Charlie Countryman

  • Review Date: November 11, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Dark romance/drama with sadistic villain gets bloody.
  • Review Date: November 11, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Charlie discovers that he'll do almost anything for love, even if it means taking on a vicious gangster. That said, the world depicted in the movie is a dark one with violence and drugs all around.

Positive role models

Charlie has a strong sense of adventure and is passionate about his pursuits, but he doesn't always make great choices.

Violence

The central character is pursued by a violent and creepy gangster. Several brutal beatings that leave people battered and bloody. A gangster threatens people, with guns and other weapons, and in one scene he shoots people at close range, execution style. The main character gets a plastic bag held over his face for several moments in a terrifying confrontation.

Sex

One sex scene, one scene at a strip joint, and one fantasy sequence in which a man using psychedelic drugs imagines that all the women around him are nude (we see women topless and naked from behind). The central female character's breasts are visible at times, and the main male character appears nude in one scene with his genitals almost visible. Mention of ejaculation.

Language

Quite a lot of swearing all through the film, including "s--t," "---hole," "p---y," "and various permutations of "f--k."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

People drink at parties and bars, and often get extremely drunk. Some characters use psychedelic drugs, smoke pot, and overdose on Viagra.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Charlie Countryman is a dark romance with some nudity, drug use, and strong language throughout. There are several scenes with graphic, bloody beatings, and intense conflicts, such as when the villain pulls a plastic bag over the main character's head and starts to suffocate him. A few people are shot and killed. 

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What's the story?

After his mother's death CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN (Shia LaBeouf) hops a plane to Bucharest to soothe his grief and figure out what to do with himself. A chance encounter with beautiful cello player Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood) leaves him smitten, but he also finds himself on the wrong side of her husband, the dangerous gangster Nigel (Mads Mikkelsen). Two pals from the youth hostel (Rupert Grint and James Buckley) are also swept up in the mess, and Charlie must find a way to extricate them all from Nigel's violent schemes.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In Charlie Countryman, 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. It moves from one scene to another as if by improvisation, but it lacks the grace and poetry of jazz. 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes a good movie. What are the characteristics of a quality film? Which elements does this movie have and what's it missing?

  • Talk about the world created in this movie. How realistic does it feel? Do you know anyone who's had an experience similar to Charlie's? What kinds of things are exaggerated in this story?

  • What's your opinion about nudity in movies? Is it just realistic? Are the actors being exploited? Who makes the decisions about which actors appear naked in a movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 15, 2013
DVD release date:January 21, 2014
Cast:Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Grint, Shia LaBeouf
Director:Fredrik Bond
Studio:Millennium Entertainment
Genre:Drama
Topics:Friendship
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:some brutal violence, language throughout, sexuality/nudity, and drug use.

This review of Charlie Countryman was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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