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Inherent Vice

Mystery . Drama . Crime . Romance . Comedy

In Los Angeles at the turn of the 1970s, drug-fueled detective Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of an ex-girlfriend.

Actors: Jordan Christian Hearn , Joanna Newsom , Martin Donovan , Martin Short , Maya Rudolph , Jena Malone , Benicio Del Toro , Reese Witherspoon , Katherine Waterston , Owen Wilson , Josh Brolin , Joaquin Phoenix
Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson
Country: USA
Release: 2015-01-09
More Info:
  • Ann Hornaday

    Inherent Vice unfolds so organically, so gracefully and with such humanistic grace notes that even at its most preposterous, viewers will find themselves nodding along, sharing the buzz the filmmaker has so skillfully created.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    Inherent Vice is a film about a stoner which itself seems stoned. This is just one small part of what makes it distinctive. Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Joaquin Phoenix and the terrific acting ensemble that joins him in this pot-infused '70s-era beach noir create such a good buzz you can almost get a contact high from watching.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Mr. Phoenix’s note-perfect performance flows on the story’s currents of comedy that occasionally turn into rapids, as the funny ha-ha, funny strange back-and-forth abruptly gives way to Three Stooges slapstick.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ben Kenigsberg

    In its graceful superimpositions and its use of water to evoke a more idyllic time (particularly in a rainy flashback set to Neil Young), Inherent Vice is very much a companion piece to "The Master."

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Craig Williams

    A hilariously louche and ramshackle psychedelic noir, Inherent Vice is an audacious stylistic leap for Anderson, but his risks pay off beautifully. It's an amazing work, capturing the heady vibe of Thomas Pynchon's novel while stumbling into in the great cinematic lineage of California noir.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    The dangers of filmmakers trying to replicate a golden era rather than embrace the present are part and parcel of Inherent Vice, but the ramifications are political as well.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    This movie is so funny, so strange, so wonderfully charmingly deranged.

    HitFix Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    Anderson’s seventh feature film is a groovy, richly funny stoner romp that has less in common with “The Big Lebowski” than with the strain of fatalistic, ’70s-era California noirs (“Chinatown,” “The Long Goodbye,” “Night Moves”) in which the question of “whodunit?” inevitably leads to an existential vanishing point.

    Variety Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    The film is stupendous: as antic as Boogie Nights and Punch-Drunk Love, but with The Master and There Will Be Blood’s uncanny feel for the swell and ebb of history.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Inherent Vice is like that; you’ll have to enjoy it for the pileup of exquisite images and hilarious episodes, and let go of the need to hold the whole thing in your head, or you won’t enjoy it at all. Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Inherent Vice isn't the towering masterpiece that those who admired There Will Be Blood and The Master were probably hoping for, and thank God for that. It's loose and free, like a sketchbook, though there's also something somber and wistful about it — it feels like less of a psychedelic scramble than the novel it's based on.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    It all serves a portrait of 1970 California that mixes absurdity with an air of looming cataclysm, a volatile formula that wouldn’t work without Phoenix’s performance.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    The virtue of Inherent Vice is that we can stop chasing the tale and just enjoy the sunset of the ’60s dream.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    After a while, you may suspect that things aren’t adding up. Later still, you begin to realize they may never add up.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    For some of us, Anderson's LA lamentation is a siren song, and there's no more ardent and poetic chronicler of California mythology.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    The problem with Inherent Vice, and what keeps it a step below "The Master" and "There Will Be Blood" and Anderson's best movies, is that all the Pynchon threads and dead ends come apart in the middle and aren't really pulled back together.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Inherent Vice constantly teases at a complex meta commentary on the other movies it brings to mind, but never totally gets there.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Big, wonderfully oddball, sometimes confounding and beautiful, Inherent Vice supplies good dosages of stoner giggles. But its doobage is potent and reflects some heavy ideas you’ll need to unpack and meditate on for a long while.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Inherent Vice is an aggressively weird movie, which you should take not as a warning but as a compliment and an invitation to see it, to let its stoner vibes wash all over you.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    They’ve turned Thomas Pynchon’s work into a slapstick noir homage that doesn’t just reward but demands multiple viewings.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    Inherent Vice is not only the first Pynchon movie; it could also, I suspect, turn out to be the last. Either way, it is the best and the most exasperating that we’ll ever have. It reaches out to his ineffable sadness, and almost gets there.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Inherent Vice, Anderson's sexy, swirling latest (based on Thomas Pynchon's exquisite stoner mystery set at the dawn of the '70s), is a wondrously fragrant movie, emanating sweat, the stink of pot clouds and the press of hairy bodies. It's a film you sink into, like a haze on the road, even as it jerks you along with spikes of humor.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Xan Brooks

    Anderson has all manner of fun with the tale's whirling, blurring trajectory. His film is like a jubilant spin painting in which the characters have been scattered and splattered to the furthest reaches of the frame.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Josh Kupecki

    My advice? Relinquish yourself to this hazy tapestry, and let the film take over. Squares need not apply.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    At first glance, Inherent Vice might seem to be a detective story. Look a little closer, however, and it becomes clear that this is Paul Thomas Anderson's idea of a comedy. There's slapstick, lowbrow material, and enough strange characters and "completely different" moments to make Monty Python smile.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    Director P.T. Anderson isn't generally a guy you go to if you're looking for answers. Questions are more his game, and that's as true here as it was in his far more serious pictures "The Master" and "There Will Be Blood." He is a terrific stylist, though, and the scattershot pleasures he's peddling in Inherent Vice may well satisfy those who like style more than substance, or maybe who like their style with substances.

    NPR Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    A kind of companion piece to Altman’s “The Long Goodbye,” and it’s the sort of failure that only a director (Paul Thomas Anderson) of his talents could make – a movie about a stoner private eye (Joaquin Phoenix) in Los Angeles circa 1970 that seems to have been concocted in a stoned haze of its very own.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Inherent Vice is packed with shitfaced hilarity, soulful reveries, stylistic ingenuity and smashing performances that keep playing back in your head. It may not demand repeat viewings, but it sure as hell rewards them. It's the work of a major talent.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Inherent Vice’s spiraling, wordplay-happy script never quite resolves the difficulty of adapting this particularly confounding philosophical whodunit, but the film’s groovy sprawl is a fine place to hang out for 2½ hours, as long as, like Doc and his weed-toking cohort, you don’t mind spending a day in a pleasantly disoriented daze.

    Slate Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    A P.T. Anderson film is, by definition, an event, even if this one doesn’t measure up to such absurdist landmarks as Howard Hawks’s “The Big Sleep,” the Coen brothers’ “The Big Lebowski” and Robert Altman’s peerless “The Long Goodbye.”

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    Never quite transcending the sum of its agreeably disparate parts, IV is less groovy than gnarled and goofy, but in a studied way. Call it an acquired taste with a kinky savor.

    Time Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Like Pynchon’s novel, it’s a little insular, too cool for school. It’s drugged camp. Some of the plot points get lost in that ether — it’s actually less coherent than Pynchon, no small feat. It’s not shallow, though.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Only fitfully does the film manage the kind of lift-off as that achieved by Pynchon's often riotous 2009 novel and, most disappointingly, it offers only a pale and narrow physical recreation of such a vibrant place and time.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Well-acted, intermittently compelling, often incoherent but always offbeat, Inherent Vice is a twisting story about twisted California stoners. Think of it as a film that's meant to be experienced, more than fully understood.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Anderson loses his way, failing to thin out the novel and its overload of characters, piling scene upon scene that neither amusingly complicates the plot, nor advances it. Phoenix, however, is never less than fun.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Anderson's film is something to be experienced, like a psychedelic drug trip where the journey trumps the destination. Unfortunately, his journey just didn't do it for me.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Dan Callahan

    It's a lengthy burlesque on paranoia, on conspiracies both real and imagined, so dazed in its color schemes that Anderson clearly wants you to get stoned watching it. But the sense of being blissfully out-of-it, which can have its pleasures, soon drifts into another aspect of drug use: detachment.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    This is what makes Anderson's film so infuriating. It's so damned irresistible -- until it becomes so damned insufferable, getting lost in a marijuana fog of poorly explained plot developments and indecipherable twists. Still, it's hard to look away for fear of missing some other equally inspired flourish.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Inherent Vice, meandering even by Anderson’s standards, is easily the worst of his movies, a soporific 2½-hour endurance test.

    New York Post Full Review
  • James Mottram

    If not quite on a par with PTA’s best, this is still a richly intoxicating brew of humour, violence and melancholy.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Ian Nathan

    Take it from us — ignorance is bliss. The less you try to figure out Anderson’s rambling, mesmerising mystery, the better. Just relax and let this beautiful, haunting, hilarious, chaotic, irritating and possibly profound tragicomedy wash over you. There is nothing else out there like it.

    Empire Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Tonally askew (Altman-esque one minute, Austin Powers-esque the next), Inherent Vice is a sun-glared, neon-limned muddle of noir plotline and potheaded jokery that not only doesn't make sense, but actually seems to try hard not to.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
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