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The Last Airbender Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Edward Leafblower-Hands to the rescue. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Let's hope it's the last. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The filmmaker has delivered yet another iteration of what has become a classic M. Night Shyamalan film, only much bigger than before, and, as a consequence, mind-bendingly turgid.

    Read Full Review

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Even during the climax, the film still is struggling to introduce the world of the film and its strange rules.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The movie is "Star Wars" with martial arts, plus a touch of "The Last Emperor." Technically, it's not badly done; I enjoyed the physical clash of elements, the water balls rising like sculpture in the air.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    He hasn't mastered the craft yet, but M. Night Shyamalan may be on to something with this action-movie thing.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Last Airbender reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Boring -- but age-appropriate for young fans of the TV show.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though this live-action fantasy based on Nickelodeon's popular Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon TV series was directed by The Sixth Sense's M. Night Shyamalan, it doesn't have much content that's inappropriate for the show's elementary-school-aged fans. There's some fighting and violence, but it's not bloody or even particularly scary. And one character gives up her life in order to save her people, but otherwise there's nothing too dark. Language and substance use aren't issues, and there's only very mild flirting between two characters, who kiss once. It's worth noting that there has been some controversy around the movie's casting, with fans objecting to Caucasian actors playing characters who are Asian in the TV series.

  • Families can talk about how The Last Airbender movie compares to The Last Airbender cartoon. How are the characters different?
  • How does the violence in this movie compare to others you've seen? Does this kind of media violence have more or less impact than what's in other fantasy/action movies? Why?
  • Aang, like most great heroes, is on a journey. Who are his helpers? Who are his nemeses? What does he need to do overcome his obstacles?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The movie promotes collaboration, teamwork, and non-violence (Aang shows the power of elements without killing anyone).

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Kitara and Sokka selflessly agree to help Aang on his journey. Aang finally decides to accept his role as Avatar.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Most of the fight scenes aren't very graphic because the benders don't need to get very close to each other, since they can manipulate elements, particularly fire and water. But there are some martial-arts-style fight scenes, with water and fire and earth (rocks!) thrown into the mix. There's one memorable death, but it's self-sacrificial and gently handled.

  • sex false1

    Sex: One sweet kiss and some mild flirting. In one scene, an uncle tries to convince his single-minded nephew to look for a pretty girl instead of worrying so much.

  • language false0

    Language: Mild insults about the disgraced heir of the Fire Nation and about the water and earth people.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Nothing in the film, but the movie is based on the popular animated Nickelodeon series and does have merchandising tie-ins.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: In one scene, the Fire Nation's commander makes a toast at a luncheon with his soldiers, but it's not clear that they're actually drinking.