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"CHARLIE ST. CLOUD"
(2010) (Zac Efron, Amanda Crew) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Heavy Heavy Moderate Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Moderate Moderate None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Extreme Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A young man is unable to move on with his life after his younger brother is killed in a car accident that he survives.
PLOT:
Charlie St. Cloud (ZAC EFRON) and his little brother Sam (CHARLIE TAHAN) are champion sailboat racers in the small seaside town of Quincy Harbor. Sam, though, is a bit wistful that this will be his last summer with his brother at home, as Charlie has been awarded a scholarship at Stanford University. Their mother, Claire (KIM BASINGER), couldn't be more proud.

Tragedy strikes when a drunk driver causes an accident that kills Sam and almost kills Charlie. Grief-stricken, Charlie gives up his scholarship and spends the next five years taking care of the graveyard with his friend Alistair (AUGUSTUS PREW) where Sam is buried. His days consist of tending to the graveyard's grounds, shooing away the annoying geese, and meeting the ghost of Sam every day in the same secluded spot in the woods to play, hang out, and talk about life.

Charlie starts to come out of his shell when a former classmate named Tess (AMANDA CREW) returns to town and is revealed to be a champion boater. After a chance meeting with Florio (RAY LIOTTA), the paramedic who saved his life years earlier, Charlie starts to suspect there was a reason why he was given a second chance at life. He soon learns what that reason is.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teenage girls, especially those who cut their teeth on the "High School Musical" films, will likely flock to the film because it stars teen heartthrob Zac Efron.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language including some sexual references, an intense accident scene and some sensuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ZAC EFRON plays a sailing prodigy from a poor family who wins a scholarship to Stanford University. His life is turned upside down, though, when he is in a car accident that kills his little brother. He gives up his scholarship and spends the next five years as the caretaker of the cemetery where his brother is buried. He also has the ability to talk to dead people, such as his brother and a friend who was killed presumably in Iraq. He is decent guy, but can be violent when provoked and drinks alcohol from time to time.
  • AMANDA CREW plays a former classmate of Charlie's who returns to their hometown after several years away to visit her father's grave and prepare for a sailing trip around the world. She has been featured in magazines for her exploits on the water and is generally level-headed, but cautious when it comes to forming a bond with Charlie. She also takes unnecessary risks on the ocean, a trait we sense may ultimately put her in mortal jeopardy.
  • CHARLIE TAHAN plays the doomed younger brother of the title character. He is a generally goodhearted kid, but he is headstrong and goads Charlie into letting him sneak out of the house the night he is killed. In death, his ghost is very demanding that Charlie be at their pre-arranged meeting spot every day at the same time to play catch, fly model airplanes, and generally hang out.
  • KIM BASINGER plays the boys' mother, who has had to provide for both sons ever since her husband and their father left them to try out for minor league baseball years earlier.
  • RAY LIOTTA plays a deeply spiritual paramedic who saves Charlie's life the night of the accident, even when his partner tells him it's hopeless. He - SPOILER ALERT -- eventually succumbs to cancer, but leaves Charlie his prized St. Jude necklace to remind him that no one is truly a lost cause.
  • AUGUSTUS PREW plays Charlie's friend and coworker who is there as a sounding board for the title character at different points of the film. He speaks with a British accent, frequently is seen either drinking alcohol or slightly hung-over, and is generally used as comic relief throughout the film. He also believes in using guns to try and control the local bird population.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. One character nearly utters the "F word," but stops himself. Some sexually related dialogue is briefly present, as is kissing and implied sex between two young adults outdoors.

    Violence consists of a horrific car crash that claims the life of a child. There is also a bar fight in which one man is punched hard and sent to the ground. A climactic rescue at sea is fraught with peril. Some of this has fairly bloody results, and those scenes and moments of potential peril could prove unsettling and/or suspenseful for various viewers.

    Bad attitudes are present, as is some potentially imitative behavior, various thematic elements, and lots of tense family material. Drinking is also present, but no smoking.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are numerous sailing sequences in the film and the motion of the boats and the seas may prove hard to watch.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Charlie's friend invites him to a graduation party where he infers they'll get "wasted."
  • We learn later that the car that causes the accident that kills Charlie's brother was operated by a drunk driver.
  • In the ambulance ride immediately following the accident, Florio sticks a delirious and grief-stricken Charlie with a syringe filled presumably with a sedative.
  • Years later, we see a cancer-stricken Florio sporting an IV attached to one of his hands.
  • Alistair's anniversary party is held in a bar where multiple patrons are shown drinking beers, wine, and other spirits. There are also large beer signs on the bar's walls as decoration, most notably a neon Budweiser sign.
  • As Tess and Tink eat dinner in a restaurant, extras in the background can be seen drinking cocktails.
  • Connors and Latham prod Charlie into drinking with them, with one cracking, "Don't be a woman." Connors then tells Charlie to drink up because there won't be any demand for him as a designated driver.
  • Charlie invites Tess for dinner, then asks if she'd like beer or wine. She tells him to surprise her.
  • Charlie ultimately selects wine, and the two are seen drinking from glasses.
  • A depressed Charlie gets drunk on whiskey. We see him drinking from a glass and then holding a bottle of Jack Daniels while talking to himself in a slurred manner.
  • Alistair is drinking from a bottle of liquor as he has a conversation with Charlie on a pier.
  • Charlie wakes up in the hospital, drinks from a cup, and spits out the liquid after discovering it was Alistair's gin.
  • During the closing credits, a number of people raise champagne-filled glasses to toast a departing boat.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Sam says he is going to "puke" when one of Charlie's friends picks him up and spins him around multiple times.
  • Charlie's face, neck, clothes, and chest are bloodied following the car crash that claims Sam's life. He is first shown dead and with a bloody face with Sam inside the wrecked vehicle. After being shocked by a paramedic, he comes to in an ambulance and is shown a lot more bloody.
  • A dead Sam is also in the ambulance, and we see that he is also bloodied from the accident.
  • Charlie still bears the wounds from the crash at Sam's funeral.
  • Flash forward five years later, and Charlie still has a small facial scar above his right eyebrow and chest burn scars where Florio the paramedic used shock paddles to bring him back from flat-lining soon after the crash.
  • Alistair complains that birds have "crapped over every headstone" in the graveyard, adding, "There's something corrosive in their sh*t." The camera doesn't fixate on the marred tombstones and markers. But if you look closely, you will see some droppings.
  • When Charlie and Ghost Sam try and spook a flock of geese by flying a model plane into them, the birds retaliate by dropping a myriad of excrement from the sky.
  • After making love, Tess asks about Charlie's chest scars which are clearly visible to the camera.
  • Charlie has a bloody wound above his right eyebrow after banging his head while trying to rescue a stranded friend.
  • Charlie wakes up in the hospital with the facial wound stitched and bandaged, but we still see part of it through the tape.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Connors and Latham, two of Charlie's wealthy classmates, look down at him. Sam responds by telling them money can't buy the victory that he and his brother just enjoyed over them.
  • Sam yells at pro baseball players' poor play while watching TV, ranting that he could do better.
  • Charlie is supposed to babysit his kid brother, but instead sneaks out late to go to a get-together of his school friends. Sam catches wind of this and demands Charlie to drive him to his friend's house so he can watch baseball there.
  • Alistair threatens to use a rifle and then a crossbow on the geese that flock to his cemetery. In a subsequent scene, we see that Alistair does indeed have a crossbow and has used it as he looks to pry two arrows out of tree bark.
  • Alistair describes a local waitress as "promiscuous."
  • Charlie and Ghost Sam fight over a magazine, and the two eventually rip its pages.
  • Three young female employees of a local hobby shop gossip about Charlie, as two clearly are attracted to him. The third, though, describes him as "weird" and looks down on him for being a graveyard caretaker.
  • Charlie and Ghost Sam try and spook a flock of geese by flying a model plane into them.
  • Tink urges Tess not to become interested in Charlie, describing him as "totally certifiable" and asking her why she is so interested in "that loon."
  • Ghost Sam confesses to Charlie that he lied about having kissed a girl.
  • Tess ignores the advice of Tink and steers her boat directly into an approaching storm.
  • Charlie describes pro football players as being "neck-less 'roid-heads."
  • Connors and Latham prod Charlie into drinking with them, with one cracking, "Don't be a woman." They then recap about Charlie not accepting a scholarship to Stanford and instead wasting his life away in a graveyard. Connors then tells Charlie to drink up because there won't be any demand for him as a designated driver.
  • Ghost Sam yells at Charlie for bringing Tess to their secret spot.
  • Charlie steals Tink's boat without his permission.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • During an opening race sequence, Charlie leans out from his boat over the water and comes close to hitting an anchored boat as his boat swiftly sails past. Charlie raises his head at the very last instant to avoid contact.
  • Charlie and Sam playfully hit each other as Charlie drives on a dark road. We get the sense that something is going to go bad, but then there is a sense of calm when the car comes to a stoplight. Then, a car plows into Charlie's from behind pushing him out into traffic where a semi truck pancakes the vehicle. Charlie's face, neck, clothes, and chest are bloodied following the car crash that claims Sam's life. He is first shown dead and with a bloody face with Sam inside the wrecked vehicle. After being shocked by a paramedic, he comes to in an ambulance and is shown a lot more bloody. A dead Sam is also in the ambulance, and we see that he is also bloodied from the accident.
  • Charlie has visions of the accident that include one shot of the truck speeding right into camera.
  • Charlie dives into choppy water to try and rescue a friend who is presumed dead. Alistair pleads with him not to go. Charlie ends up getting hung up underwater on the wires of a boat's wreckage and nearly drowns.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • In Charlie's small seaside town of Quincy Harbor, a cannon fires at different times of the day to denote time.
  • Alistair threatens to use a rifle and then a crossbow on the geese that flock to his cemetery. In a subsequent scene, we see that Alistair does indeed have a crossbow and has used it as he looks to pry two arrows out of tree bark.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Jeez! What the F!" "There's something corrosive in their sh*t," "Oh, sh*t!" "Please say you got laid at least," "Blow me," "D*ck," "Connors is a d*ck," "I could kick your ass," "Son of a b*tch," "The Hell you are!" "They've crapped over every headstone," "I'm gonna puke," "Spank it," "I want to be there when he spanks Yale," "If I'm gonna rub one out, I wouldn't do it in a graveyard," "Don't mess with me," "That's when I'm gonna smoke you," "Watch it, punk," "I'm kidding, dork," "Why are you so interested in that loon?" "He's totally certifiable," "Don't be a woman," "Neck-less 'roid-heads," "It's kind of gross" and "You're a friggin' nut job."
  • Two of Charlie's wealthy classmates look down at him. Sam responds by telling them money can't buy the victory that he and his brother just enjoyed over them.
  • Sam yells at pro baseball players' poor play while watching TV, ranting that he could do better.
  • Charlie is supposed to babysit his kid brother, but instead sneaks out late to go to a get-together of his school friends. Sam catches wind of this and demands Charlie to drive him to his friend's house so he can watch baseball there.
  • Years after Sam's death, Charlie refuses to move on with his life. Instead, he keeps a promise he made just before the boy was killed to always meet at a specific secluded spot in the woods every day at the same time.
  • Alistair threatens to use a rifle and then a crossbow on the geese that flock to his cemetery. In a subsequent scene, we see that Alistair does indeed have a crossbow and has used it as he looks to pry two arrows out of tree bark.
  • Charlie tries to shoo the birds away by chasing them and banging metal trashcan lids.
  • In a crowded bar, Alistair and his girlfriend share a long kiss as Charlie and dozens of other friends and patrons look on.
  • Charlie and Ghost Sam try and spook a flock of geese by flying a model plane into them.
  • During a rainstorm, Charlie and Ghost Sam surf trash can lids through puddles.
  • Connors and Latham prod Charlie into drinking with them, with one cracking, "Don't be a woman." They then recap Charlie not accepting a scholarship to Stanford and instead wasting his life away in a graveyard. Connors then tells Charlie to drink up because there won't be any demand for him as a designated driver.
  • Five years after Sam's death, Charlie still keeps boxes of his belongings at his small home.
  • Charlie goes into a rage at his home, ripping papers off the wall, trashing furniture, breaking dishes, and so forth.
  • Charlie steals Tink's boat.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Charlie sneaks out of the house, starts his vehicle, and is spooked when the headlights turn on and Sam is standing in the driveway.
  • While stopped at a red light, a car from behind plows into Charlie and Sam's vehicle forcing them out into traffic where a semi-truck slams incredibly hard into them on the passenger side, killing Sam.
  • Charlie has visions of the accident that include one shot of the truck speeding right into camera.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of tense and intermittently creepy music occurs throughout the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("laid"), 1 slang term used twice for male genitals ("d*ck"), 1 ass, 1 crap, 1 hell, 1 S.O.B., and 1 use of "Jeez."
  • One character nearly utters the "F word," but stops himself.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When asked to take a picture, Charlie prods Sam to strike a "sexy pose" for the camera.
  • Charlie playfully tells his brother to "Blow me."
  • Tess wears a top that shows a considerable amount of cleavage.
  • Charlie's friend tells him that if he is "going to rub one out" (alluding to masturbation), it isn't going to be in a cemetery.
  • Alistair describes a local waitress as "promiscuous."
  • Alistair picks his girlfriend up in the air at a local bar, and the two share a long and passionate kiss as Charlie and dozens of other friends and patrons look on.
  • Charlie comes up from behind Tess and kisses her shoulders, then her neck. The two then share a lengthy kiss on the mouth.
  • Charlie then playfully pursues Tess through a misty graveyard, finding her and kissing her long on the mouth. The two then become silhouetted in the moonlight and continue to kiss. Eventually, she starts to remove his clothes and off-screen sex is subsequently implied. A while later, the two are shown cuddling in the grass. Charlie is clearly shirtless and Tess asks about his chest scars.
  • Florio's wife visits Charlie, wearing a black dress that shows some cleavage.
  • When Alistair notices that Charlie seems hung-over, he states, "Please say you got laid at least!"
  • Before diving into unsettled waters, Charlie takes off his shirt and is shown bare-chested for several minutes afterwards.
  • Charlie and Tess share a kiss.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • When she sees all of the other parents dressed up, Claire frets that she doesn't have nicer clothes to wear to Charlie's graduation. Charlie tells her she looks great.
  • Sam and Charlie punch and slap each other while Charlie is driving late at night, and we sense that danger looms just up ahead.
  • Charlie is grief-stricken when he sees his dead brother on the stretcher next to him in an ambulance followed a horrific car accident.
  • Claire tries to prod Charlie, but he just can't bring himself to throw his brother's baseball mitt into his grave as a final goodbye. He runs away from her, leaving her to grieve on her own.
  • When the film picks up five years later, Tess' father has died and the whereabouts of her mother are not disclosed.
  • Also when the film picks up five years later, it is revealed that Claire has left town without her surviving son and now lives in Portland. Her voice is heard on an answering machine, as she awkwardly struggles to find the words to get Charlie to call her back.
  • Throughout the film, Charlie meets on multiple occasions in a secluded spot in the woods with the ghost of his little brother. Ghost Sam is very demanding of Charlie, telling him that he can feel his essence slipping away and being forgotten if Charlie is even a little late to their daily meetings.
  • Charlie and Sam's father left when both boys were younger. The story goes that he went to try out for the Boston Red Sox's minor-league affiliate, failed to make the team, and was never heard from again.
  • Tess yells at Alistair and Charlie for not having better landscaping around her father's garden.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Death and the afterlife.
  • The differences in how people react to the loss of a loved one, especially one so young.
  • Moving on with one's life after a tragedy.
  • The perils our military face in Iraq and Afghanistan (two of Charlie's high-school friends are killed in the years between the accident and when the story picks up.)
  • Cancer.
  • Divorce.
  • Ghosts.
  • Competitive sailing.
  • VIOLENCE
  • During an opening boat race, several boats crash into one another allowing Charlie and Sam to take the lead.
  • Charlie and Sam playfully punch each other at home. Their punches and smacks -- some of them quite hard against the arms -- continue later that evening with Charlie driving.
  • Then their car comes to a stoplight. There, a car plows into Charlie's from behind pushing him out into traffic where a semi truck pancakes the vehicle. Charlie's face, neck, clothes, and chest are bloodied following the car crash that claims Sam's life. He is first shown dead and with a bloody face with Sam inside the wrecked vehicle. After being shocked by a paramedic, he comes to in an ambulance and is shown a lot more bloody. A dead Sam is also in the ambulance, and we see that he is also bloodied from the accident.
  • Charlie flashes back to the crash on a couple of occasions throughout the film, and we see the accident occur from different angles.
  • We learn that one of Charlie's friends was killed overseas, presumably in Iraq or Afghanistan, when he stepped on a land mine. Another friend was also killed, but it is not said how.
  • Ghost Sam throws a baseball hard at Charlie, hitting him in the crotch and sending him to the ground writhing in pain.
  • After Connors insults him, Charlie grabs him by the collar and pushes him hard backwards against the bar and the two tussle for a few seconds until they are pulled apart. Charlie then asks him how his company's dental plan is and then punches Connors hard across the face, sending him to the floor.
  • Charlie goes into a rage at his home, ripping papers off the wall, trashing furniture, breaking dishes, and so forth.
  • Tink manhandles Charlie when Charlie attempts to steal Tink's boat. Alistair steps in, tackles Tink, and pins him hard to the floor of the boat so Charlie can explain why he is doing it.
  • The tide knocks Charlie's head hard against some rocks as he tries to rescue a stranded friend suffering from hypothermia.



  • Reviewed July 27, 2010 / Posted July 30, 2010

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