Adar’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is arguably Paul Thomas Anderson's best work. It's one of those rare near-flawless movies, where even though you can criticize very small things about it, none of it really matters. Yes, I don't know where Eddie/Dirk lives for half the movie either. And yes, it slightly drags in the middle. But none of that affects my enjoyment of it by that much, and of course none of that stops this from being one of the most engaging, entertaining, and well-crafted movies I have ever seen.
You will often hear people being amazed at how PTA made this movie when he was just 26 years old. To me, this isn't surprising at all. I don't see how anyone above that age range could make something like this. It's so vibrant, colorful, ambitious, full of energy, and doesn't seem restrained at all. It feels like it was made by a young person in the best way possible.
Right from the opening shot and the first few notes of the soundtrack, a certain magical energy starts (and never stops throughout the entire runtime). A special energy and feel that I haven't quite found in any other movie I've seen. The opening scene perfectly sets up the atmosphere and many of the characters, without needing to start the story right away. After that, the movie goes on introducing new characters and plotlines in a very fast and effective pace. It's essentially structured around the two party scenes: one signifying that rise to fame, and the other the fall. The overall story of the movie is minimal, simple, and almost generic, but it always manages to be engaging and exciting.
It's all presented with so much personality and style. Everything from the lively camerawork, fitting music choices (that sound pretty bad outside the context of the film), and humorous but dramatic script help make the whole movie work as perfectly as it does. And of course, the cast. Every single actor brings it their absolute best and there isn't a single particularly weak or standout performance. Every character has a purpose to the story and develops in some way that feels earned. Every single aspect of the film is top-notch and is used so well for telling the story and conveying emotion.
Also this video has Paul Thomas Anderson eating pizza while talking about this movie and it's beautiful