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3,136 Ratings

Inherent Vice

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
United States, 2014
Comedy, Crime, Drama


Stoner hippie and private detective Doc Sportello becomes embedded in the criminal underworld of 1970s Los Angeles when he is called upon to investigate the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

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Inherent Vice Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2015 | 2 nominations including: Best Achievement in Costume Design

Village Voice Film Poll

2014 | 5 nominations including: Best Film

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2014 | 2 runner-up prizes including: Best Original Score or Soundtrack

2014 | 7 nominations including: Best Film

Much of the movie is still pretty boring to me, maybe because I can’t believe in a millennial version of 1970 where everyone speaks in stoic, millennial Bogie imitations, and as a mystery this is even more convoluted and less compelling than the Philip Marlowe capers that serve as its models.
September 28, 2018
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You can get overwhelmed by these complexities. You can also be exhilarated by them, the recognizable insanity (and it is recognizable, even bafflement is recognizable) of it all. Inherent Vice seeps into your soul… Why is this is so heartachingly beautiful? The movie doesn’t so much require multiple viewings, it seduces you to revisit it, again and again, pulling you in far enough, while remaining just enough out of reach. You feel as if you need it.
May 16, 2017
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If there’s one thing Anderson has gotten great at, it’s filming faces. The Master turned the close-up into a vista, something as worthy of blown-up 70mm grandeur as desert dunes or deep space, but the close-ups of Inherent Vice arguably explore richer emotional domains in the comically broad expressions of the actors. The focal point for any given scene usually isn’t an action itself, but Doc’s reaction to it.
April 26, 2015
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Inherent Vice

    I wonder how many times Paul T. Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix sat around watching BIG LEBOWSKI before making this shamelessly derivative film. Even the soundtrack; just replace Dylan with Neil Young. The only things missing are the bowling and the missing toe. Oh, and throw in a a few elements from Robert Altman's THE LONG GOODBYE, too. Great cast (Martin Short!), but the soundtrack album is better than the film. 3.5

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Inherent Vice

    America as a schizoid state, where almost everyone has two identities and where the Establishment and the counterculture are part of the same circular system with the same "inherent vice". That is, the "land of the free" is unstable because everyone shares an irrational drive for sex or oblivion—"American life is something to be escaped from" indeed. An often brilliant oddity, a requiem for the California promise.

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Inherent Vice

    The Conspiracy Against the Human Race. Something tells me that if "Inherent Vice" had come out right after the 2016 Election, it would have been heralded as the film of our paranoid and confusing times. Such is the curse of an artist like Paul Thomas Anderson being ahead of the curve, but we can still appreciate "Vice" for what else it is: a shuffling and esoteric stoner-detective story set in a lost California.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Inherent Vice

    I'm not sure you're supposed to read Pynchon, not like a normal book. I think you're supposed to study him. There's far too much going on anyway. The movie's too short to capture what was going on, and a mini-series might seem like torture if you tried to explain things better. What we have is a snapshot of a fevered dream, with close-ups so we can really appreciate the acting and forget about the context.

  • lbunuel's rating of the film Inherent Vice

    I admired this when I watched it, but it faded in my memory. I assume that what captivated me here was merely an attitude. That PTA, whose films are always in search of maximum effects, would conceive such a disjointed piece of filmmaking, a film that doesn't hold up in any degree. I consider now that it might be subversive, but only of a premeditated subversion, a publicity stunt.

  • Renton47's rating of the film Inherent Vice

    Vice is psychedelic in the true sense, in the way few things are - constantly eliciting the possibility of greater meaning, swirling, hazily always out of grasp. Its politics might be stoned ramblings about "them" selling us the disease AND the cure, but who today can connect all the syndicates, nazis and spies. I must add this has some of the most miraculous lighting and colour I have ever seen on film

  • Ethan's rating of the film Inherent Vice

    This is PT Anderson's Long Goodbye. I am not familiar with the source material but what Anderson brought to the screen here is nothing short of brilliant, perfectly complimented by this great ensemble of actors lead by the redeemed Joaquin Phoenix.

  • Rafael Zen's rating of the film Inherent Vice

    As a kitsch puzzle, Inherent Vice is a strong 2-hour-long entertainment. It discusses the american promisse of the 70s dream and I dig it. By the way: what an interesting atmosphere: it's noir, it's california, it's woodstock, it's a cop show: all tight together in a story built for fun. Thumbs up, Doc.

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