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Charlie St. Cloud Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Ordinary Teen People Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Zac Efron sees dead people. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The film doesn't just fail, it actually gets sillier by the minute.

    Read Full Review

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The surreal thing is, Zac Efron can't do despair.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The movie tries to capture the crushing weight of loss, but between the insipid pop tunes and the repetitive shots cutting away to a lighthouse on a scenic outcropping, it feels more like a film version of a condolence card.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Charlie St. Cloud reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Poignant Efron drama too intense for younger fans.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this affecting drama starring High School Musical heartthrob Zac Efron tackles themes that may be too heavy for his legions of tween fans. His character is tortured with survivor's guilt over the death of his younger brother, which happens in a terrible car accident (some blood is shown). While there are other intense scenes of despair and sadness, there's also hope and a strong message about leaving tragedy behind in favor of joy. Expect some swearing (including "s--t"), the suggestion of underage drinking (though none is shown), and some kissing and discussion of "getting laid."

  • Families can talk about what audience the movie is intended to appeal to. Is it meant for Efron's younger fans? Do stars who are popular with younger kids have an obligation to make media that's appropriate for them?
  • What role does alcohol play in the movie's central tragedy? What are the real-life consequences of drinking?
  • Why is Charlie consumed by guilt? Can you keep the memory of a deceased loved one alive without getting lost in death? How does the movie handle this topic?
  • Do you believe in second chances? Why?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie seems to be telling audiences not to live in the past -- and that the best way out of tragedy is to take one step at a time toward joy, no matter how hard that may seem. It also says that putting off a dream doesn't mean losing it completely.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Charlie is an amazing brother -- but he's so dedicated and loyal that his own needs go by the wayside. He doesn't know how to manage his grief and instead drowns in it. Charlie and Sam's parents are mostly out of the picture, either for sad reasons (abandonment) or out of necessity (work).

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A child dies in a terrible car accident; viewers don't see much gore, but they do see blood, cuts, and bruises. Guys talk trash after a sporting event and at a bar; one of them gets punched in the mouth.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Talk about "getting laid." A couple kisses passionately and spends the night together; he's seen with his shoulders bare. Charlie is seen shirtless.

  • language false3

    Language: An 11-year-old says "ass" and "d--k." "S--t" is also used a couple of times; other words include "hell," "damn," and "crap."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A few labels are flashed, including Kaenon (maker of sunglasses) and Tanqueray.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A terrible car accident is caused by a drunk driver. Teens talk about partying. A young man drowns his sorrows with hard liquor. Friends down Jaeger bombs at a bar.