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Up in the Air (I) (2009)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  23 December 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 257,255 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 442 user | 381 critic | 36 from

With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 94 wins & 116 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Young MC
Conference DJ (as Cut Chemist)
Adrienne Lamping ...


Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he's met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of a man ready to make a connection. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor sin escalas  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,181,450 (USA) (4 December 2009)


$83,813,460 (USA) (2 April 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While at Lambert Field in St Louis, Ryan tries to make an impassioned speech to Natalie about Charles A. Lindbergh's plane 'The Spirit of St Louis'. Officially, Lindbergh's plane was a Ryan NYP (New York to Paris) so the two share the same name. As a tribute to Charles Lindbergh, the airport displays a prop Spirit of St. Louis used in the James Stewart movie of the same name. See more »


When Ryan looks at his sister's RSVP wedding card, the month is spelled incorrectly "Febuary" instead of "February". See more »


[first lines]
Terminated Employee: This is what I get in return for 30 years of service for my company? And they send some yo-yo like you in here to try to tell me that I'm out of a job? They should be telling you *you're* out of a job.
Terminated Employee: You have a lot of gall coming in here and firing your number one producer. And then you're going to go home tomorrow and make more money than you've ever made in your life, and I'm going to go home without a pay check. Fuck you.
Terminated Employee: I just... I guess you leave me dumbfounded. I don't ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Over the end credits, the camera glides over the clouds. Much like the view from a plane. See more »


References Amélie (2001) See more »


Tickets to Life Theme
Written by 'David Winer'
Courtesy of American Airlines, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Breathes New Air...

Director Jason Reitman, that has brought us great Indie classics such as Thank You for Smoking and Juno has crafted his most personal and most effective portrait to date, Up in the Air. The film stars George Clooney, also giving his most intimate and beautiful performance of his career, as Ryan, a traveling "Firing-Man," who plans on racking up as much frequent flyer miles as he can. Completely void of human connection and emotion, even from his two sisters, one of which is getting married, Ryan seems completely content with his choice of living. All seems well until he meets his female version in the beautiful and charismatic Alex, played with sexual force and intensity by Vera Farmiga. At the same time, a change at his job makes him acquire a student, Natalie, played with sensitivity and vigor by Anna Kendrick, to learn the ropes of the business before potentially making a devastating change to Ryan's way of life.

The film, based on the book of the same title, is a moving and witty piece of cinema. The line deliveries given are some of the best liners of the year. The adaptation by Reitman and Sheldon Turner is of beautiful and social importance in today's day and age. There was no better time than now, to bring a film like this to the table. Dana E. Glauberman's crisp and precise editing sets the pace as we travel with Ryan in this beautiful account. Reitman's direction shows he's a force to be reckoned with and should be in full blown force for Oscar consideration along with the adaptation shared with Turner.

George Clooney, who's having one hell of a year along with his other comedic turn in The Men Who Stare at Goats, gains sympathy and emotion from the viewer, which up until now, Clooney had always struggled for. The role is right up Clooney's alley and with humorous strength, conveys the pain and loneliness of an otherwise charming man successfully.

Vera Farmiga as Alex, is a beautiful as she is dark, and as sexy as she is ugly. Farmiga has finally landed the right role that, in her years of wrong place at the wrong time, should land her a first-time Oscar nomination. Never showing her hand, Farmiga keeps and earns your trust, attention, and admiration. It's one of the most divisive and structurally brilliant supporting turns of the year.

Seemingly not playing with a full deck is Natalie, played most beautifully by Anna Kendrick, who portrays brains don't equal smart choices. Kendrick earns your care and concern for the character, as she follows Ryan around and constantly badgers him about happiness and love, she naïvely and courageously shows the tenderest parts of youth in today's world. Kendrick will likely be sitting along side Farmiga at Oscar's ceremony.

Jason Bateman, playing Craig Gregory, the boss in charge, is amusing in a brief but memorable role. Amy Morton and Melanie Lynsky, who play Ryan's sisters, are valuable and sufficient enough to book end a wonderful tale. Danny McBride, an outstanding comic talent to watch, is as good as ever. And finally, in otherwise cameos, Sam Elliott and the great Zack Galifianakis are uproarious in their respective roles.

This could very well be the crowd and critical pleaser of the year. It has what the 2004 film Sideways lacked, the emotional edge. Long after the film, you take these characters home with you and remind yourself of its authenticity in delivery, poise, and premise. Up in the Air is one of the best pictures of the year. ****/****

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