Charlie Bartlett

MGM Released 2008


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Movie Summary

Jon Poll
Charlie Bartlett is a dramatic comedy film written by Gustin Nash and directed by Jon Poll. Released in 2007, the film focuses on Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin), a high school student who is enrolling in public high school after being kicked out of numerous private schools for various reasons. His home life is rocky; his mother, Marilyn Bartlett (Hope Davis), although well-meaning, is depressed and cannot give Charlie the attention that he needs. At the public school, Charlie finds that he does not fit in and struggles to make friends. He strikes a deal with Murphy Bivens (Tyler Hilton), the school bully, to sell some prescription drugs that Charlie has acquired by lying to his psychiatrists. When word gets around school that Charlie is acting as a therapist and giving kids prescription drugs, he suddenly becomes the most popular kid in school. He is listening to these kids when the adults in their lives, like his mother, are too preoccupied with their own lives to pay enough attention to their kids. Charlie starts dating the principal's (Robert Downey Jr.) daughter, Susan Gardner (Kat Dennings) and life is looking up for him. That is, until the adults realize that Charlie has been dealing drugs in school. As Charlie's new life begins to crumble around him, he must learn to face the consequences of his actions for the first time in his life.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    Rollicking story of a rich kid whose wildly successful bid for popularity has him playing drug-distributing shrink to an entire high school boasts pitch-perfect faceoffs between up...

  • 60

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    If the attention span of Charlie Bartlett didn't wander here and there, the movie might have been a high school satire worthy of comparison with Alexander Payne's "Election." But a...

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times Carina Chocano

    For the most part, it's an uneven if amiable and occasionally inspired comedy about getting through adolescence that hits some false notes along the way.

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Comedy, Drama