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The Education of Charlie Banks (2009)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 16

Unevenness and earnestness mire this otherwise sweet, surprising coming of age drama.


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 8

Unevenness and earnestness mire this otherwise sweet, surprising coming of age drama.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 8,499

My Rating

Movie Info

"The Education of Charlie Banks" is a coming-of-age tale that spans from the playgrounds of lower Manhattan to the idyllic greens of Vassar College. It is a story about change, inevitability and about facing one's fears.


Art House & International, Drama

Peter Elkoff

Jun 30, 2009

Anchor Bay - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now


Latest News on The Education of Charlie Banks

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All Critics (29) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (16) | DVD (3)

One of those voice-over memory stories about a college student coming to terms with the bully who haunted his childhood.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An earnest, if romanticized, examination of the American class system in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the eternally confounding politics of acceptance and exclusion.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Travels in some unexpected, thoughtful directions.

April 3, 2009
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are some things to like about The Education of Charlie Banks, but also plenty that detracts from what could be an interesting story.

March 30, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You take one scene that doesn't quite get there followed by another scene that doesn't quite get there, all of a sudden you've got a movie that doesn't quite get there.

March 30, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Too often Durst's direction is overly earnest, heavy in long takes, atmosphere wise but scene foolish.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story of a street kid hiding out in a preppy college never leaves familiar ground.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Would've made a swell student film for Durst, a safe haven for the rocker to work out his film school inclinations. As a feature-length requiem for the disturbed soul, this picture is woefully ineffective.

June 15, 2009 Full Review Source:

perceptive and gripping

May 13, 2009 Full Review Source:

It's just a shame the story wasn't handled as a simple memoir, rather than some sort of cautionary tale.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

The cast is superb in their performances.

April 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Comment (1)
Boxoffice Magazine

A surprisingly amiable coming-of-age tale that is especially remarkable for its honesty about class.

April 1, 2009 Full Review Source:

A film that succeeds at being good without really succeeding in being worthwhile.

March 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Unnerving and uneven college drama is well-acted but doesn't seem to know what it's trying to say.

March 29, 2009 Full Review Source:

You will spend this film's entire 100+ minutes waiting for the inevitable moment of reckoning between Charlie and the young thug he fears the most.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source:

The film's potential cynicism is suffocated with a TV movie flatness, occasionally--and egregiously--spackled with sentimental music that makes it sag when it should slice.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

If you're at all intrigued by the idea of exploring angst and anomie among the entitled upper crust, then this Ivy League variation on Fight Club just might satiate that effete brand of bloodlust.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comment (1)

Audience Reviews for The Education of Charlie Banks

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Eva Amurri, Sam Daly, Alex Guarino, Jason Ritter, Charles Parnell, Chris Marquette, Gabby Sherba, Sebastian Stan

Director: Fred Durst

Summary:Years after Charlie (Jesse Eisenberg) fingers Mick (Jason Ritter) for a brutal assault, Mick shows up at Charlie's university and insinuates himself into college life, auditing classes, sleeping with Charlie's dream girl and pondering how his life might have been different. All the while, Charlie anxiously wonders whether Mick knows he ratted him out.

My Thoughts: "It was a really great story. But more shocking it was directed by lead singer from Limp Bizkit, Fred Durst. I was a little hesitant on watching it on that fact alone, and yet curious to see his work. The movie is set in the seventies in New York and then later on in the eighties. It's about a kid named Charlie Banks who at a high school party witnessed a horrific fight between Mickey Leary and two other students. Mickey brutally beats the two jocks and puts them in the hospital in critical condition. Charlie then turns Micky into the police telling no one but his parents, but then later backs out on his statements he made to the police.
Three years later, during his freshman year in college, Mick shows up for a visit (he is friends with Charlies best friend). Charlie is terrified to see him in his dorm room. Mick's visit drags out over several weeks. You can literally feel the tension through the screen when these two characters are in the same room. Mick and Charlie are nice to each other one moment and threatening in another.
Charlie later reads in a news paper about a brawl that happened at a bar that ended up with one dead. Charlie is convinced that Mick is the killer.
Its a very intense movie. Funny in some moments but very few. Jason Ritter and Jesse Eisenberg give fantastic performances. I was really surprised with this movie and really surprised by the director. Happy my curiosity got the best of me."
September 22, 2011

Super Reviewer

This suprised me by how good it was. This is a slow paced movie that some will find boring but i really liked it. A great movie.

Grade: B+
November 4, 2010

Super Reviewer

Here is yet another one of those really good movies that most people have never heard of, including me. I have to say that I think alot of Independent films are much better that the so called big budget films. I was never once bored during this movie. A very well done film, with a talented cast.
October 14, 2010

Super Reviewer

I wasn't enamored by this film, not even terribly impressed by Jesse Eisenberg. It's all very predictable. What do you expect when a volatile on-the-run criminal tries to play Mr. Ripley?
June 19, 2010

Super Reviewer

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