Joaquin Phoenix plays Freddie, a troubled veteran who returns from a World War II stint with the Navy a little messed up in the head. He’s having trouble finding his place in the world, and he’s prone to major mood swings and violence. His relationships and jobs aren’t working out, and his drinking is getting him in a lot of trouble. He winds up as a stowaway on a luxury yacht, where he meets Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), leader of The Cause, a cult-like movement with more than a few similarities to Scientology. The two wind up strangely dependent on one another as they battle different demons. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood
), the film features great performances, but it has a vibe of “been there, done that.” It’s worth seeing for Phoenix and Hoffman, but it’s not one of Anderson’s best.