Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Mar 4, 2014
    90
    Though Bottle Rocket is wryly amusing from beginning to end, the hard edges of the real world are never too far from its surface. And it is the particular grace of the film that though all its characters end up with something like what they're looking for, its not exactly how they'd imagined it would be.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Mar 4, 2014
    88
    This is a movie about friendship, about foolhardy endeavors that get your adrenaline going and make you feel life buzzing in your toes. Written with wit and concision and remarkable confidence, Bottle Rocket is a joyride worth taking.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Daly
    83
    The title refers to cheap fireworks that fizz before they flame out quietly, and that's what three Southwestern slackers do in this amiable heist movie-cum-road flick.
  4. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Mar 4, 2014
    80
    In an era not exactly short of quirky bungled heist movies, Anderson and Wilson take an interesting tack – coming in late on lifelong relationships, and showing us the pay-offs to friendships and resentments that have been simmering for years.
  5. Mar 4, 2014
    80
    In Bottle Rocket, the small scale and vague amateurishness (especially in the performances) are themselves rather endearing. They seem to go along with the screwed-up characters, as does the loosely structured plot.
  6. 80
    Its tone has elements of Jim Jarmusch and the Coen brothers but without Jarmusch's self-conscious artiness or the Coens' hip snottiness.
  7. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    80
    Full of surprising warmth and charm, unexpected plot turns and droll characters that bounce off each other in refreshing ways.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephen Hunter
    Mar 4, 2014
    75
    Bottle Rocket's off-handed, anti-professional humor is extremely amusing and its ability to evoke the bittersweet pangs of love and friendship very poignant.
  9. Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    Mar 4, 2014
    75
    It's a cool breeze of a comedy, with a slant on things that's dark but compassionate. Watching Bottle Rocket doesn't just make you laugh. It makes you smile between the laughs, think beneath the smiles.
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Rocket flies with comic-kaze crooks. [21 February 1996, p. D6]
  11. A hilarious, inventive and goofy breath of fresh air.
  12. Fresh, character driven, often funny, and unfashionably upbeat (as well as offbeat).
  13. Reviewed by: Bruce Diones
    70
    Meanders pleasantly, like a road movie, with a seventies-style, anything-goes offhandedness that whisks the audience through the rough spots.
  14. Reviewed by: Matt Noller
    Mar 4, 2014
    63
    Anderson has a great deal of empathy for his charming band of fuck-ups, but the characters are thinly drawn, and Anderson's attempts to lend the story emotional weight, like giving Anthony a ludicrously one-dimensional love interest in South American housekeeper Inez (Lumi Cavazos), largely fall flat.
  15. 63
    sStarts and finishes strong, but, somewhere in the middle, it loses its focus and its way.
  16. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    60
    This lightweight road picture about a group of inept thieves has an uneven beginning but ends up charming and satisfying.
  17. A mildly facetious tone limits Anderson's film to the lightweight, but the collective enthusiasm behind this debut effort still comes through. What's best about Bottle Rocket is not the laid-back pranks that inflate its story to feature length but the offbeat elan with which that story is told.
  18. 60
    Gets by on quirky charm and slacker chic-but just barely.
  19. Bottle Rocket's minimalist pop has a refreshing flavor but insufficient bubbles for a long, cool drink. Maybe someone ought to think about culling this thing down into a sustainable short film.
  20. 50
    Entertaining if you understand exactly what it is: if you see it as a film made by friends out of the materials presented by their lives and with the freedom to not push too hard.
  21. The film itself is wretched. A grueling, numbing black hole.
  22. Reviewed by: Barry Walters
    12
    Several times during this film, you wish you were a bottle rocket so you could explode out of your seat and leave this tedious mess behind.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Oct 8, 2011
    6
    The movie's cinematography is impressive as well as the performance of the actors if you realize this was a student movie. But Wes Anderson'sThe movie's cinematography is impressive as well as the performance of the actors if you realize this was a student movie. But Wes Anderson's "Bottle Rocket" doesn't really have any twists or thrills in its plot; you'll be watching a 91 minute movie will interest, but no more than that level. Full Review »
  2. Aug 5, 2013
    8
    BOTTLE ROCKET was a critical success when it was released in 1996 and launched the careers of a creative team that know comedy can be talky,BOTTLE ROCKET was a critical success when it was released in 1996 and launched the careers of a creative team that know comedy can be talky, subtle, character driven, and even heartbreaking at times. It's not the best Anderson-Wilson endeavor, but as the first it establishes central elements visible in all their films. Full Review »
  3. May 21, 2013
    7
    Throughout Anderson's directorial debut, "Bottle Rocket," you can definitely sense him trying to come into his proverbial own, but it is stillThroughout Anderson's directorial debut, "Bottle Rocket," you can definitely sense him trying to come into his proverbial own, but it is still an outrageous and occasionally deep comedic drama. Full Review »