Ranking Paul Thomas Anderson before 'Inherent Vice': From Least-Great to Greatest

December 12, 2014 7:52 PM

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An old gambler looks for his last chance to teach a young man what he knows. A dishwasher becomes a porn star and destroys his career. A group of people in Los Angeles bump into each other without knowing their connections. A man with no future and seven annoying sisters finally finds the love of his life. An oil tycoon does whatever he can to keep the business running. A man with no future or past stumbles into a cult.

These are the loglines for the six previous films by Inherent Vice writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson. The filmmaker arrived on the scene fully formed, with a clear sense of style and storytelling with 1996’s Hard Eight. His movies each have one central figure or concept that they revolve around, ...

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