Bueller, Er, Bartlett Is a Pill

Charlie Bartlett takes a sophisticated approach to the old teen movie
By Marcia Greenwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 12:06 PM CST

Charlie Bartlett, about a charming but troubled high school student who dispenses advice and prescription medication to his classmates, is being given mostly passing grades by critics. Sure, the teen film hits the expected themes of "angst, alienation, loneliness, disenchantment, and drug use," writes the Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt. At the same time, it maintains a deft comic touch through "keen observation."

The film also features "pitch-perfect face-offs" between Anton Yelchin, as Charlie, and Robert Downey Jr., as his alcoholic principal, "that could fuel a chemistry lab," writes Ronnie Scheib of Variety. But not everyone's pleased with this Ferris Bueller-esque flick. William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says it smacks of something "grudgingly" made by Downey "as some sort of court-ordered community service project for his many drug busts." (More movies stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.