Rushmore

Critics Consensus

This cult favorite is a quirky coming of age story, with fine, off-kilter performances from Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 103

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 186,011
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Movie Info

"Rushmore" chronicles a year in the life of Max Fischer, a student at Rushmore Academy, one of the finest schools in the country. Max loves his prestigious school. He is the editor of the newspaper and yearbook; founder of the debate team, the dodgeball society, and the Max Fischer Players; and president of the French club, German club, chess club, and practically everything else. Max is applying for early admission to Oxford. Harvard is his safety. However, he is also one of the worst students in the school. Threatened with expulsion, Max begins a new pursuit: falling for a first-grade teacher. But when Max's tycoon mentor starts an affair with the teacher, it triggers a war between Max and his friend.

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Cast

Jason Schwartzman
as Max Fischer
Bill Murray
as Mr. Herman Blume
Olivia Williams
as Miss Rosemary Cross
Brian Cox
as Dr. Guggenheim
Seymour Cassel
as Bert Fischer
Mason Gamble
as Dirk Calloway
Sara Tanaka
as Margaret Yang
Stephen McCole
as Magnus Buchan
Luke Wilson
as Dr. Peter Flynn
Deepak Pallana
as Mr. Adams
Andrew Wilson
as Coach Beck
Marietta Marich
as Mrs. Guggenheim
Ronnie McCawley
as Ronny Blume
Keith McCawley
as Donny Blume
Adebayo Asabi
as Mr. Obiamiwe
Connie Nielsen
as Mrs. Calloway
Colin Platt
as Boy Portraying Frank Serpico
George Farish
as O'Reilly
Eric Weems
as Willie
Dalton Tomlin
as Wrestler
Kim Terry
as Mrs. Blume
Ella Pryor
as Woman Back Stage
Antoni Scarana
as Small Boy Artist
Brian Tenenbaum
as Contractor
Thayer McClanahan
as School Reporter
Patricia Winkler
as Mrs. Whitney
Manning Mott
as Mr. Holstead
Donny Caicedo
as 40 Ounce
Ali Ktiri
as Benjamin
Michael Maggart
as Concierge
Ed Geldart
as Security Guard
David Moritz
as Dynamite Salesman
J.J. Killalea
as Tommy Stalling
William Lau
as Mr. Yang
Lucille Sadikin
as Mrs. Yang
Steve Eckelman
as Tennis Pro
Danny Fine
as Coach Fritz
Kumar Pallana
as Mr. LittleJeans
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Critic Reviews for Rushmore

All Critics (103) | Top Critics (28)

  • Schwartzman is cautious but stubbornly optimistic, while Murray is possessed by the mania of near-despair... They make the best and most disconcerting odd couple that American movies have produced in a long while.

    Mar 17, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Rushmore is an almost indefinable genre of its own. A comedy with a menacing edge? An ironic romance? Hard to call. Anderson, the director and co-writer, and Wilson, co-writer, have a vision like no one else's.

    Mar 17, 2014 | Full Review…
  • A quirky, sometimes hilarious and often touching comic fable.

    Mar 17, 2014 | Full Review…
  • There's an unshakable confidence about this coming-of-age fable that matches that of its central character, Max Fischer.

    Mar 17, 2014 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Rushmore offers more than simply a series of high-grade yuks; it's a finely-judged parable on the line between self-delusion and reality.

    Mar 17, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Andrew Pulver

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • If happiness is finding something you love to do and doing it forever, one of my somethings might just be watching this oddly uproarious little flick.

    Mar 17, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rushmore

  • Sep 20, 2018
    Quirky, offbeat, and clever; everything we like about director Wes Anderson. We really don't know what's going to happen as the story plays out, in part because of how unique the characters are, and in part because the film plays as fantasy. Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a teenage boy at Rushmore Academy, acts as though he's a worldly middle-aged man, pursuing an improbably large number of extracurricular activities, writing plays, and not caring all that much about his studies. Herman Blume (Bill Murray), a wealthy businessman dissatisfied with his wife's adultery and his two boorish sons, is drawn to Max, and befriends him. However, when the two of them begin vying for the same woman (Olivia Williams), a rivalry develops. What's fascinating about the film is the interplay of these two characters. Blume begins acting in all sorts of juvenile ways, which is an interesting mirror to how precocious Max is. The disillusionment Blume is going through, hammered home with a scene at his dingy, suburban pool where he does a cannonball after downing his whiskey and then stays underwater as it to escape from it all, is similar to the angst we might associate with an adolescent. The breadth of Max's interests, his higher-level thinking about the important things in life, his audacious schemes, and the confidence he exudes pursuing a romance with a teacher or breezing down the hallway in his blazer, is like a powerful movie mogul (or adolescent dream). Anderson gives us a humanizing bridge here between people at the age of 15 and 50. Mixed in to all of this are lots of little moments that are funny or touching. I loved the message that's delivered in a subtle way amidst the fun of the film. Dream big, it seems to tell us; be brave, and don't be afraid to be different. Following the conventional path may lead to outward success, but unhappiness. It's telling to me that Max's father, a humble barber, is the most content character of all. I think the love triangle went on a little longer than it should have, and it would have been nice to see more of Margaret Yang (Sara Tanaka), but it was nice that the film never fell into predictability. Very entertaining.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2016
    Wes Anderson films are some of the most beautiful, enjoyable ever put on camera. It's undeniable when you see an Anderson film. "Rushmore" opened the doors for Anderson with the critics, and it is a great film. The only problems are that it's a bit uneven. It tells the coming of age story of Max Fischer through roughly four to five months. His loves, his triumphs, his failures. The film opens with the math teacher being asked about a math question so impossible that if any one of his students were to solve it, they will never have to open another math book for the rest of their lives. The teacher asks Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) to take a crack at it, he puts down his newspaper and walks up to the board and gets it right to tremendous applause by his classmates only to wake up. This sets the audience up to believe he is one of the most intelligent kids at the prep school Rushmore only to find out that he is one of the worst students at the school. He is at risk of being expelled. Max may be one of the worst students but he finds a lot of time for extracurricular studies as either presidents or founder. His ambition far exceeds his actual intelligence. He is only fifteen and comes from a modest background. His father is a barber and his mother is dead. He got a academic scholarship to the school for writing a play when he was 7. He impresses everyone he meets, including the father of his classmates named Herman Bluthe (Bill Murray). Blume and Max become friends. Max also meets new teacher Rosemary Cross, a widower whose husband went to Rushmore years ago before meeting her. Max develops a crush on her and soon, so does Bluthe. The two then fight for her affection before Max is kicked out of school and she dumps Bluthe. The rest of the film involves Max making up with Bluthe and trying to win her back for him while trying to make public school a little more like Rushmore. Seymour Cassel plays Bert Fischer, Max's loving father who is such an absolutely wonderful man that it's a shame he wasn't in the film more. He supports his son through every endeavor and imagines huge things for him. Even when Max drops out of school and starts to apprentice with his Dad, Bert still wants the best, but on Max's terms. He may be overwhelmed raising a kid on his own, but he is such a great guy. This film works not only as a great introduction to Anderson's style, but the starting point for the Bill Murray/indie relationship that would eventually land him his only Oscar nomination to date.
    Joseph B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2014
    I simply had to see this 1998 comedy-drama directed by Wes Anderson about an eccentric teenager named Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman in his first film), his friendship with rich industrialist Herman Blume (Bill Murray), and their mutual love for elementary school teacher Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams). Somehow I missed it at the time (my life was crazy while I lived in Canberra) but after watching it today, I think that if I watched it at the time, I would love this piece co-written by Anderson and Owen Wilson. And I loved the music - the soundtrack was scored by regular Anderson collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh and features several songs by bands associated with the British Invasion of the 1960s. With this movie the careers of Anderson and Schwartzman were launched, while Bill Murray established a "second career" - as a respected actor of independent cinema. I liked his acting in this movie but I like Wes Anderson work even better. They both won Best Director and Best Supporting Male awards at the 1999 Independent Spirit Awards while Murray earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. Anderson and Wilson wrote the role of Mr. Blume with Bill Murray in mind, but doubted they could get the script to him. Luckily, Murray's agent was a fan of Anderson's first film, Bottle Rocket, and urged the actor to read the script for Rushmore. Murray liked it so much that he agreed to work for scale, which Anderson estimated to be around $9,000. Murray liked the neat and precise writing and felt that a lot of the film was about the struggle to retain civility and kindness in the face of extraordinary pain. And he stated that he felt a lot of that in his life. Anderson created detailed storyboards for each scene but was open to Murray's knack for improvisation, and that is how the winning formula worked. According to ShortList, it is one of the 30 coolest films ever... but, I really had a problem with the unconvincing make up and costumes through the first two thirds of the movie, especially for the main character. Well, nothing is perfect... it is important that Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson successfully created their own slightly heightened reality... Like Max Fischer, Wilson was expelled from his prep school, St. Mark's School of Texas, in the tenth grade, while Anderson shared Max's ambition, lack of academic ability, and had a crush on an older woman ( just for record - Anderson and Wilson began writing the screenplay for Rushmore years before they made Bottle Rocket). For both of them the thing that was most appealing was the initial idea of a 15-year-old kid and a 50-year-old man becoming friends and equals. Maybe it's time for you, like it was for me, to check out this artwork with deep-focus widescreen compositions possessing an unusual clarity that adds details enhancing plenty of the action constantly developing and adding vividness to be remembered. Enjoy the humour as well!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer

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