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Overall Rating
4.17

Awesome58.1%
Worth A Look: 22.38%
Just Average: 7.14%
Pretty Crappy: 2.86%
Sucks: 9.52%

14 reviews, 126 user ratings


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Royal Tenenbaums, The
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by Preston Jones

"A movie fit for a king."
5 stars

True film aficionados always look forward to the end of the year. Increasingly, studios are holding back the best movies until November and December, forcing most film junkies to suffer through the dregs the remainder of the year.

Writer/director Wes Anderson is a filmmaker that has a distinct voice in modern-day Hollywood, when films are often reduced to so many explosions and digital effects. His latest effort, The Royal Tenenbaums, is a subtle masterpiece that ranks among the best films of the year.
Those audiences that discovered one of 1998’s underrated gems, Rushmore, will instantly feel at home in the slightly skewed universe of the Tenenbaum family.
The film is densely structured, akin to a novel. It opens with an extended flashback (narrated by Alec Baldwin) focusing on the early years of the three prodigal Tenenbaums: Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow), the brooding playwright; Chas (Ben Stiller), the high-strung investment banker and Richie (Luke Wilson), a burned-out former tennis champion.
Their mother Etheline (Anjelica Huston) and father Royal (Gene Hackman) separate but never quite divorce. This has a profound effect on all three Tenenbaum children, nearly all of who loathe their boorish father.
After setting the stage, The Royal Tenenbaums arrives in the present to find Margot trapped in a loveless marriage to psychologist Raleigh St. Clair (Bill Murray); Chas mourning the loss of his wife and keeping a tight leash on his children Ari (Grant Rosenmeyer) and Uzi (Jonah Meyerson) while Richie yearns for Margot and deals with his childhood friend turned successful cowboy novelist Eli Cash’s (Owen Wilson) burgeoning drug problem.
Royal, desperate to rekindle a relationship with his estranged children, concocts a scheme that allows him back into the Tenenbaum house and causes all three children to move back in.
Their journey towards understanding and accepting their father forms the core of The Royal Tenenbaums.
Anderson and co-writer/star Owen Wilson have fashioned a film that is unlike anything playing in theaters currently. The witty sensibility, a killer soundtrack that is used to great effect throughout the movie and delightful characters are fast becoming Anderson’s hallmark. Building upon Rushmore and his debut feature, Bottle Rocket, Anderson is a visionary of modern cinema with a style like no other director working today.
The cast is exemplary from top to bottom with the standouts being Hackman as the crude Royal and Luke Wilson as the confused, desperate Richie. The production design by David Wasco is incredible to behold, with every frame of the film literally crammed with subtle touches.

The Royal Tenenbaums will not be for all tastes. Those who loved Rushmore will probably adore this film. Those who may not have heard of Wes Anderson will discover, if they take a chance, that The Royal Tenenbaums is a film fit for a king.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5670&reviewer=304
originally posted: 02/18/02 18:51:54
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User Comments

1/18/18 Ed Riddick Brilliant writing and acting. 5 stars
3/04/15 stanley welles an awesome adult comedy - immaculately written and brilliantly performed 5 stars
3/29/14 PAUL SHORTT QUIRKY, CLEVER COMEDY 3 stars
7/07/09 *Holy_J@lapeno* A wonderful dark humor movie. Favorite part "Look at that old grizzley bear" 4 stars
7/04/09 Gristle So fucking empty and utterly boring 1 stars
11/10/08 Brian I'm addicted to this movie. One of the best comedies ever. Hilarious and beautiful. 5 stars
9/02/07 Quigley Well-scripted, well-acted and visually inventive comedy. Hackman should have won an Oscar. 5 stars
2/05/07 nmedina Ive seen it over 100 times and have decide like Eli Cash to be a Tenenbaum. 5 stars
1/08/07 Drew Galletti Extremely well done, though I need to revisit still 3 stars
1/08/07 Tulip O'Hare Completely don't get why this is supposed to be good. I just found it slow and snarky. 2 stars
11/02/06 Bitchflaps I hated Rushmore, but this is excellent. 4 stars
10/12/06 The Hugh Hilarious and Tragic 5 stars
8/11/06 M. Mirliss According to EFC, my film criticism skills are worse than Kelly Palma's...suicide time. 5 stars
4/05/06 Wholy Crapman Wacky, yet believable and lovable characters. Just what Anderson does best 5 stars
3/18/06 MP Bartley Hackman is terrific, but Anderson (as ever) keeps us too distant from the characters. 4 stars
1/08/06 sdg sdg boring 1 stars
7/30/05 yuko hilarious, adorable and a little bit of sadness 5 stars
6/13/05 E-FUNK A Beautiful, hilarious, heart-felt film. I didn't think he could top Rushmore, I was wrong. 5 stars
6/07/05 John Aster Habig a movie that looks at the true meaning of family and love 5 stars
5/25/05 Jake Not as good as Rushmore but still very good 4 stars
5/12/05 mitch Kelly Palma can't handle "reel" comedy 5 stars
1/15/05 Abbath Nice, quirky comedy/drama. Well written with great characters. 5 stars
12/29/04 DM Funny, unique and strangely poignant. 4 stars
11/08/04 Chris McElheney the best movie ive ever seen! i love it. 5 stars
10/31/04 erika my name is erika tenenbaum which is preety fnny i thought the movie was just awsome 5 stars
9/12/04 R.W. Welch Has a certain style but mostly played too slow and low key. 3 stars
8/04/04 Stefan Good comedy thats very funny but gladly doesn't laugh at its self if u know what i mean 4 stars
7/29/04 Josh Standlee So sh*tty, it made Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Bill Murray look bad! 1 stars
7/11/04 Recurring Dream i was very entertained and amused by those great little touches in the background. 4 stars
7/05/04 Erin Great!!! 5 stars
7/01/04 Daveman Gracefully crafted and shot with wonderfully subtle dark humor. 4 stars
6/27/04 Bobby da Squid Wonderful cast, NYC-but-not-NYC, amazing rich, detailed visuals - one of my favs 5 stars
4/25/04 Lord Jiggy A slow build...earns your laughter, respect, and affection. Worth full price. 5 stars
3/26/04 Melissa Gaugert If you like Ben Stiller comedy, you'll love it, like I did! Wacky!! 4 stars
3/24/04 Margie i don't think i got it, cuz i was more creeped out than anything... and i didn't laugh :-( 2 stars
3/16/04 Holly Beeman What can I say? Wes Anderson is the man. Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, etc.! 5 stars
3/08/04 Wendranh didn't feel any connection to the characters at all 2 stars
2/25/04 Sean What comedy should aspire to be. One of the best. 5 stars
2/06/04 charlie ace 5 stars
1/29/04 Jack Bourbon Garp-guy wannabes. 3 stars
1/27/04 Tom Brilliant, a rare gem 5 stars
1/26/04 lonesome_whistle A funny, quirky, touching movie 4 stars
1/26/04 Jay This movie was a waste of money and time 1 stars
6/26/03 cochese No one else said it, so I will. "The Royal Piece of Shit" 1 stars
5/12/03 scottyrobotty more funny lines than any movie in the last 10 years. perfect 5 stars
4/20/03 Skankin' inThePit Great movie/acting/directing--Anderson is a favorite along with Richard Kelly in my book 5 stars
3/23/03 Winthrop J Applesmythe III the reviewer is on crack. SEE THIS MOVIE. 5 stars
2/10/03 Alex Pérez Córdova It´s an excelent movie 5 stars
1/05/03 Karen Great movie! 5 stars
12/15/02 Jimmy Snuka This movie is as awesome as me off the top rope!!! 5 stars
12/08/02 Goofy Maxwell Bitter fruit grows on this family tree. But magnificent Anderson tells such a sweet tale. 4 stars
12/02/02 mr. Pink brilliant! Anderson fulfills his promise that he had with debut Bottle Rocket. Great! 5 stars
12/01/02 Gruther waste of time 2 stars
11/27/02 Zack W. Young A pervesely terrific cast and brilliant writing and direction make this a rare modern gem. 5 stars
11/27/02 Lady who hates romantic comedies The Wilson brothers rock - Gwyneth does not 4 stars
11/03/02 Nerf_Herder Sad, funny, bitersweet and everything in between 5 stars
10/30/02 spacecowboy I really enjoyed this. 5 stars
10/27/02 mike bernotas One thing about this guy's movies.... you can almost feel the season's 5 stars
10/26/02 MarktheShark6 The best family movie ever made. They didn't have to kill poor ol' Buckley, though. 5 stars
9/29/02 royal tenenbaum sweet 5 stars
9/28/02 Peter Sherlock I think people mistake smart-arse stuff for brilliance 1 stars
9/14/02 Monster W. Kung Competently made and acted, but not very funny at all. 3 stars
8/25/02 Roberto Donati Is Anderson the new american talent? 4 stars
8/06/02 Banky Edwards What a weird and funny movie!!! I really enjoyed it and giggled like a fool throughout! 5 stars
8/05/02 Lexy Z. Bitchin.' 5 stars
7/31/02 Christopher Inspired, wonderful, touching, funny. 5 stars
7/26/02 karen goldstein i didn't laugh once - she was in love with her brother! Yuck!!!! 1 stars
7/22/02 erick prolly fav. of the year, and def. in my top 5, watch its awesome 5 stars
7/16/02 Caiphn Just watched it again, still my favorite movie this year. 5 stars
7/14/02 The Bomb 69 I caught myself laughing at the small, minute points, if you pay attention it will delight 4 stars
7/14/02 Phil M. Aficionado Quirky, funny, and cutting edge. A truly meaningful dark comedy with ACTING 4 stars
7/11/02 Punk_Ass At first I was like WTF?? but it grew on me as the movie progressed. wierd/entertaining 4 stars
6/18/02 Oscar Smart, Funny, and full of substance 5 stars
5/26/02 PeterGibbons Art house? You frat boys are a riot. I wanna do mescaline! 5 stars
5/26/02 Nicole If you like dry humor and pay attention to the detail in the movie, you will enjoy! 4 stars
5/18/02 Chowie pretty good, owen and luke kick arse 4 stars
5/14/02 hbotis@hotmail.com nice, very nice, but not great. Huston is great 4 stars
3/26/02 dsmart American arthouse : odd, not funny, pointless 1 stars
3/23/02 Guy Forssman 0/100 there should be a law against this kind of movies 1 stars
3/18/02 Simeon Briggs Best film of the year 5 stars
3/18/02 Caiphn Worth watching. Excellent review, Collin Souter. 4 stars
3/14/02 Roy Smith Left after 20 minutes - boring and sad. People liked this? 1 stars
3/11/02 spaceworm Want to see it again. Gene's a Machine. 5 stars
3/01/02 Unagiboy The scene with the "Bikers" paintings was classic! 5 stars
2/28/02 Butterbean Hackman was incredible, this movie was entertaining. 4 stars
2/23/02 tforce academic films about neurosis are better than this 1 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Nicely entertaining. Some laughs, too. 4 stars
2/19/02 luda hoe the characters are brilliant, the script is smart, the laughs are genuine. 5 stars
2/19/02 Zach movie of the year, hands down. 5 stars
2/17/02 m i like it more each day that passes. i want to see it again, if only for the paintings. 4 stars
2/17/02 AgentDS Disturbingly entertaining 4 stars
2/16/02 Meryl K. Awesome. Stiller and Hackman are incredible. See the movie, see it right now. 5 stars
2/16/02 Phredrick Dobbs Exquisite 5 stars
2/10/02 Chelley Whom ever doesn't like this film doesn't deserve to live. 5 stars
2/10/02 Jimmy James excellent! quirky and funny 5 stars
2/10/02 Greg Jones By far the best movie of the year. 5 stars
2/05/02 Weeblerelf Intricate, beautiful!! My new favorite!! Just beautiful! 5 stars
2/01/02 dulac76 The guy who wrote this review must have seen an entirely different film than I did. 2 stars
1/28/02 arisa renewed my senses... 5 stars
1/26/02 Artist Freak This movie underwhelmed me immensely. SOme funny bits, but no point that I could see. 2 stars
1/25/02 Slitchard Richmond Insular and precious, but gloriously and sweetly so. Tender and melancholic. 5 stars
1/23/02 Paco Great emotional themes, performances and soundtrack. Far better than the overrated Rushmor 4 stars
1/21/02 The Man Best film since "American Beauty" 5 stars
1/18/02 Mister Char i just didn't see what was so terrific about it, maybe i missed something, good cast though 3 stars
1/14/02 Carly I had really high expectations. Solid, but no Rushmore. 4 stars
1/13/02 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Strange that nearly everyone in this movie has a famous relative? 1 stars
1/10/02 Robert Odd, touching, clever, but in the end, unsatisfying. Not much insight or feeling at the end 4 stars
1/07/02 wintermute Wow. 2002 is already heaps better than 2001. Bring it On! 5 stars
1/06/02 jeffrey flood wondreful wicked satire 5 stars
1/06/02 The Man Superb- great performances. A film with a style to call its own 5 stars
1/04/02 specialK no Rushmore, but had 4(?) alumni. didn't meet expectations 3 stars
1/04/02 raiven an unfunny waste of film, cast and TIME, trying SOOO hard to be eccentric and clever. 1 stars
1/04/02 rue the whirl i predict this will get better with repeated viewings 4 stars
1/04/02 John This isn't just a a movie. It's *film*. This is easily the funniest and best movie so far 5 stars
1/03/02 Superdave Excellent acting, somewhat funny, but no story and very strange, but in a bad way 3 stars
1/02/02 This movie's awsome! Y2k2 I loved this movie, actually I havn't seen it yet, but since Owen's in it, it must be good. 5 stars
1/01/02 jim-bob one hot asian masseuse in it, and one tit-shot. 3 stars
12/30/01 poetchuck An afternoon nap would have been a better use of time 1 stars
12/30/01 Thor-Leo Brilliant, perfectly pitched, almost every scene a jewel. 5 stars
12/29/01 LZ "Interesting..." 4 stars
12/28/01 Jason Fessel This movie rules. It is totally entertaining and funny. It is easy to get absorbed into ch 5 stars
12/22/01 frank i didn't think it was better than RUSHMORE, but it was close. 5 stars
12/18/01 Heather Full of dry humor and great characters, one of the year's best 5 stars
12/15/01 ajay rushmore was great, this is just as good. 5 stars
12/15/01 Emily great 5 stars
12/15/01 Boomshanka Better than Rushmore. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  14-Dec-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  14-Mar-2002




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