Bottle Shock - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bottle Shock Reviews

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½ August 10, 2016
Nice little movie about the history of Napa Valley getting the recognition it deserves. If you like to drink wine then definitely watch this movie. Alan Rickman is the highlight of this movie.
½ July 20, 2016
Streaming Spotlight Movie Review: Bottle Shock

The lesser known of the two movies made about wine from the 2000's.
Bottle Shock starring Chris Pine, Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor, Freddy Rodriquez, and directed by Randall Miller. The film is based on the true story of a 1976 blind tasting competition between French and California wines. Bottle Shock focuses its story on one California vineyard in particular owned by Bill Pullman's character Jim Barrett who is helped by his son Bo played by Chris Pine. They are a struggling financially and without producing a successful wine for the season Jim will have to sell the vineyard. Enter the British wine enthusiast played by the late great Alan Rickman who offers to put California wines up against the vaunted French. Rickman's character, Steven Spurrier doesn't really think the California wines have a chance, but he's surprised by how good the wine is in California.
Bottle Shock is a simple light fun movie. There isn't much depth to its story, but the film does try and add more to its characters. It's about the romance of making wine along with the desire to do something with your life. Jim Barrett left a law firm to buy a winery and make wine. He knows what he is doing, but there is always a hint of him being lost in the process. Bo is a hippy who is still lost in the sixties, and doesn't want to grow up. Rachael Taylor plays the girl interest for Pine and Freddy Rodriquez, and adds love triangle element to the story. She is probably the least developed character, but still plays the role well. I could have probably done without this story element, but it doesn't hurt the movie either. Rickman's character Spurrier wants to prove he belongs in the wine circles in France and sees the competition as a way to become established. Most of the characters have something to prove to either themselves or the outside world, and while it might be a tad cliché, I found the story and characters engaging.
All of the actors in the roles do a fantastic job. Pine might seem out of place playing the hippy, but he does it well. There is a great scene with him going to a country club to ask for money from his mother and is beautifully awkward. Alan Rickman stands out above everyone, because of who he is. He plays the pompous British wine snob to perfection. There is a hint of his inner goodness throughout the film though. He has the façade of being a snob, but in the end you can't help but like his character. I can watch this movie over and over simply because Rickman is in it and how well he acts in the role. The film is worth a watch at least once just to see him perform. Don't get me wrong he's not playing Macbeth, but he just does a great job. Pine and Rickman are the two standouts in the film for me, but Rodriquez does a good job with his part and adds an interesting Mexican-American element to the story. It might be a little heavy handed at times, but I still enjoyed it. The entire story might be a little on the nose overall, but with its light fun tone, it doesn't worry about making big statements with its characters.
The backdrop and setting of the film is another reason why I enjoyed it so much. Setting the film in Napa Valley is fantastic. The characters travel around the valley quite a bit and why wouldn't you use this as an excuse to shoot the fantastic scenery. Along with the scenery I found the musical score in the movie added to the tone of the film. I liked that Spurrier had a nice little French theme to go along with him, and Bo a rock. Then with the sweeping shots of the valley you get an appropriate musical score to accompany them. The score just added a bit more enjoyment to the light hearted good natured movie.
The only issue I have with the movie is that the pacing is a little off. It probably is about ten to fifteen minutes too long, and some scenes could have been cut to speed up time. They could have cut out the love triangle aspect and it would have sped up the pacing. The ending has one too many scenarios, and while parts of each story are probably true, the film could have cut back on one and it would have streamlined the ending of the film. Even with these problems I have watched Bottle Shock numerous times. I'll stop and watch if I catch it on television at any point and watch until the conclusion.
For me Bottle Shock is an enjoyable fun film based on true life events. I think it is worth watching, and if you have Amazon Prime you can stream it as part of their video service at the moment.
½ July 16, 2016
I was really expected more of this movie. The subject matter had potential for a much better story.
July 5, 2016
We have enjoyed this movie more than once.
July 3, 2016
Chris Pine and his terrible wig are two of the worst choices this film made. For whatever reasons, the story and characters come off as a bit pedestrian and cliche. I just didn't feel invested emotionally. It's a decent enough watch one time. But it's definitely no Sideways.
May 22, 2016
Its not an Oscar winner, and I can't vouch for the authenticity of the story, but I can say that this is an exceptionally entertaining movie. You will not be disappointed with the characters. Yes, Chris Pine phoned this one in, but Alan Rickman is wonderful, and Bill Pullman is Bill Pullman. The movie is fun and funny, as well as encourages you to get a bottle of your favorite vino and kick back while cheering America!
February 1, 2016
Even though this interesting and appealing look at the world of wine-making never quite finds its tonal footing, its nice script and lush visual landscape makes for an enjoyable time. The performances are especially great, everyone clearly having a good time. A (sometimes overly) whimsical real-life dramedy that your parents will love...even if it is about as forgettable as it is diverting.
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
½ January 15, 2016
There's a great story here but the movie doesn't quite succeed in telling it. There's a lot of clutter -- the dissolute son, the love interest, the insufferable old boss, that only serves to dilute the core story, Too bad,
½ August 16, 2015
A bit slow in parts, but a good movie sharing how Napa wines broke onto the world wine scene.
½ February 21, 2015
- ''Why I don't like you?''
- '' Because you think I am an asshole and I am not really
I am just British and well... you are not.''
January 9, 2015
Loved it! Anyone who really understands and enjoys wine would give this 5 stars, period.
½ December 19, 2014
A fun - if often unintentionally funny - film, although I don't think I've ever seen a film based on actual events and still living people that has such a casual, and at times flippant, regard to the actual facts.
½ November 11, 2014
One of the most historic events to take place in our wine world today. What Jim & Bo Barrett did for California was poorly incorporated in this movie. It could have been made much better. Poor acting, felt rushed, not to mention it really makes the French wine world look like a bunch of a**holes, but in reality, that's not the case.
September 7, 2014
In spite of the bad wigs, this is an interesting and revealing movie about the struggling Napa Valley wine business on the mid-1070s. Entertaining. Good.
September 7, 2014
Great movie - true story.
July 19, 2014
I would definitely like to read more about this topic after seeing this movie.
March 9, 2014
For connoisseur Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman), there's no finer art than French wine, despite rumors that the new California wine country holds the future of the vine. Positive the small Napa wineries are no match for established French vintages, Spurrier challenges the Americans to a blind tasting. But when he finds the valley full of ambitious - and talented - novice vintners like Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) and his son Bo (Chris Pine), he realizes his publicity stunt may change the history of wine forever.

also stars Rachael Taylor, Freddy Rodriguez, Dennis Farina, Bradley Whitford, Miguel Sandoval and Eliza Dushku.

directed by Randall Miller.
February 21, 2014
I loved this flick... and I can't stand wine. Bottle Shock is charming, hilarious and outstanding when it comes to casting. It's a little nugget of wine history that is truly enjoyable.
February 13, 2014
"Bottle Shock" (2008)
Talk about a diamond in the rough. This is about how a mom and pop winery created a wine that founds its way into the Smithsonian Institution.
Here, Pine is Bo Barrett, the son of Winemaker Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman, "Spaceballs," "Independence Day").
Very delightful and enjoyable, this one will appeal to everyone, especially those who admired Alexander Payne's "Sideways."
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