Wes Anderson’s New Movie Has His Worst Rotten Tomatoes Score In 16 Years

Written by on June 17, 2023

Ahead of release, Wes Anderson’s highly-anticipated new movie Asteroid City holds his worst Rotten Tomatoes score in 16 years, which comes as a big disappointment for the celebrated auteur. Best recognized for his unique style and comedic and melancholy themes, Wes Anderson’s ever-growing filmography has yielded critically acclaimed hits like The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. While only one of Anderson’s movies, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, holds a “rotten” score on Rotten Tomatoes, the director’s latest venture, Asteroid City, marks a noted decline in critical adoration from his work over the past decade.


The all-star cast of Asteroid City, including names like Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, and frequent collaborator Jason Schwartzman, leads Anderson’s big follow-up to 2021’s The French Dispatch, which was notoriously snubbed of any Oscar nominations. In Asteroid City, students and parents gather for 1955’s Junior Stargazer convention, with the film utilizing Anderon’s signature style to its full potential. However, critics on Rotten Tomatoes are somewhat divided on Asteroid City’s quality, particularly in comparison to Anderson’s own filmography.

Related: 10 Movies To Watch Before Asteroid City

Asteroid City’s Rotten Tomatoes Is Wes Anderson’s Worst Since 2007

At the time of writing, the 2023 movie Asteroid City holds a 73% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which is aggregated from 104 reviews. While this is still a positive score that indicates another good entry from Anderson, Asteroid City’s 73% rating is the director’s lowest score since 2007’s The Darjeeling Limited. Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrien Brody, The Darjeeling Limited holds a 69% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which is Anderson’s second-worst score of all time after Steve Zissou.

In the 16 years since The Darjeeling Limited, all but two of Wes Anderson’s movies have received Rotten Tomatoes scores at or above 90% from critics. Unfortunately, the only two films to break this highly impressive trend are 2021’s The French Dispatch and 2023’s Asteroid City, which hold 75% and 73% critics scores, respectively. Considering these are still great scores, this goes to prove that the best and worst Wes Anderson movies remain high-quality instances of storytelling and cinema. With more projects from Wes Anderson on the way after Asteroid City, the director will hopefully be able to turn around this recent shift in critical responses.

Why Asteroid City’s Rotten Tomatoes Score Is So Bad

An image of several characters standing on a beach in Asteroid City

One of the most frequent notes in negative reviews for Asteroid City states that while the movie explores deep themes of loss, grief, and suffering, the emotional payoff is lacking. Tying into this criticism, the relatively poor Rotten Tomatoes score for Anderson’s 2023 movie can also be explained by critics’ worries that Asteroid City prioritizes style and Andersonian quirks over story and substance. The character building and narrative thus emerge as the greatest sources of division for Asteroid City’s reviews. Meanwhile, the more overwhelmingly positive responses that comprise Asteroid City‘s Rotten Tomatoes score note that the charming movie carries on the beloved qualities of Anderson’s filmography with a refreshing sense of joy and togetherness.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

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