Metascore
37

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Inspired by a Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four key emotions – Happiness, Sorrow, Pleasure, and Love – The Air I Breathe is told in four short fables, each built around a character who embodies one of these key emotions. In Happiness, a timid banker who impulsively bets every cent he has, and then some, on a supposedly “sure thing.” In “Sorrow,” a rising pop star whose contract falls under the control of a ruthless crime boss, and his corrupt nephew. In “Pleasure,” a man who can see into the future of everyone he meets, but is totally blind when it comes to his own; and in “Love,” a doctor who pines for a woman he can never possess, only to find that he suddenly holds her life in his hands. Though each of the characters believes that his or her life is governed by hazard and chance, their unbridled emotions, impulsive choices, and reckless moves all prove one universal truth: character is destiny, and each of us makes our own fate. (THINKfilm) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 9
  2. Negative: 5 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    63
    Lee deserves a lot of credit for attempt the same kind of complex story structure Quentin Tarantino made look so easy in "Pulp Fiction": Like Tarantino's interlocking stories, Lee's four segments occur achronologically and come full circle in a neat twist at the very end.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Each story has its moments, but "Air" lacks an overarching vision.
  3. The source for Jieho Lee's The Air I Breathe is an ancient Chinese proverb about the four cornerstones of emotion - love, pleasure, happiness and sorrow. But Lee and co-writer Bob DeRosa went 0-4 with their convoluted screenplay, making me thankful they didn't try to adapt the Seven Deadly Sins.
  4. 38
    Situations get increasingly ridiculous, and none of the characters ever seems like anything but a screenwriter's sketch.
  5. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    30
    Stellar thesps gamely strive to elevate the one-note material, but gravity ultimately defeats them in this relentless downer.
  6. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    30
    The destiny-versus- responsibility hand-wringing is Philosophy 101, the camera angles straight out of film school, and the pacing strictly music-video. Plus, the ta-da! twist ending is foreshadowed roughly 20 minutes into the action, for those still interested.
  7. A top-notch varied group of actors, no doubt attracted by the colorfulness of their roles, has been assembled, but their hardworking efforts are ultimately done in by the supremely pretentious nature of the material.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Feb 21, 2011
    9
    What A GREAT Movie!!!!!!!
    Sarah Michelle Gellar Shows Us A Solid Role...
    Everything Is Good... Just Somtimes It Can Seem A Little Dull In Spots....
  2. Feb 22, 2013
    8
    I really didn't expect to like this movie as much as I did, after all several critics had refereed to is as a tame re-packaging of Pulp Fiction. The film is broken up into four parts that are out of order, and the characters all do eventually interact, there is also a mafia angle to the film, but overall besides the way things were laid out, I didn't really draw much of a comparison to Pulp Fiction. The stories all involve these peoples interactions with the mob, but they're all for different reasons and all have different outcomes. Andy Garcia is the boss, of course, always the perfect choice for a gangster or ruthless leader, and you get from him what's expected. What isn't expected is the tremendous performance of Brendan Fraser. I am not a fan and have never really considered him anything but a mediocre comedic actor, but after seeing The Air I Breathe, my opinion of him was definitely swayed. While watching the pieces, I knew they would somehow come together, but the way it was done was completely unpredictable and really something to watch. The film had a huge cast, with a ton of cameos, and just as many twists and turns. What I was expecting was far different from what I saw and I was more than happy with the way the film was done. I think if the film had been done in the traditional model of storytelling, it wouldn't have had as big of an impact. Expand
  3. Nov 9, 2011
    8
    "The Air I Breathe" perfectly intersects the stories despite the major flaws. Sarah Michelle Gellar never looked and acted better before throughout the movie. Overall a great movie and could have been better if it had a little bit of more budget added on. Expand
  4. GuyM.
    Feb 16, 2008
    7
    Did not quite get what was so "happy" about the happiness portion of the four part section but overall I enjoyed the movie
  5. [Anonymous]
    May 31, 2008
    7
    Entertaining, involving, with good performances, why did this movie inspire such revulsion? Better than about 2/3 of the product on the market. Biggest weakness: inconsistent use of paranormal gimmick. Expand
  6. ChadS.
    Jun 3, 2008
    5
    A screenwriter's convolution, or is it possible that Love(Kevin Bacon) is so in love with Gina(Julie Delpy), the doctor just can't help approach the security guards with too much piss, too much vigor? He needs Sorrow's blood. Love learns that the pop star(played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) has the same rare blood type as Gina during Sorrow's interview with a rock journalist. No. We're not in Japan. But anyway, rather than approach Sorrow in a calm, orderly fashion(just like any medical professional would), the doctor bum-rushes the pop star like a fanatic. Needless to say, the doctor's attempt to acquire the blood, fails. And you know what? Love actually gets a second chance. That's when "The Air I Breathe" reaches for its revolver and shoots the region inside our brains that controls our suspension of disbelief. Expand
  7. MBlues
    Jan 31, 2008
    2
    Ludicrous, ridiculous, beyond silly. What in the world are these great actors thinking?? The writer/director must come from serious $$$.

See all 8 User Reviews

Trailers