Viki Kapp

Written by Viki Kapp

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Inherent Vice is a critically acclaimed movie directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, based on Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name. The film takes us on a trippy and captivating journey set in 1970s Los Angeles, where the protagonist, private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello, becomes embroiled in a convoluted and psychedelic web of mystery and intrigue. With its all-star cast, including Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, and Reese Witherspoon, Inherent Vice captures the essence of the era with its vibrant visuals, groovy soundtrack, and complex characters. This article will delve into 40 fascinating facts about the making of Inherent Vice, from its origins and casting choices to behind-the-scenes anecdotes and the film’s reception amongst audiences and critics. So, grab your popcorn and take a deep dive into the world of Inherent Vice!

Key Takeaways:

  • “Inherent Vice” is a groovy movie set in the 1970s, filled with mystery, humor, and an awesome soundtrack. It’s a must-watch for fans of detective stories and retro vibes.
  • The film captures the essence of a turbulent era, blending nostalgia, conspiracy, and memorable characters. It’s a trippy journey that keeps you guessing until the very end.
Table of Contents

The movie Inherent Vice is an adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Thomas Pynchon.

Inherent Vice is a 2014 American neo-noir comedy-drama film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, with an ensemble cast including Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, and Benicio del Toro.

Joaquin Phoenix delivers a fantastic performance as Larry “Doc” Sportello, a private investigator.

Inherent Vice is set in Los Angeles in the 1970s, during the psychedelic and counterculture era.

The film captures the essence of the time period, showcasing the unique atmosphere and cultural shifts of the era.

It explores themes of conspiracy, corruption, and the search for truth.

Inherent Vice delves into the murky world of crime and conspiracy, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

The movie features a complex and intricate plot filled with twists and turns.

The storyline keeps viewers engaged and guessing until the very end, making it a captivating viewing experience.

Inherent Vice received critical acclaim for its performances, direction, and screenplay.

The movie was praised for its stellar ensemble cast, with each actor delivering standout performances.

It was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film’s screenplay, written by Paul Thomas Anderson, adeptly brings the distinctive voice and style of Thomas Pynchon’s novel to the screen.

Inherent Vice has a unique visual style, with vibrant colors and a retro aesthetic.

The cinematography captures the essence of 1970s Los Angeles, immersing viewers in the atmosphere of the era.

The movie features a memorable soundtrack, with a mix of classic rock and psychedelic music.

The music adds another layer to the film’s overall atmosphere, enhancing the viewing experience.

Inherent Vice showcases the talents of its director, Paul Thomas Anderson.

Anderson’s distinct style and attention to detail shine through in every aspect of the film.

The movie explores the blurred line between reality and illusion.

Viewers are taken on a journey where nothing is quite what it seems, keeping them guessing throughout.

Inherent Vice features a memorable and quotable script.

The dialogue is witty, sharp, and filled with pop culture references, making it highly enjoyable to watch.

The film’s costume design perfectly captures the fashion of the 1970s.

The characters’ outfits reflect the style of the era, adding authenticity to the overall visual experience.

Inherent Vice has a runtime of approximately 148 minutes.

The movie gives ample time for character development and plot progression, keeping viewers engaged throughout.

It has a nonlinear narrative structure, with flashbacks and jumps in time.

This adds an element of complexity to the storytelling, as viewers navigate through different timelines.

Inherent Vice received recognition for its production design.

The detailed set designs enhance the immersive experience, creating a believable world for the characters.

The film features a captivating supporting cast, including Katherine Waterston, Joanna Newsom, and Martin Short.

Each actor brings a unique energy to their respective roles, adding depth to the overall narrative.

Inherent Vice explores the theme of nostalgia, longing for a simpler time.

The film taps into the audience’s emotions, evoking a sense of nostalgia for the bygone era.

It incorporates elements of dark humor, adding levity to the otherwise serious subject matter.

The witty dialogue and comedic moments provide a welcome respite from the darker aspects of the film.

The movie’s title, “Inherent Vice,” refers to an inherent flaw or weakness in a person or system.

This concept serves as a central theme throughout the film, exploring the flaws and vulnerabilities of the characters and society.

Inherent Vice premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 4, 2014.

The film garnered positive reviews, solidifying its position as a must-watch movie of the year.

It was a box office success, grossing over $14 million worldwide.

The film’s commercial success reflects the audience’s interest in the unique and engaging storyline.

Inherent Vice was praised for its attention to detail and accurate representation of the time period.

The production team meticulously recreated the 1970s, capturing the essence of the era in every frame.

The movie includes elements of detective noir, drawing inspiration from classic film noir of the past.

The homage to the genre adds depth and layers to the overall narrative, creating a distinct blend of styles.

Inherent Vice explores the theme of paranoia and conspiracy prevalent in the 1970s.

The film delves into the atmosphere of distrust and uncertainty that characterized the time period.

It received numerous accolades, including nominations from the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.

The film’s quality and impact were recognized by various award organizations.

Inherent Vice features moments of surrealism and dream-like sequences.

The surreal elements add a sense of mystery and intrigue, further immersing viewers in the film’s world.

The movie explores the dynamics of power and corruption.

It sheds light on the darker aspects of society, exposing the underbelly of power struggles.

Inherent Vice garnered a dedicated fanbase, with admirers of both the novel and the film.

The film resonated with audiences who appreciated its unique storytelling and richly developed characters.

It showcases Paul Thomas Anderson’s mastery of directing ensemble casts.

The film’s impressive ensemble cast delivers outstanding performances, each contributing to the overall tapestry of the story.

Inherent Vice explores the theme of redemption and personal growth.

The journey of the protagonist, Larry “Doc” Sportello, serves as a metaphor for personal transformation.

The movie’s screenplay skillfully balances humor and drama.

The clever dialogue and witty banter provide moments of levity amidst the darker elements of the plot.

Inherent Vice is a thought-provoking film that leaves audiences contemplating its deeper meaning.

The film encourages viewers to reflect on the themes of truth, justice, and the nature of reality.

It was praised for its intricate and layered storytelling that rewards multiple viewings.

Each rewatch brings new insights and details to light, creating a rewarding experience for film enthusiasts.

Inherent Vice is considered a cult classic among fans of Paul Thomas Anderson’s filmography.

The film’s unique style and narrative have earned it a dedicated following over the years.

It captures the essence of the source material while also standing as a remarkable standalone film.

Even those unfamiliar with the novel can appreciate the film’s storytelling and craftsmanship.

Inherent Vice explores the theme of trust and betrayal.

The film takes viewers on a journey where loyalties are tested and alliances shift.

The movie’s editing is skillfully done, seamlessly blending different timelines and narratives.

The editing enhances the overall viewing experience, allowing the story to unfold in a cohesive and engaging manner.

Inherent Vice is a cinematic experience that transports viewers to a bygone era.

The film’s attention to detail, from the costumes to the set design, creates an immersive world on screen.

It stands out as a unique addition to the neo-noir genre, pushing boundaries and subverting expectations.

Inherent Vice challenges traditional conventions, offering a fresh and unconventional take on the genre.


Overall, “Inherent Vice” is a captivating and thought-provoking movie that delves into the complexities of human nature, justice, and the consequences of our actions. It is an adaptation of a novel by Thomas Pynchon and brilliantly brought to life by director Paul Thomas Anderson. With its stellar cast, immersive cinematography, and engaging storyline, it has earned its place as a cult classic among movie enthusiasts.

The film’s intricate plot, layered characters, and atmospheric setting create a unique viewing experience. Its neo-noir style, accompanied by a stellar soundtrack, adds additional depth to the storytelling. “Inherent Vice” showcases Joaquin Phoenix’s exceptional acting abilities, as he seamlessly embodies the character of Doc Sportello.

While the movie may require multiple viewings to fully grasp its intricacies, it is well worth the effort. Whether you’re a fan of crime dramas, thought-provoking narratives, or simply appreciate visually stunning films, “Inherent Vice” is definitely worth adding to your watchlist.


Q: Is “Inherent Vice” based on a true story?

A: No, “Inherent Vice” is not based on a true story. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Thomas Pynchon.

Q: Who directed “Inherent Vice”?

A: “Inherent Vice” was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, known for his work in films such as “There Will Be Blood” and “Boogie Nights.”

Q: Can you provide a brief overview of the plot?

A: “Inherent Vice” follows the story of private investigator Doc Sportello as he navigates a complicated web of intrigue, corruption, and conspiracy in 1970s Los Angeles.

Q: Who stars in “Inherent Vice”?

A: The movie features an ensemble cast, including Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, and Benicio Del Toro, among others.

Q: Is “Inherent Vice” suitable for all audiences?

A: “Inherent Vice” is rated R for its adult content, language, and drug use. Viewer discretion is advised.

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