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Charlie Says (2018)

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The tragic tale of an all-American girl who was transformed into a cold-blooded killer in the summer of 1969.

Director:

Mary Harron

Writers:

Guinevere Turner, Ed Sanders (based on the book "The Family" by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,806 ( 757)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hannah Murray ... Leslie 'Lulu' Van Houten
Matt Smith ... Charles Manson
Sosie Bacon ... Patricia 'Katie' Krenwinkel
Marianne Rendón ... Susan 'Sadie' Atkins
Merritt Wever ... Karlene Faith
Suki Waterhouse ... Mary Brunner
Chace Crawford ... Tex Watson
Annabeth Gish ... Virginia Carlson
Kayli Carter ... Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme
Grace Van Dien ... Sharon Tate
Bridger Zadina ... Paul Watkins
Julia Schlaepfer ... Sandra Good
Dayle McLeod ... Catherine 'Gypsy' Share
Morgan Melton ... Ruth Ann Moorehouse
India Ennenga ... Linda Kasabian
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Storyline

Three young women were sentenced to death in the infamous Manson murder case, but when the death penalty was lifted, their sentence became life imprisonment. One young graduate student was sent in to teach them - and through her we witness their transformations as they face the reality of their horrific crimes. Written by Guinevere Turner

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dreamers. Victims. Murderers. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Says See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,684, 12 May 2019

Gross USA:

$40,685

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$98,240
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Matt Smith and Hannah Murray previously appeared together in 'Womb'. See more »

Connections

Version of The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Ride My See-Saw
Written by John Lodge (as John Charles Lodge) (BMI)
Administered by WB Music Group
Performed by John Lodge (Moody Blues)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Combining drugs with a nitwit preaching crazy stuff isn't healthy.
17 September 2019 | by peterp-450-298716See all my reviews

When I first met Charlie, I just knew. Hopped on a bus and I never looked back.

Charles Manson seems to be a hot topic this year. Not only there's the Tarantino movie "Once upon a time ... in Hollywood" in which the Manson Family plays a prominent role, but also this "Charlie Says" focuses on this cult leader from the 60s. It's rather a docu-drama in which the person Manson himself isn't really the central topic. Rather, it's the female members of the Manson family who receive the most attention. A mixed bag of vulnerable, somewhat naive young girls who probably don't realize that Manson's sermons are pure nonsense due to the abundance of soft drugs and the eating of not so kosher mushrooms. Delusions presented by a confused mind. A despotic person and a bundle of contradictions.

The actresses Hannah "Game of Thrones" Murray, Sosie Bacon and Marianne Rendon, who played the characters Leslie van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins respectively, acted generally convincingly. The way these young ladies accept their fate while sitting in adjacent cells waiting for their death penalty is not only frightening but also shows how brainwashed they are by the Machiavellian Manson. Their empathetic attitude towards the horrific facts shows how convinced they are that nothing criminal has been committed by them. In their eyes, it was a necessary thing to do. But mainly because "Charlie said it". Hence the title of this film.

The biggest disappointment is Charles Manson himself, played by Matt Smith. The character lacked charisma. Apart from his sometimes eccentric reasonings and tantrums, I didn't get the idea of dealing with a psychopathic, manic person here. Rather he's a strange hippie with a fake beard who prefers to strum a guitar and who enjoys how the young girls gawk at him full of adoration. Furthermore, I am not a fan of flashbacks. And let that now be the basis of this film. So expect a huge amount of back and forth jumping in time. However, if you aren't familiar with this Manson phenomenon and what this insane cult leader is guilty of, "Charlie Says" is an excellent starting point to discover it. Perhaps the film scores high in originality by showing the whole from the point of view of the female cult members. But still, I recommend watching the films "Helter Skelter" from 1976 and "The Manson family" from 2003.

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