Joaquin Phoenix plays a California dick. Paul Thomas Anderson is one.
This film, adapted from Thomas Pynchon's novel and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, The Master), could have been the next The Big Leboski. But I'm more reminded of Twin Peaks: Fire: Walk With Me, the movie where director David Lynch took advantage of his prestige and his audience by serving stylistic indulgences without delivering a story. That's what PTA has done, and I'm offended.
Joaquin Phoenix plays P.I. Larry ''Doc'' Sportello in a 1970's California-noir detective story that never pays off. It doesn't event try.
Simply put: How this film got made is more of a real mystery than the movie contains.
Award potential: Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Costume Design Oscars. I assume the Academy members walked out sooner than I did.
The ten buck review: Not worth your time or ten bucks.