Four movies to watch in remembrance of Anton Yelchin


Anton Yelchin dispenses advice in the boys' bathroom in "Charlie Bartlett."
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • Actor Anton Yelchin amassed credits in big blockbusters, genre pictures and indie films before his untimely death Sunday at the age of 27. The talented young performer, who began his career at the age of nine, was one of the more mature members of Hollywood’s new blood. Remember the legacy he leaves behind with these four films.
  • “Hearts in Atlantis”
  • “Hearts in Atlantis” is the biggest movie of Anton Yelchin’s early career. Based on the novella by Stephen King, the film is about 11-year-old Bobby Garfield’s (Yelchin) friendship with an older man, Ted (Anthony Hopkins), who has psychic powers. Their relationship is threatened when the “Low Men” begin searching for Ted.
  • Though only a child, Yelchin delivers a wonderful performance alongside Hopkins. While not a particularly noteworthy film, “Hearts in Atlantis” is a fascinating time capsule of  Yelchin’s growing talent. Already, Yelchin showed promise in an adult-oriented work, foreshadowing good things to come.
  • “Charlie Bartlett”
  • “Hearts in Atlantis” put Yelchin on the map, but “Charlie Bartlett” showed he was a capable, likable adult lead. Yelchin plays the titular Charlie, a teenager who becomes a therapist for students attending his high school. He gives advice from the boys’ bathroom and distributes prescription drugs as he deems fit.
  • Yelchin is a delight as the rebellious Charlie, often holding his own with Robert Downey Jr., who plays the school’s alcoholic principal. Yelchin offers charm and vulnerability in equal measure, and he displays the wisdom of a performer beyond his years, adding emotional weight to this comedy-drama.
  • “Star Trek”
  • J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot fires on all cylinders. An action-packed reinvention of a series that had stagnated, it welcomed new fans with a fresh-faced cast including Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock.
  • Yelchin played the Enterprise’s young navigator, Pavel Chekov. His portrayal of Chekov highlighted his youth, which at first makes Yelchin seem out of place among the daring heroes of the crew. The character’s heavy Russian accent also does him no favors.
  • But don’t let Yelchin’s boyish looks deceive you – his Chekov is a prodigy whose abilities prove instrumental in the Enterprise’s battle against the bad guys. Chekov didn’t play a large role, but it was one of many that contributed to the Enterprise’s sense of community. Yelchin’s absence is sure to be felt in “Star Trek” films to come.
  • “Fright Night”
  • A remake of a classic horror flick, “Fright Night” is about high schooler Charley Brewster (Yelchin) and his attempt to prove his next door neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell), is a vampire.
  • While conventional wisdom suggests Yelchin would be overshadowed by cast mates Farrell, David Tennant and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, he’s memorable in his role as the funny teenage hero. With his appearances in horror pictures like “Fright Night” and this year’s “Green Room,” Yelchin demonstrated his adaptability as an actor and showed he was able to leap from brighter roles to hard-edged characters.  
  • Anton Yelchin grew tremendously in his short time as an actor. The film industry has lost one of its most promising talents, and it’s devastating that we can only wonder what he would’ve done next.