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Up in the Air Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Airport 2009: The Gentle Landing Read full review

4.0

Jen Yamato Profile

Firing people sucks, doesn't it? Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 5.0
    83

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Up in the Air is light and dark, hilarious and tragic, romantic and real. It's everything that Hollywood has forgotten how to do; we're blessed that Jason Reitman has remembered

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Timeliness can be tricky to pull off convincingly in movies. It's tough to capture an era while it's still happening, yet Up in the Air does so brilliantly, with wit and humanity.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Up in the Air takes the trust people once had in their jobs and pulls out the rug. It is a film for this time.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    It's rare for a movie to be at once so biting and so moving. If Ryan's future seems bleak, there's something exhilarating about a movie made with such clear-eyed intelligence.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The best of Up in the Air--meaning most of it--is right up there with the fresh and sophisticated comedies of Hollywood's golden age.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Up in the Air reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Adult dramedy taps into emotions of current tough times.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that director Jason Reitman's thoughtful drama about a man (played by George Clooney) who fires people for a living (criss-crossing the country by plane to do so) examines uncomfortable, grown-up truths both timely (unemployment, financial stress) and perennial -- family dysfunction and loneliness. Still, despite its heavy themes, strong language (including "s--t" and "f--k"), and some sexual interplay between characters (including brief rear nudity), it has enormous empathy and insight that may resonate with older teens who are trying to grapple with and understand increasingly complex issues.

  • Families can talk about Bingham’s job: Is it a difficult one? Does he enjoy it? Why does he seem committed to doing it? Does it make him a bad guy or good? What about Natalie, his colleague?
  • How does the movie capture a particular moment in history? Does it seem realistic, or has it been Hollywood-ized?
  • Who do you think the movie is trying to reach? Does it succeed?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie brings a fresh perspective to the cliched but true lesson that no man (or woman) is an island. It suggests that in these challenging times, connection may just be the way to survive.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Main character Ryan is a decent man trying to do a very difficult job: firing people. Though he can’t do much to help them, he displays unusual empathy for their situation. That said, he’s a pretty isolated guy, proudly unrooted. But he discovers that he needs more in his life and sets out to get it -- as well as give to others. A colleague tries to do her job well, too, but she forgets that efficiency can’t replace humanity. Another character appears to be sympathetic, but she’s complicated: married and constricted by that commitment.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: A man is briefly shown toting a firearm in an imaginary sequence. Workers who’ve been fired curse and talk about killing themselves; one tosses a chair around in frustration.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A woman is briefly shown naked from behind, with nothing on but a necktie wrapped around her waist. She and her lover kiss and tussle in bed. They also talk about sex fairly candidly and send each other suggestive messages -- overall, they're shown teasing and bantering more often than having sex. A married character cheats on her husband; another is left by her boyfriend.

  • language false4

    Language: Fairly frequent use of everything from “a--hole” to “s--t” to “f--k," as well as "ass," "hell," "crap," "prick," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: American Airlines feels like a “proud sponsor” of the film since its logo is visible nearly every time the main character has to travel. Many other logos and brands associated with business travel also pop up throughout the movie, including Hilton, Hertz, and Marriott.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking at bars and parties; at one point, a group of revelers is happily intoxicated. A few tiny bottles of liquor are shown tucked in one character’s fridge.

Fan Reviews provided by

4

by maxchiara

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