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The Air I Breathe (2008)

tomatometer

12

Average Rating: 3.8/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 23

The Air I Breathe is a jumbled indie production that accomplishes little save for the squandering of a talented cast.

0

Average Rating: 3.2/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 9

The Air I Breathe is a jumbled indie production that accomplishes little save for the squandering of a talented cast.

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 22,735

My Rating

Movie Info

Four stories, representing the emotional principles of love, pleasure, sorrow, and happiness, come together in this episodic drama from first-time director Jieho Lee. A powerful crime boss, Fingers (Andy Garcia), subtly controls the destinies of four people whose circumstances have brought them to a crossroads in their lives. A quiet business executive (Forest Whitaker) is told that an upcoming horse race has been rigged and bets everything he has on his belief that the story is true. A noted

R,

Drama

Jieho Lee, Bob DeRosa

May 6, 2008

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January 24, 2008:
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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (23)

Each story has its moments, but Air lacks an overarching vision.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Brendan Fraser is Pleasure, Sarah Michelle Gellar is Sorrow, Kevin Bacon is Love, Forest Whitaker is Happiness, and the director is Pretension.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I can't fault any of the actors for anything other than bad judgment. Their performances are fine, but a good fortune cookie might have told them to stay away from this.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A stew of cheap irony, ponderous but meaningless allegory, violence and pretension, the movie is all borrowed style and calculated pandering. It does, however, get more ludicrous by the minute. So in that sense, it's good for an occasional laugh.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ah, January, hallowed dustbin for projects half-baked, too cooked, or both, as in the case of this overstuffed actioner.

January 24, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With any luck, The Air I Breathe should be the last gasp of the faux-Altmanesque school of serendipitous storytelling.

January 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pretentious in its tone, ambitious in its goals, and incompetent in its execution, The Air I Breathe is a polluted mess despite its good intentions.

January 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

As the plot strands begin to coalesce everything becomes far too overwrought.

June 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

The movie takes itself way too seriously, and it doesn't add up to much, but, nevertheless, it's borderline entertaining.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Your appreciation of this circular plotting will have a great deal to do with how tongue-in-cheek you believe the film is

February 11, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Theatre Wire

Mr. Lee is a former director of Asian music videos, which explains why his debut feature, from the high-octane opening credits to the Marnie-esque ending, is all style and no substance.

February 3, 2008
Manhattan Movie Magazine

A perfectly awful example of a certain breed of American indie film that brings together a lot of familiar faces for an ensemble drama about...nothing.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Metromix.com | Comments (3)
Metromix.com

None of the four morality plays ... are necessarily original in plot, nor is the film itself particularly innovative in its structure ... it just seems flat and useless.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinematical
Cinematical

Aside from demonstrating how liberation and change can occur even at the most dire turn of events, it's not exactly clear exactly what his overly ambitious drama is trying to say.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

not a nihilistic work of cinematic art, but a laugh-out-loud slapstick free-for-all.

January 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Four unappealing mini-dramas about happiness, pleasure, sorrow, and love.

January 24, 2008 Full Review | Comment (1)
Spirituality and Practice

It's particularly frustrating to watch Whittaker, the strongest thespian of the bunch, desperately mine for gold in a narrative landslide.

January 23, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

[Jieho] doesn't know what to do with actors, however, and the film's impressive ensemble is wasted.

January 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Ignore all of that foolishness and watch the collision of emotions The Air I Breathe provides -- it is enough all by itself to leave you breathless.

January 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Air I Breathe

Four stories revolving around a gangster come together.
I have to quote Kyle Smith of the New York Post: "Brendan Fraser is Pleasure, Sarah Michelle Gellar is Sorrow, Kevin Bacon is Love, Forest Whitaker is Happiness, and the director is Pretension." What a hilariously true line. The film seems to want to say something profound, but I have no idea what it is. While most of the performances are fine, Brendan Fraser is grotesquely miscast. Playful and exuberant most times, Fraser is forced to adopt a stern, sullen, unaffected demeanor, and it doesn't suit him; in fact, I often hoped that he would break into a wide grin and exclaim "Just kidding" before doing cartwheels down a dark alley. Andy Garcia is bipolar, irrationally erupting into screams after delivering most of his lines in a menacing whisper, and whoever thought it original to name a gangster "Fingers" should lose a finger.
I did like how the film came together. It's not near the Altman Standard, but it's more clever than I was expecting. And I also liked the idea behind the Fraser character: just because one can see the future doesn't mean that one can change it.
Overall, the Post sums this film up best: it's remarkably pretentious.
June 18, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Interesting... no, really. It was kinda of Crash-y but more violent. And I really liked the end. Wish that the Love (Kevin Bacon) story line had more oomph to it, but I think in these fractional tales, one story line usually gets a little shafted.
But really, the acting was great, the overall concept was very nice and the filming was beautiful. Oh, and Sarah Michelle Gellar looked stunning in every single frame of this film...
October 20, 2010
MeetMeinMontauk
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

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