inch: making sure each quip was jot-down-able, each plot turn surprising, each plant given a showstopping payoff. In an era of sloppy blockbusters that settle for stuff and clang, it’s a meticulous entertainment with a serious case of OCD.”
Scott Mendelson, Forbes:
Shane Black‘s ‘The Nice Guys’ is exactly what you expect it to be, and I mean that as a compliment. It is a seedy, cynical, and theoretically offensive little comic thriller filled with colorful characters and quirky dialogue. The film isn’t quite the revelation that was ‘Kiss Kiss,’ ‘Bang Bang,’ but it’s frankly a more confidently directed bit of Los Angeles film noir pulp. The film gradually reveals itself, improving both regarding comedy and regarding character as it goes along. There is a thematic richness to its gumshoe antics, one that shows a filmmaker in complete control of his vices and his thematics. There are times where ‘The Nice Guys’ borders on self-parody, but it always remembers to respect the inherent drama of its story.”
Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend:
“‘The Nice Guys’ is, obviously in many ways, a throwback, in not just its aesthetic and larger mystery-driven narrative, but it often takes advantage of those sensibilities by generating certain expectations and surprising the audience with last minute sharp left turns. As winding as compelling as the plot is, there is also no sacrifice of character building at all, as we intimately get to know all of the key players at the center of the story, and genuinely care about what happens to them by the end.”
Tomris Laffly, TimeOut:
“Between a gorgeously grandiose finale, memorable parts for Yaya DaCosta and Kim Basinger and a juicy soundtrack that includes Earth, Wind & Fire and Kool & the Gang, ‘The Nice Guys’ is the perfect, incredibly crafted yet laid-back procedural we’ve been starved for. Even when it sometimes seems that the endless jokes are being thrown against a wall to see what sticks, ‘The Nice Guys,’ on the whole, summons that victorious, innocent feeling of seeing likable heroes win while having fun along the way. It’s nice, guys.”
Jen Yamato, The Daily Beast:
“By the time a nefarious expert assassin named John Boy (Matt Bomer) arrives with a trunk full of automatic guns to take the duo out, ‘The Nice Guys’ has laid meticulous groundwork for its central characters. That work also serves to tee up fantastically executed scenes that marry action and comedy, like the goofy jaunt through a drug-fueled party in the hills that ends in March tumbling off a cliff, or the near-death freeway calamity that unfolds in the film’s most spectacularly surprising gag. Even Holly gets a tense moment with Bomer’s slick killer before Black sends bodies flying with perfectly perverse panache. It’s enough to give one hope that Black’s sunbaked brand of numbnuts noir is a harbinger of a new great era in action-comedy to come.”
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice:
“As an action comedy, R-rated division, ‘The Nice Guys’ is hard to beat. Black knows how to pace and escalate a fight and a film, and he springs wicked surprises all along — scene after scene dances around trapdoors that the audience falls into. As always, in a Black film, much of Southern California gets shot up, although this time Los Angeles is played by Atlanta. Other signs of his authorship: swearing kids, a Christmas carol, a party for the ages, and the infectious sense that the writer-director adores this material beyond all measure and is invested in showing you why. ‘The Nice Guys,’ ultimately, might be a little too nice, but Black and his cast really want you to have a ball.”