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Bottle Rocket (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  21 February 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 51,317 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?


According to the The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) DVD's director's commentary, Wes Anderson wanted the final scene to be set to Bob Dylan's "Billy (Main Title Theme)" from Dylan's score to Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), but could not afford the rights to use it. (Anderson later used the song in The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) in the scene where Royal is kicked out of the house.) See more »


When "Applejack" and Dignan pick up Anthony in the Green Monte Carlo, they leave without the dog. See more »


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


7 & 7 Is
Written by Arthur Lee
Performed by Love
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Published by Trio Music Co., Inc./Grass Root Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

What an interesting, yet hilarious quirky comedy!
30 May 2001 | by (O' Fallon, IL) – See all my reviews

I was watching the Roger Ebert movie show when he was giving his best films of the decade of the 1990's with movie director Martin Scorsese. Scorsese picked Bottle Rocket as his seventh favorite movie of the decade. From that point forward, I had to search out and find this movie. Boy, am I glad that I did.

The movie Bottle Rocket is a joy. It is a caper comedy in one respect, but also an interesting look at how the bad brother can talk the good brother into doing the wrong thing. The second idea sets up some great comedy bits. Owen Wilson as the bad brother, Dignan, is absolutely hilarious. From this point forward, I will always be interested in seeing him in a movie. His brother Luke Wilson as the good, yet naive brother, is also very charming. James Caan shows up in the second half of the movie and is fantastic. The writer/director, Wes Anderson (Rushmore), does a great job of telling an off-beat story and gives his characters great lines to say.

All in all, Bottle Rocket was a pleasant surprise that I had never heard of. Thank you Martin Scorsese.

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