Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    60
    Like most wannabe heroes of the eager-to-please teen comedy, poor little rich boy Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin) is too charming by half and not nearly quirky enough.
  2. If the attention span of Charlie Bartlett didn’t wander here and there, the movie might have been a high school satire worthy of comparison with Alexander Payne’s “Election.” But as it dashes around and eventually turns soft, it loses its train of thought.
  3. Reviewed by: Sam Toy
    60
    After a strong start, the story ceases to challenge itself and its characters, offering easy options and a Prozac-soft finish.
  4. Robert Downey Jr. is an uncomfortable sight as the school's hard-drinking, overstressed principal.
  5. 58
    Instead of a unique directorial style and a memorable soundtrack, we get a movie that, visually and aurally, pretty much goes by the book.
  6. Sequences like the silly montage of Charlie on Ritalin (which just looks like the precious doodles of a former editor), grievously underdeveloped characters, and heavy heapings of sap instead of snark keep Charlie Bartlett from making the dean’s list.
  7. Decent acting forestalls the inevitable collapse for a long time.
  8. 50
    Watching Charlie Bartlett only makes Wes Anderson's work seem more accomplished by comparison, because it underscores that thin line separating the agreeably fanciful from the overbearingly precious.
  9. Actually, occasionally, does feel good. Now if only it had something to say.
  10. Spending more time with Downey's character would have benefited this movie no end.
  11. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    50
    A relentlessly earnest teen film.
  12. For the most part, it's an uneven if amiable and occasionally inspired comedy about getting through adolescence that hits some false notes along the way.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. Nov 15, 2012
    8
    Anton Yelchin is phenomenal as Bartlet. Though the movie may not always be fantastic, his performance echoes Matthew Broderick's Bueller, andAnton Yelchin is phenomenal as Bartlet. Though the movie may not always be fantastic, his performance echoes Matthew Broderick's Bueller, and is a breakthrough role. Full Review »
  2. JayH.
    Jun 18, 2008
    6
    Offbeat with a fairly original approach. More than one scene reminded my of Harold and Maude. Good use of music, nice score. Appealing film Offbeat with a fairly original approach. More than one scene reminded my of Harold and Maude. Good use of music, nice score. Appealing film with effective performances. Full Review »
  3. Jan 1, 2015
    7
    Well, it's a fun enough comedy. The cast is nice and likable, nobody too annoying. The plot is interesting and keeps changing without youWell, it's a fun enough comedy. The cast is nice and likable, nobody too annoying. The plot is interesting and keeps changing without you especially noticing but also not entirely predictable. And while these things might as well don't matter, the important thing is that this is one light-weight, unpretentious comedy that will probably keep you interested from start to finish. And this is not an easy task to pull off for any movie. Full Review »