Inherent Vice - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Inherent Vice Reviews

Top Critic
Katie Kilkenny
The Atlantic
July 19, 2016
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.
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
January 12, 2015
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
January 9, 2015
Some storylines conclude, some collide, others dissipate. But the film's main crime is this: It's boring.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
January 9, 2015
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 9, 2015
Although it's not as hermetic and impenetrable as The Master, Inherent Vice still comes off as a giant inside joke to anyone who hasn't read Pynchon's novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 9, 2015
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 8, 2015
I truly wanted to like the film. Unfortunately it is a huge letdown, an almost unbroken and utterly unsuccessful sequence of wrong choices.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
January 8, 2015
Cockamamie, kaleidoscopic, languidly compelling ...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 8, 2015
Even with a third eye on your forehead and peyote in your bloodstream, you won't be able to follow this long and winding road any better than Doc does.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
January 8, 2015
"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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
January 8, 2015
Paul Thomas Anderson's hippie noir seems completely stoned: inarticulate, confused and prone to giggling at unknown jokes. Pynchon fans might tolerate it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 8, 2015
Both times I saw "Inherent Vice," I experienced roughly the same contradictory responses: delight undercut by puzzlement, followed by a happier sort of puzzlement.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
January 8, 2015
The picture is all over the map. Nothing coheres.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Jocelyn Noveck
Associated Press
January 7, 2015
Despite the film's frustrations, it must be acknowledged that Anderson -- a master of the multi-strand, multi-character, multi-meaning plot -- is the perfect director to adapt Pynchon, in terms of both craft and spirit.
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
January 7, 2015
More than just an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel, the film engages with the author's literature on the whole, attempting a filmic analogue to his virtuosic prose.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bruce Kirkland
Toronto Sun
January 7, 2015
Some may find it sour and even repulsive, with its pathological anarchy of flavours. Some will find it delicious, in a deliriously exotic manner. Count me in the second camp.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
January 7, 2015
Inherent Vice lives happily on the outer limits, where the noir form and its history are at least as important as the content.
Top Critic
Dan Callahan
TheWrap
January 7, 2015
Anderson seems to have lost all real pleasure in filmmaking; he seems to feel it's a kind of duty now, the weight of his various influences weighing him down and crushing the bright, grasping, sensitive artist who made Boogie Nights and Magnolia.
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 26, 2014
Too often, the film gets distracted with things to giggle at, and breaks the spell.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 24, 2014
This "sunshine noir" bakes your brain, in a good way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 14, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
December 12, 2014
There are, of course, two ways to experience Inherent Vice: with the brain on or the brain off. Both work. The latter is a good time, the former more illuminating.
Top Critic
December 12, 2014
[P.T. Anderson] is a terrific stylist ... 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.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.5/10
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 12, 2014
[Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie] is a kind of companion piece to Altman's The Long Goodbye, and it's the sort of failure that only a director of his talents could make.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Matt Zoller Seitz
RogerEbert.com
December 12, 2014
"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 | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
December 11, 2014
I love Anderson's ambition, but it is awfully hard to make a movie about a culture adrift that doesn't make its audience feel the same. Inherent Vice runs a punishing 148 minutes, not enough of which are funny or sad enough to hold us.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 11, 2014
Think of it as a film that's meant to be experienced, more than fully understood.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
December 11, 2014
Trying to pare back Pynchon without killing the joke was the challenge. Anderson has done a remarkable job of replicating the crazy kaleidoscope of crime, dope and raunch the novelist conjured.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 11, 2014
Inherent Vice, brilliantly scored by Jonny Greenwood, is an Anderson head trip, impure jazz with a reverb that can leave you dazed, confused and even annoyed. But at no time do you doubt that you are in the hands of a master.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 11, 2014
Since most of Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice was meant to be impenetrable, the best approach, as you watch it drift by, is to savor the dreamy images and druggy jokes and forget about penetrating the plot.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 11, 2014
Anderson, as always, knows exactly what he's doing with the camera. Scenes are often staged in the haze of smoke or fog; sometimes characters are introduced late into the frame, or action happens just out of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 11, 2014
Mr. Anderson has condensed the book with surgical precision, ditching certain subplots, characters and locales while retaining the novel's sociopolitical tug, barbed asides and chokingly funny details.
Top Critic
Ben Kenigsberg
AV Club
December 11, 2014
The fact that perhaps 90 percent of the dialogue comes from Pynchon poses an authorship question that doesn't exist with Anderson's other movies. Still, the deftness with comedy and actors are at a level that few filmmakers working today could achieve.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 10, 2014
Phoenix's extraordinary performance pulls the movie's infinite strands together. But this twisty tale takes so many foggy turns that you'll want to approach it with a plan.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
December 10, 2014
Inherent Vice is half-baked Raymond Chandler. With too much emphasis on the baked part.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 10, 2014
"Inherent Vice," meandering even by Anderson's standards, is easily the worst of his movies, a soporific 2 /₂- hour endurance test.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
December 9, 2014
A huge relief, as if a giant gas bubble had finally, with great effort, reached the surface of the pond with a cathartic blurp.
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
December 8, 2014
"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.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
October 16, 2014
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.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
October 9, 2014
I can't wait to see it again.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 7, 2014
It's actually less coherent than Pynchon, no small feat. It's not shallow, though.
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
October 7, 2014
As with Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love, the director has created another vivid Los Angeles, one that doesn't lean too hard on its pop-culture references to TV's Adam-12 or Neil Young's gentle Harvest album.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
October 6, 2014
Pynchon's book translates to the screen with a wandering narrative that's as muddled as it is endearing.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 6, 2014
Makes Howard Hawks' legendarily confusing 'The Big Sleep' look like a model of narrative coherence.
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
October 5, 2014
Anderson's seventh feature film is a groovy, richly funny stoner romp.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
October 5, 2014
Offers a only a pale and narrow physical recreation of such a vibrant place and time.
Top Critic
Alison Willmore
BuzzFeed News
October 5, 2014
It's a daffier venture, like Boogie Nights and Punch-Drunk Love, looser and friendlier, but not easier to dismiss.