Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Apr 30, 2013
    100
    In Something in the Air, that past—a version of Assayas's own—is rendered in visuals so specific and evocative, it's perpetually alive.
  2. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Mar 14, 2013
    100
    Decidedly not revolutionary cinema, Something in the Air instead quietly demystifies its subject. The tone of the piece is wryly affectionate but never indulgent; the experiences depicted feel emotionally true and lived-in without ever catching the viewer up in a rush of intoxication or excitement.
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Mar 14, 2013
    100
    This is a beautifully crafted work and an acute evocation of its period both in look and attitude, and it’s no less deeply absorbing for being somewhat muted in tone.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Apr 29, 2013
    91
    It proves that the screen is the place where a memory can be reborn.
  5. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 2, 2013
    90
    Assayas has such a steady hand as a director, he knows precisely how to let all of Gilles' inner angst play out. His nostalgia for those past days can be felt in the affection and forgiving way the indiscretions of youth are portrayed.
  6. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 2, 2013
    90
    Mr. Assayas’s method is observant and immersive. His camera moves among young bodies like an invisible friend, and his somewhat messy narrative is propelled by fidelity to feeling rather than by the machinery of plot.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 9, 2013
    88
    With a minimum of melodrama and a fluid camera style that weaves restlessly in and out of the throng, Something in the Air is attentive to the users and the used in this generation of supposed equals. There’s no anger to the film, though, and what sometimes feels like passivity is really just the fond, unromantic gaze of an artist carefully considering his younger self.
  8. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    May 1, 2013
    83
    Because of its autobiographical slant, Something In The Air has been compared to Assayas’ 1994 breakthrough, "Cold Water," which gazed upon roughly the same period of the director’s life.
  9. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 16, 2013
    80
    Where Assayas’ film really shines is in capturing that feeling, when adolescence is stumbling awkwardly toward adulthood, that the most important thing in the history of the world is the thing that is occupying your thoughts and emotions at this particular moment.
  10. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    May 2, 2013
    80
    Assayas may have been inspired by biographical memories, but “Air” is so sensitively observed that it simultaneously evokes a universal, and eternal, state of adolescence as well.
  11. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 30, 2013
    80
    Assayas evokes the atmosphere so vividly, you begin to breathe in his tale, rather than watch it.
  12. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    May 9, 2013
    75
    Something in the Air, is the latest screen portrait of an artist as a young man. It's a good one too, rich and assured, even if writer-director Olivier Assayas is more successful at creating atmosphere than at making his romanticized younger self a three-dimensional being.
  13. Reviewed by: Jim Emerson
    May 9, 2013
    75
    Assayas looks back on the values and priorities of the time with a vision that’s both wry and tender.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 3, 2013
    75
    Assayas doesn’t bring out the fiery best in this material, but he’s smart enough to know that revolutionaries like their comforts as much as the ruling class does.
  15. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Mar 14, 2013
    75
    There’s so much to like about the film, and it’s a mark of Assayas’ skill that it's a hugely engaging watch despite the blankness of the characters.
  16. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    May 9, 2013
    70
    Too bad it isn't more engaging — and dramatic — than it is, but this new film, in French with English subtitles, is still worth seeing for what it says of the turbulent state of France in the early 1970s, when Mr. Assayas was a high-school student in Paris, and of the zigzag pursuit—of painting, beautiful girls and independence from a demanding father—that finally culminated in his becoming the filmmaker he was meant to be.
  17. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    May 23, 2013
    63
    An overdose of sympathy makes for a wispy picture, likeable certainly but lacking in crispness and clarity.
  18. Mar 14, 2013
    63
    Despite a fixation on fire as a cleansing agent (explosions, burning paintings, or a blazing house), the film, enveloping as it is, proves woefully short on burning dramatic or thematic intensity.
  19. Reviewed by: Jenny McCartney
    May 27, 2013
    60
    It is beautifully shot, too: even the writing on the posters and graffiti observes the style of classical French écriture. Given enough time, maybe one could even grow nostalgic for the pomposity.
  20. Reviewed by: Grant Butler
    Mar 14, 2013
    58
    The opening sequences of this film from director Olivier Assayas are gripping, as students flee baton-wielding police, then embark on a late-night vandalism spree at a school. But the drama becomes mired with too many characters, too many shots of pretty Italian scenery and an unfocused story.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 27, 2013
    40
    This is a great-looking movie with a sure sense of time and place; it is obviously a personal, and in fact, autobiographical work about Assayas's own youth. But for all its flair, I came away dissatisfied at its colossal self-indulgence and creamy complacency, and the way historical perspective and meaning are permitted to dissolve in its sunlit nostalgia.
  22. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 2, 2013
    38
    Has the aroma of an autobiographical confession by someone for whom life hasn’t been overly difficult.

There are no user reviews yet.