Wes Anderson’s short film adaptation of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar breaks a career-long record for the filmmaker on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Wes Anderson’s short film The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar has earned his highest score on Rotten Tomatoes, beating his previous critically acclaimed movies.
- The film, adapted from the Roald Dahl story, has a small but all-star cast and has won critical approval more broadly than any other film in Anderson’s career.
- The success of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar on Netflix is highly encouraging for Anderson’s future films, especially after the mixed reviews of his recent feature films. Critics praise the film for its fit with Dahl’s storytelling and Anderson’s unique style, as well as its brevity and faithfulness to the original story.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Within a career that spans 27 years and over a dozen movies, Wes Anderson’s short film The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar has now earned his highest score on Rotten Tomatoes. Considering Wes Anderson is notable for a filmography with nearly all critically acclaimed movies, beating his previous Oscar-nominated films to have his highest Rotten Tomatoes score is no easy feat. From his 1996 film debut with Bottle Rocket to his 40-minute short film on Netflix in 2023, Wes Anderson continues to improve his craft, unique style, and cinematic storytelling decades after establishing himself as an auteur.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is the first of Wes Anderson’s four short Roald Dahl movies on Netflix, adapted from the 1977 short story of the same name. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, and Ben Kingsley, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar boasts a small, all-star cast that tackles the tale of a man learning about a guru who can see without his eyes, then trying to learn the skill to cheat at gambling. In his first movie since 2023’s Asteroid City and his first Roald Dahl adaptation since 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson’s Henry Sugar short film wins critical approval more broadly than he has in his entire career.
Related: The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar Cast & Character Guide
The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar’s 95% Is Wes Anderson’s Highest Score
At the time of writing, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar holds a “Certified Fresh” 95% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which is Wes Anderson’s highest site rating of all time. This record was previously held in a two-way tie by Fantastic Mr. Fox (Anderson’s first Roald Dahl adaptation) and 2013’s Moonrise Kingdom, which both boast “Certified Fresh” 93% scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Among Anderson’s other highest-rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes are The Grand Budapest Hotel (92%), Isle of Dogs (90%), and Rushmore (90%).
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar arriving on Netflix to earn Anderson’s best Rotten Tomatoes score in his 27-year career is highly encouraging for his future films. Wes Anderson’s most recent feature films, The French Dispatch (2021) and Asteroid City (2023), are tied with his third-worst Rotten Tomatoes score at 75% each, which is his lowest since 2007’s The Darjeeling Limited. Given the success of Wes Anderson’s Netflix short films with critics and audiences alike, expectations are high for the filmmaker’s next big-screen venture after the record-breaking reviews of Henry Sugar’s book-to-movie adaptation.
Why Henry Sugar’s Reviews Are So Great (& Beat Fantastic Mr. Fox)
Similar to the praise for Fantastic Mr. Fox, one of the most frequent reasons for The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar’s success is how well Anderson’s style and themes fit Roald Dahl’s stories. Critics have noted that even some unique traits of Anderson’s that may prove frustrating in other films work brilliantly with Henry Sugar’s narrative, especially given the literary nature of Anderson’s most beloved films. Both Dahl and Anderson have been noted for their literary quirkiness and unique approaches to character work, with such a combination working well from the beginning to end of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar movie.
Anderson’s adaptation also has great reviews because of its brevity, indicating that the short film’s quick pace fits Anderson’s style better than being drawn out to a full feature. Henry Sugar is also celebrated by critics for its faithfulness to Dahl’s original story and the meaningful, artistic way in which Anderson brings it to the screen. With a score that beats Fantastic Mr. Fox by two percent, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar seems to come out on top due to its succinct story with few examples of diverting from Dahl’s tale.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes