The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Charlie Bartlett

Charlie Bartlett (Yelchin) plays the piano after being found running through the neighborhood in his underwear while on Ritalin.  Photo courtesy MGM
Charlie Bartlett (Yelchin) plays the piano after being found running through the neighborhood in his underwear while on Ritalin. Photo courtesy MGM

By Sara Pintilie/entertainment editor

Charlie Bartlett (4 stars)

Charlie Bartlett (Yelchin) plays the piano after being found running through the neighborhood in his underwear while on Ritalin.  Photo courtesy MGM
Charlie Bartlett (Yelchin) plays the piano after being found running through the neighborhood in his underwear while on Ritalin. Photo courtesy MGM

Charlie Bartlett is a drug-ridden comedy with a charismatic rebel rouser and Robert Downey Jr. What more can you ask for?

The film is quirky and funny. The humor relies on intelligence instead of physical or lewd material.

Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin), a kid born with a silver spoon in his mouth, gets kicked out of his private school and is forced to go to public school.

On his quest to become popular, he tries to become friends with his fellow classmates.

Instead, he gets beaten up by the school bully/drug dealer, Murphey (Tyler Hilton).

His drugged-up mother (Hope Davis) suggests Bartlett go to a therapist, who then puts him on Ritalin.

Bartlett, now armed with pills, makes a business arrangement with Murphey to sell the medicine.

But when a student comes to Bartlett for advice, Bartlett finds a new enterprise.

He becomes a makeshift psychiatrist.

His office is a bathroom stall in a ridiculously cool high school—seriously where are these gorgeous schools located in old landmarks?—and he doles out the drugs as he sees fit.

He even tries to help his girlfriend, Susan (Kat Dennings), who just happens to be the principal’s (Downey Jr.) daughter.

The film is a great reinvention of the high school flick.

The whole movie has a retro feel but takes a new turn with the rich, wickedly funny Bartlett.

Charlie Bartlett also has depth—a rarity with teen flicks.

The film delves into the dangers of prescription medicine abuse in an interesting and affecting way.

The movie doesn’t ever feel like an after-school special, quite the opposite.

The film keeps its jovial mood even after a rather somber event happens.

Downey Jr. is a fantastic asset to this film as the school principal. His wit is priceless and always welcome.

The best part is the rapport between Downey Jr. and Yelchin. It’s worth the admission price alone.

Yelchin is brilliant as Bartlett. He carries the film flawlessly and is incredibly charming doing so.

He is the male version of Ellen Page’s Juno, but with a better business mind-set and without the whole pregnant thing.

Charlie Bartlett is the fresh and ingenious high school flick and the perfect choice for a night out with a few friends.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian