Bottle Rocket Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2007
Lackluster effort about slackers sure of their societal imprisonment but unable, incapable, to break free, to truly live their criminal dreams which might supply freedom. Sleep is not far away, not far away, not, your eyes are getting heavy, sooo heavy ...
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2013
Dignan: On the run from Johnny Law... ain't no trip to Cleveland. 

"They're not really criminals, but everybody has to have a dream."

Bottle Rocket is my first exposure to a Wes Anderson film and it's fitting that it just so happens to be his debut. What we have with Bottle Rocket is a cool, little movie that does a lot while doing very little. It's a brisk film that focuses on a trio of friends. The movie is definitely quirky and relies heavily on the well written characters of Dignan, Anthony, and Bob. Each character is their own and each one is a breath of fresh air from the normal characters we see all the time. 

Anthony is fresh out of the "looney bin" and decides to join Dignan in his quest to be a real criminal. With the help of their friend Bob, they rob a local book store and then take of on the run. They end up at a secluded little motel where Anthony falls in love with a girl named Inez. The story takes us to a final heist scene that has no glamour to it at all and is extremely funny in my opinion. I loved the way Wes Anderson used the buddy crime genre and breathed something new and creative into it. It's not typical in any sense of the word.

What I liked most about the film was the performance from Owen Wilson. His character was easily the most interesting and very funny. I'm not what you'd call an Owen Wilson lover, but when he gives a performance like the one in Bottle Rocket, it always gives me a new appreciation for him. He's definitely an underrated actor in my opinion, but that comes with how much shit he puts out. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Bottle Rocket and look forward to seeing a lot more Wes Anderson films. Even though I haven't seen much from him, I see the genius everyone has claimed he is. I wouldn't go as far as to say this is a must see, but I would recommend it as I think just about anyone can have a lot of fun with it. 
Super Reviewer
½ June 28, 2012
Wes Anderson improved his cinematography, script-writing, and character developing techniques after this film. Vastly.
Super Reviewer
February 4, 2010
They're not really criminals, but everybody's got to have a dream.

Good movie! While "Bottle Rocket" is certainly best categorized as comedy this might mislead those expecting the typical composition of one-liners, facetious mocking and exaggerated situational comic of mainstream Hollywood productions. Instead the humor derives from the quirky, yet lovable characters, their perspective on life and approach in dealing with the challenges of society. The quiet matter-of-fact absurdity present throughout the film will evoke a constant smile rather than burst-out-laughter. This is typical of all Wilson/Anderson collaborations (Rushmore, The Royal Tenebaums) where strong characterisation enables the viewer to develop understanding and affection for the protagonists as the story slowly unravels. In "Bottle Rocket" this is supported by strong performances, especially that of Owen Wilson, who proves his actor potential in an atypical role. If you are a fan Wes Anderson films or of any of the Wilson brothers you gotta see this movie.

Upon his release from a mental hospital following a nervous breakdown, the directionless Anthony joins his friend Dignan, who seems far less sane than the former. Dignan has hatched a hare-brained scheme for an as-yet-unspecified crime spree that somehow involves his former boss, the (supposedly) legendary Mr. Henry. With the help of their pathetic neighbor and pal Bob, Anthony and Dignan pull a job and hit the road, where Anthony finds love with motel maid Inez. When our boys finally hook up with Mr. Henry, the ensuing escapade turns out to be far from what anyone expected.
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2007
absolutely one of the most fun, quirky, unrealistic, hilarious films out there. wes andersons composition style, dialogue, shot selection, and attention to detail make him one of the best directors out there, and this chaotic film is an example of how bizarre something can be while being so intentional at the same time. i love this movie.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2012
Wes Anderson's 'Bottle Rocket' is a comedic caper with a unique style that Anderson will make his own as he continues to make more films. It's a great sign of what's to come, because the script is very well done and the Wilson brothers both turn in very good yet very different performances. Owen Wilson is a shock of a disheveled man and Luke is more collected and modest in his performance. The cinematography is also as good as ever, guided by Anderson's stylish and creative hand. The film may have pockets of mishaps where it may lose its audience, but the end result is satisfying. It's not laugh-out-loud funny, but its quirks and charm should impress and delight quite a few.
Super Reviewer
½ December 24, 2007
As I've stated many times on Flixster, I'm a self-confessed Wes Anderson addict. He's the feel-good Stanley Kubrick for a new generation of filmmakers and holds his own despite the comparison. His movies are usually almost strictly about characters, and not necessarily story resolution, which is his style. While Bottle Rocket is technically his first film, it's not necessarily my favorite. I think part of the reason I didn't respond to it as positively as I should is because of its lack of narrative. Actually, the narrative is a mess. There are so many moments in the movie that are usually the final moment of other movies, but it just keeps going. Now if the characters are interesting enough then that might not matter a whole lot, but in this case, they aren't very strong. They're probably the weakest characters in all of Wes Anderson's work. So while the story is going off in different directions, being chaotic and not quite sure which way to go we're supposed to be following these two brothers and the people they meet along their way... except none of them are all that interesting. Perhaps it's me, and perhaps I'm just asking too much. Either way, it's still a worthy film, but it just doesn't hold up to the quality, precision and perfection of Wes Anderson's later work.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2012
Its fun, charming, and original! A great debut by director Wes Anderson and introducing the Wilson triplets. For any fan of indie hipster cinema, this is a treat!
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2011
The debut from Wes Anderson is perhaps his most conventional comedy, though the more you watch it you realize how unconventional it is. Filled with hilarious qoutable dialogue and breakthrough performances by Owen and Luke Wilson. We get the first glimpse of a unique director's style and his ear for picking great music.
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2011
This little independent thriller/comedy, knows it's value and what it is trying to accomplish, and it does it with great style. As two brothers (one out of an insane asylum) round up a team to make robberies on the down low (in convenience stores and factories), one of them (Luke Wilson) let's his emotions take over one night as they stay in a motel and he falls for the housemaid. This film is comical, dramatic, it has a good witty story, the acting is very fun to watch, and the dialogue may be lazy, but it just makes the film that much more funny. Bottle Rocket is one of those films that you may love the first time around, but you know it's not amazing and you will never take a second look. I had a lot of fun watching it for what it was! Very, very good!
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2008
"On the run from Johnny Law... ain't no trip to Cleveland."

Focusing on a trio of friends and their elaborate plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run.

1996's Bottle Rocket stands out as the arresting debut of director Wes Anderson, along with ongoing writing partner Owen Wilson. It immediately engages its audience in the ridiculous story of Dignan (Owen Wilson) and Anthony (Luke Wilson), two friends that aren't any good at being criminals - although they aspire to be. They work alongside their friend Bob Mapplethorpe (Robert Musgrave) or rather trick him into helping them due to the fact that he can finance their operations.

What's so interesting about this film is the true heart that started in the script and then continued to shine through with the actors' performances. The characters were developed deeply enough for the audience to truly get a sense of who they were, what they wanted, and where they were going. Although the film tells the story of a group of wannabe thieves, it becomes clear that the reason why they are no good at pulling off these crimes is simply because of the fact that they are actually really nice guys, incapable of actually hurting anyone.

The most remarkable aspect of the film would have to be in the brilliant performances featured throughout. Owen Wilson truly shines as Dignan, the group's leader - desperate to pull off at least one fantastic heist. He is hot-tempered, controlling, and he often lets his emotions get the best of him. Although he may screw up a lot, he is always quick to apologize. At the end of the film when he is sentenced to serve time, he claims to have no hard feelings showing a real growth in his character. Another standout performance came from Luke Wilson as Dignan's best friend Anthony. It's obvious that Anthony doesn't want to be a criminal, and that he simply participates because he doesn't want to make Dignan unhappy. After he falls in love with one of the maids at a motel they stay at, he realizes he can't work with Dignan anymore. Wilson's performance was outstanding - he was really able to convey both his character's indifferent side, and also being torn between love and friendship.

Bottle Rocket was an outstanding debut achievement for director Wes Anderson, marking the beginning of a series of stunning films full of character driven scripts, great music, and aesthetically pleasing visuals.
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2010
This movie, like its main characters, is aimless and meandering, but still very much fun, funny, and entertaining. I mean, any movie that put the Wilson brothers and Wes Anderson has to be at least half way decent, right? The story is simple enough, but the dead pan humor, score, location shooting, and general quirkiness make it recommendable. There's something about the charm coming off this movie that makes it irresistable.
Super Reviewer
March 28, 2010
Had I watched this before Anderson's other films I may have liked it more. While I still enjoyed it it was a lesser version of his better movies.
Super Reviewer
March 14, 2010
Wow. All THREE Wilson brothers were in this movie. Even Andrew Wilson, who looks and sounds like Owen. I loved this quirky comedy AND actually REALLY enjoyed Owen Wilson, not just Luke. Now that is truly a first, people. A great little independent film that was so geeky and funny that it was adorably realistic. Love it. Wes Anderson, you are growing on me, sir.
Super Reviewer
November 16, 2009
Wes Anderson's first movie and a great one at that. It is a refreshing comedy that is completely unique. The story is outrageous, but played so deadpan and serious that it's even funnier. Owen Wilson is priceless and has absolutely no idea that he has the thief skills of a four year old with a set of crayolas. Luke Wilson also did a great job working as the straight man and playing off his brother quite well.
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2009
Overly polite white guys aspire (unsuccessfully) to be criminal masterminds. Director Wes Anderson skews the flow of the film just enough to keep it slightly off-center thus avoiding all the cliches that normally accompany such films. Add to that the witty, sometimes hilarious, performances from brothers Luke and Owen Wilson and you've got a movie that is definitely worth seeing.
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