Asteroid City premiere: Wes Anderson’s best films, ranked

·4-min read
Jason Schwartzman and Tom Hanks in Anderson's latest Asteroid City.  (Courtesy of Pop. 87 Productions/)
Jason Schwartzman and Tom Hanks in Anderson's latest Asteroid City. (Courtesy of Pop. 87 Productions/)

Wes Anderson is back with his eleventh film, Asteroid City, a star-studded, sci-fi tinged caper that’s captivating critics.

The fifties-set premise sees students and parents from across the US gather for a Junior Stargazer convention in an American desert town.

Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, and longtime Anderson collaborator Adrien Brody are all on a long list of A-listers starring in it.

The first reviews are starting to filter through for the film, which is set to be released in the UK on June 23, and critics are said to be impressed with it, holding a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 84 per cent based on 19 reviews.

How fans will rate it remains to be seen, but for now, we take a look at how Anderson’s other ten films are ranked based on their IMDB rating. And while we’re at it, we can keep count of how often actors appear.

Scarlett Johansson in Asteroid City (Courtesy of Pop. 87 Productions/)
Scarlett Johansson in Asteroid City (Courtesy of Pop. 87 Productions/)

10. Bottle Rocket (1996) 6.9/10

Anderson’s debut feature is perhaps his least typecast film, featuring little of the quirky set design he would later become known for. It stars Owen Wilson, in the first of several collaborations, and his real-life brother Luke Wilson in a comedy about friends who are determined to pull off a robbery despite their limited capabilities.

9. The French Dispatch (2021) 7.1/10

On the whole, Anderson’s films have an upward trajectory in how they have been received - but his latest effort was considered visually stunning if lacking in character progression. Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton and Adrien Brody are among the cast.

8. The Darjeeling Limited (2007) 7.2/10

Owen Wilson again stars, this time alongside Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody (two other familiar names), as three brothers travel across India to try and reconnect. The fantastic scenery on display was not enough for critics to overlook what was considered its narrative flaws.

7.  The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) 7.2/10

Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) leads a submarine crew (which also features a character played by Owen Wilson) taking revenge on a shark that has killed his partner. A stylish if claustrophobic adventure.

6. Rushmore (1998) 7.6/10

A teenager (Jason Schwartzman…again) is committed to his many hobbies until he develops a crush on his much older teacher. It’s one of Anderson’s smallest scale offerings but there is entertainment value in Schwartzman’s Max befriending an older intellectual, played by Bill Murray, and then trying to kill him after discovering his affair with said teacher.

5. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) 7.6/10

The first ensemble cast production features a dysfunctional family starring Owen Wilson and Bill Murray, of course, as well as Gene Hackman and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Greta Gerwig has a lead role in Isle of Dogs (Dave Benett)
Greta Gerwig has a lead role in Isle of Dogs (Dave Benett)

4. Isle of Dogs (2018) 7.8/10

Delightful animation and a whole host of A-list voice talent behind this adventure. The Japanese setting is a virtue and allows Anderson to pay tribute to Eastern cinema but the film did carry allegations of white saviourism.

3. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) 7.8/10

A conventional young love story on a Scout camp trip with beautiful backdrops somehow gives way to an action finale with Bruce Willis taking centre stage. Bill Murray is also involved.

2. Fantastic Mr Fox (2009) 7.9/10

Londoners might be less sympathetic to foxes than most, but it’s impossible not to root for the pack led by George Clooney. The animation also features Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman.

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) 8.1/10

Anderson’s take on the Second World War contains darker tones without losing the director’s trademark directorial touches. Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody are all on the cast but Ralph Fiennes gets top billing.

So which actors appear most?

Bill Murray and Owen Wilson have a tie for the most appearances with nine each. However, neither actor will appear in Asteroid City. The end of an era? Perhaps not, as Jason Schwartzman will make his seventh appearance while both Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton will make their fifth.