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Movie Review

The Nice Guys also known as “Bons Rapazes,” “Dois Caras Legais,” “Dos tipos peligrosos,” “Fini momci,” “La Strana Coppia,” “Rendes fickók,” “Dobri momci,” “Równi goscie”

MPAA Rating: R for violence, sexuality, nudity, language and brief drug use.

Reviewed by: Gabriel Mohler

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Crime Mystery Thriller Comedy
1 hr. 56 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
May 20, 2016 (wide—2,800+ theaters)
DVD: August 23, 2016
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

missing persons

pornography industry

LUST—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

murder in the Bible


alcoholic / drunk

goodness and righteousness

sin and the fall of man

smog and the U.S. auto industry

EARTH’S ENVIRONMENT—Should Christians be concerned about the environment? Answer

What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer

SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

Featuring: Ryan GoslingHolland March
Russell CroweJackson Healy
Kim BasingerAmelia's mother
Matt Bomer …
Keith David … Older Guy
Ty Simpkins … Bobby
Sandra Rosko … Comedy Store Waitress
Hannibal Buress … Giant Killer Bee
Yaya DaCosta …
more »
Director: Shane Black—“Iron Man 3” (2013), “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (2005)
Producer: Misty Mountains
Silver Pictures
Waypoint Entertainment
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

The title of “The Nice Guys” refers to two detectives, Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe). Aside from their language, they are somewhat nice guys who care about people and will seemingly stop at nothing to accomplish justice. So if only the film “The Nice Guys” was nice as the nice guys in it. What a shame that the film itself doesn’t have the same integrity as the characters it portrays as good.

I’m not sure if “The Nice Guys” was intended to carry a particular message or not, because it is a very hypocritical film. It is a murder mystery connected to porn stars and producers, who are either portrayed as victims, perverts, or just low-lives, in general. March and Healy strongly frown on the porn industry, as do most of the protagonists to one extent or another.

It might follow, then, that the nudity in this film would be a mere honest portrayal of what goes on in the industry. I’m not saying that would be okay, but at least I could have a little respect for its intentions. But, unfortunately, although the nudity often does make sense in the plot, it is still shown in crude contexts that are played for laughs. These scenes clash rather confusingly with how the porn industry is portrayed.

Bare breasts are clearly visible in four scenes, though none of these last more than about five seconds. No genitals are ever actually shown; whenever there is full frontal nudity, the pubic region is always shaded out or obscured. However, there is a brief shot where dancers at a party wear tight panties that leave little to the imagination. We also see a few second clip of a porn film that shows a sex scene without nudity.

In addition, just because the characters are called out on their language a few times doesn’t keep them from using it. There are 8 misuse’s of God’s name and one “swear to God,” and 11 of Jesus, two of which are paired with Christ. There are also 83 f-words, s-words (25), d**ns (4), h*ll (2), d**k (7), f*g (1), blow (1), “son of a b***h” (2), and an irreverent use of “hallelujah.”

The film gets pretty violent, at times. There are car crashes, hand-to-hand combat, shootouts, and a few dead bodies. Some of these scenes are bloody, and some aren’t.

I was surprised at the film’s positive content. Healy and March display many admirable qualities. All the protagonists learn to work together as a team, despite personal conflicts, and there is even a capitalistic message. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are great together as actors, and the young female actress Angourie Rice gives a stunning performance. The film is witty, quirky, smart, and stylish, and I really enjoyed the parts that weren’t trashed with obscenity.

The porn industry is a very heavy subject matter to deal with, and this film does not take it seriously enough. Perhaps I’m reading too deep, but the basic message seems to be that pornography is a bad industry, but since it exists, we might as well enjoy it. There is redemption in the story, but, sadly, the film fails to redeem itself. “The Nice Guys” isn’t as bad as I expected, but I could still never recommend it.

Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy to extreme

PORNOGRAPHY—How can I tell if I’m getting addicted to pornography or sex? Answer

TEMPTATIONS—How can I deal with temptations? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive— I will first say, that from the outset, I knew the kind of film that I was going to be watching. The writer/director of this film is Shane Black. He wrote the original “Lethal Weapon,” among other buddy films of the 90’s such as “The Last Boy Scout” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight.” Growing up seeing these films I have laughed at the sly, sharp witty one-liners. When I saw the preview, I knew what to expect: possible nudity, high levels of profanity, and gritty violence.

Sufficed to say, my wife and I had a very enjoyable time watching the film. We laughed allot and she even got it for me on Blu-Ray as an anniversary gift. The Good: Gosling and Crowe have tremendous chemistry on screen and they play off each other very well. The obscure one-liners delivered as expected. The writing is true to form for Mr/ Black where you cannot really predict where the story is going and you get more layers revealed from our main characters as the story unfolds giving them full dimension and depth. The film keeps you guessing, keeps the humor on rapid fire, and delivers a fun, gritty story.

The Bad: As typical of Shane Black writing, there is a high level of profanity, moments of nudity, and some harsh violence depicted in a seedy story setting. There are those who can look past this and take the movie for what it is, there are those who cannot. The issue with the content is really up to the viewer. The majority of believers who are uninformed may be in for a shock or a jolt and find the film morally offensive, but then turn around and call those who enjoy the film equally immoral.

Those who are duly informed of its content will do well, either to enjoy it for what it is, or bypass it and save yourself the offense. This is not a movie for children. This is a film for adults. All in all, this is a matter of personal taste. If its not in your taste, then don’t watch. Please do not make moral pronouncements on others who do watch it. My wife and I enjoyed it very much, and look forward to further viewings, but this is not for everyone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: none / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bryan, age 33 (USA)
Negative—The story was nominal. It could have been any crime-drama with a touch of humor, though admittedly, Russell Crowe’s and Ryan Gosling’s characters were very well played, and I enjoyed their dialog and interaction with one another. I might even be compelled to say it was a “good” movie, if I could possibly get past the in-your-face vulgarity and sexual commentary, or the very premise of the plot that places itself in the midst of the 1970’s porn industry.

The opening scene shows a pubescent boy nabbing a “dirty” magazine from underneath his father’s bed, and gawking at the open pages while a car races down the hill above the home and crashes abruptly through the house and into the backyard. There the boy finds, amidst the carnage, a (now) ex-porn star conveniently sprawled-out near the car, bra-less and blouse-torn in an unlikely position, exposed for the boy to see, with the film’s perspective “artistically” presented from behind the victim’s shoulder so that her breast fills a large portion of the screen.

Gosling portrays a single-father of a 13-year old girl, whose wife and mother died in a fire of which he feels responsible, and has been relegated to alcoholism, while attempting to maintain his career as a private investigator and part-time father. Crowe’s character is a crude head-basher, a for-hire thug who ultimately crosses paths with Gosling’s character as they stumble on the case of a missing girl they were both pursuing independently.

Because of the setting, the film attempts to realistically portray things as they might have been, given the situation and people involved. Unfortunately, because of this very fact, the characters are very vulgar, with countless words and gestures, and nearly 30 minutes of the film was dedicated to a setting wherein a multitude of usual suspects at a porn-industry party might be present and engaged in activities one might stereotypically expect to see, including some nudity and drug-use. (I did note that, under the circumstances, actual nudity was only partial and limited).

Throughout the film, Gosling’s character’s daughter, at 13, is engaged in “assisting” her father in his work, and finds herself purposefully at this same event (trying to help in the investigation), casually seated with a porn-star as they watch one of the star’s films together, for no other reason than the fact that she is “there.”

Critically, it’s a decent film for its genre. For the most part, I think everyone involved with the film did a good job in doing what they set out to do. But I must strongly suggest that you DON’T see this film! There is no good reason for you to do so, except to indulge in experiences that glorify no one. It’s rated R for all the right reasons, and I’m thankful that they didn’t “tone it down” at all to get a PG-13 rating, that would have invited younger audiences to view it.

Please note that there were several moments during the “porn party” episode that I felt compelled to leave the theater. The moment the film ended, I was angry that I hadn’t.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Toby Crain, age 51 (USA)
Negative—Very disturbing! Young actress (14) from Australia is shown in what I considered “porn” scenes. Why would the interaction of a child be allowed in movie of this nature? America, with child abuse including children exposed to the horrors of sexual abuse and pedophiles preying on our youth, I found this movie extremely disturbing and distasteful. Please do not spend any money to go see this offensive movie!

The name “The Nice Guys” sounds so innocent—do not see-would be my advice! I attended with my husband who will watch all sorts of films without sensitivity to inappropriate content. I was not only shocked at these scenes, but noticed most of the attending audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy it! This was in a very upscale community with well educated residents. I was shocked!

Question: What if this was YOUR daughter or granddaughter who was exposed to nudity, extreme violence and adult interactions. Would you laugh and encourage your neighbors and friends to go see it?? Would you? If your answer is “yes” I would say you are a child abuser and casual child predator! God is Not dead and will judge all! Be assured of this. We have become desensitized and approving of “anything” goes. God have mercy on America!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Katherine K, age 65 (USA)
Movie Critics

…a cheerfully aimless plunge into the scuzzy noir soul of 1970s Los Angeles… At its infrequent best, “The Nice Guys” succeeds in making that pleasure contagious, mining a brash, vigorous comic energy from that sweet spot where male affection and aggression collide. …
—Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

…This is a dumb movie pretending to be smart, even as it wants you to believe the opposite. …despite all its restless detective work, “The Nice Guys” is unable to track down a soul or a reason for being.
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times

…one of the more unpleasant viewing experiences of the year. 1 out of 5. …
—Christian Hamaker, Crosswalk

…These are not nice men, and this dark dramedy is not a nice movie. …a nasty narrative… [½/5]
—Adam R. Holz, Plugged In

…a smashingly disreputable mystery-comedy free-for-all directed with a wink of trashy zest… an ultra-violent burlesque…
—Owen Gleiberman, Variety

…Not so nice. …seamy slice of violent slapstick… largely unconvincing material…
—Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

…Ryan Gosling has never been funnier…
—Kristian Lin, Fort Worth Weekly

…a brutal, merciless comedy that embraces pulpy sex and violence without shame or apology… never lives up to the promise of its hilarious first 10 minutes…
—Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald

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