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Bottle Rocket (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  21 February 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 51,307 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 182 user | 80 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

Focusing on a trio of friends and their elaborate plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run.



(as Owen C. Wilson) ,
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dignan (as Owen C. Wilson)
Ned Dowd ...
Dr. Nichols
Shea Fowler ...
Future Man
Brian Tenenbaum ...
H. Clay Murchison
Stacy Sinclair
Temple Nash ...
Dipak Pallana ...
Bookstore Employee
Bookstore Manager
Stephen Dignan ...
Julie Mayfield ...
Wife in Motelroom


Upon his release from a mental hospital following a nervous breakdown, the directionless Anthony joins his friend Dignan, who seems far less sane than the former. Dignan has hatched a hare-brained scheme for an as-yet-unspecified crime spree that somehow involves his former boss, the (supposedly) legendary Mr. Henry. With the help of their pathetic neighbor and pal Bob, Anthony and Dignan pull a job and hit the road, where Anthony finds love with motel maid Inez. When our boys finally hook up with Mr. Henry, the ensuing escapade turns out to be far from what anyone expected. Written by Marty Cassady <martyc@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

texas | caper | motel | escapade | robbery | See All (24) »


They're not really criminals, but everybody's got to have a dream.


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

(O)organiserad kriminalitet  »

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)


$1,040,879 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson, and Luke Wilson made a 13 minute B/W short film called Bottle Rocket (1994) which was first shown at the USA Film Festival in Dallas. It met with a sufficiently enthusiastic response that they took it to Sundance where it came to the attention of screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson who directed it to towards Polly Platt and James L. Brooks. It was with their intervention that the team were able to get financial backing from Columbia to expand their short into a feature film. See more »


After the "Books" store robbery, while at the house after the robbery while celebrating and talking back and forth, you can clearly see police lights flashing behind the trees, which are behind Owen Wilson while the camera is focused on him, when he is talking to the others in the room, as if they were going to get busted at the house for the robbery they just committed. See more »


[first lines]
Anthony: Hey, Dr Nichols, I was just coming down to say goodbye...
See more »


Referenced in HBO First Look: 'Blue Streak': Inside & Undercover (1999) See more »


2000 Man
Written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Performed by The Rolling Stones
By Arrangement with Abkco Records
Published by Abkco Music, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

14 August 1998 | by (Norfolk, VA) – See all my reviews

A brilliant comedy, and yet cleverly subdued. This portrait of small-time criminal is made masterful by the performances of Owen C. Wilson and Luke Wilson. Owen's Dignan dreams of glory as an outlaw are almost noble. He may have his inadequacies, but at least he is determined. While Luke's Anthony lacks that kind of determination, what he has is at least a sense of his inadequacies that Dignan lacks. But, while these two are never meant for great things, they can still achieve all their dreams if they just keep them small. Dignan is content with a life of small robberies. What he maintains is great pride for that. And Anthony find happiness in love from an unlikely woman. To find romance with the woman he does is much too quirky to have ever happened in a Hollywood movie. Yet this film plays it perfectly. And so, what makes this film so unique is that it is not so self -involved and moody like most independent films can be. And while it has a bright appeal, it is more eccentric than campy like most mainstream comedies can be. This is truly a unique comedy and I get the feeling that one day, the lines of hipness will be drawn between who has seen this movie and who hasn't.

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