Parents' Guide to

Charlie Countryman

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Dark romance/drama with sadistic villain gets bloody.

Movie R 2013 103 minutes
Charlie Countryman Poster Image

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Charlie Countryman moves from one scene to another as if by improvisation, but it lacks the grace and poetry of jazz. The eponymous lead, Charlie, doesn't really have a plan; he heads to Bucharest (maybe he should have tried Budapest instead) to see how things go. And that's how this film seems to be structured. LaBoeuf is a fine actor, especially in scenes where his agitation vies with his anxieties. But Wood struggles with a perplexingly overdone accent, and a lack of chemistry with LaBeouf. Neither of them seem to have much motivation to pursue the relationship, and with Nigel looming in the background, there's plenty of reason to avoid becoming entangled.

Grint and Buckley, as two British tourists, also feel like afterthoughts, thrown in to make the gangsters seem even more sadistic. Their spacey drug-fueled evening doesn't do much to advance the story, and Grint's Viagra episode feels comical in a film that doesn't call for a comical interlude. The whole thing is a jumble trying to feel deep and metaphysical. The cinematography wins somewhat; the dreary grays and blacks evoke the menace of a trip one can't control. But a bleak palette shouldn't be a film's brightest spot.

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