Ranking Wes Anderson films


Here, for no particular reason, are the rankings of Wes Anderson films.

  1. The Royal Tenenbaums. A lot of people hated this movie, but it’s hands down his master work thus far. “She smokes?”
  2. Rushmore. My favorite quote from any of the movies: “She’s my Rushmore, Max.”
  3. Bottle Rocket. Infectiously quirky. “Keep up the intensity!”
  4. The Darjeeling Limited. Bitter, bittersweet, which is why it’s ahead of Steve Zissou.
  5. The Life Aquatic. Slightly amusing, but a bit of a mess. Although finding the shark does make you tear up a bit.

Now, tell me where I’m wrong.

Other thoughts on Anderson.


13 thoughts on “Ranking Wes Anderson films

  1. knowing how you feel about Rushmore, I was surprised to see ‘royal’ listed first. I think if he had it to do over again, he might have passed on aquatic, although working with murray has got to count for something. never seen bottle rocket beginning to end. whatever happened to faye wray?

  2. I almost agree! I’m terrible at ranking things so I end up with several tied on a spot. Hence I would have to tie Rushmore and The Darjeeling Limited on second. Am just about to start watching Bottle Rocket and was doing my pre-movie read around. And I know there isn’t much love out there for the life aquatic, but Seu Jorge topped it for me. The soundtrack for that is probably simply stunning. I went weeks listening to it at odd hours.

  3. I pretty much agree with you 100 percent on this one, except, I would say that bottle rocket is the least of his films. Mainly because its so rigid, it doesnt have the Anderson flow to it, in some parts its very much him, in others its like hes still tying to find himself, that entire hotel scene just drags and is really uneventful.

    People trash on Life Aquatic all the time and I have no idea why, I feel its just as strong as all of them. Its such a step back reality that its refreshing, The way people deal with confrontaions and the feigned fake acting is just so damn good.

  4. 1. Tenenbaums (as you say, masterwork)
    2. Rushmore (best use of Bill Murray)
    3. Life Aquatic (starting to show signs of wear…and repetition)
    4. Bottle Rocket (a little TOO quirky for me)
    5. Darjeeling Limited (just stopped trying or something…too much of everything we’ve seen him do…i really wish he would mix it up a bit…and no, Fantastic Mr. Fox doesn’t count…it’s Tenenbaums and Life Aquatic in animation…bleh)

  5. Major Anderson-fanatic here, I’ve seen them all and here’s my list:
    1. The Life Aquatic
    http://www.film-philosophy.com/2007v11n1/boyle.pdf might change your views about this film
    2. The Royal Tenenbaums (probably his best, but not my favourite)
    3. The Darjeeling Limited
    4. Rushmore
    5. Bottle Rocket (I didnt love this one as I love the others, probably because Anderson wasnt as idiosyncratic as in his next films)

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  8. The Life Aquatic ties with the Royal Tenenbaums for sure, if not, it definitely surpasses it being my favorite film. It is a beautiful example of Anderson’s methodical auteurist work. The elements of Jacques Cousteau documentaries mixed with a quirky yet tragic story of journeys and self renewal (Which all three can be quite messy at times). Combined with the typically hyper dry humor of Anderson and you have yourself one of the greatest films of our era.

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