The Education of Charlie Banks (2007) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • College student Charlie Banks has to face old problems when the bully he had an unpleasant encounter with back in high school shows up on his campus.

  • The Education of Charlie Banks is a coming of age tale that spans from the playgrounds of lower Manhattan to the idyllic greens of a fictional liberal arts college in upstate New York. Set during the eighties, it is a story about change, inevitability, and ultimately, about facing one's fears.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • THE SEVENTIES: When New York was still the greatest, dirtiest, most conflicted city in the world...

    At 16, socially responsible upper west-sider CHARLIE BANKS (Jesse Eisenberg), 15, witnesses charismatic blue collar sociopath MICK LEARY (Jason Ritter), 18, brutally beat two unwitting suburban jocks at a high school party. Mick's a west village neighborhood buddy of Charlie's best friend, but Charlies' conscience gets the better of him. Telling only his parents, he reports Mick to the police.

    Three years later, during his freshman year in college, Mick shows up for a visit. Does Mick know he was the one who ratted him out?

    Mick's visit stretches past the weekend and Mick and Charlie begin a game of cat and mouse. Nice one moment, and threatening the next, Mick keeps Charlie guessing. But Mick also begins a strange course of assimilation, donning borrowed cashmere and reading Charlie's books and auditing his classes.  Soon Charlie begins to wonder if the intellectual caress of higher education can redeem even someone seemingly as far gone as Mick.

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