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I Am (2011)

tomatometer

35

Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 13

No consensus yet.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 1,755

My Rating

Movie Info

I AM, a prismatic and probing exploration of our world, what's wrong with it, and what we can do to make it better, represents Tom Shadyac's first foray into non-fiction following a career as one of Hollywood's leading comedy practitioners, with such successful titles as "Ace Ventura," "Liar Liar," and "Bruce Almighty" to his credit. I AM recounts what happened to the filmmaker after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged a

PG-13,

Documentary, Television, Special Interest

Nov 30, 2010

$1.6M

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All Critics (46) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (29)

Whatever leaps of logic yawn in the film's poorly cobbled-together arguments are papered over by its wash of button-pushing images, from regimented soldiers and deadly explosions to flocks of wild geese and sunbeams breaking through the clouds.

December 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What "I Am" is wanting is a sense that it actually wrestles with anything, that it can stand up to a contrary point of view that the film's 76 minutes are so utterly lacking.

May 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Comments (2)
Orlando Sentinel
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I Am is looking for a little bit of hope in this world. Happily, it finds some. A great deal actually.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
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An open heart can be a recipe for ridicule, particularly in a culture where consumption is mistaken for a moral imperative.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Comment (1)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Happily, the frisky Shadyac does not sermonize. He is a puckish Sherpa to the frontiers of science and faith.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I'm not an ideal viewer for a documentary like "I Am," which involves the ingestion of Woo Woo in industrial bulk. When I see a man whose mind is being read by yogurt, I expect to find that man in a comedy starring, oh, someone like Jim Carrey.

April 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

a well-meaning metaphysical inquiry that hits all the right sentiments but manages precious little substance

January 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer | Comment (1)
Cinema Writer

Unfortunately, while Shadyac the person may have gone through a life-altering transformation, Shadyac the director hasn't improved much.

June 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

It's admirably optimistic -- and it's hard to argue with free hugs -- but the world is a whole lot more complex than Shadyac seems to realize.

June 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune | Comment (1)
Times-Picayune

The feature-film equivalent of one of those 'Coexist' bumper stickers -- you know, the ones where the 'X' is a Star of David, the 'O' is a peace sign, and so on.

May 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Comment (1)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

a sweet movie, but an extremely slight one that seems not to notice the banality of its no doubt profoundly felt, anti-materialist worldview ...

May 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Looking for proof that humans are hard-wired for compassion and altruism? Look no further.

May 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Despite some beautiful travel photography from cameraman Roko Belic and swift editing by Jennifer Abbott, "I Am" remains a personal diary that leaves the casual moviegoer out of the experience.

May 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

I believe Shadyac had a meaningful epiphany. I'm not sure it's that meaningful for the rest of us.

May 1, 2011 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

The truth is that Shadyac's dumb comedies have probably done a lot more to bring happiness to humanity.

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

It's hard to decide what rankles most: what an astonishing monument to Shadyac's self-absorption I Am is, or how flat-out bad -- incompetent, even -- the filmmaking is.

April 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A well-intentioned documentary that is just too unfocused, scattered, and philosophically thin to matter.

April 22, 2011 Full Review Source: HollywoodChicago.com
HollywoodChicago.com

"I Am" will probably remind you of a Michael Moore movie and of the fluff-ball documentary "What the Bleep," but it's better than that makes it sound.

April 22, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for I Am

Though the film is, at times, a clear presentation of utter tragedy, there is one aspect of the film that truly stands out as tragic itself: the comedy, whether unintentional or intentional, almost constantly seems to undermine the poignant, mature concept of viewing the world differently. We could easily get the intended effect in only three short minutes from listening to Monty Python‚(TM)s ‚Always Look on the Bright Side of Life‚?. Next to that is all the unrelated material thrown in for an entire hour, made to look inspiring and uplifting. With all the irrelevant mentions of quantum physics, Darwinism, and biology, I lost count of how many times I yelled, ‚What!?‚?, as if Shadyac himself could hear me, in just a period of 76 minutes. My mistake‚"Shadyac unbelievably manages to tie all this nonsense into the plot within the last forty-five seconds of the film.

Full Review: http://wp.me/p1Urcx-BI
January 8, 2012
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

Famed comedic director Tom Shadyac's entry in to documentary filmmaking is an interesting one. With I Am, his scope is big-- a dissection of the world's problems, the mechanisms behind those problems, and the solutions to them. Through interviews with scientists, philosophers, and spiritual leaders, he paints a rather broad canvass that spans from philosophical to metaphysical.

What I felt I Am was weak in was its presentation of talking heads and their insights in to the world's problems. Many obvious things were said, "poverty", "way", "hunger", yet there wasn't much of a dissection in to those specific issues. Saying, for example, that capitalism is exaggerates these problems is politically correct, yet logically unfound. The film contained too many of these large pronouncements, which distracted from what the film did right. It simply stated many things as fact without backing them up--what about, for example, the higher standard of living produced by capitalistic nations in comparison to the more "egalitarian" governments?

The strongest part of I AM was, undoubtedly, the exploration of quantum theory and some of the new revelations that have come to light. The power of consciousness and its relation to reality is immense, and the film did a good job explaining this. Had the film focused more on this, and less on the platitudes, it would have been all the stronger.

Overall, thought-provoking, but uneven.

3/5 Stars
December 22, 2013
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

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