Bottle Rocket (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bottle Rocket1996

Bottle Rocket (1996)



Critic Consensus: Bottle Rocket is Reservoir Dogs meets Breathless with a West Texas sensibility.

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Movie Info

A bright, optimistic caper comedy from first-time director Wes Anderson, Bottle Rocket focuses on a group of young Texans aspiring to become master thieves. Their leader is Dignan (Owen C. Wilson, who also co-wrote the screenplay), an upbeat if naive charmer who convinces his friends Anthony (Wilson's brother Luke Wilson) and Bob Mapplethorpe (Robert Musgrave) to enter the crime business. After their first heist, a bizarrely-executed robbery of a local bookstore, the trio goes on the lam, taking up residence in a border hotel where Anthony falls in love with a maid played by Lumi Cavazos. When the three buddies decide that they need to return to the real world, they hook up with a master con-man (James Caan) who sends them on a daring -- if ill-concieved -- mission.

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Luke Wilson
as Anthony
Ned Dowd
as Dr. Nichols
James Caan
as Mr. Henry
Jim Ponds
as Applejack
Andrew Wilson
as Future Man
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Critic Reviews for Bottle Rocket

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (24)

The performers look like they're having a lot of fun, but there is a great deal of skill on display.

February 21, 2018 | Full Review…

A confident, eccentric debut about a trio of shambling and guileless friends who become the Candides of crime, Rocket feels particularly refreshing because it never compromises on its delicate deadpan sensibility.

March 4, 2014 | Full Review…

[Bottle Rocket] meanders pleasantly, like a road movie, with a seventies-style, anything-goes offhandedness that whisks the audience through the rough spots.

March 4, 2014 | Full Review…

Bottle Rocket was conceived as a low-budget family affair -- it has more Wilsons than the Beach Boys -- and outside of a few cult-intensive pockets of fandom, that's where it's likely to end up.

March 4, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

This is a movie about friendship, about foolhardy endeavors that get your adrenaline going and make you feel life buzzing in your toes. Written with wit and concision and remarkable confidence, Bottle Rocket is a joyride worth taking.

March 4, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Bottle Rocket is a beguiling surprise, a terrific little movie comedy about a slightly addled gang of young criminal wannabes.

March 4, 2014 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Bottle Rocket

Despite losing focus after a while and overstaying its welcome, Wes Anderson's feature debut was already an early showcase of his impressive talent and great eye for compositions, offering us enough unpretentious amusement for as long as it lasts and reaching a hilarious climax.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

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