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Charlie St. Cloud (2010)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 30 July 2010 (USA)
Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
Charlie's brother, Sam, dies in a car crash that Charlie survives. Charlie is given the gift of seeing his dead brother and others who he has lost such as his friend who died in the military, but when the girl he falls in love with's life is at risk, he must choose between his girlfriend and his brother.

Director:

Burr Steers

Writers:

Craig Pearce (screenplay), Lewis Colick (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,925 ( 2,195)
4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zac Efron ... Charlie St. Cloud
Charlie Tahan ... Sam St. Cloud
Amanda Crew ... Tess Carroll
Augustus Prew ... Alistair Woolley
Donal Logue ... Tink Weatherbee
Kim Basinger ... Claire St. Cloud
Ray Liotta ... Florio Ferrente
Dave Franco ... Sully
Matt Ward ... Connors
Miles Chalmers ... Latham
Jesse Wheeler Jesse Wheeler ... Greene Student
Desiree Zurowski ... Carla Ferrente
Adrian Hough ... Ben Carroll
Jill Teed ... Grace Carroll
Valerie Tian ... Girl in Toy Store
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Storyline

Charlie St. Cloud is a young man overcome by grief at the death of his younger brother, Sam - so much so that he takes a job as caretaker of the cemetery in which his brother is buried. Charlie has a special lasting bond with his brother though, as he can see him, meeting up with Sam each night to play catch and talk. When a girl comes into Charlie's life, he must choose between keeping the promise he made to Sam or going after the girl he loves. Written by CBlodg / edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is for living

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual references, an intense accident scene and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Zac Efron dropped out of his role in Footloose (2011) and signed on to play Charlie St. Cloud shortly thereafter. He confirmed his involvement while attending the 2009 Kid's Choice Awards. See more »

Goofs

The burn marks on Charlie's chest would not happen unless there was a flammable substance on his chest when he was defibrillated (and if this was the case you would have seen flames after defibrillation in the ambulance scene). Regular defibrillation does not leave any marks or scars. See more »

Quotes

Sam St. Cloud: I'm okay, Charlie. I'd give anything for you to see me, what I've become, but no one ever gets to see what could have been.
Charlie St. Cloud: Sorry I had to break our deal.
Sam St. Cloud: It was time. I mean, it's beyond anything we ever imagined, Charlie.
Charlie St. Cloud: I hurt as bad as the day you died.
Sam St. Cloud: You hurt because you're alive.
Charlie St. Cloud: We'll always be brothers.
Sam St. Cloud: Promise, every day, come rain or shine, through Hell or high water?
Charlie St. Cloud: I promise.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Community: Conventions of Space and Time (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Rasputin
Written by Frank Farian, Fred Jay, George Reyam
Performed by Studio K
Courtesy of Dara's Music Services, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Engaging and heartfelt, if a bit pretty at times
31 July 2010 | by kaylennsSee all my reviews

I enjoyed this movie, for what it tries to do. It's not trying to be an art-house Oscar-bait film. It's basically a story about a good man who loses himself to grief and how he recovers. The core message of letting go and moving on is a good one.

It's not a dumb, roll-your-eyes movie and it's not too clever. It sails the line between those two extremes, but manages to do so without being bland. There's a lot to enjoy here: Efron's excellent performance, Tahan's charm and chemistry with Efron, and Crew's solidity. Prew also has his moments, and although nobody manages to steal any scenes from Efron, they were all believable. I wish we could have seen a lot more of Basinger and Liotta, though, and Logue's relative lack of prettiness was actually a kind of relief.

Although the characters are clean, they still do foolish things, loose their tempers, and make poor choices about how to spend their lives. Personally, I'm not as moved by stories where the main character is a self-absorbed, self-destructive jerk who--no surprise--brings pain on him/herself and others and succumbs to the usual pitfalls: alcohol/drugs, meaningless sex, or general idiotic acting out. That might have made the movie "cooler" or made Efron seem edgier, but the story and character wouldn't have been as resonant for me. I can root for and identify with characters who are trying to do their best, to do the right thing, but it still leads them quite naturally into struggling with personal demons.

There's not much logic or explanation for Charlie's ability to interact with the dead physically. It's the conceit of the film and the whole plot falls apart without it, so if you're going to enjoy the story at all, you have to suspend that bit of disbelief. On the level of pushing emotional buttons, this film hits them pretty hard: everything from raw attraction (a nearly constant undertone) to outright laughing (I loved the running gag with the geese) to embarrassment (one scene shows how even someone as good-looking as Efron can fall completely flat on his face in an awkward blind-date situation) to aching from a sense of loss and separation and loneliness. I never actually got close to crying, but I certainly felt tugged (although more so with the Charlie/Sam relationship than with the Charlie/Tess relationship) more than once.

Clearly the main draw of this film is Efron. If you're going for Efron eye candy you'll get it in spades, but happily (despite the many reviews that sneer to the contrary), he actually spends most of the movie with his shirt on, so you have some hope of focusing on his face. Of course, easily a quarter of the scenes where he's got his shirt on, he's wet for one reason or another, so it doesn't actually help much. And even if you do manage to focus on his face, you again have to get past the "Damn, he's pretty!" reaction and focus on whatever emotions the character has. Happily, once you've invested that much effort, you find yourself caring about Charlie and responding to those emotions. The story is compelling because of Efron's acting, precisely because once you get past the pretty, there really is something there. When he finally does get around to taking off his shirt, it's not without reason, so at least you're not left laughing like you are with most of the embarrassing shirtless moments in the Twilight series.

Let me reiterate the part about the eye candy. There's lots of it. And not just the actors, but the indoor locations, the lighting, the framing, the ocean, the sailboats, the shoreline, even the sculptures in the graveyard. There's a gorgeous sculpture of a desolate angel crying on a gravestone near the end of the film. (Although there's a strange moment in the middle of the movie when the camera focuses on a child-angel gravestone for a little too long and you suddenly wonder if the movie is going to turn into a horror flick with the child-angel coming to life and terrorizing the townspeople. But the sensation passes, and you realize how clean the story is. Despite the fact that the main character talks to dead people, there's never a creepy sense of foreboding. It might have been more interesting if they'd taken it in that direction.) Perhaps the plot is a little bit predictable and the surprise twist isn't a huge surprise, but it does hit Charlie's character hard, and Efron and Crew make it work.

I gave it an 8 out of 10, because it mostly succeeds at what it tries to do. One interesting thing about it is that it tends to defy easy categorization. Is it a romance? A comedy? A tragedy? A star vehicle? A story about depression? A fable? A story about mental illness? A story about loss? A fantasy? A story about grieving? Predictable? Engaging? A thin excuse to watch pretty people standing in front of pretty things? Something with emotional resonance? The answer is yes. One thing I liked about it was the sheer variety of emotions that I experienced while I watched it. Small funny things happen alongside small moments of sadness, and vice versa. In that sense, it has resonance that dips below the pretty surface.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Spain] | See more »

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,381,585, 1 August 2010

Gross USA:

$31,162,545

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,190,704
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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