Skip to main content

Charlie St. Cloud: Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


Share This article

Charlie St. Cloud stars Zac Efron as Charlie, a bright young man with a promising future. Charlie’s life is halted when he is unable to let go of the grief of losing his little brother in a drunken car accident years ago.

Growing up in a small, seaside yachting village, Charlie is at the top of his high school graduating class with a full-ride sailing scholarship to Stanford in the fall. During the summer, Charlie and his little brother, Sam, practice baseball every evening in the woods at sunset. However, when a tragic, drunk driver takes young Sam’s life, Charlie cannot let go of him. Still seeing visions of his late brother, Charlie promises Sam that he will meet him everyday at sunset to practice.

Five years later, Charlie works a job as the caretaker at the local cemetery, close to the woods, so that he can play ball with Sam every day at sunset. Then, one day, Charlie meets Tess, a young yachtswoman who is about to undertake a one-woman sail around the world. When a sailing accident leaves Tess in a life-threatening situation, Charlie must decide between going after the woman he loves or keeping his promise to his little brother.

Charlie St. Cloud is a moving, heartfelt drama. Even though the plot is predictable and somewhat sappy, Zac Efron shines onscreen. He keeps the movie from falling into its own melancholy traps. The movie should be taken for what it is – a delightful journey, never too deep, but enjoyably uplifting.

The movie does have a light, mixed pagan worldview with elements of Romanticism. While there are some strong, overt Christian, moral elements, such as positive mentions of God and Christian prayer, including prayer to Jesus Christ during a funeral, as well as belief in miracles, forgiveness and second chances, there are also some elements that require caution, especially for younger audiences. There is some light language, implied fornication, and disturbing violence that include teenage drunkenness and a graphic car wreck.

All in all, media-wise audiences should approach Charlie St. Cloud with caution. That said, this new Zac Efron movie is still an enjoyable drama with uplifting content.

NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.

Share This article

About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become