Bottle Rocket

Released 1996


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Movie Summary

Wes Anderson
Bottle Rocket is a comedy directed by Wes Anderson and written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson. The story focuses on Dignan (Owen Wilson) and Anthony (Luke Wilson), who has, up until the movie's start, been staying at a mental hospital voluntarily for his severe exhaustion. Dignan has an elaborate life plan that he details to Anthony, which includes completing several heists and eventually working with fellow criminal Mr. Henry (James Caan). The two set off on Dignan's plan, and slowly begin working up to bigger and better heists. After a bookstore heist, the friends settle into a hotel to hide from the authorities. There, Anthony falls for the maid, Inez (Lumi Cavazos), but his criminal ways keep the two apart when Anthony and Dignan must leave the hotel. The friends eventually do meet up with Mr. Henry, and the three join forces to rob a safe at a cold storage facility. This heist is bigger than anything Anthony and Dignan have done before. Will be they be able to pull it off, or will their plan lead to failure? Bottle Rocket is based on a short film of the same name that was also directed by Wes Anderson in 1992. This was Anderson's first full length movie as a director, and he went on to make many popular films, including Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), and Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety David Rooney

    Full of surprising warmth and charm, unexpected plot turns and droll characters that bounce off each other in refreshing ways.

  • 60

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    A mildly facetious tone limits Anderson's film to the lightweight, but the collective enthusiasm behind this debut effort still comes through. What's best about Bottle Rocket is no...

  • 50

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Entertaining if you understand exactly what it is: if you see it as a film made by friends out of the materials presented by their lives and with the freedom to not push too hard.


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    Independent, Cult