Set in 1977, we watch an opening sequence in which a hot young porn star named Misty Mountains ends up killed. Ryan Gosling plays widower private dick Holland March, whose been recently hired to find Amelia, a young woman who many think is dead, despite a few claiming to have recently seen her. Holland soon has a run-in with a tough-as-nails thug-for-hire named Jackson Healy, who happens to be protecting then also looking for Amelia, at first punishing then ending up needing him and hiring the detective himself. It’s a shaky pairing, but together they follow clues and thump on potential witnesses, not always successfully, as they peek into the seamy underbelly of Los Angeles, with Holland’s precocious thirteen-year-old daughter Holly finding herself in the middle of the action more often than not. The further they dig, the more they stir up trouble for themselves, putting themselves in the path of a deadly bad guys and in the choke-hold of local politics.