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The Education of Charlie Banks

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Education of Charlie Banks, which marks the directorial debut of Limp Bizkit's front-man Fred Durst, is a riveting tale about college students learning to deal with life, love, and ultimately facing their fears. This coming-of-age drama spans from the playgrounds of Greenwich Village to the idyllic greens of Vassar College.

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The nervous charisma of indie leading man Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale, Adventureland) carries The Education of Charlie Banks, a story of doomed ambition, hopeless yearning, and lingering guilt. When teenaged Charlie Banks (Eisenberg) witnessed a handsome bully named Mick (Jason Ritter, Freddy Vs. Jason) beat up two other boys, he tells the police--but then, feeling like a rat, withdraws his testimony so that Mick gets released. A few years later, when Mick suddenly appears at Charlie’s dorm for a visit, Charlie lives in dread that his betrayal will be revealed. But as Mick successfully woos the girl Charlie’s in love with, Charlie and Mick grown enmeshed in mutual envy and reluctant admiration. The Education of Charlie Banks aspires to be a preppy version of The Great Gatsby (just to make that clear, the characters twice make references to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel), peppered with philosophical allusions to Hannah Arendt and Jacques Derrida. Unfortunately, despite Charlie and Mick’s backstory, these kids just don’t have enough of a past to seem driven or haunted--they just flounder like any other bunch of boozing, horny college students. Mick comes across as a junior-varsity Tom Ripley, more stalker than star-crossed. Still, it’s a surprisingly smooth-flowing movie from Fred Durst, the former lead singer of rap-metal band Limp Bizkit. Also featuring Eva Amurri (Saved!). --Bret Fetzer

Get to Know the Cast From The Education of Charlie Banks



Eva Amurri (Mary)


Jason Ritter (Mick)


Jesse Eisenberg (Charlie)


Stills from The Education of Charlie Banks  (Click for larger image)











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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Eva Amurri, Chris Marquette, Sebastian Stan
  • Directors: Fred Durst
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Overture Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0024HH2WG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,496 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Education of Charlie Banks" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Burt Lee Liberty on September 30, 2011
Format: DVD
I saw this movie pretty much because of "The Social Network". I thought it would be interesting to see Eisenberg in a pre-Social Network college film. I watched the audio commentary of Social Network and Fincher said he had seen Charlie Banks prior to making Social Network.

I don't know much about Durst but found it funny that he was the director of this. He definitely has ambition and you can tell he put a lot of work into this. The acting is pretty good. I was happy to see John Ritter's son turning in good work. The movie starts out about Charlie but becomes more about the Ritter character. Kind of uneven, and there's not enough story. What's there is fine, but it just seems undeveloped, kind of like its young characters.

So it's an affectionate thumbs down. With a better script, Durst might really surprise us one day.

P.S. (spoiler) There is the threat of violence in a scene that made me cringe. It was really well done. Scorsese would nod his head in approval.

2 out of 4
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 21, 2009
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While some may be skeptical of Fred Durst's directorial debut, he shows some promise. Competent, yet distant, most of my reservations about recommending "Charlie Banks" have to do with the film's plotting and characterizations. The primary story revolves around two roommates at an Ivy League college and what happens when an old "friend" with a checkered and violent past shows up for an indefinite stay. A good set-up that lacks a bit of pay-off.

A well made film, "The Education of Charlie Banks" is a movie I wanted to admire. However, something kept me at arm's length--I never really connected emotionally in a way that would have made my viewing experience more compelling. I think, perhaps, I never fully embraced Charlie Banks (Jesse Eisenberg) as the narrator or centerpiece of the film. His "education" or development just wasn't that intriguing and my lack of concern for him created somewhat of a void in the center of the film. Eisenberg was terrific in "The Squid and the Whale" and "Roger Dodger," his character just seems a little undercooked here.

Ironically, the strangest bit of casting was the most effective. Jason Ritter, as bad boy Mick, seems a little soft and gentle to be the reprobate he is supposed to be in this film. But Ritter commands the screen. The story really works better as "The Education of Mick." As Mick infiltrates the university and strives to fit in, the story is on solid ground. I was fascinated by this aspect and think Ritter brilliantly brought balance to Mick's conflicted emotions about this alien world he doesn't belong to. With a different focus--I think this might have made an extraordinary film! But, as is, most of the film left me ambivalent. Easy enough to watch, but not much to remember. About 3 1/2 stars from me--mostly for Ritter. KGHarris, 07/09
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Hiller VINE VOICE on February 24, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The star of the Education of Charlie Banks is Jesse Eisenberg, now an Oscar nominated actor for another movie you might have heard about: The Social Network (Two-Disc Collector's Edition). This probably is a good thing, because Jesse's new found popularity are going to be bringing in fans to this lesser known film, and one that I quite enjoyed, "The Education of Charlie Banks".

Easy to classify under "Coming of Age" movie, this flick tells the tale of Charlie, who is haunted from an event in his past that comes back to haunt him college. Mick, played in a very nuanced way by Jason Ritter, is the source of this tension, and the two become allies, of a sort, despite the incident. Toss in Eva Amurri (one of my favorite reasons that I love Saved!, and you have an interesting, tense, and although sometimes unfocused, story.

The Education of Charlie Banks was an interesting story, told by first time director Fred Durst. I hope he continues to make movies, for there is much potential in his directing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 22, 2012
Format: DVD
While some may be skeptical of Fred Durst's directorial debut, he shows some promise. Competent, yet distant, most of my reservations about recommending "Charlie Banks" have to do with the film's plotting and characterizations. The primary story revolves around two roommates at an Ivy League college and what happens when an old "friend" with a checkered and violent past shows up for an indefinite stay. A good set-up that lacks a bit of pay-off.

A well made film, "The Education of Charlie Banks" is a movie I wanted to admire. However, something kept me at arm's length--I never really connected emotionally in a way that would have made my viewing experience more compelling. I think, perhaps, I never fully embraced Charlie Banks (Jesse Eisenberg) as the narrator or centerpiece of the film. His "education" or development just wasn't that intriguing and my lack of concern for him created somewhat of a void in the center of the film. Eisenberg was terrific in "The Squid and the Whale" and "Roger Dodger," (this was before his Social Network acolades) his character just seems a little undercooked here.

Ironically, the strangest bit of casting was the most effective. Jason Ritter, as bad boy Mick, seems a little soft and gentle to be the reprobate he is supposed to be in this film. But Ritter commands the screen. The story really works better as "The Education of Mick." As Mick infiltrates the university and strives to fit in, the story is on solid ground. I was fascinated by this aspect and think Ritter brilliantly brought balance to Mick's conflicted emotions about this alien world he doesn't belong to. With a different focus--I think this might have made an extraordinary film! But, as is, most of the film left me ambivalent. Easy enough to watch, but not much to remember. About 3 1/2 stars from me--mostly for Ritter. KGHarris, 07/09.
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