The Education of Charlie Banks (2007) Poster

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Okay, so now I take Fred Durst seriously
adamdonaghey29 November 2007
The Education of Charlie Banks marks the film debut of Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. And what a remarkable debut it is! The film's themes deal with love, change and facing one's fears. Durst really makes the characters come to life and, despite many films of the same ilk, creates a likable antagonist--albeit a brutally violent one--who proves to be human, despite all his flaws. Jason Ritter plays a fearsome character, but just as the protagonist, Charlie Banks, expressed his need to "protect" him, I too sensed something in him that was precious. Unlike Variety magazine, who said Ritter "simply lacks sufficient menace and charisma," I find Ritter to be quite right for the role. In fact, the next day, I met him at Club Embargo and asked him not to beat me up! The real star, however, is Jesse Eisenberg, who plays the lovable Charlie Banks. His sincerity and genuine concern for others rightfully took an emotional toll on me as I sat in the theater. Tom Huckabee mentioned the film ought to be up for an Oscar nomination. I think I could agree with that.
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A Sleeper That Deserves To Be Seen.
Mr_Censored12 January 2010
As the directorial debut from Limp Bizkit's outspoken and often loathed frontman, Fred Durst, it's safe to say that the bar was set very low for "The Education of Charlie Banks" -- too low, as a matter of fact, as Durst's film (drawn from a screenplay by Peter Elkoff) is a surprisingly rich experience that unfortunately sat on the shelf for too long after being made and which got virtually ignored by critics and mainstream audiences alike.

Opening in the mid-70's and then picking up sometime in the 80's, "The Education of Charlie Banks" tells the story of a bully (Jason Ritter) who appears as some sort of boogeyman to the title character (Jesse Eisenburg). Though the two make acquaintances as teenagers, it isn't until his college years that Charlie finds himself being truly haunted by the ultra-violent hot-head when he shows up unexpectedly in the dorm-room he shares with his childhood friend (Chris Marquette). Slowly, he works his way into Charlie's life, tagging along in spite of the fact that he never quite fits in. Has this friend from the past changed his ways, or is he just a hot-head ready to blow at any minute?

Without a doubt, the film was influenced by the films of Martin Scorsese (see the "Raging Bull" poster in Charlie's room) and although it's not quite in the same league, it's a noble effort nevertheless. The film reaches for lofty heights, and thanks to its credible cast, reaches them. You'll feel immersed in the characters and situations in "The Education of Charlie Banks" and while it's ending doesn't exactly resolve anything, ultimately resembles reality a bit closer than the average coming-of-age story. It's a well-written and well-paced story directed almost effortlessly by Durst that should intrigue the interested and silence the critical.
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Interesting drama, childhood bully ends up at college with you.
TxMike15 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this on Netflix streaming movies. Now that Jessie Eisenberg has become well known after his starring role in "The Social Network" it is interesting to see him in an earlier movie. I'm not sure he has much range as an actor, but he was ideal for this role.

Jesse Eisenberg is Charlie, and we see glimpses of his character in grade school. He is a timid sort, and we see a kid his age who hangs around with older kids, smokes, and appears to be a "hot head."

In high school, the bully kid, Mick, gets angry, beats a larger guy to near death in his anger. To do the right thing Charlie, a witness to the attack, reports Mick, and the police arrest him. Charlie's friend Danny doesn't approve, because he is also friends with Mick. It gets a bit complicated.

However a few years pass, Charlie is in college at a pastoral campus in upstate NY, Mick and his trouble are long forgotten. That is, until Charlie comes back to his dorm room, shared with Danny, and finds Mick there. Shocked, Charlie wonders if Mick has come to get revenge. It is unclear why Mick is there, and how long he will stay, and soon he is "auditing" courses.

I never much cared for Jason Ritter as an actor, but here as bad boy Mick he is very good. Maybe that is the key, he is made for bad boy roles. Eva Amurri is Mary, the college girl that Charlie likes, but that Mick steals away. And Chris Marquette (of Joan of Arcadia) is Danny.

SPOILERS: Mick seems to be toying with Charlie, at once seeming to be ready to beat him to a pulp or then playing around with him. Mick is a dangerous person and Charlie treats him that way. It turns out Mick is on the run from the law, after getting into a fight and beating someone to death. He has a close similar incident on campus when insulted by someone. Finally Mick disappears, we don't know his fate, but we do see that he is troubled, he understands his fault but doesn't know how to deal with it.
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Well worth your time...
hossxxx127 March 2009
I got to see this at a screening last week in LA. And I must say, this is a very thought-provoking, creative effort from first-time director Fred Durst. Set in the backdrop of the mid-70s, this is a well-written coming-of-age tale by a gifted young cast. Jesse Eisenberg, of the new flick Adventureland, brings a sense of wonderment and naivety to his role. Jason Ritter also shines as a questionable friend from the past, who may or may not have a more questionable past. Fred Durst directs the film as a nostalgic throwback to a forgotten era. The script is top-notch and as noted, the acting is superb. Definitely a must see. Especially for the curious, who have dismissed Mr. Durst as lead singer of the rap/metal band Limp Bizkit. Mr. Durst shows he has the chops to pull off a rather remarkable film.
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Banks beckons
nikko_deville7 April 2009
The Education of Charlie Banks was an excellent film. This independent film surfaces from a sea of mundane dramas. With elements of revenge between Charlie and his childhood bully which reminded me of the 1991 remake of Cape Fear and elements of admiration and chivalry the film is very dynamic. The time line and set are also very interesting to me, the film starts in the mid seventies and jumps into the mid eighties, with all of the hair styles, clothing and props that bring you back to those time periods. With surprise twists and smart dialog, it kept me interested and curious. The climax of The Education of Charlie Banks satisfies the viewer in a way it answers questions of character and of lessons learned. A must see for drama fans. ~NikkoD
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Well Done Jason Ritter - Well Done
mlemo30 March 2009
This is a touching story filled with breakout performances. Jason Ritter hit it out of the park and so did Jesse Eisenberg. Most of the film is set in the 80s, and the style of cinematography brings you right into the East Village 25 years ago. Nearly every character was captivating, including Ritter, Eisenberg and hilarious Sebastian Stan. The plot is rich...even the music was first class. If I had to say one bad thing about the film I would have a hard time. I caught it in NY on Saturday night and anyone who has seen it knows that these films are few and far between. The audience applauded well into the credits. I am bringing my girlfriend back to see it tomorrow or Wednesday.
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Nice Surprise to Durst's Directorial Debut
gaspernoe4 May 2009
I was genuinely surprised by Durst's directorial debut.The characters were rich and Jesse Eisenberg did a fabulous job of taking the lead as Charlie.The setting was nice and Durst seems to have gone into great detail in trying to capture the essence of college life in the 80's.Eisenberg ,definitely the star of the show , does a fabulous job getting across as Charlie.He is a wonderful actor and I am glad to see he is back to his "Indie" roots(Squid and the Whale was fabulous.Didn't know why he was associated with Cursed...).The screenplay could have been better but the storyline was not over- complicated and kept you captivated till the end.Durst seems to have a great touch at this which has surprised me but then again he never ceases to surprise us all.He seems to have his hand in everything these days.

Kudos to Durst and hope to see him in the future with stronger actors and better budgets.
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Movie and music
shake-pen4 May 2007
A terrific film. The director managed to capture the innocence of the seventies. I was glad he didn't use JUST 70's movies because there was a great piece of music that opened and closed the movie. I think it was called "The Sad Song." It was a nice balance to the 70's music and prevented the film from becoming a movie about old music. Very well cast as well. All the actors were wonderful. I am usually bored by coming of age movies, but this had a lot of surprises, and I think it was because the director was really feeling with his characters. The opening and ending section with the small kids was also very moving. I understand this is Fred Durst's first film. It's a great first film and is also very smoothly and seamlessly edited. Will this film be distributed? I saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival and wondered if and when it was opening anywhere else.
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Except for a very standard weak ending film is first rate.
jaybob27 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Fred Durst from some music group called 'Limp Bizkit' directed this & it is his first effort. For a first timer he did a first class job.

Peter Eckoff wrote this screenplay about some college students in the 1970's at Brown Univ. in Rhode Island. The screenplay is quite intelligent & not the usual college days & nights stuff we usually see.

However I felt that the ending was a letdown & to me it hurt MY overall enjoyment of this very well acted & made drama. There are many comic moments BUT this is primarily a drama.

Jesse Eisenburg is Charlie & he is just first rate. Jason Ritter who has usually done lighter roles is just magnificent as a confused non conformist & bully. Chris Marquette is there buddy & has most of the funny lines.

This is one trio I would like to see again.

Eva Amurri is also first rate as a love interest.the entire cast are all first rate.

This is another low budget film that only had a very short USA run in March 2009. & released to DVD 3 months later.

This is a darn good film,I just did not care for the ending. See it, you may or may not agree with me on the ending, BUT I feel you all will like it. It also is a wee bit overlong.

Ratings: *** (out of 4) 84 points (out of 100) IMDb 7 (out of 100)
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MikeyB17933 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
For about the first half hour or so this movie is OK and appears to be going someplace. After, it just dwindles into a lot of college dialogue. It's all a little stale and lacking in any of the tension that existed in the first part of the film. It's trying desperately to make a statement on juvenile delinquents, crime, guilt and that type of thing and never succeeds. Also why do the guys keeping hugging each other every time they meet?

I kept waiting for something of significance to occur but aside from some pretty girls and a short hot-tub scene it's a fast forward movie. It's a poor version of 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'.
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Very overrated on IMDb
jpozenel19 September 2009
This is one very boring movie from beginning to end. Jesse Eisenberg is especially so, and annoying as well. The movie is mostly about the competitiveness of those on a college campus, to see who can be the wittiest and most pretentiousness. Eisenberg's clever banter that he uses as a defense, wears thin very quickly.

Jason Ritter's acting wasn't bad, but the character that he played seemed to be a bit exaggerated and over the top. One of the minor characters, Mr. Banks (Charlie's father) played by Dennis Boutsikaris was good, but it was a relatively small roll. Sebastian Stan (Leo) seems like a good actor, but the nature of his character seemed unbelievable.

There really didn't seem to be much of a story, so of course, it never really went anywhere. I couldn't recommend this movie to anyone.

There was a few good songs used as background, but that certainly doesn't make for a good movie on it's own.

There aren't a lot of comments on the movie at this point, and almost all of them are glowing in their praise. I felt obligated to post a negative opinion. This is not a good movie.
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An Unwanted Learning Experience
bkoganbing16 September 2010
I guess some folks who were young during the Reagan Era got a little nostalgic flashback when seeing The Education Of Charlie Banks. It's a perfect brat pack movie, even being set during the Eighties. And some of today's younger players looked pretty good in Eighties fashions.

Jason Ritter is the one who educates young Charlie Banks who is played by Jesse Eisenberg. If this were made in 1987 their roles would have been played by Rob Lowe and James Spader respectively. In fact the film has some similarity to a film they did co-star in back in the day called Bad Influence.

Eisenberg is this nerdy rich kid who has been fascinated by tough kid Ritter since childhood. At one point he called the police on Ritter after at a party Ritter beat up and left two others badly injured, but later recanted and Ritter was set free.

Years later while at college Ritter comes to visit, ostensibly to visit Eisenberg's roommate Chris Marquette who also knew Eisenberg back in the day. He insinuates himself into college life, maybe a little too much.

Jason Ritter does a fine job in displaying both charisma and tension at the same time. We know what a violent individual he is, we can never know what little thing might set him off. And does he know exactly what Eisenberg almost did to him years ago?

Sebastian Stan is also in the cast playing what back in the day would be called a wastrel. Here he's just a rich kid floating through the halls of higher learning, just training to be a wastrel. I've met a few like that before and after and Stan's portrayal rings true. I did kind of like what Ritter did to him.

The Education Of Charlie Banks takes you back to 1985 to what some call the good old days.
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Not bad, but not good either
drpakmanrains23 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I was surprised after just viewing this movie through Netflix to see the glowing reviews of this little known art-house style film. The acting was satisfactory, and the story had potential, but the pace of the film after the first 15 or 20 minutes became rather sluggish, and the characters behaved more like high school students than college kids. I must confess that I attended University from 1958 to the mid 70's, earning a doctorate, so I may be behind the times when it comes to campus behavior. Yes there was drinking and parties, (no drugs until the mid 60's), but I only saw one fight in all that time on campus, and none in the 2 years I lived on campus. I never saw Limp Bizkit, but I saw Fred Durst in an indie called Population 436, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and he acted quite well, so it doesn't shock me that he showed genuine competency in his directorial debut. Jesse Eisenberg may annoy some reviewers because he tends to play similar characters in many of his films, but he was the only male in this film that bore any resemblance to college students I knew. I won't restate the plot, as many others have covered it adequately. I didn't hate the film, but I did fast forward a few times using subtitles. And I am no fan of action movies, it's just that this one dragged and rarely came to life. I give it a 5.4 (so I don't have to round it up to 6).
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Jason is no John
Greatornot8 January 2010
This film could have been better if the acting was better. Jason Ritter is riding on the coattails of his late dad. Certainly he is no John Ritter.The vastly underrated, John Ritter had range and went from slapstick to straight man comedy to drama in 'Sling Blade' and did it well. His range was terrific. Jason Ritter playing the bad boy bully , stalking his nemesis in college was ineffective. Than again, none of the actors shined in this film. This was just a bad effort all around. There was no acting chemistry or believability. Certainly getting lost in this plot was impossible. The shame of it all, is that the movie , with better acting could have worked. The plot ,itself, was interesting. Articulation there was none. Direction .. Nothing. This film could have been a contender , instead, collectively , it fell flat on its face.
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Fred Durst
goolander27 July 2009
First of all, I love high school/college setting, dysfunctional family and coming of age drama. Despite having the elements in this film, it was missing lot of chemistry between the actors, the time period didn't fit the screen, wasn't really impressed by the lens/filter or the cinematography. It would be amazing if Gus Van wrote/directed this film.

Nevertheless, I do have to praise Fred Durst for evolving. He has come long way from directing music videos to the big screen. He displayed so much maturity through music choices in this film and long drone camera staring into the characters. Also, to get a dramatic gig like this film and to bring forth so much emotion off the characters/story was just good for Fred. He really tried to capture the mentality of teenagers/young adult. it was very good first choice for Fred Durst. I am very much impressed by his first attempt. (o yes I love the guy, he was so humble and awesome guy when I met him at TRL in 2003)
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a little wonky but still good
SnoopyStyle6 November 2014
It's the early 70s NYC. A 10 year old Charlie Banks admires from afar the neighborhood tough kid Mick Leary. Later as teenager, Charlie (Jesse Eisenberg) is introduced to Mick (Jason Ritter) by Danny Bowman (Chris Marquette) at a party. Mick savagely beats up two jocks and Charlie gives him up to the police for attempted murder. Charlie recants and the police has to release Mick. Years later, Charlie and Danny are roommates in college chasing girls like Mary (Eva Amurri) and Nia (Gloria Votsis). Then Mick shows up to crash in their room. He injects himself into all aspects of Charlie's life. Charlie starts to wonder if Mick knows that he was the one who turned him in.

The writing is a little bit wonky and the directing from Fred Durst is unimaginative. Eisenberg is good as his usual nervous weakling character. Ritter is ill-fitting as the vicious explosive Mick. I really don't understand where that character is suppose to be but Ritter is not nearly tough enough. I don't blame him for stretching but he's not right for the role. Overall, it's an uneven but otherwise interesting coming-of-age movie.
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It's Okay but Not Great!
Sylviastel29 February 2012
This film is an okay coming of age story. Jason Ritter and Jesse Eisenberg play childhood friends who meet up later on at Charlie's Ivy League college three years later after an incident. The story begins in their neighborhood in Greenwich Village section of New York City. Charlie's father owns and runs a bookstore but we don't know much about Jason Ritter's Mick character. The story is about bullying and intimidation. Charlie witnesses a crime but recants and that is all I'll say about it without spoiling it for other readers. Three years later, he's in college with his friend, Danny. Mick shows up and takes over his territory in a manner of speaking with friends and the girl he likes. The film is okay but not brilliant. The writing is a bit weak at times. There doesn't seem to be much suspense when we know the secret from the beginning. Anyway, Ritter and Eisenberg do well with the weak script.
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Fred Durst's Directorial Debut is Anything But Limp
D_Burke23 August 2010
I wanted to see this movie because I like Jesse Eisenberg, who is like Michael Cera except with more indie cred. I also was curious to see if Fred Durst could actually direct.

Durst has been out of the mainstream spotlight for a number of years. People who were in junior high or high school a decade ago know him as the manic lead singer of Limp Bizkit. The group's history of going from underground rock group to TRL darlings to pop music poison is well known. The group had a hard fall, and Durst particularly was shunned by his music peers (including Eminem).

"Behind The Music" show idea aside, Durst really shows some talent in his directorial debut. "The Education of Charlie Banks" is quite impressive. It's not a perfect movie, but its weaknesses stem mostly from the story, not the efforts of the actors or director.

Jesse Eisenberg is Charlie Banks, a mild-mannered kid from New York City who grows up knowing a kid in his neighborhood named Mick (Jason Ritter). Mick is the definition of a rebel without a cause as he walks with a swagger with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and this is only when he's ten.

The movie begins with a young Charlie seeing Mick through a school bus window, as his friend Danny informs him about Mick's reputation. It's only when Charlie and Danny graduate high school that Charlie actually meets Mick.

Through voice-overs, Charlie refers to Mick as a bully, which isn't entirely accurate. Mick isn't the kind of bully who steals people's lunch money or beats them up without cause, and he doesn't target Charlie at any point. He does, however, have a violent temper, resulting in a no-holds-barred fight with two jocks that nearly kills them. Charlie justifiably reports the incident to the police, much to the chagrin of Danny (Chris Marquette).

One year later, Charlie and Danny are in an Ivy League school (which one, the movie doesn't say, but it's a typical New England private college). One day, Charlie is taken by surprise when Mick comes to visit Danny (apparently they are good friends). While Mick initially was supposed to stay for just a few days, he ends up staying for a month as he hangs out with Charlie and Danny, sits in on their classes, and even develops a relationship with Charlie's crush, Mary (Eva Amurri).

There are no doubt a lot of elements to this story, and one of the film's strengths is its great acting by all involved, and solid character development. Jesse Eisenberg plays the same milquetoast character he did in "Roger Dodger" (2002) and "Adventureland" (2009), and that sort of role certainly plays to his strengths. He actually provides a great contrast to Jason Ritter, whose performance in this movie is arguably his best to date. As Mick, Ritter provides the perfect balance between intimidation and charm, similar to (dare I say it) James Dean in "Rebel Without A Cause" (1955) and "Giant" (1956). He's a fish out of water in a private college setting among middle and upper class kids, but he's still a fish that moves to his own beat.

I really liked how his charm earned him respect, but his temper, particularly when he got into fights, led to his losing that respect. It was completely believable how people reacted to him in both situations, most especially Eva Amurri. Amurri, like Ritter, is an up-and-coming actor who happens to be the child of someone famous (Jason Ritter's dad is the late John Ritter, whereas Amurri is Susan Sarandon's daughter). However, both of them really shine in this movie, and earn their place in this movie regardless of whom they are related to.

With the strong acting came some weaknesses in the story that, had they been edited out, could have actually strengthened the film greatly. First, when Charlie informs the police about Mick's assault and battery, he ultimately withdraws his testimony solely at the urging of his friend Danny. That part didn't feel necessary because Charlie, at that point, had no personal connection to Mick, and he didn't seem to be in fear that Mick would come after him. It would have been better if they had just cut that part out altogether, because had Charlie gone through with his testimony, it would have created even more tension between the two characters later on.

Also, there was a missed potential to create a true love triangle between Charlie, Mick, and Mary. I just never got a real sense of how Charlie felt about Mick moving in on his crush, and whether he was actually jealous or not. It could have been because Eisenberg underplayed that part of his character, or that there should have been more close-ups on his face. The big mistake came when Danny spoke about Charlie "over there just sitting around moping". It seems like a common enough thing to say, but it is telling, not showing.

Finally, I thought the ending was a bit of a cop-out, where Charlie (again, in voice over narration) talks about what became of Mick after the film's climax. When you actually hear him explain how Mick made his exit, it will just sound hokey and entirely unrealistic. Plus, it's even more telling, not showing.

These faults are mostly those of the script, not the director. Fred Durst's egomania cost him his music career, but he has really redeemed himself with this movie. It's not until the closing credits roll and you see his name that you realize the director was the same guy who went ape on stage during Woodstock '99. The new Durst shows real talent as a director, and can sit back (not even making a cameo) and let the story take you in.
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What a wonderful director and cast!
anitadeezy-121 June 2007
Those who have not seen Fred Durst in action need to see this excellent movie under his direction. The movie is so moving and Fred has perfected every scene. The actors and crew acquired a great respect for Fred's hard work on this film.

The talent performed by the wonderful actors in this movie will make each a household name. I was blown away at their ability to captivate the audience and hold everyone's attention to the end of the movie.

People laughed, cried, and gasped during the premier and I didn't see anyone go for refreshments during the film. That should tell everyone how exciting it was! Thank you for allowing me to express my views on this premier. If you haven't seen it, write into your movie theaters and demand it be shown. It is worth it!
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Internalizing thoughts against violence and injustice on a college campus
napierslogs31 May 2011
"The Education of Charlie Banks" is not as grim as suggested. It primarily takes place at college. A beautiful college with beautiful books and beautiful girls. The darkness is within the inner characteristics of most of the characters. Charlie Banks is expected to fight against injustice but it's much easier to ignore it.

The film tries to take the stand that retaliating against malice or insolence with violence is wrong. I understand what they're saying but they seemed to get confused with which actions should be taken more seriously. What the film does get right is the characters and their internal and mutual contentions.

We are presented to a world of privileged kids, semi-privileged kids and not privileged kids. They all attempt to be friends but there's an awful lot of differences to overcome for that to happen. Throughout the entire time, Charlie experiences paranoia, jealousy and self-assurance, three very conflicting emotions for somebody to be experiencing at once, but they are all clearly portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg. The real star however, is Jason Ritter as the charismatic, but rage-filled and troubled Mick.

"The Education of Charlie Banks" attaches some rather interesting thoughts to a mixture of typical college students. By keeping it real, they didn't know exactly what to do with those thoughts, I also could have used a bit more humour, but I was mostly quite impressed with my time spent with Charlie and those damn rich kids.
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The Education of Mick
ssimon555 July 2009
This is an excellent film with a great cast. Jason Ritter gives an outstanding performance. I thought the title should be "The Education of Mick". It's really Mick that we see undergoing a transformation when he visits the college from a thug to a misunderstood kid trying to find a better life for himself. I really didn't find Eisenberg's character Charlie Banks interesting or sympathetic at all. I didn't identify with his character who was mostly cold & distant and very little was revealed about him personally. Part of this is the fault of the writer, but also Eisenberg was just wrong for the part. He was mainly just an observer & didn't get into any conflicts until the last scene.

Mick on the other hand reveals his complex nature and shows he's not just a bully with a difficult upbringing but someone who has compassion and is a loyal friend. Without a doubt Ritter is the star of this film, not Eisenberg.
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Successful if a tad sketchy in places
tha_mongoose3 May 2009
There are two ways you can look at this film. The first is simply as a drama film like any other, a well-set piece for the epoch it unfolds in; certainly the clothing and set accessories are all in their right place for the 70's/80's. The acting is quite impressive all around: Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Ritter are the stars of the show, commanding very well-built characters; one a more introspective, unspoken kid and the other a more domineering, swagger-carrying bad-ass. Chris Marquette and Sebastian Stan are also worthy of note, as is Eva Amurri as the typical thrill-seeking bored rich girl - the type that tends to want what she can't have, in this case a guy who is perhaps not to be trifled with, possibly of the kind she is ill-equipped to deal with, or at least to deal with as she does - again the typical heart-breaking machinery at work.

The other way you can look at this film is as a Fred Durst production. Considering he was the director, you're ready to give it more credit than it would be worth straight out of the bat. It is quite impressive on his part that he was able to put this together (if such was the case), even if marks of a certain lack of experience are visible throughout. First we have the screenplay - some of what the characters are saying is repetitive and at times nonsensical. The dialogue could have been more elaborate - that would certainly have upped the quality and believability quotient - not that the film strays too far from reality - in fact it tends to steer back on track and find it's way safely to the end, yet scenes such as the one when Jason Ritter is in the bar by himself with only a few "workers" around him and the things the barman spouts there. These exhibitions of class demarcation and the like are ultimately unreal. There is also an ongoing attack at "rich people" in general, when the case being considered is that of the spoiled offspring of some rich people - not all "rich people" are worthy of scorn. Second there is the unnecessary use of swear words. At a certain point in the film these just become tiring. Not that films should forcefully not contain these, the simple fact is a film reads differently than, say, a rap album with explicit content.

However you look at it, notwithstanding, the film still pulls through successfully. Considering the kind of garbage being thrown our way these days, The Education Of Charlie Banks stands. The title is fitting; indeed, even if we may think otherwise, Charlie is the one who ends up learning from things. He in a way corrects his ways and makes the right choice. He shows humanity, he tries to be cooperative as opposed to being oppressive. Here the film triumphs, in that it reveals a positive message.

Kudos to otherwise career-dead Durst for carrying this one through; let's hope he learns from his mistakes and rises to make better things? One can't help but think this could have been so immensely better with a different director, yet it is still surprising that it was carried under his wing.

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The Last Detail
tieman6417 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Limp Bizki frontman Fred Durst directs "The Education of Charlie Banks", a very good drama in which a charming but violent thug called Mick visits his egghead buddies, one of whom is played by Jesse Eisenberg, at a prestigious university.

The film has a melancholic tone, Mick drifting through university halls and wandering what his life might have been like had he not been a victim of circumstance. Coming from a violent, lower class background, Mick was never given the chance to pursue academic interests or make much of his life. Suddenly surrounded by rich kids and smart students, he feels jealous and left behind.

Toward the end of the film it is revealed that Mick is visiting his buddies because he's hiding from the cops and trying to jump a murder charge. When his friends learn of this, they all turn against him. The film then mentions French philosopher Jacques Derrida's writings on deconstruction, the point being that were society to "deconstruct" Mick's life, upbringing and past, they would sympathise with him and understand his actions. Jesse Eisenberg's character realises this, learns to view Mick with sympathy rather than as a bully, but by then it's too late. The cops arrive and Mick disappears again, doomed to a life on the run. An outcast, because the world looks without seeing.

The film is not as good as Hal Ashby's "The Last Detail", the film it most resembles, but it is as good as "Scent of a Woman", "Bad Influence" and "Starter For Ten", all of which cover similar material. The film's direction is competent, but the plot is largely held together by several young actors who rise above the material, most notably Jason Ritter and Eva Amurri. The usually annoying Jesse Eisenberg does well here (though his geeky persona gets old fast), particularly the look of horror on his face when he witnesses a boy being attacked.

The film contains several references to Scorsese (posters, dialogue, references to "Mean Streets" etc), but whatever pretensions it has toward being a gritty drama erode come the film's very rushed ending. Another flaw includes the script's contemptuous treatment of its rich white students, a tactic used to engender sympathy for Mick. Such tactics go against the very message of the film.

8/10 – Though it can't touch "The Last Detail", this is nevertheless a very good independent film. Worth one viewing.
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Entertaining, but....The Education of Charlie Banks
arthur_tafero17 June 2022
As I watched this film, it became readily apparent to me that there were several parallels to a play written by Thomas Tafero of Long island called Lovers and Liars written a few years before. There are so many similar situations in the film that it is quite reasonable to expect that the writer of this screenplay was either greatly influenced by this play, or merely just took all the ingredients of the play without crediting the late author, Thomas Tafero. I was puzzled to the fact that no credit was given either in the film or in any reviews. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe it was all just a big coincidence. Entertaining film with good dialogue.
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Fred Durst???
ministersick8 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I figured the exclamation points would get the attention of people, as to say I'm just another mindless troll with empty opinions.

My Review on "the education of Charlie banks" I actually bought this DVD in the bargain bin, looked interesting and finally popped it in, and was very surprised to see Mister Durst's name in the credits. I wasn't even sure if it was him, until I came here, after watching the movie. I don't know the guy, although you hear things, and I'm not a person who bases opinions on mass hysteria, or rumors. I like to give everyone a chance to personally give me an impression. His music wasn't my cup of tea, but I wouldn't go as far as to say he sucks...Ever watch the American idol auditions? However, he may have found his niche as a director. The story was humdrum, but the directing, and the atmosphere of this movie was definitely pretty good. How can anyone say this is the worst movie they've ever seen.

My problem with the movie was mostly story..Had some interesting points, but not enough to burn the midnight oil thinking it's going to be a ground breaking script. Plus a lot of it went nowhere. The dialog was well written, but the story...I was also displease on how they made Mick the bad guy when he stuck up for that nerdy girl who could lose her financial aid. Good for him for sticking up for her, yet now he is a hated monster, when he gave that guy a well deserved ass kicking? Yeah he took Charlie's love interest, but that was his own fault, for handling it the way he did. He didn't step up his game, not that he is the kind of guy to have game, but he could at least been a little more sly about keeping them separated. In fact Charlie's character was not very likable. Mick said it best, when he calls him a "cold b*tch" I think the movie would have been better without Charlie's character, and just kept it with Mick and Charlie's friend.

I applaud the directing, the acting, and the cinematography. If you're going to hate on this movie, at least be fair, and intelligent about it.

Minister Sick.
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