MOVIEmeter
36
Down 8 this week

Inherent Vice (2014)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  9 January 2015 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,782 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 17 user | 58 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles detective Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Get Showtimes

In theaters January 9.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 37 titles
created 4 weeks ago
 
a list of 38 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Inherent Vice" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Inherent Vice (2014)

Inherent Vice (2014) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Inherent Vice.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Foxcatcher (2014)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher lead by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul - a union that leads to unlikely circumstances.

Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city's history.

Director: J.C. Chandor
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo
Birdman (2014)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton
Wild (2014)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A chronicle of one woman's 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Salah Salea
Big Eyes (2014)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter
Top Five (2014)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A comedian tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancée talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show.

Director: Chris Rock
Stars: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union
Whiplash (2014)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cutthroat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist
Unbroken I (2014)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Angelina Jolie
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson
The Gambler III (2014)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Lit professor and gambler Jim Bennett's debt causes him to borrow money from his mother and a loan shark. Further complicating his situation is his relationship with one of his students. Will Bennett risk his life for a second chance?

Director: Rupert Wyatt
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, John Goodman
Selma (2014)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Martin Luther King and the civil rights marches of Selma, Alabama, that changed the United States for ever.

Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

English mathematician and logician, Alan Turing, helps crack the Enigma code during World War II.

Director: Morten Tyldum
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Denis
...
Ensenada Slim
...
Aunt Reet
...
...
...
Sloane Wolfmann
...
...
Dr. Buddy Tubeside
...
...
Jade
...
Bambi
...
Glenn Charlock
Edit

Storyline

In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles detective Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use throughout, sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 January 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vicio propio  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$328,184 (USA) (12 December 2014)

Gross:

$597,982 (USA) (19 December 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First film collaboration between Paul Thomas Anderson and his partner of thirteen years, Maya Rudolph. See more »

Quotes

Sortilège: [from trailer]
[narrating]
Sortilège: If it's a quiet night out at the beach and your ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire- developer boyfriend, and his wife, and her boyfriend, and a plot to kidnap the billionaire and throw him in a loony bin...
Shasta Fay Hepworth: [approaches Doc] I need your help, Doc!
Sortilège: [continues narrating] Maybe you should just look the other way.
[pause]
Sortilège: But if you're Doc, it may all start to get a little peculiar after that...
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits roll, the end caption is the opening inscription from Pynchon's novel, Inherent Vice: "Under the Paving-Stones, the Beach!" - Graffito, Paris, May 1968 See more »

Connections

References A Prairie Home Companion (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Journey thru the Past
Written and performed by Neil Young
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
PTA Does Pynchon: Meandering Through Inherent Vice
7 October 2014 | by (New York, United States) – See all my reviews

"I never remember the plots of movies. I remember how they make me feel."

  • Paul Thomas Anderson, 10/5/2014, "On Cinema Masterclass", New York


Film Festival

It's nearly impossible to talk about Inherent Vice, PTA's new stoner noir, without providing some context.

It's crucial to know, for example, that the film is an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel. It's also crucial to understand the novel's subject matter and setting: a sprawling conspiracy, which may or may not exist, that involves a real estate mogul, hippies, the LAPD, and a heroin cartel named the Golden Fang, all against the backdrop of Southern California in 1970, the year after the Manson Family Massacre. Some familiarity with Pynchon's literary output–both his prose style and unique narrative structure–is helpful as well, almost required. Finally, to really grasp Inherent Vice, it'd be useful to know PTA's relationship with plot, which can best be understood by reading the quote above and thinking about the trajectory of his career (a career marked by films that have become more and more "plotless").

So, when we put all of this together, what do we get? To a large degree, we get exactly what we should have expected: a filmmaker creating a nearly-flawless adaptation of a nearly-impossible-to-adapt author. Wacky humor, a never ending stream of new characters (some of whom are neither introduced nor explained thoroughly), dialogue that sometimes feels like it's written in code, abrupt jumps between characters and scenes, unapologetically deep cultural references, long and wordy voice-overs, seemingly random occurrences that don't tie together, and a continual sense of paranoia that grows from the viewer (or reader's) inability to decipher what's real and what's imagined. Make no mistake, at the center of Inherent Vice is PTA's unyielding dedication to Pynchon's vision and his desire to put that vision, in full, on screen.

But, PTA's decision to remain so faithful to Pynchon's imagination comes with its faults. The only character we really feel invested in is Doc, the stoner, private eye protagonist played by Joaquin Phoenix (Phoenix is in almost every scene and deserves another Oscar nomination for his fantastic work). The other characters end up feeling peripheral, almost like they exist only to drive forward the narrative of Doc's detective search rather than exist as individual characters we should care about. Even Doc's love interest, Sashta, who shows up at Doc's house in the first scene and asks for a favor that sets in motion the goose chase at the heart of the film, is difficult to care about. Her presence in the film, while strong in certain moments, doesn't seem to stick because it's so ephemeral, dreamy, and enigmatic.

This is a flaw sometimes overlooked in novels (see DeLillo or Foster Wallace in addition to Pynchon), but it often distances viewers when done in films. More importantly, it's a criticism totally inapplicable to PTA's previous films. Boogie Nights and Magnolia also centered around ensemble casts, but in those films the viewer deeply cared about each and every character, whether it was Quiz Kid Donnie or pornographer-turned-speaker- salesmen Buck. The difference: PTA creating his own characters from scratch versus PTA capturing another artist's vision in uncompromising fashion.

It's also important to remember that many of Inherent Vice's viewers haven't read the book. I can't imagine how wild of a ride Inherent Vice will be for them. It'll certainly be a confusing experience, somewhere between trippy and surreal, almost Lynchian in its opaqueness and lack of narrative continuity. Perhaps it can best be summed up by the words of a girl who sat behind me at PTA's "On Cinema" talk at the New York Film Festival the day after Inherent Vice's world premiere: "It was good, but don't ask me to tell you what happened." This confusion and general inaccessibility will turn people off, much like The Master left some people enamored and others disappointed and unfulfilled.

Another important piece of context surrounding Inherent Vice, as always with highly anticipated films, is the prism of expectation. Many people predicted (and, I think, hoped) that Inherent Vice would be a return to form for PTA, a Boogie Nights Redux of some sort. They anticipated that the similarities between the films–1970's content, drugs, an ensemble cast–would unlock a time machine that catapulted us back to the earlier stages of PTA's career. Others, myself included, thought the film would split the difference between The Big Lebowski and L.A. Confidential, perfectly balancing the stoner laughs with tense and mystery-driven drama. These expectations were only furthered by Warner Brothers' decision to release a late and deceptively cut trailer, which I can only assume was a marketing decision made in reaction to The Master losing money at the box office.

But, the simple reality of PTA's films is that they are so good and so unique precisely because they can't be predicted. In that sense, Inherent Vice is no different. It's a ludicrously ambitious film crafted by a director who appears more interested in challenging himself as a filmmaker than anything else. It's a film that's long on dialogue but short on plot (shortest on plot of all PTA's films, which may shock some people, especially those who weren't fond of The Master). It's a film that, for two and a half hours, takes its viewer on a journey, leisurely meandering through a certain time and place, all while fluctuating in tone from romantic to paranoid to stoned. While Inherent Vice is neither what some thought it would be nor what many wanted it to be, it's exactly what it is, and more importantly, perhaps it's exactly what it had to be.


22 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
See it TWICE!!!! Dirkthedawg
What should I do first, watch the film or read the novel? PointlessnessOfMyLife
nudity and sex scenes report? hema6662003
Pynchon's cameo? yobo808
New 2 minute trailer folks. shadymowafie
Is there a dedication in the credits to Hoffman? ntwalker
Discuss Inherent Vice (2014) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?