The Last Airbender - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Last Airbender Reviews

Top Critic
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
August 12, 2010
One is bored and stupefied by what seems like an eternity of vacuous spectacle, cod-Buddhist tosh and clunking dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
July 2, 2010
Call M. Night Shyamalan a Wood Bender -- this kiddie cast is as flat and stiff as particle board
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
July 2, 2010
[T]he film works so hard to explain its plot developments that it scarcely has any time left over to dramatize them. Exposition has not merely vanquished mimesis, it has burned its homes to the ground and sown salt in its fields.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 2, 2010
Stilted dialogue, wooden acting, glacial pacing, cheesy special effects, tacky-looking sets, ugly costumes, poorly staged and edited action sequences, all shown in murky, cut-rate 3-D.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 1, 2010
A dull, boring, poorly acted, limply written and thoroughly unappealing fantasy, featuring bland characters locked in a struggle of no interest.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 1, 2010
M. Night Shyamalan's big-screen live-action version of the popular Nickelodeon animated TV series constitutes a form of Chinese water torture in which tin-ear line-readings take the place of drips.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
July 1, 2010
Please, Hollywood, if there's to be another Airbender movie, hand the job to some efficient hack, and not to a once mesmerizing artist who's lost his way.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 1, 2010
The Last Airbender is like a Care Bears movie that got waylaid in the fourth dimension. It's insufferably silly.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Cliff Doerksen
Chicago Reader
July 1, 2010
The current national priorities should be as follows: reduce carbon emissions and stop funding the films of M. Night Shyamalan.
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
MSN Movies
July 1, 2010
All the while, Shyamalan creates an ever-growing sense of 'Who cares where we are; when will this be over?'
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
July 1, 2010
This is one muddled attempt at franchise-making: confusing, drab, sluggish. (Ugly, too, if you're forced to see it in 3-D.)
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
July 1, 2010
Stiff, fuzzy-looking, cloddish and disastrous in nearly every way, The Last Airbender looks as if it could have been made by the spoiled son of a studio mogul willing to waste gobs of money.
Full Review | Original Score: D-
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 1, 2010
The puzzle of Shyamalan's racial casting soon becomes secondary to a much more pressing concern -- trying to follow the cluttered story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 1, 2010
It's rare to see a film so choppily edited, poorly scripted and spastically directed that you can barely understand what you're watching.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
July 1, 2010
It gets real old real fast.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
July 1, 2010
Even 3-D technology can't inject a much-needed extra dimension to The Last Airbender.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
July 1, 2010
If you thought it was bad when writer-director M. Night Shyamalan was channeling Rod Serling, wait till you see him try to be George Lucas.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 1, 2010
The Last Airbender is one of the most visually luscious and exhilarating entertainments I have seen this year, full of giddy fireworks and kinetic pleasure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 1, 2010
The TV show created an incredibly complex world over three seasons. This picture (the first in a proposed trilogy) tries to accomplish a year's worth of work in two hours. So we get titles and flashbacks, baldly expository dialogue and clumsy narration.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 1, 2010
I can see why Shyamalan was attracted to this material, but the results are clunky even by his recent standards.
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
July 1, 2010
The camera swoops and the music blares, but we might as well be watching a tolerant, teeth-gritting parent filming his son's karate class demonstration.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 1, 2010
This is bad filmmaking and bad storytelling. It also sounds what should be the death knell to M. Night Shyamalan's career.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 30, 2010
By specifically critical and broadly adult standards, this film is undoubtedly a disappointment, but it is disappointing in a way that its intended audience may not notice.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
June 30, 2010
The long-winded explanations and clumsy performances are made worse by graceless effects and a last-minute 3-D conversion that wrecks whatever visual grace or beauty might have been there.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 30, 2010
Shyamalan compresses a ton of plot exposition in every line and the resulting heavyosity is too much for the younger actors to carry.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 30, 2010
Shyamalan takes the beloved Nickelodeon anime series and turns it into 103 minutes of overproduced, stilted nonsense.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
June 30, 2010
The Last Airbender keeps throwing things at you, but its ultimate effect is, in every way, flat.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Scott Bowles
USA Today
June 30, 2010
He hasn't mastered the craft yet, but M. Night Shyamalan may be on to something with this action-movie thing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
June 30, 2010
Not since Kyle MacLachlan's whispered voice-overs about the worm and the spice and the worm IS the spice in Dune has a fantasy franchise tripped all over itself trying, simply, to please a fan base while creating a new one.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
June 30, 2010
The sprawling story is so dramatically compressed there is barely enough oxygen for relationship growth (crucial in Avatar), let alone traces of an interesting director's personality.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
June 30, 2010
This is all enormously disappointing, of course, since the best we could hope for from a live-action Avatar adaptation is the mind-blowing equivalent of our first encounters with wire-fu, rather than this cartoony nonsense.
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
June 30, 2010
Where to start with this one? How about this: If any movie ever warranted a class-action lawsuit against the filmmakers, it's The Last Airbender.
Full Review | Original Score: F
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 30, 2010
The movie has been criticized for racially inappropriate casting, but that's the least of its problems. The acting is laughable, the effects are phony, the editing is addled and the dialogue is disastrous.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
June 30, 2010
Even during the climax, the film still is struggling to introduce the world of the film and its strange rules.
Top Critic
Christopher Kelly
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
June 30, 2010
Who would have thought Shyamalan would come up with a movie that makes his Lady in the Water look positively sensible?
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 30, 2010
The Last Airbender is dreadful, an incomprehensible fantasy-action epic that makes the 2007 film The Golden Compass, a similarly botched adaptation of a beloved property from another medium, look like a four-star classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
June 30, 2010
While the special effects are impressive enough, M. Night Shyamalan's film doesn't make a lick of sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 30, 2010
This colossal folly, the fiasco of the summer of 2010 - gives us all a ringside seat at the sight of Mr. "I See Dead People's" career gurgling down the drain.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
June 30, 2010
The Last Airbender is a joyless, soulless, muddled mess, but the worst part of all doesn't come until the very end. That's when it makes the clear suggestion that two more such movies are in store for us.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 30, 2010
The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4