We kind of saw this coming, no? Either way, we might as well put it down for the record — Manohla Dargis of the NY Times singles out Anna Kendrick (Clooney gives one of his best here but he is almost upstaged by the talented Kendrick):
One of the pleasures of ‚ÄúUp in the Air‚Äù is that its actresses ‚Äî including Anna Kendrick, who plays Bingham‚Äôs colleague Natalie ‚Äî share the frame with Mr. Clooney as equals, not props. The ferocious Ms. Kendrick, her ponytail swinging like an ax, grabs every scene she‚Äôs in, which works for her go-getter (go-get-him) character, who is sent out on the road with Bingham as part of an efficiency campaign. She‚Äôs a monster for our times: a presumed human-resources expert who, having come of age in front of a computer, has no grasp of the human. By contrast Bingham, who fires people face to face with a small smile and pat speech, comes across as the good guy, though only if you forget what he does for a living.
And Kenneth Turan at the LA Times gives Clooney worthy praise:
Reitman has said he wrote Bingham with Clooney in mind, and it was a wise choice. 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, to be both more real and more vulnerable than his charm-offensive characters are usually allowed to be.
Solid reviews, giving it an 81 at Metacritic (which feels low to me, considering, but that’s how they roll). There are a couple of holdouts, Slate, Village Voice and TimeOut. But Ebert gives it four stars and audiences are going to fall in love with this film and these characters. Just a smidge surprising that Peter Travers withholds that half star – I would have sworn this would have been one of his four star films.¬† It couldn’t have been a more positive review. But we know Travers gives those out but once or twice a year.