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Bottle Rocket
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Reviews & Ratings for
Bottle Rocket More at IMDbPro »

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73 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

I normally hate Owen Wilson...

Author: obiwan2005 from Los Angeles
17 January 2004

In anything. But man was he great in this movie. I mean it was such a good performance. This movie is director Wes Anderson's (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic) feature directorial debut. It's about a group of misfit friends that decide to take up a life of crime. The group includes Anthony (Luke Wilson) just got out of the nut house and is searching for himself. Dignan (Owen Wilson, co-wrote the movie with Anderson) is the confident but bumbling ringleader who wants to be notorious but doesn't know how to execute a plan to save his life. And Bob (Robert Musgrave) the driver/look out who just wants a little recognition. The movie follows their misadventures of them robbing a bookstore, going on the lamb, Anthony falling in love with a Motel maid who instills joy back in his life, and Dignan's 'big score' that involves his former employer. The subtle humor and deliveries by the actors make the movie stand out in it's own little version comedy. The characters are losers, but lovable. You can't help but cheer them on even though what they do is illegal. I highly recommend this cool little film. It's an excellent introduction into the wonderful films of Wes Anderson.

RATING: **** out of ****

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41 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

debut full of charm from the experts in subtle comedy

Author: Erasmus John Talbot from Torquay, England
1 January 2005

While "Bottle Rocket" is certainly best categorised as comedy this might mislead those expecting the typical composition of one-liners, facetious mocking and exaggerated situational comic of mainstream Hollywood productions.

Instead the humour derives from the quirky, yet lovable characters, their perspective on life and approach in dealing with the challenges of society.

The quiet matter-of-fact absurdity present throughout the film will evoke a constant smile rather than burst-out-laughter. This is typical of all Wilson/Anderson collaborations (Rushmore, The Royal Tenebaums) where strong characterisation enables the viewer to develop understanding and affection for the protagonists as the story slowly unravels. In "Bottle Rocket" this is supported by strong performances, especially that of Owen Wilson, who proves his actor potential in an atypical role.

Though not flawless, (there is a lack of narrative urgency at times), this movie leaves the viewer ultimately entertained and charmed.

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25 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

It ain't easy being a crook.

Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
22 April 2002

In the off-the-wall comedy "Bottle Rocket", Owen Wilson makes a scintillating debut as the creative force behind this tale of one man's struggle to realize his dream of becoming a crook in spite of his many shortcomings: sensitivity, compassion, empathy, and just plain niceness. Luke Wilson plays straight man to real life brother Owen in this camp, light-hearted, and easy to watch little film about the "gang who couldn't think straight". A fun watch for just about anyone into droll humorous subtleties.

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29 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Low-key hilarity.

Author: robbie-20 from Sweet Home Chicago
20 March 2003

I love this movie. It makes me smile and just feel good.

It's about, primarily, a guy named Dignan, played by Owen Wilson, who has a 75 year plan of crime for himself and his friend, Anthony, played by Luke Wilson, and reaping the fruits of crime. He wants to employ such interesting things as explosives, hot-air balloons, and pole-vaulting (!) in his outlandish plans for robbing bookstores and cold-storage facilities. He's happy to fill small baggies with money stolen from a bookstore after closing and takes pride in getting "the best room in the house" and some road-side Motel-6 type motel to reward themselves for a successful heist.

If you like quirky, subtle humor, this one's for you. I give it 9/10!

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27 out of 40 people found the following review useful:


Author: Sickfrog from Norfolk, VA
14 August 1998

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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26 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

What an interesting, yet hilarious quirky comedy!

Author: James Woll (wolljv) from O' Fallon, IL
30 May 2001

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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28 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

"He's out. And you're out too. And I'm not sure I'm in either..."

Author: fahfooh from Michigan
21 May 2001

This movie is a true gem.

The Brothers Wilson have created a timeless masterpiece of friendship, loyalty and vision. Nevermind that their vision might not be what you'd do. The redeeming values Dignan and Anthony and Bob display far outweigh their faults.

I taped this movie off of IFC years ago, and it's been watched to death... almost literally (it's getting kinda worn... I should find a *new* copy). Anyone I've ever shown this movie to loved it.

James Caan gives his best performance since 'Misery', only this time it's funny.

Watch for the scene where: Bob's driving, they just left Anthony's sister's school (when he returned his mom's earrings)... Bob is going on about his miserable life, and if you watch Anthony in the rear seat, suddenly he straightens up in his seat and says "...ahh that was a stop sign..."

Very Very Very VEWWY good movie.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

truly a case of "you get it, or you don't"

Author: Johnny from city hall
22 August 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A love it or leave it movie, I think. Most people I know either absolutely love it, or don't really care for it. The jokes are funny, but sometimes on the subtle side, and usually of the dead-pan flavor. I for one, fall on the "absolutely love it" side of the fence. It's a movie I can watch over and over again and still laugh like it's the first time. I agree with some that the overall "fun-factor" drops off a little during the romance portion in the middle, but I don't think James L. Brooks and the rest of the production staff would've given a bunch of first-timers that big of a shot without a little romance for those who aren't into the humor.

I gotta tell ya, I love Kumar. From his role as the inept safecracker in this one, to Mr. Littlejeans ("Best play ever, man") to Pagoda, he does it for me every time. And for all the Wes Anderson fanatics it's always fun to try and spot his old buddies in his movies (i.e. Dignan & Tenenbaum). For whatever reason, the Anderson/Wilson Bros humor does it for me. And what's best about it is that it never really seems to get old. They make their movies in such a way, that there really isn't a year or exact date or place that their movies take place in. They all have that whimsical, fable type feeling that makes them, for me at least, timeless.

*minor spoiler* - Futureman saying, "Bob, you were told to thoroughly clean the pool this morning" gets me every time.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Bottle Rocket, good launch pad for ANDERSON.

Author: Maximillian Hope from United States
24 September 2006

The first and weakest of Wes Anderson's films, Bottle Rocket, is by no means a weak film. Co-written by then credited Owen C. Wilson, the screenplay is very intelligent and shows how the screen writing duo (Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson) has evolved. Starring the Wilson brothers, Owen and Luke Wilson, this small-budget comedy has what most large budget comedies lack, a perfect mix of drama and comedy. The film, about two friends that both were patients at a mental ward, portrays how innocent fun can sometimes hurt people. Rocket never becomes over-dramatic or slapstick in its comedy. It is clear that Anderson was experimenting with his style, and would not perfect it until his next film, Rushmore. The characters are clearly dysfunctional and like to take unnecessary risks at their own expense to make the script move along. This is not a fault in the script, but a blessing as this keeps the comedy and serious moments perfectly balanced. The cinematography is sometimes amateur with its unnecessary close-ups and wide angle panning. The soundtrack, done by Mark Mothersbaugh is excellent and just proves why he has worked an all of the subsequent films with Anderson. It seems Anderson and Wilson have an enormous talent when writing dialog for unusual, anomalous characters. This film is a testament to the fact that a good script, and a working knowledge of film work can create an original and enjoyable film.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great first feature

Author: Monellifilms from United States
15 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bottle Rocket is Wes Anderson's first feature, and a remake of a short film he made with Owen Wilson as well. It bears all of the hallmarks of a Wes Anderson film (quirky characters, dry humor, precise and orchestrated cinematography, and a story about finding something beautiful in the flaws of the main characters, especially Dignan (Owen Wilson).

The film has a simple story, three friends attempting to commit a robbery and go on the run, but like Wes Anderson movies it is not straightforward. The movie is not about the heist, rather the relationships between the main characters and their flaws. The best of which is Owen Wilson's 75 year plan he created for himself and Luke Wilson's character, describing when they would get married, etc.

Dignan's 75 year plan and his heist plan are themes Wes Anderson carries throughout his movies. A main character is always trying to accomplish something well beyond their means and capacity (i.e. Bill Murray in Life Aquatic, Max in Rushmore, Owen Wilson in Darjeeling). They are always planning and scheming something greater than they can obviously achieve.

This movie blends humor, and drama very well. It reminds me of Fargo with its dry and occasionally dark humor. The film ends as a tragedy (the tragedy of Dignan), which makes us feel bad for him. But you almost feel like he will be okay. His personality makes this bad turn of fortune not seem so bad.

Bottle Rocket is one of Anderson's better movies and if you enjoy any and all of his later flicks then check this one out.

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