Inherent Vice is a 2014 American neo-noir comedy-drama film. The seventh feature film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice was adapted by Anderson from the novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon; the cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Eric Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Jeannie Berlin, Maya Rudolph, Michael K. Williams and Martin Short. As with its source material, the storyline revolves around Larry "Doc" Sportello, a stoner hippie and PI in 1970, as he becomes embroiled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld while investigating three cases interrelated by the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend and her wealthy boyfriend.
Anderson's adaptation of Inherent Vice had been in development since 2010; it is the first time one of Pynchon's novels has been adapted for the screen. The film marks Anderson's second consecutive collaboration with Joaquin Phoenix following The Master and involves a number of his other recurring collaborators, including producers Daniel Lupi and JoAnne Sellar, cinematographer Robert Elswit and editor Leslie Jones. It is also the third consecutive Anderson film to be scored by Radiohead guitarist and keyboardist Jonny Greenwood, following There Will Be Blood and The Master.
Inherent Vice premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 4, 2014, and began a limited theatrical release in the United States on December 12, 2014. Critical reception was somewhat divided, but more often leaned towards acclaim; while some argued the film had a convoluted plot and lack of coherence, reviewers praised the cast – particularly Brolin, Phoenix and Waterston. The work went on to receive a number of award nominations, including two Oscar nominations and a Best Actor Golden Globe Award nomination for Phoenix. The National Board of Review named it one of the ten best films of the year. Some critics have said that Inherent Vice has the makings of a cult film. In 2016, it was voted the 75th best film since 2000 in an international critics' poll.