Inherent Vice ★★★

You don't actively participate in the story of Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), a drug-addled private detective investigating the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. It happens to you. It's impossible to unravel the mystery, as you're restricted to Sportello's unreliable point of view. He picks up clues, sometimes unwittingly, but can never quite put them together. It's a curious neo-noir comedy comparable to 'The Big Lebowski,' but far more zany, thanks in part to some memorable performances by Martin Short, Josh Brolin, Jena Malone, and the delightful Hong Chau.