What is Wes Anderson’s best movie? This is a very, very difficult question to answer.
We often read about a director’s vision and how they put their own style and palette into everything they do, but truth be told, even some of the world’s most acclaimed directors are true chameleons. . Show a cinematic newcomer The Wolf of Wall Street and Goodfellas, and they’re unlikely to come to the conclusion that they were made by the same person. Big movie personalities have done it all, crossing genres, going up and down in terms of budget, only the most ardent cinephiles can connect the dots.
However, show anyone a Wes Anderson film, and they can immediately identify his other work. No filmmaker currently works with a more defined aesthetic in terms of look, style and casting choices, so much so that an entire book has been devoted to real-life scenes that look precisely like stills of his movies.
Anderson’s world is one of precise symmetry, with each setting looking so pristine it could be a dollhouse. Press pause on any of his movies and you’ll find a still image you can frame. His attention to detail and eye for beautiful vintage costumes and original soundtracks is quite something.
The director is currently working on his new film, titled Asteroid City. No one knows what it is, except for some western-like settings, but the cast is massive. Along with Anderson regulars like Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman, Margot Robbie, Tom Hanks, Stranger Things star Maya Hawke and Bryan Cranston are all on board. As with everything Anderson does, it will be charming, cute and stylish, and we can’t wait to see it.
Until then, we thought we’d go back over the director’s past work and rank, from worst to best, all of his films. So this is it…
10. The Darjeeling Limited
In Anderson’s catalog, The Darjeeling Limited is a real one-off.
A threesome starring Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson and Adrian Brody, the film follows the three Whitman brothers, who travel together through India, exactly one year after their father’s funeral. It’s chatty, slow, and still quite moving, but it doesn’t have the same sparkle and sparkle as Anderson’s best work.
9. Bottle Rocket
Wes Anderson made his film debut in 1996, turning his 1994 short Bottle Rocket into a feature, which he co-wrote with Owen Wilson.
Made for $5 million, the film actually marks the acting debuts of Owen and Luke Wilson, who co-starred Robert Musgrave, their older brother Andrew, Lumi Cavazos and James Caan.
The film is an offbeat detective comedy where three clumsy friends, one of whom has just been released from a psychiatric hospital, decide to plan a heist, which unfolds rather spectacularly…
It’s shonky, but not without charm and hints at what Anderson would quickly become.
8. Isle of Dogs
The second of Anderson’s stop-motion animated adventures, Isle Of Dogs is a sweet, if overlong, entry into the director’s back catalog.
With a cast that includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton, the film is a loving and quirky family adventure.
In Isle Of Dogs, we find ourselves in a dystopian future Japan in which dogs have been quarantined on the remote eponymous island due to “canine flu”.
We follow five local dogs named Chief, Rex, Boss, Duke and King. They are fed up with their isolated existence until a boy named Atari Kobayashi ventures to the island to search for his dog, Spots. Together, the group goes in search of him…
7. The French Dispatch
Finally released in 2021 after a long delay induced by Covid-19, The French Dispatch is Anderson has grown to 11.
Made up of a collection of stories from the latest issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French town, the film has a giant cast, a flair that’s totally Anderson, and so much style.
It has a manic, slightly crazed feel to it, rushing between stories and story moments, but that lack of consistency is why it’s at number seven.
6. Aquatic Life with Steve Zissou
A film that divides Anderson fans, some love it and would have it at the top of this list, others would have it at the bottom. We went somewhere in the middle.
Bill Murray stars as Steve Zissou, an eccentric oceanographer who sets out to get revenge on the jaguar shark that ate his partner Esteban. For this particularly personal mission, Zissou assembles a crew that includes his ex-wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son. Naturally, things get uncomfortable and philosophical.
It’s another film that missed the mark at the box office, but struck a chord with many Anderson enthusiasts, and is well worth a revisit.
5. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Anderson’s version of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s story was a box office flop, but a fine take on a classic tale.
Made in stop-motion, the film’s voice cast includes George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Owen Wilson. It tells the story of Mr. Fox, a skilled thief living underground near three rather wicked farmers (named Boggis, Bunce and Bean) whose plots he decides to loot.
But when the trio find out what he’s up to and plot revenge, Mr. Fox will need all his wits to save his family from the farmers’ schemes.
Whether it’s a kids’ movie is debatable, but Fantastic Mr. Fox is a slick, sophisticated, and very fun take on Dahl’s story.
4. The Grand Hotel in Budapest
Anderson’s most successful film, grossing over $170 million at the box office and winning four Oscars, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a handcrafted crime comedy.
Reuniting a large ensemble cast that includes Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton and Willem Dafoe, the film documents the woes of Gustave H de Fiennes, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel who, along with his apprentice lobby boy Zero, finds himself on the run from some of the most dangerous men in Europe.
Great fun, well plotted and beautifully choreographed, the Grand Budapest Hotel is one big adventure.
3. The Royal Tenenbaums
Anderson’s most acclaimed film, The Royal Tenenbaums remains a fascinating, if sometimes uncomfortable, watch.
An eccentric and dysfunctional family, we meet each of the three Tenenbaum children as adults. In their youth, each was a child prodigy: one a tennis player, one a playwright and the other a mathematical genius, but today each is a little broken down. Still hurt by their father’s decision to leave them as teenagers, they are forced to find him after he informs them that he is terminally ill. Needless to say, things don’t go exactly as planned…
Anderson’s ode to JD Salinger, the film is a smart comedy-drama, led by a perfect cast with Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Danny Glover and Bill Murray all in great shape.
2. Moonrise Kingdom
Most other such lists would have Moonrise Kingdom somewhere in the middle, but, for us, this is Anderson’s second-best film.
Moonrise Kingdom follows Sam Shakusky, an orphan boy who escapes from a Boy Scout camp on the fictional island of New Penzance to try to find his pen pal, whom he hopes to woo.
After he leaves, Master Ward, the overzealous scout leader, tells Sam’s other scouts to use their skills to put together a search party and find him.
Led by newcomers Kara Howard and Jared Gilman, who play Bishop and Shakusky, the film also has a killer cast of Anderson favorites, including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman. .
Rushmore is Wes Anderson’s perfect film and shows the director’s ability to create a script that is funny, poetic and whimsical, but has real bite.
Written with Owen Wilson, Rushmore tells the story of Jason Schwartzman’s Max Fisher, an eccentric private school teenager who has made himself the king of extracurricular activities, but struggles with his studies.
Suddenly, his life is turned upside down when he begins to befriend Bill Murray’s Herman Blume, an embittered and cynical industrialist, and Olivia Williams’ Miss Cross, an English teacher who has just entered the school. .
A coming-of-age drama like no other, Rushmore combines Anderson’s love of quirkiness with his ability to tell a story with heart, soul and depth.
Want another ranking? We rated the films of both Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright those last weeks…