Sound Off: Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' - Your Thoughts?

January 9, 2015

Inherent Vice Sound Off

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "But if you're Doc, it may all start to get a little peculiar after that…" Now in theaters is the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel Inherent Vice, starring Joaquin Phoenix as PI "Doc" Sportello. This stoner comedy/drama/mystery begins when Doc looks into the disappearance of an ex-girlfriend named Shasta, played by the effervescent Katherine Waterston. PTA's cast includes a bunch of other goofy characters: Josh Brolin as Bigfoot, Joanna Newsom as Sortilège, Benicio Del Toro as Smilax, even Owen Wilson, Jena Malone and Martin Short.. So how is it? One of PTA's best or did PTA get too high on his own supply? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on PTA's Inherent Vice.

Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this movie!

To light this joint, I saw Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice back at the New York Film Festival (my full review) and enjoyed it, but found it way too incoherent and wacky to compliment. At least after first viewing. Honestly, I need to see it again, and again, and maybe that's the point of Paul Thomas Anderson's work - it's layered, it has more than what's on the surface, and there's so much going on that it's hard to understand upon one viewing. I admire so much of it because he is still a masterful filmmaker, and I think there's a very lax stoner-esque edge to it that is different than we've seen before. But that's a good thing. In my own opinion, it's not PTA's best work and I prefer his other films, but there is something special to it.

From our own Jeremy Kirk's review: "There is a ton to take in with Inherent Vice, so much that a single view isn’t nearly enough. That’s typically the case with PT Anderson, a filmmaker who is always trying for more than just simple storytelling. Inherent Vice is complex, at times confusing, and its triply atmosphere and general weirdness jam-packed into every scene, maybe every shot, makes for worthwhile dissection long after the movie is over. With humor and warmth Anderson delivers a detective caper with an abundance of layers and, yes, a little paranoia. But, like Doc Sportello himself, through aimlessness and, yet, an idea of clarity, Inherent Vice bounces its way to a grand, end-of-the-day victory." Go see it and tell us if you agree.

Inherent Vice Poster

What did you think of Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice? Way too wacky or is it perfect?
We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!

Find more posts: Discuss, Sound Off



Damn! I am so ready for this film. I can't wait for it to be released in SoKo.

DAVIDPD on Dec 12, 2014


I wish it wasn't out in only 5 theaters

JohnDaggett on Dec 12, 2014


Incoherent Vice should be the title. I LOVE PT Anderson. But this was horribly misdirected on every level from story, to visuals, to the edit...

Marty on Dec 12, 2014


Im bummed to hear that. Haven't seen it yet...

Sascha Dikiciyan on Dec 12, 2014


Completely wrong. The story was supposed to be convoluted, it's a psychedelic film noir - Anderson purposely wanted it to be hard to follow. But the plot really isn't the "point" of the film... The visuals were incredible (Elswit deserves an Oscar for this) and editing was tremendous.. Lol at Marty's comment.

whoa on Dec 13, 2014


A fellow Doug Loves Movies fan I see.

MattPeloquin on Jan 9, 2015


PT Anderson has something to show.

Bigfoot Gifts & Toys on Dec 12, 2014


This won't be released in Canada until Christmas Day.

ragethorn on Dec 15, 2014


So....FS features a "Sound Off" for a movie that only opened to 5 screens (a very limited release) but does not feature a "Sound Off" for Exodus, a movie that was released all over the US and had, IMO, a larger audience desire??? I know you, FS staff, like to add your comments in the "to fuel the fire" or simply say "read so and so's article review" but even if none of you got the chance to see it, you should still put up some sort of sound off for those of us that did. No offense.

JBrotsis on Dec 15, 2014


It's probably because it's based on a religious story.

ragethorn on Jan 9, 2015


I thought it was based on a Bob Marley song....or a Metal band... So it's not a musical?

TheOct8pus on Jan 12, 2015


Exodus was quite amusing.

Carpola on Jan 10, 2015


saw it in LA. Loved it. Great acting/shots/soundtrack/and it's funny.

tree on Jan 6, 2015


4/10. Awful movie.

ragethorn on Jan 9, 2015


watching it now :0

Trey on Jan 10, 2015


this movie is genius....if u didn't like it, watch it again

Christian Good on Jan 10, 2015


Not as funny as Big Lebowski, not as The Long Goodbye, just sort of middle of the road. fun movie though.

Dan Hibiki on Jan 12, 2015


I described it to people like this: You're not quite sure what journey you're on or why but you know you're enjoying the ride. I agree that some of his other works are better but still enjoyed it.

MickG on Jan 12, 2015


Great movie, I agree though not his best. I know I watched something and I liked it but i'm still not sure what it was. Intriguing movie. Worth the watch.

Brian on Jan 14, 2015

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