Charlie St. Cloud: Meh, But Zac Efron Goes Shirtless!

Critics aren't impressed, but most think Zac is great
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2010 1:10 PM CDT
In this publicity image released by Universal Pictures, Charlie Tahan, left, and Zac Efron are shown in a scene from "Charlie St. Cloud."   (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Diyah Pera)

(Newser) – Critics agree on one thing when it comes to Charlie St. Cloud: Tween girls will love it, thanks to the number of times Zac Efron takes off his shirt. Beyond that they’re split, though the majority aren't enthusiastic:

  • The movie, about a teen who loses his brother in a car accident, “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,” writes Claudia Puig in USA Today.

  • “Zac Efron can act,” declares Rex Reed in the New York Observer, but the script “is so sappy you want to laugh.” Efron “deserves better movies than Charlie St. Cloud.”
  • It's “a delicate film," Mick LaSalle writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, "that holds together on the strength of Efron's physical presence and performance."
  • The film is inconsistent, writes James Berardinelli for ReelViews. It gives “the impression that the filmmakers are making things up as they go along, and a lot of those things don't make sense.”
For more on how Zac Efron has been spending his free time while waiting for the movie to premiere (hint: strippers), click here. (Read more Charlie St. Cloud stories.)

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