Bottle Shock - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bottle Shock Reviews

Page 1 of 68
Super Reviewer
½ December 7, 2009
"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
½ December 4, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2009
i kinda liked it! i guess its not realy my cup of tea because of the story being entirely based on wine and about making or finding the perfect wine!!
i loved alan rickman he was the best bit of the film for me to be honest he was funny and entertaining to watch!!
Apart from alan rckman being funny this movie shouldnt be called a comedy because it just isnt that funny!!
A mediocre movie thats bound to entertain someone!!
Super Reviewer
½ December 25, 2009
Mayhaps you had to be there to fully appreciate this film taking place in 1976. Having grown up in the Bay Area and spending a fair amount of time in Sonoma County, it was enough for me to simply revel in the period feel of this film. But there is more here than that - a certain intimacy, in spite of some of the contrivance, and a very heartfelt "if one wins, we all win" attitude, that was certainly prescient considering that by winning against the French wines, Napa became the wine mecca that it is today.

Amazing to recall that I was able to cruise around the valley in 1981 (5 years after the shock) and still find a very bohemian and homey atmosphere at so many of the fine local vintnors (including Stag's Leap, which had the winning red). This was a bygone time, as by the late 80's the corporations had taken over and wine production exploded. So it is with a certain wistful bias that I give this film a high mark, being unable to resist the very apparant joy that accompanies some stellar scenery.

Of course, having Alan Rickman achoring the cast doesn't hurt either, and he doesn't dissapoint, being alternately droll and self effacing - to which Dennis Farina (who is also wonderfully natural, like putting on a comfy coat) comments that a left handed compliment has no translation into Brittish, as it is the natural state of things.

Kudos as well to Sandoval who inspires honesty and emotion whenever on screen, making you wish he was there more often; and Freddy Rodriguez whose natural timing makes some of the other acting seem forced.
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2009
Really interesting drama based on the true story of when Californian wineries of the Napa Valley took on the French at the 1976 "Judgment of Paris" blind tasting. Alan Rickman, turning on the usual but pleasing grumpy condescension, is great as the British wine merchant who tries to save his Parisian business by staging the competition and venturing into the Napa region to find new plonk. Chris Pine is also great and dons a wig and tires to channel the Almost Famous vibe as owner of a winery's no-account but well-meaning hippie son. Freddy Rodriguez gives a better performance as his offsider.
Super Reviewer
½ April 5, 2009
TERRIBLE. Just terrible. I'm going to compare this movie to Sideways but not because they're both about wine. For one, Sideways isn't a movie about WINE. It's a movie about two grown-up boys and their coming-of-middle-age. Wine is an ambient motif. The movie isn't pretentious; Miles' wino-literati snobbiness makes the character pretentious. Bottle Shock is a movie about WINE - all the underdeveloped human life stories are tangential to the 1976 Paris Tasting plotline. The characters aren't pretentious; they're portrayed as down-to-earth lost souls, yet they rattle off references to Hemingway and Maria Callas and Galileo. THAT'S the movie being pretentious. Sideways is a movie about people. Bottle Shock tries to be a movie about people, but ultimately is just a movie that tries to make people "appreciate" wine.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2009
In "Bottle Shock," Steven Spurrier(Alan Rickman) is an English wine merchant, struggling in 1976 Paris until Maurice(Dennis Farina), an American friend, tells him he should broaden his palette from just his beloved French wines to include American wines, specifically those from California. So, Spurrier arranges a blind taste test between French and California wines, and travels to Napa Valley to meet with Jim Barrett(Bill Pullman), who is mortgaged to the hilt three times over just to keep his winery in business. Barrett has a son, Bo(Chris Pine), who does not share his father's passion in wine nor much of anything else. Enter Sam(Rachael Taylor), a beautiful intern.

Based on a true story, "Bottle Shock" is an awkward recollection that does not provide much information on wine which would have been helpful for the novice like myself.(Maybe a documentary would have been the better route.) On the other hand, it might simply not be possible to make a good movie about California wines. Rather, it desperately tries to be comic in its telling the story of an underdog overcoming great odds and cliched in its multigenerational family drama of the Barretts when the more interesting story is Gustavo(Freddy Rodriguez) and his father(Miguel Sandoval). In the end, the viewer has to ask, what has really changed? Sure, from a nationalistic viewpoint(pleasantly surprising, very little French bashing), California wines are now fashionable but wine drinkers still check the label first before deciding what they like.
Super Reviewer
February 23, 2009
Interesting film based on true events. In 1976, a self-proclaimed wine snob, who owned a shop in Paris visited the Napa Valley and brought back several wines to compete in a blind tasting against the best French wines, and won! This event is credited as the turning point in world wine production. The drama of this film revolved around one of the vintners, whose Chardonnay was included in the competition. On the brink of losing everything, including his son, Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) was a hard-headed perfectionist who had given up a law career to pursue his dream. Steve Spurrier (Alan Rickman) was the Brit who conceived the competition at the instigation of his American friend, Maurice (Dennis Farina). Radiantly beautiful Rachel Taylor, as the intern, Sam, provided the romantic tension between Jim's son Bo (Chris Pine) and Gustavo (Freddy Rodriguez). Well done piece. Some tender moments, a few chuckles, and a satisfying amount of drama. The special features has interviews with some of the real protagonists that gives more background to the story.
Super Reviewer
½ February 22, 2009
Lightning-quick last-minute Oscar predictions, since I forgot to do them. "Initial takes" to come later - in an accidental twist of after-the-fact commentary! Hey, way to keep things fresh for a dead journal! Kind of like a sprig of fresh parsley on a corpse. Or, a zombie! Hugh Jackman, eat your brains out!

Best Picture

[list][*]The Curious Case of Benjamin Button[*]Frost/Nixon[*]Milk[*]The Reader[*]Slumdog Millionaire[/list]My initial take: Meh. The Reader doesn't belong. Other movies are good to very good, but not particularly exciting collectively.

My prediction: Slumdog Millionaire
My preference: Milk

My personal favorites from the year: Top 28 of 2008 list will reveal this, just like those invisible lists of year's past (ahem). Here's what I wrote last year:
I promise my loyal citizens of the Kingdom of Neum that this will arrive most expeditiously.
*glances over at the unfinished dusty rubble heap of Top movie lists, from 2004 to 2007*

Ah, those were the days... last February. Yes, the days. The days when I wrote about fake promises and other silly things. *whistles*

Best Actress
[list][*]Anne Hathaway, 'Rachel Getting Married'[*]Angelina Jolie, 'Changeling'[*]Melissa Leo, 'Frozen River'[*]Meryl Streep, 'Doubt'[*]Kate Winslet, 'The Reader'[/list]My initial take: Actually a strong crop. Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) is the popular omission, but the othe nominees really do earn their places. Upset picks for Hathaway and Melissa Leo. Jolie has no chance. It's either Winslet or Streep in terms of buzz. I think Kate will finally bring home the gold (though she should've been nominated for Revolutionary Road instead).

My prediction: Kate Winslet
My preference: Kate Winslet

My personal favorites from the year:
- (later)

Best Actor
[list][*]Richard Jenkins, 'The Visitor'[*]Frank Langella, 'Frost/Nixon'[*]Sean Penn, 'Milk'[*]Brad Pitt, 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'[*]Mickey Rourke, 'The Wrestler'[/list]My initial take: Great mix. Both Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino) and Leo DiCaprio (Revolutionary Road) were very good, but it's hard to chagrin this list. Maybe Brad Pitt, but he was very good in a subtle way, as well. Loved seeing Richard Jenkins included. Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke are my 2 favs, along with Jenkins, but the buzz stays with the former 2. Rourke had it early on, but Penn may be a mild surprise win.

My prediction: Mickey Rourke
My preference: Mickey Rourke

My personal favorites from the year:
- (later)

Best Supporting Actress
[list][*]Amy Adams, 'Doubt'[*]Peneleope Cruz, 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'[*]Viola Davis, 'Doubt'[*]Taraji P. Henson, 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'[*]Marisa Tomei, 'The Wrestler'[/list]My initial take: Really good lot here, too. My yawn nominee is Amy Adams, who basically played herself. I like her in general, but the other 4 noms are stronger. This is the hardest to predict, too. I think any of the other 4 could pull off the win, with conflicting buzz-o-meters for each. Least likely, after Adams, is Taraji P. Henson, who is definitely worthy. After that, Marisa Tomei is also really good but not getting the hype that both Viola Davis and Penelope Cruz are getting. I'm not hot on Viola's "scene-stealing" perf - a lot of expected histrionics, and snot running down her nose. It was crucial to the story, but felt more baitish than truly Oscar-worthy. I like Tomei, and Cruz's deliriously passionate, artsy-psycho lover in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

My prediction: Viola Davis
My preference: Penelope Cruz or Marisa Tomei

My personal favorites from the year:
- (later)

Best Supporting Actor
[list][*]Josh Brolin, 'Milk'[*]Robert Downey, Jr., 'Tropic Thunder'[*]Philip Seymour Hoffman, 'Doubt'[*]Heath Ledger, 'The Dark Knight'[*]Michael Shannon, 'Revolutionary Road'[/list]My initial take: Another year, another Philip Seymour Hoffman Oscar nom. Strong category, as per usual. Everybody's really good, but sorry, fellas... this one's Ledger's. If you asked me last summer if Ledger would've won the Oscar as The Joker, I might've cackled maniacally. Not that it was undeserving, but that it would actually stand a chance. I guess the last laugh is on me. Or is it??!?!

My prediction: Heath Ledger
My preference: Heath Ledger

My personal favorites from the year:
- (later)

Animated: Bolt, Kung-Fu Panda, [b]WALL-E [/b](duh)
Adapted: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, [b]Slumdog Millionaire[/b] (Just because it's popular)
Original: Happy-Go-Lucky, Frozen River, In Bruges, Milk, [b]WALL-E [/b](It will be a WALL-E kinda year, too - though it should've been nominated for Best Picture. Milk's screenplay may take this award, too...)

Okay, Oscar. It's your move.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2010
Everyone likes it when pretentious French snobs get whats coming to them, but does it warrant an entire film about it? Certainly was an interesting moment in history, and the movie really tries to sell it. Unfortunately its just pretty boring.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2009
I've slowly come to the conclusion that Alan Rickman is always the best part of any movie he is in.

A fictionalized retelling of the France vs. California blind wine tasting event of 1976. The best wines, we are told, are come from grapes that struggle - and so it is with the winemakers in Bottle Shock. We know from the start how the movie will end, and yet the final test tasting still manages to be suspenseful. Recommended.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2008
You konw what I realized? The may this film is structured, it's exactly like an "inspirational" sports movie, except a little classier. But the love traingle with the younger folk is straight out of any one of said movies. I was super bored for he first hour or so (btw this movie feels really long) but I suppose it was entertaining-enough. Not for me.
Super Reviewer
½ April 25, 2009
Chris Pine looks weird with long hair. The only reason I watched this.
Super Reviewer
½ September 11, 2010
The jacket and description of this movie are deceptive to how good this movie is. This movie contains three main stories. 1.) Bill Pullman is an ex-high powered attorney who leaves his job in the late 60?s to start his own vineyard in Sanoma. He and his son Chris Pine struggle to make a superior chardonnay. 2.) Freddy Rodriquez works for Pullman and has an extraordinary pallet. He and his fathers and have lived in and cultivated grapes through the history of his family. He his proud of his family heritage and critical of the gringos who look down him and try too walk in and be gentlemen farmers. They have there own vineyard and Rodriquez has a wine that might be their best ever 3.) Alan Richman is a very British wine merchant who has a shop in Paris of all places. To celebrate 1976 he comes up with the idea to drum up his failing business he plans to have a blind taste between French and American wines with the top wine critiques and sommeliers in France. Historically referred to as the ?1976 Judgment of Paris? He travel to Sonoma to sample the best the US has to offer. Chris Pine, the focal character of the movie has long hair and still living an unfocused on the road type life style and his Hard working father Bill Pullman is concerned that he will never make anything of himself. Rachel Taylor is an viniculture and enology (The study of making wine) intern on Pullman?s vineyard who catches Pines? eye and the eye of his best friend Rodriquez. Rodriquez convinces his father that they should keep and make there own grapes versus selling it to the high volume/low quality wineries. The relationships between Pine and Pullman and Rodriquez and his father did not ring true. The second may be a spoiler, but this movie is based on factual accounts. Rodriquez Red, although entertaining, was a fabrication and not involved in the Judgment of Paris although I was very disappointed when I found out, I was so looking forward to a glass of Gustavo Thrace Cab.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2009
"The smell of the vineyard... Like inhaling birth. It awakens some ancestral some primordial. Anyway, some deeply inprinted and probably some subconscious place in my soul."
A good true Cinderella story about California wine makers triumph over the French.
Great cast with among others Bill Pullman, Chris Pine, Alan Rickman, Freddy Rodriguez, Dennis Farina, Rachael Taylor and the lovely Eliza Dushku.
Super Reviewer
May 19, 2009
Dry and flat, with a tolerable finish. Seems like someone had some nice aerial footage above Napa and tried to figure out how to make a movie around it. My friend explained the plot to me, it took about 2 minutes. After watching this film it seemed like the 2 minute version was more worthwhile. I don't know, maybe some good screenwriting could have made this work, or possibly a documentary of the story would have been better.
Super Reviewer
April 7, 2009
I am not much of a Wine person, but I do know movies and this is a good one, it has some plot holes, and some so-so acting but the story and it's star Alan Rickman are more than adequate to make Bottle Shock, a very good film to sit down and watch.
January 17, 2016
The story meanders far more than was reasonable, and I didn't "get" Pine's character at all (he's a boxing, wine-drinking, jealous hippy...okkaaaayyy). I saw the film for Rickman, and he played a fun character: it's too bad he wasn't on the screen the whole film. Shoutout to Bill Pullman, as well, for the best work in the film as a banking partner turned vineyard owner. I don't know why Dennis Farina is here, but I really enjoyed seeing the detective's banter with Professor Snape :-P
Page 1 of 68