The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★½

Not much to say about this one that hasn't already been said. Shane Black understands how to write and direct tough guys with broken spirits better than pretty much anyone other than Tarantino. The chemistry he finds in THE NICE GUYS between Crowe and Gosling is so fluid that it feels as though we've seen these guys partnered in a million other pictures. Or, maybe it's that after watching them here, we want to see them partnered in a million more.

Besides our top-billed talent, the breakout star here is Angourie Rice. This teenage firecracker plays the plucky, Nancy Drew-ish daughter of Gosling's alcoholic P.I.. She drives him around L.A., sneaks into porn parties, shows mercy to hitman, and doesn't cave in when danger strikes. While she may seem superhuman -- and probably is -- Rice plays her so believably that you can't help but wish this kid had a film series of her own.

Above all, I just love the production design and soundtrack. That late 70s aesthetic is among my favorites, and Black's people hit all the right marks. This is a high octane, cartoonish version of the 70s, and it's the best sort of cinematic playground.