(Photo by Fox Searchlight/courtesy Everett Collection)
All Wes Anderson Movies Ranked by Tomatometer
Wes Anderson‘s first feature, 1996’s Bottle Rocket, bombed at the box office, perplexing studios and audiences with its quirky characters and filmmaking. If only they knew what was in store. Compared to the pastel-colored, stop-motion, insistently symmetrical fantasias Anderson has gone on to craft over the past two decades, Bottle Rocket‘s off-beat tale of amateur crooks ambling about in West Texas is practically Italian neo-realism.
But Anderson’s style was already emerging then, along with his choice of the collaborators that would elevate him into a zeitgeist-defining career. Namely, one Owen C. Wilson, who starred in and co-wrote Bottle Rocket. Wilson would go on to co-write Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, then become a feature player in the Andersonverse for many features beyond. Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman joined the troupe in 1998 with Rushmore. By 2001’s The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson films were leaving reality behind, inviting us to a nostalgic, melancholic world of the director’s own creation. Tenenbaums would earn Anderson his first Oscar nomination, in the Best Original Screenplay category. Even more fulfilling: Margot and Richie Tenenbaum would become a Halloween staple for panicking, last-minute hipsters for decades to come.
The success of Tenenbaums allowed Anderson to nab his largest budget ever, along with carte blanche on how to shoot his twee epic The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou. The production involved being at sea for months, hiring Henry Selick to handcraft exotic underwater fauna, and residency at the legendary Cinecittà studio in Italy, where Fellini, Leone, Coppola, Scorsese, and many more legends have worked. Steve Zissou‘s plot was as choppy as the ocean in storm, leading to Anderson’s worst reviews, though its aesthetic would influence pop culture and the art world at large. (And it features in our book, Rotten Movies We Love.)
After his minor work, The Darjeeling Limited, Anderson released a comeback hit: Fantastic Mr. Fox. It was the first time he would work directly in stop-motion animation, with the film’s scratchy, tactile quality unlike anything seen on the big screen in decades.
Since then, it’s been a golden age for Anderson and his fans, with the jubilant, romantic, adventure sweep of Moonrise Kingdom, the Best Picture- and Best Director-nominated Grand Budapest Hotel, and the sublimely strange Isle of Dogs. His latest will be The French Dispatch and will stars, unsurprisingly, everybody. Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Benicio Del Toro, Timothée Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, and many more make up the film’s ensemble of journalists in France, and before it arrives July 2020, we take a look back and rank all Wes Anderson movies by Tomatometer!
Adjusted Score: 62.262%
Critics Consensus: Much like the titular oceanographer, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou's overt irony may come off as smug and artificial -- but for fans of Wes Anderson's unique brand of whimsy it might be worth the dive.
Internationally famous oceanographer Steve Zissou and his crew--Team Zissou--set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly... [More]
Adjusted Score: 74.161%
Critics Consensus: With the requisite combination of humor, sorrow and outstanding visuals, The Darjeeling Limited will satisfy Wes Anderson fans.
"The Darjeeling Limited" is an emotional comedy about three brothers re-forging family bonds.The eldest, hopes to reconnect with his two... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.913%
Critics Consensus: The Royal Tenenbaums is a delightful adult comedy with many quirks and a sense of poignancy. Many critics especially praised Hackman's performance.
Royal Tenenbaum and his wife Etheline had three children--Chas, Richie, and Margot--they were a family of geniuses and then they... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.474%
Critics Consensus: Bottle Rocket is Reservoir Dogs meets Breathless with a West Texas sensibility.
A bright, optimistic caper comedy from first-time director Wes Anderson, Bottle Rocket focuses on a group of young Texans aspiring... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.678%
Critics Consensus: This cult favorite is a quirky coming of age story, with fine, off-kilter performances from Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray.
"Rushmore" chronicles a year in the life of Max Fischer, a student at Rushmore Academy, one of the finest schools... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.312%
Critics Consensus: The beautifully stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs finds Wes Anderson at his detail-oriented best while telling one of the director's most winsomely charming stories.
In this stop-motion-animated film from writer/director Wes Anderson, an outbreak of canine flu in Japan leads all dogs to be... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.92%
Critics Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.634%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Mr. Fox is a delightfully funny feast for the eyes with multi-generational appeal -- and it shows Wes Anderson has a knack for animation.
Mr. and Mrs. Fox live an idyllic home life with their son Ash and visiting young nephew Kristopherson. But after... [More]
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Adjusted Score: 102.128%
Critics Consensus: Warm, whimsical, and poignant, the immaculately framed and beautifully acted Moonrise Kingdom presents writer/director Wes Anderson at his idiosyncratic best.
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story... [More]