Charlie St. Cloud

Charlie St. Cloud Movie Review

Every few years Hollywood produces a supernatural romance thriller that touches your soul, refuels your spirit, and culminates as a collection o f laughs, tears, and family – ‘Charlie St. Cloud’ is not one of those films. With a captivating trailer, and the teen hottie ‘de jour’ it must have looked like a sure-fire winner in some producers office, but its’ execution both in script and storyline go horribly awry.

Characters & Crew of Charlie St. Cloud


  • Charlie St. Cloud (Zac Efron)
  • Sam St. Cloud (Charlie Tahan)
  • Tess Carroll (Amanda Crew)
  • Claire St. Cloud (Kim Basinger)
  • Florio Ferrente (Ray Liotta)


  • Directed by Burr Steers
  • Based on the novel “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud” by Ben Sherwood
  • Produced by Marc Platt Productions and Relativity Media

Zac Efron (17 Again) portrays Charlie St. Cloud, a teenager with a promising future that includes a scholarship to an Ivy league school to continue race sailing which he is famous for in his small seaside town. Add to that a younger brother who idolizes him, his single mother working double-shifts to keep their lives afloat, and Charlie’s flirtatious worship of the towns leading female sailor Tess – and it would seem he has it all. Fate delivers a terrible blow to Charlie in the form of a car accident that takes his younger brothers life and Charlie’s briefly, before he gets resuscitated. With life renewed, Charlie discovers he has the supernatural ability to still see and interact with not just his dead brother, but anyone who may be dead and whose soul has not left this plane of existence. Wrestling with the guilt of the accident, and his newfound ability to converse with the dead, Charlie lets go of his bright future and opts for a quiet life in his hometown visiting his brother everyday at sunset to play ball, a promise he made just before his death. Years later, in his early 20’s, Charlie’s teenage infatuation Tess (Amanda Crew – Final Destination 3) returns to town to announce her attempt to sail around the world. With that venture comes a newfound romance that blossoms between them but is ultimately in conflict with Charlie’s nightly play time with his dead brother. When Tess’s voyage around the world falls in peril, Charlie is called upon to take stock of his reclaimed life following the car accident, the purpose for why he survived, and more importantly a pathway to address the pain and guilt that has consumed his life since it happened.

The premise sounds strong enough but the execution is weak and sadly uninteresting. The filmmakers (all actors turned pseudo Director & writer, Burr Steers & Craig Pierce), shows weakness in both script writing and film creation. Aside from some great panoramic views of this fictitious seaside town, there is nothing memorable about the films style. The story plays out boorish, and unless you have a want for screen eye-candy, you won’t find much about this film to like. Efron is on display in all his glory and fangirls will revel in the many sides of his acting and looks. Those sparkling baby blue eyes and presence experience every emotion from sporting elation, heartbreak, and anger to tears of pity and love lost. On the male appeal side Crew is no slouch herself. A dynamic redhead sporting skimpy summer shorts disguised as the garb of choice for fine race sailors everywhere. Adding to the mix is Kim Basinger who lands a much too short role as the single mom of Charlie. With her character never given room to breathe or grow, she’s relegated to nothing more than another attractive face on the screen.

Suspension of disbelief is what allows us to accept the implausible in a film and enjoy the show, but ‘Charlie’ was just too farfetched. I’m not going to belittle the loss of a family member, or anyone’s right to grieve – but the concept of letting your life stay on hold so you can fulfill a promise made to a dead brother to play ball at sunset every evening? That stretches the bounds of grief, and who could ever expect to keep and live such a promise? Relax Charlie, your brother will understand if you date, just stop in and see him once in awhile.

Watch Charlie St. Cloud on Fmovies

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