Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Charlie Bartlett, a wealthy, intelligent 17-year-old, has been kicked out of nearly every boarding school in town and is now enrolled in the local public high school, headed by the reluctant Principal Gardner. Initially struggling to find a place in the new school, Charlie eventually establishes himself as the supportive listener who dispenses well-needed advice, and the occasional prescription, to mixed-up teens. As intuitive Charlie befriends and emotionally influences nearly every student at Western Summit High, the entire school begins to transform into a very different place. (Kimmel International) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. Yelchin delivers one of those performances that pop eyes... It's a breakthrough role.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    A refreshingly entertaining character study that refuses to dumb down its youthful cast or bury their concerns in service of a catchy soundtrack.
  3. The film functions as a high-wire act that can leave you giddy with laughter.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    A relentlessly earnest teen film.
  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. The dismal high school comedy Charlie Bartlett has the look, feel and sentiment of a made-for-video cheapie that might have been grudgingly whipped together by Robert Downey Jr. as some sort of court-ordered community service project for his many drug busts.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. Nov 26, 2010
    If you ask me it reminds me of what Ferris Bueller would do if he while he was at school other than Chalie's huge house other than when it gets all bad in the middle and nearer the end. Expand
  2. JuliaA.
    Sep 14, 2008
    This movie was sooooooo funny it has very good actors and actresses i don't know watch the other people were talkin about. if i were a real critic i'd give it a A- Expand
  3. ChristianL.
    Nov 28, 2008
    Great movie with funny parts, powerful parts, and dramatic parts. Heavily underrated movie with great plot.
  4. WayneC.
    Feb 25, 2008
    likely that not everyone will enjoy this quirky little film, but i got a kick out of it despite its uneven quality.
  5. Nov 15, 2012
    Anton 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. Expand
  6. ChadS.
    Feb 23, 2008
    Riff through this, the John Hughes oeuvre, and like a Bruce Watson is-it-a-bagpipe-or-a-guitar solo does "Charlie Bartlett", a post-modern shred on Hughes art-teen masterpieces such as: "Sixteen Candles", "The Breakfast Club", "Pretty in Pink", and "Ferris Bueller's Day-Off"; riff away "like a lover's voice fires the mountainside". For starters, Charlie(Anton Yelchin) and Susan(Kat Dennings) are the twenty-first century version of Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald. In "Sixteen Candles", 'The Geek' gets a pair of Samantha's panties; this time, the geek gets the girl. Susan also reminded me of the proto-goth chick that Ally Sheedy portrayed in "The Breakfast Club". To be worthy of Andy's hand(Emilio Estevez's hand) on the small of her back, Allison had to go easy on the eyeliner. "Charlie Bartlett" updates Hughes' take on George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmallion" by turning the tables; this time, the figurative Eliza Doolittle goes drag when Charlie's sidekick Murphey(Tyler Hilton) grows out his mohawk to win the small of a cheerleader's back. The spirit of "Pretty in Pink" is best expressed in Susan's room. Look at her stuff. It's a pop culture wasteland. Andie Walsh(Ringwald, again) had a "Sparkle in the Rain"(Simple Minds' sixth, and best album) poster hung on her wall. Susan likes music, too; she's into Mecca Normal(an uber-cool Vancouver two-piecer from the early-nineties(and still active), who along with Portland's The Spinanes, probably inspired The White Stripes), whose cacophonic albums of feminist ideas and grrrl-y guitars would most definitely meet Andie's approval. "Ferris Bueller's Day-Off", however, casts the mightiest shadow on "Charlie Bartlett". Ferris(Matthew Broderick), in the course of a day, wanted to save his friend Cameron(Alan Ruck); while Charlie, in the course of a semester, wants to save the world. If you're "not expecting to grow flowers in the desert," but "can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime," consider yourself lucky. You're young. "Charlie Bartlett" is a paean to the eighties. Expand
  7. JesterM.
    Jul 23, 2008
    This movie wasn't Ferris Bueller. It wasn't even Pump Up The Volume. It was a sad and pathetic attempt for a studio to cash in on the teen angst market which they have become so adept at exploiting. But who can blame them, when we have a teenage population in this country with the cultural force of a Paris Hilton song, who can blame the suits for trying to take full advantage of the situation. The sad thing our teen friends won't even lift their lazy heads high enough off of their Sidekick devices to actually care. It's not Nevermind anymore, it's Neverwhere. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews