Wes Anderson Movies Ranked

We rank all of Wes Anderson’s features – from his most recent Asteroid City all the way back to Bottle Rocket.

Last Updated on April 30, 2024

Since his first film, Writer/Director Wes Anderson has become known for his highly visual combination of bright colors with an older aesthetic. His costuming and set design have a very specific signature that makes it easy to identify when watching a Wes Anderson movie. With him currently working on a new film, The Phoenician Scheme, which reunites him with his muse Bill Murray, we take a look back at all his feature-length films and try to figure out where they rank. To note, his recent Netflix shorts, including the Oscar-winning The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar aren’t included.

Wes Anderson movies Ranked

1​1. The French Dispatch (2021)

T​he only anthology movie Anderson has done so far, this film details the final issue of The French Dispatch. The paper will be shut down, so the editor brings together his best reporters and storytellers to publish one more edition. Each reporter narrates a section of the film as they go over what their story will be. We’re shown imprisoned artists, a May-December romance set among a student revolt, and the kidnapping of a police officer’s son. Anderson’s usual style is broken up a little for each segment but still keeps the overall quirky attitude of most of his work. A fun way to break down one of his movies and the cast – from Benicio del Toro, Timothée Chalamet, and Elisabeth Moss to Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Owen Wilson – is incredible.

Wes Anderson movies Ranked

10​. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Three brothers attempt to reconnect on a train trip across India. A year after their father’s funeral, they are coming together for the first time on a trip to see their mother. As the siblings try to figure out what each of them has taken from their father’s death, they realize that none of them have been happy with their life. The train keeps getting detoured and sending the brothers off into random situations. The cast of Adrian Brody, Jason Schwartzman, and Owen Wilson put in a lot of work as the brothers, but the story keeps straying from its focus too much.

Wes Anderson Films Ranked

9. Asteroid City (2023)

In what is Anderson’s largest cast to date, we see some new additions to his usual cadre of performers. Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johanssen, Bryan Cranston, and Steve Carell join the group. A small, roadside attraction, called Asteroid City gets a variety of visitors during a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet event. While the scientists do their usual presentation and a young group of inventors show off their gadgets, a spaceship arrives. This sends the whole area into a frenzy, and the families try to figure out what it all means in the days that follow.

Wes Anderson Films Ranked

8. Bottle Rocket (1996)

A​nderson’s first movie, starring Luke and Owen Wilson. When Anthony (Luke Wilson) is released from a mental hospital, he reconnects with his friend Dignan (Owen Wilson). He says he needs Anthony’s help pulling a heist for his mysterious boss Mr. Henry. As the two fumble their way through preparing for the heist, Anthony meets and falls in love with the motel’s maid Inez. This movie helped put Anderson and the Wilson brothers on the map during the slowing indie boom of the 90s. This film has very little of the visual look Anderson has become known for but still has some quirky qualities that would continue throughout the rest of his work.

Wes Anderson Films Ranked

7​. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)

W​es Anderson regular Bill Murray takes center stage as Steve Zissou. He is an aquatic documentary filmmaker along the lines of the famed Jaques Cousteau. After a shark kills his friend and filmmaking partner, Steve declares his intention to find and kill the shark. He puts together a team for the outing but quickly learns he has a son he never knew about. He invites him along on the trip along with a reporter to cover the hunting of the shark. Now he has to juggle finding the shark, learning to be a dad, and sparring with his son over the reporter’s affections.

Wes Anderson movies Ranked

6​. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

A​nderson’s first stop-motion animated film is an adaptation of the book by Roald Dahl. Mr. Fox is used to stealing from the local farmers but has to put that life behind him to be a good father to his kids. Before he finally calls off his wild ways, he wants to pull one more heist to put one over on three of the meanest farmers in the area. He gathers all his friends to see if they can get one more score.

Wes Anderson Films Ranked

5. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Sam and Suzy have fallen in love with each other. These two children decide to run away together, but they don’t realize a massive storm is about to hit their small town in a few days. Once their guardians realize what happened, they set out to find the duo before the storm. Once everyone sets out, relationships get complicated, and Sam may be sent away once he’s found. A fun movie from Anderson that explores the fun of youth and how love can make us do things we wouldn’t normally even consider.

Wes Anderson Films Ranked

4​. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

A​ recounting of the history of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Set in 1932, we meet our narrator, Zero as a lobby boy as he learns the ropes from the hotel’s devoted concierge Gustave. They try to make all the experiences of the guests a pleasant one. When one of the guests ends up killed, it is blamed on Gustave. Zero and his friends set out to clear his name and discover what happened to a famous painting the deceased’s son is looking for. A fun and quirky look at the running of a hotel in all the usual Anderson fashion.

Wes Anderson Films Ranked

3. Isle Of Dogs (2018)

A​nderson’s second stop-motion film is set in the near future, where a bad dog flu has spread through the canine population. To keep it from spreading to humans, it’s decided to send all dogs to Trash Island. Six months later, Atari decides to go to the island to rescue his beloved pet. Once he lands, a pack of friendly dogs offers to help him find his friend and fend off a rescue party sent by his uncle.

Wes Anderson Films Ranked

2​. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

The Tenenbaum children were all geniuses. Once their mother and father split, these early gifts fell apart, and the family turned into a dysfunctional mess. Royal Tenenbaum has brought the whole family back together to tell them he only has six weeks left to live. Once everyone is back under the same roof, the same squabbles, tension, and betrayal enters back into their lives. Royal wants to fix everything before his time is up, but he isn’t sure he can. One of Wes Anderson’s best films which is no surprise it ranks so high.

Wes Anderson Films Ranked

1​. Rushmore (1998)

Max Fisher is a gifted playwright who loves attending the Rushmore private school. He befriends a local businessman and falls in love with a new teacher. As he tries to impress everyone, he finds out that his new friends have fallen in love with each other. He gets kicked out of school when he tries to take measures to impress the teacher. From there, he has to find a way to get his friends back and figure out what his life will be.

Where do your favorite Wes Anderson films rank? Let us know in the comments.

Source: JoBlo

About the Author

Bryan Wolford is a feature writer for JoBlo, and also writes scripts for both JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals, including a multi-part retrospective on the Highlander franchise. When not writing for the site, he’s an avid podcaster.