'Inherent Vice' will leave viewers dazed and confused

December 11, 2014 9:40 PM

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Those looking for a straightforward narrative likely will be exasperated by this rambunctious, meandering story, based on the digressive and dense Thomas Pynchon novel (* * ½ out of four; rated R; opens Friday in select cities).

Director Paul Thomas Anderson is one of our finest American directors. His late-'90s back-to-back Boogie Nights and Magnolia are two of the era's best films. But his more recent efforts — the last one being The Master — seem to be going farther afield and becoming more idiosyncratic.

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