Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Charlie Bank's sheltered world at his Ivy League campus is shaken when Mick, an old acquaintance with a violent past, unexpectedly shows up at his dorm room. Intrigued by Charlie's privileged lifestyle, the charismatic Mick quickly wins over Charlie’s friends and his crush, Mary as he seamlessly integrates himself into Charlie’s life. Unnerved yet also in awe of Mick's easy charm, Charlie's unresolved feelings of jealousy, admiration and fear – as well as an unspoken secret between the two—threatens to come to a head with ruinous consequences. Set in the early '80's against the backdrop of Greenwich Village's rough and tumble playgrounds and an elite academic institution in Upstate New York, The Education of Charlie Banks is a stirring coming-of-age story about trusting your instincts, your friends and yourself. (Strong Heart Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Although the impressively acted ensemble piece occasionally gets tripped up by Peter Elkoff's overtly literate script, it travels in some unexpected, thoughtful directions.
  2. Ritter, who's like the young Ethan Hawke on a bender of violence, is an actor to watch.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    A film that succeeds at being good without really succeeding in being worthwhile.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Too often Durst's direction is overly earnest, heavy in long takes, atmosphere wise but scene foolish.
  5. What doesn't work so persuasively is Elkoff's script, particularly the overuse of voice-over.
  6. 50
    There's enough sweetness, and enough just-under-the-surface intelligence, in The Education of Charlie Banks to suggest that Durst may have a future as a filmmaker.
  7. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Durst and Elkoff deliver a nuanced scenario of class assimilation and resentment, then flub the ending.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. KathyS.
    May 10, 2009
    This is a thoughtful, sometimes witty, sometimes tense little movie with a slight sense of foreboding that kept me on the edge of my seat. I'd like to see a lot more from Jesse Eisenberg. I loved him in this and in "Adventureland." I hope he gets a lot of roles in different movies like this. Jason Ritter was a revelation. Collapse
  2. MitchS
    Apr 3, 2009
    This was a pretty decent little movie, but the incredible aspect of the film is Jason Ritter's performance as the absolutely brutal sociopath from the city who invades the little college town. When I saw his name in the opening credits, I never would have thought that he's play such a menacing role. That being said, the movie's true weakness was Jesse Eisenberg, who was difficult to watch for two hours with all of his eccentricities. Expand
  3. JayH
    Jun 27, 2009
    Good story, appealing performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Eva Amurri. It does lack focus sometimes but overall the film works.
  4. Feb 3, 2011
    A good solid piece that starts with a bang but unfortunately fails to develop. The opening party scene is enjoyable but the rest of the film lacks dynamics. Durst and Eisenberg are positively unspectacular which benefits our perception of Ritter's sociopath but the director is guilty of boring his audience and ultimately nothing happens which leaves me feeling unfulfilled. 59/100 Expand