cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

The Truth About Charlie

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Thandie Newton and Tim Robbins
Screenplay by Jonathan Demme & Steve Schmidt and Peter Joshua and Jessica Bendinger
Based on the Charade screenplay by Peter Stone
Directed by Jonathan Demme

IN SHORT: Painful, just like Truth. One of the worst of the year. [Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content/nudity.]

For those of you that remember 1963's Charade, which starred Audrey Hepburn and Carey Grant, keep your memories and stay away.

For those of you that don't, and the policy of this site is not to make comparisons to Source Material (so we won't mention Charade again.), for everybody's sake keep your money in your pocket and your feet in motion as you pass whatever poor theater owner begs you into buying a ticket for the utter and complete disaster showing on his or her big screen.

While her husband allegedly romps over Europe making big business deals, the lovely Regina Lambert (Thandie Newton) meets Joshua Peters (Mark Wahlberg) on a beach in Martinique. We already know that her husband Charles (Stephen Dillane) has been making whoopee with a stewardess on his train and has met his maker at the hands of some nefarious bad guy -- the actual murder "event is so badly edited that it looks like a mistake. In his desire to set up a revelatory flashback at the end of his film, director Jonathan Demme (yeah, the same guy who directed The Silence of the Lambs and knows a bit about the genre) breaks any building connection between the audience and the events on screen. The Truth About Charlie spirals into oblivion quickly after that.

Returning to Paris, Regina discovers that a) her apartment has been ransacked and b) her husband has been murdered. While Police Commandant Dominique (Christine Boisson) works on the case Regina is contacted by Lewis Bartholomew (Tim Robbins) a super secret US Agency, something called the ODP, and informed that her husband had another profession. Undercover agent and thief of millions of dollars in diamonds that the US gov wants back.

We're not the only ones. Regina is stalked by a quartet of villains (Il-Sang Lee, Joong Hoon Park, Ted Levine and Lisa Gay Hamilton) and soon, once again and very conveniently, crosses paths with young master Joshua, who then hangs on Regina's every move like barnacles on the side of a ship. A romantic relationship is supposed to develop over the course of the film but nothing in the story makes us believe it. There is no chemistry of any kind between Wahlberg and Newton and the latter's dead-on duplication of Audrey Hepburn's accent (yeah... yeah...) is annoying as hell.

And, guess what? Joshua Peters isn't his real name! In fact, the man carries as many ID's as deadboy Charlie. And Regina doesn't know if she can trust him! And there are the bad guys chasing, chasing, always chasing her! And Joshua is always there to save her! But, is he a good guy or a bad guy?

Demme drops in many shots of Paris' places of sub-interest, the sleazy side, and as many shots of the people in Paris. Why he decided to throw all knowledge of how to build a suspenseful story out the window is quite beyond us. Maybe it's the script -- four credited hands mashed the original story (then about a stolen payroll) into pulp. Maybe it's the production design which can't decide if this film is set in the 60s, 70s or 00s. Maybe its those extra shots by Demme.

Maybe you shouldn't bother.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Truth About Charlie, he would have paid . . .


Now we're going to have to see Swept Away, if only to discover which one is worse.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Jonathan Demme
Click to buy films starring Mark Wahlberg
Click to buy films starring Thandie Newton
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.