6. The Nice Guys
Shane Black has comfortably established his niche. The writer/director knows his genre of choice: buddy cop dramedies. He also knows what he likes, what he wants to do and where he wants to go. That all comes to a head with his latest, The Nice Guys, his third directorial effort and his follow-up to Iron Man 3. While never quite rising to the level of Black’s directorial debut, 2005’s masterful Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, The Nice Guys is, nevertheless, an explosively entertaining, perversely funny, regularly coarse and irresistibly charming ’70s period piece, featuring two of the best performances we’ve ever seen from Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling to date. And packed with as many sharp quips as it has flying bullets, it’s exactly what you’d expect from Black, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Assured, fearless and unapologetically politically incorrect, The Nice Guys might seem like just another buddy cop combo for some, but don’t be mistaken. We’re talking about Black here, the master of the genre, and he knows how to make it sing. The Lethal Weapon scribe might have a bit of a formula these days, but he knows how to work it. He knows how to make every little moment count, and he knows how to provide the most entertainment value in the process. It’s a sharp shooter, a fast talker and undoubtably one of the best studio films to come out so far this year. Don’t mess around and check it out when you get the chance. It’ll treat you well.