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Up in the Air (2009)



Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 264
Fresh: 239 | Rotten: 25

Led by charismatic performances by its three leads, director Jason Reitman delivers a smart blend of humor and emotion with just enough edge for mainstream audiences.


Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 47
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 5

Led by charismatic performances by its three leads, director Jason Reitman delivers a smart blend of humor and emotion with just enough edge for mainstream audiences.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 224,556

My Rating

Movie Info

Jason Reitman's adaptation of the novel Up in the Air tells the story of Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), who makes his living personally handing out pink slips -- he's the top hatchet man at a company that other companies hire when they are downsizing. And since business is booming, his job keeps him on the go constantly. He flies all across the country, staying in a series of nice hotels. And although this itinerant lifestyle prevents him from having any kind of stable, regular life, this


Drama, Romance, Comedy

Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

Mar 9, 2010


Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (264) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (239) | Rotten (25) | DVD (10)

It's a pleasure to watch an adult American comedy that tries to deal with the real world, however much of a fantasy it carves from it.

January 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The pitch-perfect direction by Jason Reitman perfectly balances comedy and drama.

January 4, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Jason Reitman brings such splendid balance and nuance to Bingham's story that you can't hate the man; indeed you end up pitying him.

December 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

From taxi to touchdown, Reitman knows how to get us to the next destination.

December 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Now arriving at the main terminal is the movie of the year.

December 10, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jason Reitman's dry, moving "comedy," based on the Walter Kirn novel, is a sly indictment of Corporate America, Marketing America and Frequent Flying America.

December 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By far Reitman's most accomplished film to date, both in terms of craft and its stealth avoidance of typical Hollywood flight patterns...

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

This is a likable film, with likable actors and a breezy, pleasant pace. If you're not paying close attention, you'd almost miss that this film is a crock. But it is. It's an elegant con.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

One of the warmest and most entertaining films of this or any year, which is saying something considering it's about a man who fires people for a living.

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

There is perhaps no film that represents the present better ...

November 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Sometimes, it suggests, you can fly 10 million miles but never really go anywhere at all.

September 30, 2011 Full Review Source: American Profile
American Profile

Up in the Air succeeds because it doesn't take itself that seriously and it's not interested in trying to explain obvious truths to the rest of us plebeians. It just wants to show a moment of fundamental change in a man's life.

March 21, 2011 Full Review Source:

Just when you start to wonder where the surprise twists will happen, Reitman defies conventional storytelling.

January 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Incisive and occasionally sad, this captured the zeitgeist of the late-Zeroes' tectonically shifting economics. But Jason Reitman's generous, rich, rewarding tragicomedy of occupational dissatisfaction will still wow viewers even after (hopeful) recovery.

November 22, 2010 Full Review Source:

Up in the Air is so funny, so consistently surprising and so emotionally in-touch that it could have only been crafted by one of the most soulful directors working today.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Reitman proves with Up in the Air that the sky's the limit for his career - he has proven with his three films to be one of the premiere directors of his generation.

September 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Filmfest

Companionship. Independence. Loyalty. Flyer miles. All are a part of the life of George Clooney's corporate downsizer in the timely, and timeless, Up in the Air.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

One of the pleasures of the film is watching Jason Reitman blossom into a filmmaker light years ahead of the one who made the underwhelming Thank You For Smoking and the overly self-conscious Juno.

July 4, 2010 Full Review Source: DCist

George Clooney is thoroughly likeable as the amusingly callous Ray - even watching him at the heart-breaking job of terminating folk en-masse is fun, but it is the women that give the film its heart.

July 4, 2010

Reitman further perfects his sharp, funny, and affecting seriocomic style in crafting films that wildly entertain in the moment and then linger long in the mind and heart.

May 16, 2010 Full Review Source:

Life happens... live it one day at a time and connect to whomever you can, even if it's the person losing their job sitting right across from you.

April 12, 2010 Full Review Source:

One of the things that makes George Clooney a great movie star is that he's always letting us know just how much fun he's having being George Clooney.

March 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Weekly
Philadelphia Weekly

As much as it is a comedy in the classic Tracy/Hepburn mold, "Up in the Air" is very much a drama of the moment.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Hay tantos ángulos desde donde se puede hablar de esta cinta -responsabilidad social, management, internet, matrimonio, soledad%u2026- que está desde ya, destinada a convertirse en un clásico.

March 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinenganos

Well-polished bull**** at best, manifest of nothing less than everything wrong with America today.

March 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Projection Booth | Comments (14)
Projection Booth

Think what you will of it, the movie says a number of different things to a number of different people.

March 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Up in the Air

Very good romantic dramedy, Up In The Air is a well acted film that surprised me. I really didn't expect to enjoy it the way I did, but this film exceeded my expectations. George Clooney is terrific opposite Anna Kendrick, who is always charming in her roles. Jason Reitman directs the film, and like others such as Thank you for Smoking, he brings a unique touch to his films that makes this an engaging, and highly rich film going experience. At times the film did slow down, and it had a few imperfections here and there, but the cast and story keep you entertained. Reitman delivers a great film here that delivers a terrific storyline. Like I said, the film exceeded my expectations, and I didn't expect to enjoy it the way I did. Up In The Air is a well crafted film that mixes comedic elements with drama to make for a fun film to watch. If you enjoy the genre, then this is a must watch. Clooney delivers another great performance here, and other cast members are great as well. I found that every actor that played their part brought something to really elevate the film a lot more. The idea behind the film is simple, yet Reitman and company are able to pull off something truly special. The result is a film that is very well acted, one that boasts a great story, and a surprising performance by actor Danny McBride, who normally is in straight forward comedic roles. The role he's in really is a great departure from his usual output, and he proves that he's able to act in more dramatic roles. Up In The Air is among Jason Reitman's finest efforts.
February 5, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Finally watched this on my sister's recommendation. There's a lot of good material here, I could definitely see it again. Watch it for the smooth but gentle, humane way Ryan Bingham handles people.

It was especially poignant (from a Zen perspective) to listen to Anna Kendrick rattle off all the ideals of a young person, and watch how those very fantasies cause her mental suffering.
July 3, 2013
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

There's been a lot of unwarranted hype about this movie. It was not a romantic movie nor a dramatic movie. It was a bit much ado about nothing. But George is as swooney as ever. He never disappoints. He is hired to fire people and he clocks up airmiles as he travels across the USA. His company hires a young graduate who recommends grounding the staff and firing people by video conference to save money. George is against this as it threatens his lifestyle in the air. She goes on a field trip with him to try to understand the business and how it operates. In between this there are two other storylines. George's sister is getting married. He never sees his family and they are estranged. George meets a female version of himself. A women who loves her work and they re-arrange their schedules to meet up. The ending is very disappointing. It certainly lives up to its title 'up in the air'.
January 31, 2013
T Tsang

Super Reviewer


Up in the Air is not an earth shattering drama we have not seen done before. George Clooney is great in his role as a heartless individual who eventually turns a new leaf to be a good man but we've seen him play this role dozens of times. He's an actor with one face and this is him doing the Oceans Eleven and The Men Who Stare At Goats guy yet again. I liked the first half because it was briliant black comedy with Clooney doing something new. Up in the Air is actually an annoyingly snooty and schmultsy film that loses it's heartless tone of humour in the latter half because of it's need as a mainstream film to have a cheesy morality appeal and a eye rolling sobby romance substory. Director Jason Reitman made a similar mistake with Thankyou for Smoking but Thankyou For Smoking had a more likable Aaron Eckhart as a horrible businessman and in contrast, Clooney's horrible character; Ryan Bingham, is never likable as Clooney playing the role. It also managed to keep some of it's edge but Up in the Air lost it entirely to please a mainstream audience which is unlike director Jason Reitman who directed Juno. Sky Movies called this a "first class comedy". It honestly is in the wrong sense, a sophisticated, posh film that I knew would become Oscar bait. And quite often it's a very dislikable, depressing film.
April 9, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

    1. Ryan Bingham: You know that moment when you look into somebody's eyes and you can feel them staring into your soul and the whole world goes quiet just for a second?
    2. Natalie Keener: Yes!
    3. Ryan Bingham: Right. Well, I don't.
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (19 months ago)
    1. Natalie Keener: Hungry much?
    2. Ryan Bingham: Our business expense allots forty dollars each for dinner. I plan on grabbing as many miles as I can.
    3. Natalie Keener: Okay, you got to fill me in on the miles thing. What is that about? You're talking about, like, frequent flyer miles?
    4. Ryan Bingham: You really want to know?
    5. Natalie Keener: I'm dying to know.
    6. Ryan Bingham: I don't spend a nickel, if I can help it, unless it somehow profits my mileage account.
    7. Natalie Keener: So, what are you saving up for? Hawaii? South of France?
    8. Ryan Bingham: It's not like that. The miles are the goal Let's just say that I have a number in mind and I haven't hit it yet.
    9. Natalie Keener: That's it? You're saving just to save? That's a little abstract. What's the target?
    10. Ryan Bingham: I'd rather not...
    11. Natalie Keener: Is it a secret target?
    12. Ryan Bingham: It's ten million miles.
    13. Natalie Keener: Okay. Isn't ten million just a number?
    14. Ryan Bingham: Pi's just a number.
    15. Natalie Keener: Well, we all need a hobby. No, I- I- I don't mean to belittle your collection. I get it. It sounds cool.
    16. Ryan Bingham: I'd be the seventh person to do it. More people have walked on the moon.
    17. Natalie Keener: Do they throw you a parade?
    18. Ryan Bingham: You get lifetime executive status. You get to meet the chief pilot, Maynard Finch.
    19. Natalie Keener: Wow.
    20. Ryan Bingham: And they put your name on the side of a plane.
    21. Natalie Keener: Men get such hardons from putting their names on things. You guys don't grow up. It's like you need to pee on everything.
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (19 months ago)
    1. Natalie Keener: Please, for the love of God, can I fire the next one.
    – Submitted by Ahmed B (19 months ago)
    1. Ryan Bingham: I thought I was a part of your life.
    2. Alex Goran: I thought we signed up for the same thing.
    3. Ryan Bingham: Try and help me understand exactly what it is that you signed up for.
    4. Alex Goran: I thought our relationship was perfectly clear. I mean, you're an escape. You're a break from our normal lives. You're a...a parenthesis.
    – Submitted by Ric A (20 months ago)
    1. Ryan Bingham: I'm like my mother, I stereotype. It's faster.
    – Submitted by Amir V (21 months ago)
    1. Ryan Bingham: I'm like my mother, I stereotype. It's faster.
    – Submitted by Kevin Q (21 months ago)
View all quotes (47)

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  • In the Air (FR)
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