Inherent Vice is a 2014 American neo-noir film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, adapted 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. The film follows Larry "Doc" Sportello, a stoner hippie and private investigator in 1970, who is 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 Pynchon novel to be adapted for the screen. It is Anderson's second collaboration with Phoenix, following The Master, and involves a number of his other recurring collaborators, including producers Daniel Lupi and JoAnne Sellar, cinematographer Robert Elswit, editor Leslie Jones, and composer Jonny Greenwood.
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 divided; while some argued the film had a convoluted plot and lacked coherence, others praised the cast, particularly Brolin, Phoenix and Waterston. The film was nominated for a number of awards, including two Academy Awards and a Best Actor Golden Globe Award 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.