A dysfunctional but ingenious kid. You’ve met, right? Charlie Bartlett is Max Fischer, or Ferris Bueller by another name, rendering Jon Poll’s part-playful, part-sappy, mostly muddled high-school romp secondgrade even before he succumbs to crude message-making.
Anton Yelchin shines as a posh Charlie who gets plonked into public school and as a dipso principal, Robert Downey Jr offsets the soft comedown.
Commentaries and “confessionals” pad out a solid package.