202 user 91 critic

Bottle Rocket (1996)

2:44 | Trailer
Three friends plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run.


Wes Anderson


Owen Wilson (as Owen C. Wilson), Wes Anderson
4,422 ( 157)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Luke Wilson ... Anthony Adams
Owen Wilson ... Dignan (as Owen C. Wilson)
Ned Dowd ... Dr. Nichols
Shea Fowler Shea Fowler ... Grace
Haley Miller ... Bernice
Robert Musgrave ... Bob Mapplethorpe
Andrew Wilson ... Future Man
Brian Tenenbaum Brian Tenenbaum ... H. Clay Murchison
Jenni Tooley ... Stacy Sinclair
Temple Nash Temple Nash ... Temple
Dipak Pallana Dipak Pallana ... Bookstore Employee
Darryl Cox ... Bookstore Manager
Stephen Dignan ... Rob
Lumi Cavazos ... Inez
Julie Mayfield 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


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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson, and Luke Wilson made a thirteen minute black and white short film called Bottle Rocket (1993), which was first shown at the U.S.A. Film Festival in Dallas, Texas. It met with an enthusiastic response, that they took it to Sundance, where it came to the attention of screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson, who directed it towards Polly Platt and James L. Brooks. It was with their intervention that the team were able to get financial backing from Columbia Pictures to expand their short into a feature film. See more »


The room Dignan and the boys stay in is a non-smoking room, there is a big white sign on the door. After Dignan is beaten up and they're back in the room, Inez leaves and you see the sign on the door. Anthony leaves a second later, and the sign is gone. See more »


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


Referenced in Hewy's Animated Movie Reviews: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) See more »


Pachanga Diferente
Written & Performed by René Touzet
Courtesy of GNP Crescendo Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
Published by Skyview Music Corp.
See more »

User Reviews

Some good and some bad
22 April 2020 | by aidanmonksSee all my reviews

The drifting, meaningless "hang-out" nature of this quirky, engaging crime/road/comedy flick is often fun and entertaining, and often far too meandering for its own good. Ultimately, what "Bottle Rocket" is about is confusion in both path and purpose, and this is clearly reflected in the spontaneity and energy of its central characters, their actions and their interactions. The film is perhaps overly reliant on its everyday dialogue and naturalistic, if not observably detached, relationships that give the film a documentary-like tone that perhaps doesn't work as an environment for typically Anderson-esque characters to inhabit. But this is Wes Anderson before Wes Anderson, which should be considered. As a debut feature, it's pretty darn good. Another potential problem is that the characters don't necessarily undergo any explicit character development over the course of the plot, but this isn't an overly serious issue as the stance can be taken that the whole point is that they don't learn and must continue to drift; on top of this, the greatest part of this otherwise average film is the fact that the characters don't actually need development, they are engaging and interesting enough to keep us hooked for a full 80 minutes with their dreams and moral callousness.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 202 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | Spanish

Release Date:

21 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bottle Rocket See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$124,118, 25 February 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed