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72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 141 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A petty thief (Downey) posing as an actor is brought to Los Angeles for an unlikely audition and finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation along with his high school dream girl (Monaghan) and a detective (Kilmer) who's been training him for his upcoming role.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. This is one of Downey's most enjoyable performances, and one of Kilmer's funniest. It's a relationship comedy wrapped in sharp talk and gunplay, a triumphant comeback for Black, and one of the year's best movies.
  2. 88
    This tribute to old-fashioned hard-boiled detective fiction is laced with Hollywood satire and snappy, lightning-fast dialogue.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    80
    Bold and breathless, this trippy, hilarious, know-it-all comedy-thriller will have you reliving its ironic spoils for days, but you'll still be hard-pressed to nail the actual story.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    It's a merry deconstructive delight and easily the best party in town.
  5. Downey and Monaghan are wonderful at playing characters that compensate for the harshness of their past with flippant swaggers.
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Once again making a diverting but insubstantial movie look better than it is, Downey, with haggard charm to burn, is winning all the way. Kilmer is riotous at times as an impeccably groomed, businesslike guy keen to assert his orientation at every opportunity.
  7. It's just a movie with no particular reason for existing, a flashy, trifling throwaway whose surface cleverness masks a self-infatuated credulity.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 60
  2. Negative: 6 out of 60
  1. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    So unique you just cannot help but love every single moment of it, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is a dark, satirical, and side-splittingly funny neo-noir dramedy. Expand
  2. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    Shane Black's writers block was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to him, because if all that built up creativity led to this sort of film more often, then we all need a case of these mental blockages, as this film, written and directed himself, is possibly the best work of his career.
    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is told as a mash up of different film genres, noir, comedy and all around criminal behaviour, and Robert Downey Jr makes one of the best returns to form as small time thief Harry Lockhart, who stumbles accidentally into an audition, which he is praised for after the events which had just occurred.
    He is introduced to Perry "Gay Perry" van Shrike, who is played convincingly and humorously by Val Kilmer, and Perry and Harry soon set off on massive adventure of murder and mystery, all with the beautiful wit of the well written script in toe.
    Downey Jr narrates an outsider point of view of the film, explaining to audiences about certain aspects of the film, even rewinding at parts he thinks he has left out, all circling towards a very unique and stylised form of story-telling.
    The humour is sharp-tongued and often crude, and it is clear form the beginning that Shane Black has a particular audience in mind, not necessarily those of the crime capers, but those who are accustomed to an unorthodox style of cinema, and those who are willing to keep up with the ever expanding story.
    Robert Downey Jr is excellent as Harry Lockhart, simply pacing through the movie as a good but bad guy having a bad day, while Val Kilmer is the opposite, a real life PI who is asked to help Lockhart prepare for his film role when things start to become too realistic, his acting capabilities are soon showing as his character becomes less and less cool.
    Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen and Rockmund Dunbar also make up a very expansive and interesting cast, all of whom play a pivotal part in the telling of the story and are beneficial as to how all the stories become intertwined.
    The film is full of dark humour and witty gags from start to finish, but with the acting of Downey Jr and Kilmer at the helm, the film is grounded to create an enjoyable and excellent piece of filmmaking that leave you laughing and shocked for a considerable amount of time.
    Expand
  3. Feb 2, 2012
    10
    Who said sarcasm is the lowest form of wit? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang would beg to differ as it thrives off of laughing at other peoples mistakes. It seems cruel but the film does it in a way that makes it acceptable by only employing it between the two leads Harry (Robert Downey Jr) and Perry (Val Kilmer). The film is a dark twisted buddy cop film, which is what you would expect from Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black in his directorial debut. However the difference between Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Lethal Weapon is the fact that Harry and Perry hate each other, they really do. Thatâ Expand
  4. Apr 13, 2011
    9
    This reminds me of nothing more than The Singing Detective (the original, although RDJ did coincidentally star in the hamfisted Hollywood remake). A funny, sharp, knowing film which repays repeated viewing. Expand
  5. Aug 29, 2014
    8
    Thanks to its charming cast and supreme action, this energetic, gloomy film is not only thoroughly entertaining but it's also funny. Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer are the men. Expand
  6. Aug 28, 2014
    8
    A bit confusing at places (something a second watch cured).

    Witty characters, plot, and just too much bad luck for you to keep your face
    straight while watching. Of course, no bad luck comes without good planning...

    Val Kilmer is brilliant, and Robert Downey Jr. isn't bad, either. They work very well together.
    Expand
  7. Sep 1, 2011
    7
    While he's no stranger to acting and screenwriting, Shane Black has also made a very impressive directorial debut with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It's classic Black - full of snappy dialogue, with an energetic plot and plenty of dark comedy. It also features Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer in roles that will long be considered highlights of their career. Downey does what he does best - he's confident, charming and verbally agile, and Kilmer demonstrates a rarely demonstrated gift for comic timing. The story is engaging to begin with, and the film is pleasingly self-aware, but it does run out of steam a little towards the end. Black is perhaps guilty of throwing one too many plot twists into the mix too quickly, and it's therefore all too easy to lose your way if the smallest snippet of information is missed. It can come across a little convoluted at times, but Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is an enjoyable ride all the same. Expand

See all 60 User Reviews

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