Paul Thomas Anderson movies, ranked

SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Director Paul Thomas Anderson speaks onstage at the Outstanding Directors Award Sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 6, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Director Paul Thomas Anderson speaks onstage at the Outstanding Directors Award Sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 6, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF) /
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Licorice Pizza
Licorice Pizza /

Licorice Pizza

As I wrote in my recent review of Licorice Pizza, this movie is a total vibe. From start to finish you feel immersed in the milieu and the time period of the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s. I was able to see an early screening of Licorice Pizza in 70mm and it really gave me the sense that PTA wanted this to be seen on film and really drive home the authenticity of the film.

Licorice Pizza is a relatively plot-less movie, but is a sweet and hilarious journey throughout the summer, featuring an on-again/off-again relationship between Gary (Cooper Hoffman) and Alana (Alana Haim). Gary has ambition to make something of himself, which seems to attract Alana, who is many years his elder. While Gary seems to be the star of the show, this clearly turns into Alana’s movie. PTA does a great job of depicting the mid-20’s angst and the need to get one’s life started. I think Alana admires Gary’s drive, since she wished she saw it in herself.

I encourage everyone to see Licorice Pizza in the theater, now that it’s in a wide release. Because Licorice Pizza is such a hangout movie, it requires a communal experience (safely of course).

Licorice Pizza is available everywhere in theaters now.

My score: 8.9/10