Up in the Air Reviews

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Hank Sartin
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
January 15, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
January 4, 2010
The pitch-perfect direction by Jason Reitman perfectly balances comedy and drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 24, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 11, 2009
From taxi to touchdown, Reitman knows how to get us to the next destination.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 10, 2009
Now arriving at the main terminal is the movie of the year.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 10, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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A.O. Scott
At the Movies
December 7, 2009
I think that this is a classic in the making.
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Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
December 6, 2009
Once again, Reitman the screenwriter gives Reitman the director an excuse to ponder the spaces between us and the ties that bind. Or don't.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 4, 2009
It's hard to think of an actor who's better at projecting the professional smoothness that's essential to make this character palatable, but Clooney turns out to be willing to take that persona further.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 4, 2009
If Reitman's first two films were triples, this is a home run.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
December 4, 2009
Reitman has given us a witty, elegant movie that is nonetheless, like its protagonist, somewhat aloof from the vicissitudes experienced by mere mortals.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 4, 2009
Reitman possesses a flair for off-kilter scenarios, and he's in fine form again, taking his triangulated principals -- Ryan, Alex, Keener -- out of their comfort zones and into a more complicated geometry.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
December 4, 2009
Few recent films have been so adroit at looking outward while burrowing inward.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 4, 2009
Reitman deserves credit for going through with a bitterly ironic ending, but the movie is marred by its warm condescension toward flyover country.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 4, 2009
Ryan is an antihero for these parlous times and, of course, since he's played by Clooney, we wait for him to redeem himself and become a full-fledged hero.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 4, 2009
An assertively, and unapologetically, tidy package, from its use of romance to instill some drama into the narrative (the book introduces disease instead) and the mope-rock tunes that Mr. Reitman needlessly overuses.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
December 4, 2009
... it goes a long way to renewing our faith that movies can tackle grown-up comedy resonant with real-life dilemmas and tragedy, often beyond our ability to grasp or control.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 4, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 4, 2009
A lovely Hollywood romance that floats buoyantly along on a sea of sadness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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David Ansen
Newsweek
December 4, 2009
In its funny, rueful way, Up in the Air touches contemporary American notes few Hollywood movies acknowledge.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 4, 2009
Up in the Air is a timeless movie that's utterly of its time -- a movie of humor, heart and mind.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
December 4, 2009
This is Jason Reitman's first film since Juno, and it's easy to see why actors and audiences are attracted to his visual eye.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Dana Stevens
Slate
December 3, 2009
Jason Reitman's third film has the lifespan of a state-fair churro: tasty at the point of consumption, it congeals soon afterward into its component ingredients of sugar and lard.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 3, 2009
The picture is brushed with a fine glaze of slickness, a product sealed in a blister pack. It's like airplane air -- it has a packaged freshness that isn't really fresh at all.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 3, 2009
One-word reaction: bravo.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 3, 2009
How often can you fault a wonderful comedy for an excess of humanity or plausibility?
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 3, 2009
It would be easy to make Ryan a louse or a hero who just needs a bit of armor polish. Clooney makes Ryan both ruthless and sympathetic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 3, 2009
It's a timely tale of job loss and economic upheaval, at times hidden behind screwball-comedy dialogue. And it isn't perfect, but when it works -- which is most of the time -- it works like gangbusters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 3, 2009
I don't know if it's the best movie of the year, but it's the most utterly enjoyable.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 3, 2009
The film glides to a perfect landing, leaving several characters changed, one coldly untouched and nothing up in the air at all -- except, perhaps, the question of what this very talented crew is going to do next.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 3, 2009
Up in the Air is actually several good movies -- a workplace comedy, romantic comedy, and family comedy -- seated on the same flight in the same aisle. They all feel forced together.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
December 3, 2009
Jason Reitman's direction nicely translates the seductive appeal of sterile public places while letting the assured performances do much of the work.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 3, 2009
Up in the Air has been shaped for Clooney's prodigious, slightly melancholy charm as a comic leading man. Happily he has worthy sparring partners.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 3, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 3, 2009
Up in the Air never cheats and delivers an almost perfect mix of humor, satire, and underplayed drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 2, 2009
Clooney has no peer at conveying suave, unflappable charm, but the role of Ryan requires the actor to do something different with his persona: Deflate the illusion and explore the emptiness beneath the cool.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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David Germain
Associated Press
December 2, 2009
Reitman has an impeccable talent for tearing out the spine of a novel and transposing it to the big screen, streamlining and simplifying a literary work without dumbing it down.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 2, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 2, 2009
Like Juno, Up in the Air conjures a troubling reality and then wishes it away.
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
December 2, 2009
Reitman, who also cowrote the screenplay, feels the constant need to "deepen" his characters, granting them wants and motivations -- especially during the moralistic third act -- that are totally alien to how they're initially portrayed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
November 30, 2009
The tension between the bleak and the blithe, the prime source of this movie's strength, is sustained by Reitman to the end.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 30, 2009
Clooney -- slim, dark, perfectly tailored -- glamorizes insincerity in a way that makes you want to go out and lie.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
September 16, 2009
Up in the Air often looks like an American Airlines commercial, and I wouldn't call it a feel-good movie per se, but there's a certain satisfaction watching two snappy, beautiful people at the top of their form.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
September 14, 2009
A movie about a guy who fires people, released at a time when at least a tenth of the work force is out of work, is utterly nervy. And wonderful.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
September 14, 2009
George Clooney has never seemed more vulnerable or more in tune with a role than he does in Up in the Air, a film that will be hard to beat for Best Picture come Oscar time.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Stephen Farber
Hollywood Reporter
September 8, 2009
Laughs and heartbreak meld seamlessly in this brilliant character drama.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 8, 2009
A slickly engaging piece of lightweight existentialism highlighted by winning turns from George Clooney and Vera Farmiga.