Inherent Vice

Adapting a Thomas Pynchon novel for the screen is a task at which none have succeeded before Anderson, who sculpts a highly amusing, atmospheric screenplay out of Pynchon’s novel of the same name. Joaquin Phoenix returns for his second work with Anderson as Larry “Doc” Sportello, an incessantly pot-smoking private detective on the trail of several cases: keeping ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth’s (Katherine Waterston) affair with a married man from exploding, hunting down a member of the Aryan Brotherhood with a debt to pay, and finding the missing, adrift Coy Harlingen (Owen Wilson). As all of these cases begin to intertwine, Doc comes in contact with a cadre of characters that could only populate the beaches and canyons of Los Angeles in the early 1970s—and could only come from a mingling of the eccentric imaginations of Pynchon and Anderson.

Genres: Noir, Crime, Comedy

Other Films by Paul Thomas Anderson

The Master

WWII veteran and consummate alcoholic Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), aimless and adrift following the end of the war and his reintroduction into American society, takes up with Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his wife Peggy (Amy Adams). Dodd, the leader of a shadowy movement called “The Cause”—which bears more than a passing resemblance to

There Will Be Blood

Anderson’s features, while always sharpening their edges as they go, have never been hard-as-nails as this adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s novel “Oil!”. Daniel Day-Lewis inhabits oilman Daniel Plainview, a leathery explorer intent on creating and quickly expanding an oil empire during the late-19th Century. With his adopted son as his partner, Plainview soon strikes it

Punch Drunk Love

With two sprawling, epic works preceding it, with this film Anderson sought to make a “Friday night film,” a short, compact entertainment in the classical mode—as much as possible with Anderson, anyway. Reinvigorating Adam Sandler’s career as Barry Egan, a neurotic plunger salesman with seven sisters and a newfound harmonium, this unassuming, highly unconventional film

Magnolia

Anderson’s third feature takes the theme of chance and applies it to the stories of a cadre of Angelinos on the brink, where chance meetings both threaten to disrupt a fragile order and offer a shot at redemption springing from unexpected sources. Two classic, titanic father-figures structure the film’s expansive focus: dying movie mogul Earl

Boogie Nights

With a script first developed in his teens and a story previously filmed as a short, Anderson delivered this wake-up call to the American cinema, weaving a poignant, tragic-yet-ultimately hopeful tapestry of lives in the late-70s Southern California “adult film” industry. Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), patriarch of a small studio in the San Fernando Valley,