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critics consensus

Charlie Says approaches its infamous subject from a welcome new angle, but suffers from a disappointing lack of depth in its treatment of the story. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Years after the shocking murders that made the name Charles Manson synonymous with pure evil, the three women who killed for him -- Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins -- remain under the spell of the infamous cult leader. Confined to an isolated cellblock, the trio seem destined to live out the rest of their lives under the delusion that their crimes were part of a cosmic plan, until an empathetic graduate student attempts to rehabilitate them.

Cast & Crew

Matt Smith
Charles Manson
Hannah Murray
Leslie Van Houten
Suki Waterhouse
Mary Brunner
Annabeth Gish
Virginia Carlson
Merritt Wever
Karlene Faith
Sosie Bacon
Patricia Krenwinkel
Bridger Zadina
Paul Watkins
Dana Guerin
Executive Producer
Michael Guerin
Executive Producer
David Hillary
Executive Producer
Crille Forsberg
Cinematographer
Andrew Hafitz
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Charlie Says

Critic Reviews for Charlie Says

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (30)

  • Charlie Says makes a strong case for an even grayer area: That perhaps these women can be victims and guilty of horrific, unpardonable crimes. It's an unsettling thought. But at least, unlike the exaltation of Ted Bundy's abundant charm, it's a new one.

    October 23, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Harron's film is at its most thoughtful, and its most useful, in moments where it presents itself as an exploration of young women in thrall to a charismatic, deeply egotistical leader who thrives on their willing submission.

    July 17, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Harron's film is at its most thoughtful, and its most useful, in moments where it presents itself as an exploration of young women in thrall to a charismatic, deeply egotistical leader who thrives on their willing submission.

    July 15, 2019 | Full Review…
  • If nothing else, Charlie Says puts Van Houten in the center of her own story. Look at her game, girl.

    May 11, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • While well-intentioned and thoughtful, "Charlie Says" is too ambivalent and too safe to deliver much in the way of original insight.

    May 11, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A fascinating and feminist exploration of Manson's first victims: the girls themselves.

    May 10, 2019 | Full Review…

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