5 Best Luke Wilson Movies
Brother of Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson is a well-known member of the group known as the Frat Pack — the bunch of comedians that made up plenty of notable comedies throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Alongside Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Steve Carell, Vince Vaughn, and his brother Owen, Luke managed to star in plenty of outrageous, gross-out comedies before eventually moving onto a career in dramas and dramatic comedies. While many of the actors aren’t fans of the term Frat Pack, there’s no denying that these comedians tended to stick together more often than not. As recently as the mid-2010s, Wilson and the gang have graced the screen with collaboration after collaboration. Like Wilson, though, most of these guys find themselves in dramatic comedies instead of the sophomoric comedies of their past. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of Luke Wilson’s best work.
The Royal Tenenbaums
Co-written by his brother Owen, Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums was one of the earliest instances of Luke and the gang taking a more serious turn. Accompanied by Stiller, Owen, and other great performers like Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Anjelica Huston, Luke’s turn as the troubled Richie Tenenbaum is easily his best performance. More than this, it remains some of Anderson’s best work to date.
Arriving seven years prior to The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rocket was the first feature film collaboration between Wes Anderson, Luke, and Owen Wilson. A clever take on a classic story about a robbery gone wrong, Bottle Rocket is based on a short film of the same name (Owen and Wes were roommates in college, so the two have practically been friends for life). Luke is naturally funny, but it’s different from his brother’s sense of humor—despite their relation, Luke proves to be distinct and Bottle Rocket is a great example of this.
The Skeleton Twins
Starring Saturday Night Live stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as two troubled siblings with a complicated relationship, The Skeleton Twins shows off Luke’s chops as a dramatic actor. It’s a very serious movie with a few lighthearted moments, but Luke really shines here as Wiig’s character’s love interest. It’s one of his best performances of the 21st century, easily.
Playing the love interest to Reese Witherspoon’s classic character Elle Woods, Luke Wilson is the much-needed foil to Witherspoon’s charming sorority girl-turned-lawyer. Reprising the role again in the sequel and the upcoming third film, nothing will beat Wilson’s performance in this lovable first movie. It came at a time where Luke wasn’t doing many roles like this one, and it definitely shaped the future of his career from that point forward.
The epitome of the Frat Pack film, Old School sees Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson, and Vince Vaughn play three grown men who long for their college days — as a result, they open up their own fraternity near their former college, quickly becoming the talk of the college town. It’s a ridiculous and frequently profane film, but it’s the type of movie that audiences came to expect from these actors. It’s a classic Luke Wilson performance through and through.
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