(Photo by Touchstone/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Wes Anderson Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer

Texas played its part in the revolution of ’90s American independent cinema. Dazed and Confused put Richard Linklater and Austin on the map. John Sayles made his most thrilling movie there, the neo-Western Lone Star. And emerging from Houston with an offbeat crime-caper was Wes Anderson. Bottle Rocket fizzled at the box office, but it was a crucial calling card for the director and his band of collaborators, like actors Owen and Luke Wilson, and cinematographer Robert Yeoman. And when Martin Scorsese compares your debut to the likes of McCarey and Renoir, you’re probably gonna get another chance in the industry. Bill Murray signing up for Anderson’s second feature, Rushmore, elevated the movie’s stature and release, and introduced Bill’s re-invention as the Melancholy Murray.

Bottle Rocket and Rushmore‘s growing reputations, and Anderson’s own as a modern auteur, generated significant hype for his third film, The Royal Tenenbaums. With its star-studded ensemble cast, the multigenerational comedy-epic would be Anderson’s highest box office earner until Grand Budapest Hotel, and got him into the Academy’s good graces with a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination. Tenenbaums also represents the point Anderson took total command of his craft: Whereas his quirky sensibilities and measured shot compositions enhanced the real-world settings of his first two films, from Tenebaums on that ‘quirk’ would represent all points of reality in his work. Watching an Anderson movie means escaping into a medley of ornate sets, clean lines and angles, impeccable blocking, precisely-picked pop music, and curious dialogue and action.

That was certainly the case for next feature The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, where Anderson was gifted $50 million and carte blanche to shoot whatever he wanted. Which, of course, meant building your own ship, shooting on choppy sea waters and at the famed Cinecittà Studios in Rome, and hiring Henry Selick to animate seahorses. Life Aquatic bombed at the box office and critics were iffy on the slack pacing, but audiences have since boosted up Steve as fashion icon and man of action whilst mired in Millennial malaise.

The Darjeeling Limited is mostly a minor entry, bordering on self-parody as his style continued to wallop character and story. When it was announced Anderson’s next project would be a stop-motion animated movie based on a Roald Dahl story, it was almost too perfectly, eye-rollingly twee. But like knocking out the cedar stick at Whackbat, Fantastic Mr. Fox was a jubilant, all-ages success. Anderson stayed young at heart with Moonrise Kingdom, an intimate adventure of first love and organized scouting, which drew the best reviews of his career and his first significant grosser in a decade.

That would all be topped with his arguable masterpiece, The Grand Budapest Hotel, a dizzying trip through alternate history, meta-fiction, shootouts, and Renaissance paintings, and one very pretty building. It earned Anderson another Best Screenplay Oscar nomination, his first nomination for Best Director, and the film won for Original Score, Editing, Production, and Costume. After four years, his longest gap between films, he put out another stop-motion film, the dystopian, Japan-set Isle of Dogs, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature.

His latest film, The French Dispatch, opens in October this year. In anticipation, we look back on all Wes Anderson movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#9
Adjusted Score: 63248%
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.
Synopsis: Renowned oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) has sworn vengeance upon the rare shark that devoured a member of his crew.... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 75260%
Critics Consensus: With the requisite combination of humor, sorrow and outstanding visuals, The Darjeeling Limited will satisfy Wes Anderson fans.
Synopsis: Estranged brothers Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrien Brody) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) reunite for a train trip across India. The... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 87266%
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.
Synopsis: Royal Tenenbaum and his wife Etheline had three children and then they separated. All three children are extraordinary --- all... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#6

Bottle Rocket (1996)
85%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89320%
Critics Consensus: Bottle Rocket is Reservoir Dogs meets Breathless with a West Texas sensibility.
Synopsis: In Wes Anderson's first feature film, Anthony (Luke Wilson) has just been released from a mental hospital, only to find... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#5

Rushmore (1998)
90%

#5
Adjusted Score: 95828%
Critics Consensus: This cult favorite is a quirky coming of age story, with fine, off-kilter performances from Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: When a beautiful first-grade teacher (Olivia Williams) arrives at a prep school, she soon attracts the attention of an ambitious... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#4

Isle of Dogs (2018)
90%

#4
Adjusted Score: 111256%
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.
Synopsis: When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island,... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 104512%
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.
Synopsis: In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by concierge Gustave H. (Ralph... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 101023%
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.
Synopsis: After 12 years of bucolic bliss, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) and raids... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#1

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104518%
Critics Consensus: Warm, whimsical, and poignant, the immaculately framed and beautifully acted Moonrise Kingdom presents writer/director Wes Anderson at his idiosyncratic best.
Synopsis: The year is 1965, and the residents of New Penzance, an island off the coast of New England, inhabit a... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

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