Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by
The Theory of Flight is far from a perfect movie, but it offers enough highlights that, on balance, it's worth a recommendation. The solid acting camouflages a great many other deficiencies.
It's a sweet, low-key and satisfying film -- and it deserves a heap of credit for treating its subject with humor and humanity.
New York Post
Greengrass' direction is uninspired, but there is powerful chemistry between a workmanlike Branagh and (real-life girlfriend) Bonham Carter. And her original, seductive and always believable turn as the difficult-but-lovable Jane raises the movie above all its flaws. [23 Dec. 1998, p.44]
The Theory of Flying is actually fairly enjoyable. At least it doesn't drown its message in syrup and cornball sentiment.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
What saves the movie from taking a nose-dive is the confident performance of Helena Bonham Carter and some genuinely funny scenes involving her character. She plays Jane, a smart, feisty, rebellious young woman who is confined to a wheelchair because she is dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). [22 Jan. 1999, p.E3]
The Theory of Flight is built from the kind of material that either soars or crashes with audiences. And here, it doesn't quite hold together. But if the film, as a whole, never takes flight, the actors do. Watching them bicker and sail up is so delightful, you only wish their vehicle could keep them aloft longer.
New Orleans Times-Picayune
A key strategic decision in the success of this 100-minute feature is Greengrass' determination to accentuate the humorousness of his salty-tongued heroine and valiantly resist the temptation to sentimentalize her plight. The upshot is a touchingly off-kilter, bravely platonic love story that -- wonder of wonders -- never turns sticky. [5 March 1999, p.L28]
[A] gimmicky actors' holiday.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
The difficulty with the film starts with the amount of improbability one must swallow. [24 Dec. 1998, p.D10]
A TV-movie-ish love story laden with heavy-handed metaphor... The Theory of Flight is feeble stuff.
New York Daily News
Theory of Flight follows the standard inspirational formula. [23 Dec. 1998, p.43]

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