The story of a street kid hiding out in a preppy college never leaves familiar ground.
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.
| Original Score: C-
perceptive and gripping
| Original Score: 4/5
It's just a shame the story wasn't handled as a simple memoir, rather than some sort of cautionary tale.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
One of those voice-over memory stories about a college student coming to terms with the bully who haunted his childhood.
| Original Score: 2/4
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Travels in some unexpected, thoughtful directions.
The cast is superb in their performances.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
A surprisingly amiable coming-of-age tale that is especially remarkable for its honesty about class.
| Original Score: 3/5
A film that succeeds at being good without really succeeding in being worthwhile.
There are some things to like about The Education of Charlie Banks, but also plenty that detracts from what could be an interesting story.
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.
Unnerving and uneven college drama is well-acted but doesn't seem to know what it's trying to say.
| Original Score: 2/5
Too often Durst's direction is overly earnest, heavy in long takes, atmosphere wise but scene foolish.
The Education of Charlie Banks wants to be The Great Gatsby of college movies. It falls a tad short.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Thanks to sincere performances (most notably from Mr. Ritter and Eva Amurri as Charlie's upper-crust crush) and clever writing (by Peter Elkoff), the movie never becomes maudlin.
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.
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.
| Original Score: C
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.
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.
| Original Score: 3/4