Dawson Joyce’s review published on Letterboxd:
December 2016: Scavenger Hunt #21
TASK #22: A Shane Black film (either written, directed and/or acted)!
Can someone tell me why this bombed so badly at the box office? We, as people of this Earth, have done this film a great shame by not giving it enough money so it could be a hit and lead to a potential franchise. The third directorial home run from Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black, The Nice Guys is about private eyes Jackson Healy and Holland March, who investigate the disappearance of a U.S. Department of Justice official’s daughter who has a mysterious connection to a porno film. I loved how Shane Black brought 1970’s Los Angeles, California to life so well, with the help of wonderful production and costume designs by Richard Bridgland and Kym Barrett and stunning noir-esque cinematography work from Philippe Rousselot. The setting ends up becoming a character in and of itself. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are both perfectly cast as Healy and March and their chemistry and banter are nothing short of amazing. The way they play off each other is so hilarious and memorable and it works so well. Another standout was Angourie Rice as Holland’s daughter Holly. Rice is also hilarious and even manages to get some of the best moments of the film, and her character is incredibly likable to boot. Supporting players like Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Beau Knapp, Keith David, and Kim Basinger also delivered fantastic work. The way Black and co-writer Anthony Bagarozzi manage to balance buddy comedy, dark humor, mystery, crime thriller, action, and noir is absolutely flawless. These different tones and genres balance out one another beautifully. Black & Bagarozzi also create a fun story that’s twisty but never convoluted and the dialogue is superb. The action scenes are also bad-ass and a lot of fun to watch. Stylish, funny, and wildly entertaining throughout, The Nice Guys is one of the best films of the year and the fact that it bombed is nothing short of a crying shame.