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Inherent Vice

Comedy . Romance . Crime . Drama . Mystery

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

Actors: Joaquin Phoenix , Josh Brolin , Owen Wilson , Katherine Waterston , Reese Witherspoon , Benicio Del Toro , Jena Malone , Maya Rudolph , Martin Short , Martin Donovan , Joanna Newsom , Jordan Christian Hearn
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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  • based on novel

  • 1970s

  • private investigator

  • smoking marijuana

  • los angeles

  • 1960s

  • voice over narration

  • ex boyfriend ex girlfriend relationship

  • drug trade

  • southern california

  • drugs

  • sex scene

  • female narrator

  • title spoken by character

  • hippie

  • lapd

  • investigator

  • detective

  • hit on the head with a toilet tank lid

  • mutton chops

  • marijuana

  • neo nazi

  • hallucination

  • aryan brotherhood

  • tax evasion

  • reference to ronald reagan

  • brothel

  • lesbian cunnilingus

  • heroin

  • mental institution

  • female full frontal nudity

  • fbi agent

  • pubic hair

  • los angeles california

  • pothead

  • sideburns

  • female rear nudity

  • spanking

  • female nudity

  • vomiting

  • notebook

  • japanese restaurant

  • binoculars

  • telephone call

  • handcuffs

  • gun

  • masturbation

  • female pubic hair

  • swimsuit

  • police chief

  • kidnapping

  • beach

  • fang

  • california

  • politics

  • cult

  • disappearance

  • billionaire

  • watching television

  • reference to the desert inn

  • woman wearing a veil

  • breasts

  • clicking one's tongue

  • revenge

  • decor

  • endodontist convention

  • pedophile

  • trampoline accident

  • giving a toast

  • private club

  • elysian park los angeles

  • impounding a car

  • theft

  • thief

  • parking garage

  • stairway

  • shooting

  • fight

  • two way window

  • torture

  • number 4

  • pcp the drug

  • laughter

  • cigarette lighter

  • reference to santa monica california

  • doughnut

  • karma

  • patchouli

  • flatulence

  • disrespect

  • mourning

  • melancholy

  • justifiable homicide

  • contract killer

  • top secret file

  • witness

  • tape machine

  • suspicion

  • marine insurance policy

  • walking on a beach

  • seduction

  • woman rubs her foot on a man's crotch

  • reference to beverly hills california

  • woman rubs her foot on a man's leg

  • horniness

  • sexual submissiveness

  • hands on one's crotch

  • turpitude

  • county supervisor

  • coroner

  • fang marks

  • necklace

  • construction business

  • movie extra

  • reference to kismet

  • hotel

  • casino

  • taking off one's shoes

  • obsession

  • watching someone

  • reference to kyoto japan

  • garden

  • zen

  • hindu symbol

  • hindu

  • chanting

  • communism

  • reference to alexander graham bell

  • film within a film

  • doctor patient relationship

  • movie theatre

  • chakra

  • reference to bay area los angeles

  • reference to south city california

  • chenin blanc wine

  • greek

  • serenity

  • evidence

  • irony

  • gold

  • neck puncture

  • bitten on the throat

  • throat wound

  • reference to cielo drive benedit canyon los angeles

  • respect

  • pancakes

  • japanese

  • drug dealer

  • baseball bat

  • reference to folsom state prison california

  • sheriff

  • reference to venice california

  • card trick

  • field interrogation report

  • little boy pouring an alcoholic drink

  • little boy

  • junkie

  • drug overdose

  • eating

  • food

  • fatal neck injury

  • trampoline

  • root canal

  • clue

  • writing on a wall

  • reference to god

  • reckless driving

  • reference to the book of revelation

  • flashlight

  • reference to jesus christ

  • police siren

  • psychotic

  • reference to palos verdes california

  • reference to south bay los angeles

  • bell bottoms

  • mini skirt

  • missing daughter

  • runaway

  • double negative effect

  • repeated scene

  • repeated dialogue

  • audio flashback

  • desperation

  • lapse of judgment

  • magnifying glass

  • ouija board

  • voice over postcard

  • skateboarder

  • sense of smell

  • deodorant

  • air spray

  • regret

  • living together

  • face slap

  • threesome

  • dating

  • roommate

  • giveaway

  • slapping one's own face

  • guilt

  • guilt trip

  • peyote

  • giving away money

  • brother sister relationship

  • laughing gas

  • patriotism

  • bunco squad

  • murder of partner

  • death of partner

  • partner

  • secret loyalty

  • code of silence

  • laundering money

  • heroin cartel

  • indochinese

  • note

  • pizza

  • cowboy hat

  • anti war

  • mother son relationship

  • reference to the vietnam war

  • reference to the bible

  • drug awareness

  • public health

  • new identity

  • fake identity

  • playing with one's toes

  • parrot figurine

  • reference to howard hughes

  • italian

  • reference to las vegas nevada

  • rumor

  • singing

  • singer

  • smuggling

  • reference to daily variety the newspaper

  • reference to cuba

  • reference to papeete french polynesia

  • reference to san pedro california

  • reference to tequilla zombie the drink

  • reference to eel trovatore

  • reference to jellyfish teriyaki croquettes

  • waitress

  • seafood

  • reference to devil ray fillet

  • reference to anchovy loaf

  • accused of being a communist

  • communist

  • blacklist

  • movie star

  • actor

  • reference to the bahamas

  • consortium

  • fog

  • reference to asian indica

  • boat

  • reference to torrance california

  • looking at the camera

  • eating matijuana

  • chewing a marijuana joint

  • simultaneous dialogue

  • knocking down a door

  • u.s. department of justice

  • returning home

  • knocking on a door

  • saving a life

  • credit card

  • loss of memory

  • band

  • reference to topanga canyon california

  • swastika

  • baldness

  • bald man

  • tattoo

  • asian american

  • erection

  • defecation

  • memory

  • meet cute

  • reference to san ysidro california

  • dead husband

  • fate

  • imitating fellatio

  • telephone hangup

  • construction mogul

  • ex convict

  • raised middle finger

  • tv news

  • imitating fellatio with an eskimo pie

  • promise

  • suspect

  • police slang

  • san pedro california

  • doctor's office receptionist

  • reference to the book of mormon

  • police corruption

  • ransom

  • picking one's nose

  • reference to monopoly the board game

  • cover up

  • arrest

  • black nationalist hate group

  • militant

  • scene of the crime

  • bench

  • deputy district attorney

  • briefcase

  • jumping onto the hood of a police car

  • spanish

  • sex in a shower

  • reference to north hollywood california

  • necktie

  • circular bed

  • closet

  • older woman younger man relationship

  • reference to zig zag cigarette papers

  • reference to hawaiian marijuana

  • backyard barbecue

  • housekeeper

  • chicana

  • swimming pool

  • satire

  • spiritual coach

  • reference to ojai california

  • reference to james wong howe

  • husband wife relationship

  • black comedy

  • mother daughter relationship

  • little girl

  • hitchhiking

  • kiss

  • reference to uranus the planet

  • astrology

  • teeth

  • drug counselor

  • screaming

  • reference to orange county california

  • harassment

  • lawyer

  • interrogation

  • neo noir

  • noblesse oblige

  • reference to the renaissance

  • reference to the los angeles times the newspaper

  • conspiracy

  • marine law

  • italian slur

  • false accusation of murder

  • false accusation

  • hand gesture imitating sex

  • civil rights violation

  • flattop haircut

  • reference to john wayne

  • reference to the screen actors guild

  • lieutenant detective

  • horoscope

  • bloody face

  • police car

  • beaded curtain

  • reference to fatso judson

  • hit on the head

  • liar

  • lie

  • mural

  • motorcycle

  • investigation

  • reference to the los angeles music center

  • reference to bunker hill los angeles california

  • reference to dodger stadium los angeles california

  • reference to chavez ravine los angees california

  • map

  • reference to chino state prison california

  • year 1967

  • humming

  • bodyguard

  • money

  • sunglasses

  • doctor's office

  • doctor

  • newspaper headline

  • reading a newspaper

  • newspaper

  • real estate developer

  • flood control channel

  • housing development

  • tv commercial

  • policeman

  • nickname

  • reference to bigfoot

  • environment

  • eccentric

  • jew

  • jewish

  • wig

  • applying makeup

  • aunt nephew relationship

  • telephone

  • long haired male

  • cafe

  • reference to sagittarius the astrological sign

  • reference to scorpio the astrological sign

  • reference to neptune the planet

  • joke telling

  • reference to mothra

  • reference to godzilla

  • convertible

  • prologue

  • sorrow

  • mental hospital

  • reference to volkswagen

  • party

  • fear

  • greed

  • musician

  • keyboard player

  • acid the drug

  • hollywood california

  • record company executive

  • bass player

  • magazine

  • photographer

  • undercover agent

  • spy

  • snitch

  • kissing someone's neck

  • u.s. secret service

  • demonstrator

  • protest

  • college student

  • reference to ucla

  • dental office

  • dropping one's trousers

  • absurdism

  • snorting cocaine

  • syndicate

  • chinese

  • id

  • elevator

  • corporation

  • receptionist

  • running

  • running in the rain

  • vacant lot

  • police trap

  • reference to sunset boulevard los angeles

  • flash forward

  • flashback

  • bitterness

  • f word

  • reference to hancock park los angeles california

  • rent

  • betrayal

  • loyalty

  • secret rendezvous

  • scheme

  • beer

  • on screen narration

  • reference to country joe and the fish

  • land development

  • infidelity

  • unfaithfulness

  • adultery

  • private eye

  • gordita beach california

  • beverly hills california

  • african american

  • saxophone player

  • saxophone

  • violence

  • fbi

  • death

  • murder

  • loan shark

  • beach bum

  • paranoia

  • cigarette smoking

  • rain

  • unconsciousness

  • captive

  • gunfire

  • reference to the last supper the painting

  • black american

  • extramarital affair

  • american nazi

  • rehab clinic

  • tax shelter

  • barefoot

  • barefoot man

  • barefoot on street

  • postcard

  • phallic symbol

  • eskimo pie

  • schooner

  • reference to the bermuda triangle

  • urban development

  • real estate development

  • real estate

  • massage parlor

  • pot smoking

  • reference to charles manson

  • reference to the black panthers

  • hippie chick

  • tie

  • zodiac

  • drug humor

  • drug cartel

  • drug smuggling

  • drug abuse

  • los angeles police department

  • first person narration

  • year 1970

  • self defence

  • usa

  • drug use

  • missing person

  • photograph

  • flash camera

  • film camera

  • medium format camera

  • steering wheel

  • handcuffed to a pipe

  • informant

  • blood

  • shot in the chest

  • escape

  • rear entry sex

  • sex on couch

  • swastika tattoo

  • rolling a joint

  • marijuana joint

  • nitrous oxide

  • knocked unconcious

  • biker

  • prostitute

  • cunnilingus

  • snorting heroin

  • dentist

  • sailboat

  • bikini

  • woman initiating sex

  • dead body

  • traffic stop

  • traffic cop

  • breaking down a door

  • district attorney

  • female district attorney

  • bare chested male

  • two word title

  • box office flop

  • wearing sunglasses inside

  • stoner

  • woman wearing a one piece swimsuit

  • woman smoker