Charlie Bartlett plays it too safe.
| Original Score: 2/4
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.
| Original Score: 2/5
Like its anodyne hero, Charlie Bartlett wants to make mischief, but it wants even more to get a gold star.
[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.
There are sweet moments, and there are funny moments, but it all just becomes so eye-rollingly calculated that it's hard to appreciate.
'It is our duty as teenagers to piss off our parents,' Charlie says. The film succeeds only in pissing off the viewer.
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.
Charlie Bartlett is the Ferris Bueller of our drug addled age. Except he's not a fraction of the charmer ol' Ferris was.
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.
| Original Score: 3/10
Its not money, good looks, or grades that make someone popular in high school. It's selling prescription drugs.
Clouded execution and miscasting neuters the intended objective the film has to brand the character a clear-thinking leader of the pack. Charlie Bartlett is not a hero; he deserves a spanking.
| Original Score: C-
...all the fawning and sucking-up to bored and disgruntled teenagers...can't make Charlie anything but a sleazy, pill-pushing sociopath.
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.
It's like Ferris Bueller's Day Off by way of The Virgin Suicides, and believe me when I tell you the two absolutely do not mix.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Almost everything in Charlie Bartlett is based on successful teen comedy formulas of the '70s, '80s and '90s.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Once you remove the layer of imitations, nothing much remains.
Seeing itself as a Ferris Bueller's Day Off for the 21st century, Charlie Bartlett the film is instead a testimony to how low we as a culture can stoop.
| Original Score: C
Smug, painfully unoriginal and about as hip and edgy as a trip to Sears.
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.
In the end, the big message of Charlie Bartlett was said better and more succinctly in an R.E.M. song. Everybody Hurts.
| Original Score: 1.5/4