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Bottle Rocket (1996)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 60,074

My Rating

Movie Info

A bright, optimistic caper comedy from first-time director Wes Anderson, Bottle Rocket focuses on a group of young Texans aspiring to become master thieves. Their leader is Dignan (Owen C. Wilson, who also co-wrote the screenplay), an upbeat if naive charmer who convinces his friends Anthony (Wilson's brother Luke Wilson) and Bob Mapplethorpe (Robert Musgrave) to enter the crime business. After their first heist, a bizarrely-executed robbery of a local bookstore, the trio goes on the lam, taking


Drama, Comedy

Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson

Dec 22, 1998

Columbia Pictures

Watch It Now

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All Critics (65) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (10) | DVD (15)

A confident, eccentric debut about a trio of shambling and guileless friends who become the Candides of crime, Rocket feels particularly refreshing because it never compromises on its delicate deadpan sensibility.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Bottle Rocket] meanders pleasantly, like a road movie, with a seventies-style, anything-goes offhandedness that whisks the audience through the rough spots.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bottle Rocket was conceived as a low-budget family affair -- it has more Wilsons than the Beach Boys -- and outside of a few cult-intensive pockets of fandom, that's where it's likely to end up.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a movie about friendship, about foolhardy endeavors that get your adrenaline going and make you feel life buzzing in your toes. Written with wit and concision and remarkable confidence, Bottle Rocket is a joyride worth taking.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bottle Rocket is a beguiling surprise, a terrific little movie comedy about a slightly addled gang of young criminal wannabes.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a wild-card character like Dignan, he could be either the most original character in many a moon -- or never convincing. Wilson, with his cockeyed grin and rapid-fire delivery, comes off as a young Dennis Hopper.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's only in the finale of Bottle Rocket, brimming over with poignant male self-delusion, that the flair and sizzle of Anderson's future promise returns.

July 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

This deliciously offbeat comedy gets much of its oomph from a loopy screenplay and lead performances that can only be called hilariously bland, or is it blandly hilarious?

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Like the cheap pyrotechnic of the title, Bottle Rocket neither goes very far nor ends with a bang, and that's part of its charm, originality and delight.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Bottle Rocket may not be profound work, but it shows off some genuine talent both behind and in front of the camera.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This is a small movie of raffish charm, similar in feel and tone to last year's independent hit The Brothers McMullen.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Anderson's debut film is a small-scale delight.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Film4

[An] agreeably eccentric comedy crime drama.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

A lot of the script has the ring of authenticity if only because all the private jokes and references that pass by are plainly embedded in the real lives of the creators.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

This is Anderson still finding his feet, but the steps and swagger are confident.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

It's a little chaotic but director Wes Anderson and his young stars Owen C. Wilson (who co-wrote with Anderson), Luke Wilson and Bob Musgrave have a gift for the human comedy.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Audience Reviews for Bottle Rocket

Before Wes Anderson would cement his reputation as a unique director with such films as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom, he would direct Bottle Rocket, his first feature film that would feature many of his later trademarks that would make his work what it is. The film has a very good story and terrific cast, and Anderson has a keen eye crafting a picture with charm, and memorable, interesting characters. With this directorial effort, his ideas that would mature in following films are here, but at times there are aspects of the film that could have been reworked a bit. Nonetheless Wes Anderson direction is very good, and he proves that he would mature greatly as a filmmaker following the release of this film. Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson are great here, and they have good chemistry, and it adds so much to the film's enjoyment. Anderson is a unique filmmaker and with Bottle Rocket he makes a film that blends all sorts of elements into one film, and the script here is well thought out, and amusing, and the finished film is engaging from start to finish. However, I much preferred The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore and of course, Moonrise Kingdom, which for me is my favorite film from Wes Anderson. With that being said, Bottle Rocket is definitely a film that is sure to appeal to Wes Anderson fans, but it's also a film that never fully realizes its ideas, and makes a significant impact, simply due to the fact that Anderson would perfect his craft throughout his career. Bottle Rocket is good fun, but it does leave room for improvement.
March 23, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Containing that classic Wed Anderson characterization while failing to maintain his best movies' zippy momentum, Bottle Rocket is a decently funny but mercilessly meandering crime comedy.
February 8, 2014
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

September 28, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

All of the signatures of a Wes Anderson production are present in his premier feature except a clear narrative vision. The movie's pacing felt too flat and aimless and the unconvincing romance subplot seemed more like a device trying to desperately give this story a reason to be told.
March 7, 2013
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

    1. Dignan: Let's get lucky!
    – Submitted by Tyler H (9 months ago)
    1. Kumar: Man, I blew it. I blew it, man.
    2. Anthony Adams: Kumar, what were you doing in the freezer?
    3. Kumar: I don't know, man. I loose my touch, man.
    4. Dignan: Did you ever have a touch to loose, man?
    – Submitted by Alex F (2 years ago)
    1. Anthony Adams: So the word on the street is... I heard you love me.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
    1. Anthony Adams: The preparation was good. I think that is your specialty.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
    1. Bob Mapplethorpe: I really want to be a part of this team.. and I'm the only one with a car.
    – Submitted by Alyssa A (2 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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