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Inherent Vice

HD   R Closed Captioning

Paul Thomas Anderson

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About the Movie

Inept pot-smoking private investigator Larry 'Doc' Sportello cruises 1970s Los Angeles in search of easy money, free love and laid-back good times. But when his ex-girlfriend goes missing, Doc takes on his most baffling case ever and journeys into the dark heart of the City of Angels to get her back.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

73%
  • Reviews Counted: 228
  • Fresh: 167
  • Rotten: 61
  • Average Rating: 7.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Anderson moves further from conventional storytelling with each new film, and closer to something more intuitive, more damning, more true. He hasn't made it there yet. God help us when he does. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Jan 12, 2015

Rotten: Some storylines conclude, some collide, others dissipate. But the film's main crime is this: It's boring. – Tom Long, Detroit News, Jan 9, 2015

Fresh: Joaquin Phoenix is perfectly cast as the perpetually befuddled Doc, a private detective of sorts who immerses himself in pot in the Los Angeles of 1970. – Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com, Jan 9, 2015

Fresh: If the adaptation's a little too faithful to sustain a cinematically tight story, there's still a lot to admire in the sheer, uninhibited folly of the whole thing, the gall to get groovy while the Oscar-watchers are on high alert. – Katie Kilkenny, The Atlantic, Jul 19, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

I think I need to see the film again

I have been told that the film requires multiple viewings, so thats probably what I need to do. The film looks great, has some good performances, and has some funny moments. But the film is very convoluted so you need to play close attention. It's possible this film could go one to receive cult classic status like The Big Lebowski, The Thing, Empire Strikes Back and Once Upon a Time in the West but only time will tell.

A Quirky, Psychedelic Trip

The experience that I had with “Inherent Vice” was an odd one, but we are talking about Paul Thomas Anderson, so that was certainly expected. From the poster alone - with an afro-bearing Joaquin Phoenix surrounded by a number of the peculiar characters he meets - I figured it would be something unlike most films being released today. And having now seen it, I can confirm that wholeheartedly.

It’s a movie that, for the most part, makes up for its flaws in the form of originality and gusto. From the first frame, it knows what it wants to be and continues to stick with that tempo right until the end. Because of this, it won’t be for everyone. It’s a psychedelic trip of a movie, taking you on a weird and interesting journey that has its fair share of goofy moments and unusual happenings.

The film centers around Doc Sportello (Phoenix), a private investigator who gets quickly wrapped up in the kidnapping case of a local billionaire land developer and briskly begins a search to find him. What he doesn’t realize is how hard that’s going to be, especially when he’s stoned out of his mind half of the time. So through the fog of marijuana and alcohol, he meets eccentric character after eccentric character, all in good fun. It’s just about as silly as it gets, but once you’re on board you succumb to the charming atmosphere of the whole thing and its weird look at the world. You’ve also got a great early 60s and 70s soundtrack that serves as the glue to keep everything together.

It’s definitely got several weak points, mostly in the pacing and a few scenes that seemed out of place (particularly when Martin Short shows up), but I liked it quite a bit. I found it refreshing amidst some of the more conventional things I’ve seen this year. If you like unordinary, quirky stories then this comes highly recommended.

A movie that can only be described as "right on"

Well acted, beatifully shot, Inherent Vice is a film to be seen. The plot meanders like that of most Film Noir so relax, roll with the punches, and indulge in your favorite vice.

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Inherent Vice
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Released: 2014

Customer Ratings