Rushmore – Review (Spoiler Free)

Rushmore Film PosterAs over-hyped as Rushmore is, there’s still enough to it that it’s an entertaining watch.

I don’t think that I get on well with Wes Anderson films. I’ve only seen a couple, and yet they were enough to tell me that I just don’t quite connect with his comedic sensibilities and the way he writes characters. There were a few moments here in Rushmore that made me smile, but I have to say that they were pretty few and far between. And as for his and Owen Wilson’s supposedly Dahl esque exaggerated characters, they were written and performed so as to feel just a little too unreal, and consequently didn’t properly involve me in the film.

I guess the biggest problem here is that I just didn’t care what happened to any of the characters. Schwartzman does a great job of playing the utterly repulsive and annoying lead, especially so when you consider that this is his first film appearance, and his fantastic co-stars Bill Murray and Olivia Williams also do well with what they are given, but none of them have an arc, or trait that makes them engaging. Now I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy watching them play off each other comedically, because there were several scenes which really worked for me, but the writing never truly buries down beneath this surface level to reveal anything more meaningful.

I understand that Wilson and Anderson have written a tale that is filtered through the mindset of its misguided lead character, that doesn’t try to meet our expectations but instead aims for something more offbeat, and which doesn’t try to make its lead likeable through some forced positive character flaw, but if they are going to do all of that then they should still give some meaningful reason for me to become invested in the film. I know that there is a big fan base for this one, and I can appreciate why, but Rushmore gave me a little more than a couple of laughs and a mildly entertaining time, and I was left a little disappointed.


What is the film’s greatest strength?
Jason Schwartzman’s performance.

Its greatest weakness?
That it took great subject material, but didn’t explore it with enough depth.

Would I see it again?
I doubt it. I wouldn’t actively avoid the film, but once was enough.

Agree? Disagree? Haven’t seen it? Let me know in the comment box below!


  1. Really need to re-watch this, been too long. Great write-up!

    1. Cheers Joseph! I don’t know if I will be re-watching it though, maybe someday.

  2. Most certainly agree that the highlight is Schwartzman’s performance.

    1. I’m glad that you agree, he’s pretty impressive in what I imagine is quite a tough role to navigate.

  3. I have a love-hate relationship with Wes Anderson. For the most part I just don’t really get it. I found both Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums really tedious and completely over hyped… BUT… I loved Moonrise Kingdom and Fantastic Mr Fox.

    1. I haven’t seen either Moonrise Kingdom or Fantastic Mr Fox! I keep on meaning to as I’ve only heard good things!

  4. I think there’s a time or place in life where you’re going to love or just shrug at all of Anderson’s stuff. I LOVE Bottle Rocket but I saw it at a time where I could really relate to Luke Wilson’s character and most people that haven’t seen it, when they finally see it, don’t like it. I hated Rushmore and really liked Royal Tennenbaums and haven’t really cared for anything else.

    1. I have seen very little of his work to be honest, but have never properly connected with those that I have seen. Despite what you said about a lot of people not enjoying Bottle Rocket once they finally see it, I do actually want to check that one out.

  5. Nice review. I know Anderson’s style can be somewhat off-putting but I’m a huge fan and this is his best movie in my opinion. If you haven’t seen them, try checking out Moonrise Kingdom or Fantastic Mr. Fox. I think those are his most accessible films.

    1. Thanks, I can see why some people like him but it just doesn’t really work for me unfortunately. I will give both of those a go, especially Mr.Fox as I have heard really good things about them, it’s also good to know that they are his most accessible!

  6. Nice review. Yeah – I really just cannot get into Wes Anderson films. Only watched a few. Gave up after Tenenbaums. Ugh.

    1. Thank you, glad to hear we agree here. It just doesn’t quite work for me, which is a shame because I really think I see why people like his films, it just isn’t for me!

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