Bottle Shock (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bottle Shock (2008)



Critic Consensus: Bottle Shock fails to properly utilize the inspiring true tale at its core, settling instead for an ordinary, plodding account.

Movie Info

Brought together by a curious twist of fate on a dusty California road, a wandering vintner and a struggling winemaker find both their lives, and their careers, forever transformed at a blind Parisian wine tasting that introduced the world to the extraordinary wines of Napa Valley. The year is 1976, and Napa Valley has yet to gain the reputation as one of world's best-known wine regions. Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) has sacrificed everything in life to realize his dream of creating the perfect Chateau Montelena. Yet despite the fact that Jim's Napa Valley vineyard has great potential, his son, Bo (Chris Pine), doesn't seem to have much interest in the family business. Most days, Jim and Bo can be found trading blows in their backyard boxing ring -- their attempts to knock a bit of sense into one another usually amounting to naught. Meanwhile, in Paris, British expatriate Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) finds necessity dictating that he educate Parisians on the latest wines to come out of California. Steven owns the Académie du Vin, and is eager to travel to the United States in order to ensure that he has conducted his research properly. Little did Steven and Jim realize that they were both on course for a chance meeting that would revolutionize the wine industry while opening up a whole new world of possibilities for wine lovers everywhere. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for brief strong language, some sexual content and a scene of drug use)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Randall Miller, Jody Savin, Ross Schwartz
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 3, 2009
Box Office: $3.9M
Freestyle Releasing - Official Site


Alan Rickman
as Steven Spurrier
Bill Pullman
as Jim Barrett
Chris Pine
as Bo Barrett
Miguel Sandoval
as Mr. Garcia
Bradley Whitford
as Prof. Saunders
Kirk Baily
as Loan Officer
Philippe Bergeron
as Pierre Tari
Louis Giambalvo
as George Taber
Greg Collins
as Trucker
Marcia Firesten
as Karen Thompson
Matthew Kimbrough
as Michael Robbins
Kathy McGraw
as Ms. Relyea
Al Liner
as Hotel Clerk
Deborah O'Brien (II)
as TWA Attendent
Brian Leonard
as Passenger #1
Karl-Heinz Teuber
as German Passenger
Maximilienne Ewalt
as Passenger #2
Frank Avila
as Field Hand
Richard Gross
as Lt. Randall
Valerie Long
as Vinter #2
James Carraway
as Vinter #3
Marian Filali
as Odette Kahn
Phillipe Simon
as Claude Dubois-Millot
Andre Tardieu
as Upscale Man
Jody Savin
as Upscale Woman
Roy Jimenez
as Shopkeeper
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Bottle Shock

Critic Reviews for Bottle Shock

All Critics (121) | Top Critics (36)

With much loving, longing gazing at the Napa Valley landscape, it's awfully good-looking, if you can discount the high-waisted bell-bottoms and the homely yellow AMC Gremlin that wheezes into scenes every once in a while.

Full Review… | December 24, 2009
Florida Times-Union

It doesn't exactly come off as boxed wine to the top-shelf sensibilities of Sideways, but there's not enough story or heart for it to capture the same lightning in a bottle.

Full Review… | August 14, 2009

As a rather strenuous attempt at a feel-good movie, Bottle Shock falls a long way short of the mark.

Full Review… | April 10, 2009
The Australian

It's not in the same league as Sideways but it has a fragrant sense of the beauty of wine and winemaking, not just the drinking.

Full Review… | April 3, 2009
Sydney Morning Herald

Bottle Shock is one of those cockle-warming, feel-good underdog films in the tradition of Strictly Ballroom. Only in this case Scott and Fran are, respectively, a Chardonnay with tangerine undertones, and a Cabernet Merlot blend.

Full Review… | March 28, 2009

Predictable in its moves, it's engaging enough, though it has nowhere near the characterisation, say, of Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church in Sideways.

Full Review… | March 27, 2009
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Audience Reviews for Bottle Shock


"I really didn't care for the movie. It's just not my type of film; nor was I the right audience for it either. I still enjoyed bits of it. The acting is good by most and there was some funny moments too. Plus, just seeing Chris Pine in a blonde wig (I hope it was a wig) dancing around being a hippie was kinda worth it. Initially the actors are what drew me into seeing the film. I don't drink wine so the fascination and the different names and types were lost on me. I'm more of a whiskey kinda gal. So those of you who are a big fan of wine might like this much more then I ever will."


Super Reviewer


This is a nice little docu-dramedy concerning the turning point for California's wine industry. It's 1976 and a British wine snob named Steven Spurrier feels that no wine can compare to French wine. After hearing that Napa Valley has a growing industry, he decides to investigate, and see if these supposed hicks really have any idea what they're doing. He decides that a blind tasting to compare the California stock with France's finest is in order, but upon trying some of what California has to offer, he realizes there might actually be something promising with their offerings.

I was surprised by this. I didn't really know what to expect, but I found it rather enjoyable. Thankfully it's not a rip off of Sideways, just a different take on the some subject. Plus, this one's based on true events, and though it may be a formulaic and predictable underdog story, that doesn't mean it's no less a joy to watch.

I think it may have been better had it been a miniseries, as that would have allowed for all of the California vintners to be fully developed and profiled, instead of just a select few, but the gets across anyway. Alan Rickman is great though a bit on the nose as Spurrier. Bill Pullman is quite good as vintner Jim Barrett, and Chris Pine is a scene stealing delight as his hippie son Bo.

The film might not be anything fresh or outstanding, but it's nevertheless a nice little offering.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Bottleshock is the story of the 1976 Paris Wine tasting and how a group of Winters from the Napa Valley in California outclassed the French Wines at the tasting. One of these wines is the now famous Chateau Montelena, the wine that beat the French. This film follows the story of Chateau Montelena as a British wine expert by the name of Steven Spurrier selects the best wines of the Napa Valley to compete against the best of the French. In his search, he is surprised at the quality of the wines and selects the Chateau Montelena along with a few other to compete. the Cheateau owner, Jim Barrett doesn't want to participate as he thinks it's a ploy to humiliate the Napa Valley vinters. However his son, Bo sends the bottles and ultimately is one of the wines selected to participate in the blind taste test. Bottle Shockj is a terrific film that blends comedy and drama, IU believe that this film has gotten a lot of unfair flack. Some people don't seem to realize how good this film really is. Sure, it's not flawless, but it's a well acted film about a very interesting, historical subject. Because after all the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting was a historical event, that changed the wine industry forever. The film has been said thats its less good than Sideways, well honestly, Sideways was overrated to the max and was a boring film that was a waste of a good cast. In my opinion, Bottle Shock is a superior film that shouldn't be dismissed so easily. A surprisingly good film.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Bottle Shock Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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