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Charlie Bartlett (2007)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 131
Fresh: 74 | Rotten: 57

With engaging performances marked by an inconsistent tone, Charlie Bartlett is a mixed bag of clever teen angst comedy and muddled storytelling.


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 16

With engaging performances marked by an inconsistent tone, Charlie Bartlett is a mixed bag of clever teen angst comedy and muddled storytelling.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 104,595

My Rating

Movie Info

Longtime film editor Jon Poll (Meet the Fockers and Austin Powers in Goldmember) makes his directorial debut with this coming-of-age comedy about a wealthy public school system newcomer (Anton Yelchin) who wins over his skeptical classmates by serving as a surrogate psychiatrist to the troubled student body. Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis, and Kat Dennings co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi



Gustin Nash

Jun 24, 2008


MGM - Official Site External Icon

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June 16, 2008:
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May 15, 2008:
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The young actress talks to RT about teen comedies, superhero movies, and morbidity.


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All Critics (136) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (74) | Rotten (57) | DVD (9)

The movie as a whole is a sweet pill to swallow.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Charlie Bartlett is a refreshingly entertaining character study that refuses to dumb down its youthful cast or bury their concerns in service of a catchy soundtrack.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The characters remain halfway between genuine comic creations and realistic individuals, and the whole narrative feels artificial, stuck in the tension between being a morality play and a freewheeling comedy.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Those waiting for the arrival of the next Juno may want to skip Charlie Bartlett, a relentlessly earnest teen film about a 17-year-old misfit who's been tossed out of one prep school after another for bad behavior.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Imagine an R-rated Ferris Bueller with only the most annoying parts of the younger Matthew Broderick's screen persona emphasized and you'll draw a bead on Bartlett.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Writer Gustin Nash and director Jon Poll have their Ferris Bueller thing working perfectly, with a few 2008 wrinkles.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

There are sweet moments, and there are funny moments, but it all just becomes so eye-rollingly calculated that it's hard to appreciate.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

'It is our duty as teenagers to piss off our parents,' Charlie says. The film succeeds only in pissing off the viewer.

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion | Comment (1)

The promising themes peter out as the film loses direction, though, and Bartlett is neither sympathetic enough to root for nor dumb enough to laugh at.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian

Lightweight fare, but a pleasant outing.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Charlie Bartlett plays it too safe.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Charlie Bartlett is a poor man's Rushmore. There is a great film waiting to be made about psychiatry, anti-depressants and our youth, but this isn't it.

August 27, 2008 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review
The Scorecard Review

Mostly this was a quirky, smart, inspiring, and surprisingly enjoyable High School movie.

July 22, 2008 Full Review
Sin Magazine

Robert Downey Jr. playing an alcoholic principal lecturing on the dangers of drugs is one of those wonderfully ironic, Twilight Zone moments that only Hollywood can provide.

July 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Charlie Bartlett is the Ferris Bueller of our drug addled age. Except he's not a fraction of the charmer ol' Ferris was.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

The movie is extremely hilarious, yet very serious and emotional at the same time.

June 1, 2008 Full Review Source: WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)

There are plenty of good qualities in Charlie; it just needed to apply itself a little more.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Hugely entertaining high school drama with a delightfully offbeat script and terrific performances from a superb cast.

May 16, 2008 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Charlie Bartlett is not terrible - but in the crowded market of teen comedies, you need to work a whole lot harder to be top of the class, or even to sit at the back with the cool kids.

May 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

[F]eels like little more than an amalgam of great moments from the John Hughes oeuvre as well as from Thumbsucker, Pump Up the Volume and Over the Edge, among others.

May 1, 2008 Full Review Source: MSNBC

Juno's dorkier, needier cousin, the one who's watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off too many times.

April 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinematical

Even in the canon of high school flicks, Charlie Bartlett seems slight, but like its wide-eyed protagonist, it ultimately wins you over on the strength of its puppy-dog appeal.

March 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Not quite in the elite company of high school comedy classics like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Election," but it is close.

March 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

(O)ther than the reprehensible glorification of teenage sexual promiscuity, this is a meaningless, forgettable film that is relatively entertaining...

March 2, 2008 Full Review Source:

Bartlett would make a decent sitcom character, and the uneven film plays out accordingly.

March 2, 2008

Audience Reviews for Charlie Bartlett

November 21, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

A fun but rather annoying film that doesn't really give much to the audience. More aimed at teenage girls, I'd recommend it simply down to Yelchin and Downey Jr's performances.
October 4, 2012

Super Reviewer

Charlie Bartlett: Oh trust me doc, bringing psychiatric drugs and teenagers together is like opening a lemonade stand in the desert. 

"Popularity is a state of mind."

I am extremely pleased with Charlie Bartlett. Not that I am surprised I liked it so much, as I am a huge fan of both Anton Yelchin and Robert Downey Jr., and the premise was awesome. Sure there were plot elements that were less than unlikely and scenes that really turned up the melodrama for no particular reason, but for the most part it was a really good set in high school movie.

Charlie Bartlett gets kicked out of his fancy private school for selling fake ID's and must go back to his huge mansion with his mother and attend public school. Charlie less than fits in with the kids at this new school, so he tries to fins a way to win them over. He chooses drugs. All kids want to get high and that is his way to get popular and also make some cash on the side. Then he starts offering psychiatric help for all the kids in his school in the bathroom. The principal isn't very fond of him and that is heightened when Charlie and his daughter start hanging out.

I thought the film was extremely cool and had a pretty good concept. I like the idea of a kid no one likes finding a way to become the cool kid. Yeah it has been done before, but never like this. Yelchin owns every role he's ever had. Not once have I seen him in a movie and not been totally impressed and convinced by his performance. That is saying quite a bit since he started young. It doesn't look like he is going to fade out like some young actors do, at least I hope not.

The movie has some fun sequences and some insightful ones. The insightful ones are a little overdone, I'll admit; and yeah, there are some incredibly cliched characters. But come on, high school is one big cliche and all the characters in this film really exist in just about every high school in the world. Overall the film works because of its cool premise and two actors who nail their roles. 
November 28, 2011
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Charlie Bartlett was a decent coming of age comedy. However there are far better comedies out there that have addressed the subject. Director Jon Poll is no John Hughes and it shows. Charlie Bartlett tries to be a copy of many of Hughes' classic films. The film a good attempt at being a teen comedy with brains, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Actor Anton Yelchin is a so-so actor, and he manages to have good screen presence. I thought that the film was mildly entertaining and it was funny and dramatic in parts. Charlie Bartlett is nothing really great as a comedy, but it does manage to be entertaining. I felt that at times, the film suffered from poor writing and it could've been much better than it was. Charlie Bartlett had the potential of being a great comedy, instead the film lacks in some respects and the films conclusion is average. The film is a decent film to watch, but it's not a memorable film to re-watch and enjoy over and over again. The film manages to entertain, but leaves you wanting more. For what is, Charlie Bartlett is a good enough try at a teen comedy, however it's not as memorable as other films in the genre. A fairly forgettable film in the genre, one that does make you laugh, but doesn't do anything refreshing with its ideas. A decent film with laughs, however it's clear that this is a pretty forgettable film.
October 7, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Marilyn Bartlett: Well maybe there's more to high school than being well liked.
    2. Charlie Bartlett: Like what specifically?
    3. Marilyn Bartlett: ... Nothing comes to mind.
    – Submitted by Gabriella S (2 years ago)
    1. Henry Freemont: This is a school not a prison!
    2. Principal Gardner: Thanks, because I couldn't read the sign.
    – Submitted by Gabriella S (2 years ago)
    1. Dr. Stan Weathers: You don't feel normal?
    2. Charlie Bartlett: My Family has a psychiatrist on call, how normal can I be?
    – Submitted by Gabriella S (2 years ago)
    1. Charlie Bartlett: Viagra! Virgin! Vino! Vagabond! Vagina!
    – Submitted by Gabriella S (2 years ago)
    1. Principal Gardner: Never attack a drunk guy with a gun.
    – Submitted by Gabriella S (2 years ago)
    1. Principal Gardner: There are more important things than popularity. Like what you do with that popularity.
    – Submitted by Chase P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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