(Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences)

I’ve been a fan of Wes Anderson for over 25 years, so I figured it’s high time that I share my list of Wes Anderson films ranked.


I’m typing this on the first of May, which happens to be Anderson’s birthday. That’s what got me thinking about the award-winning director and his filmography. He’s actually been on my mind a lot lately, as his 11th feature-length film is set to release later this year. Asteroid City will hit theatres on June 16, 2023. The film is set in 1955 and the action centers around a group of families and students meeting in a small town to participate in a stargazing convention. You can watch the trailer here.


My introduction to Anderson was his second film, 1998’s Rushmore. That’s the one that stars Bill Murray and a young Jason Schwartzman as frenemies vying for the romantic attention of Olivia Williams’ widowed private school teacher. The movie was like nothing I’d ever seen; I loved it so much that I ended up seeing it three times at the Kendall Square Cinema. A couple years later, while working in radio in Albuquerque, my morning show co-host Jamie shared that she was an Anderson fan, too. “Have you seen his first film, Bottle Rocket?” I hadn’t. She lent it to me. It quickly became a favorite.


Wes Anderson Films Ranked, From Best to Worst

If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’re also a big Wes Anderson fan. You clicked on it, after all. So I won’t get too deep into the uniqueness of his style and his penchant for working with the same actors time and time again. You know all that. Instead, I’ll just share my ranking of his 10 feature-length films (so far; I’ll come back and work Asteroid City into the mix once it releases later this year).

  • 1) Rushmore (1998)

    My first love, so it’s first on my list. I shared it with my school-age kids (one of which goes to a private school) last year and they got into it.

  • 2) Bottle Rocket (1996)

    It’s his first work, so it’s raw, obviously. But some of the early Anderson hallmarks are there. I know a lot of movie experts would probably rank this one lower, but I’m no movie expert. I just know what I like.

  • 3) The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

    Every Wes Anderson film has a handful of shots that are just so perfectly symmetrical or visually striking that they stick with you. The game closet in the Tenenbaum house is one of my favorites.

  • 4) Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

    I feel like a lot of fans and critics were down on this one when it was released as being too “precious” or whatever. Since when hasn’t a Wes Anderson film had a precious streak? I think it’s lovely and romantic.

  • 5) The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)

    I love the soundtracks to Anderson’s films as much as the films themselves, and Seu Jorge’s David Bowie covers on this soundtrack are just so well done and well-utilized.

  • 6) The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

    This was the first time I didn’t love an Anderson movie the first time through. Repeat viewings have upped my appreciation over the years. It’s a fine film.

  • 7) The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

    “You fucked Sweet Lime?””

  • 8) The French Dispatch (2021)

    I’m dinging this one unfairly because it’s new. I’m sure it will move up the list once I’ve sat through it a few more times.

  • 9) Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

    I give full marks to Wes for his first animated feature. I’m just not high on animated features.

  • 10) Isle of Dogs (2018)

    Again, this isn’t a bad film. Someone’s gotta wind up at the bottom of the list.

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