It should come as no surprise to anyone to learn that Wes Anderson’s latest film (Isle of Dogs) is pulling in a 90% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The talented auteur is predictably good at his job. Part of the reason why he’s so good is because his storytelling is completely unpredictable and always offbeat.
For people who are new to the Wes Anderson game, or even fans who just need a refresher, here is a list of all of Wes Anderson’s work (ranked!), to get you well on your way:
This Indian road trip (train trip?) film that follows three estranged brothers has all of the color and beauty that you would expect from a Wes Anderson picture, and while not known as his best work, is definitely still worth the watch.
Ranking: 2 and three-quarters absentee parents
Anderson’s directorial debut, Bottle Rocket stars very young (and eventual stars) Owen and Luke Wilson. This road movie follows a pair of loose-cannon best friends on a would-be crime spree.
Ranking: 3 cigarettes
The Life Aquatic, starring Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson, is definitely one that grows on you. After The Royal Tenenbaums premiered it, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou cemented Anderson’s visual style. A look that would carry on to all of his subsequent films.
Ranking: 3 and a half wide-screen shots
A young Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray compete for the affection of the same woman in this 1996 film that brought Wes Anderson closer to the mainstream.
Ranking: 4 Bill Murrays
The Fantastic Mr. Fox was Anderson’s first foray into the world of feature length animated features, and it paid off.
Ranking: 4 and a half deadpan line deliveries
The story of two star-crossed junior high lovebirds in 1965 is where Moonrise Kingdom begins. When the pair plot to run away together with a dangerous storm looming, their families and community set out to find them.
Ranking: 5 dead dogs
Anderson is known for the theme of distant and absent parents, especially fathers. But none of them tops the rest quite like Royal Tenenbaum. Royal has three gifted children, who all are probably going to need years of therapy. Starring Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Ranking: 5 dreamy color palettes
This is possibly Anderson’s most accessible work. The film stars Ralph Fiennes as Gustave, the concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel, and newcomer Tony Revolori as Zero, the hotel’s lobby boy. When Gustave finds himself the center of a murder investigation, he enlists Zero to help him escape.
Ranking: 5 gorgeous set pieces