A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is a "triumph of the underdog" story in which people who are lacking money and resources must rely on their ingenuity to succeed. It's pretty simple, but it can still feel inspiring.
Positive Role Models
Even though Sonny Vaccaro comes up with the idea that saves the company, and his unique charm and know-how help him navigate the various pitfalls that occur, he's presented as a fairly flawed person. He gambles, swears a lot, doesn't have healthy habits, and can be fairly abrasive to those around him.
Focuses largely on White men, with more diversity in key supporting roles. Chris Tucker plays Howard White, a high-ranking Black executive at Nike, and Marlon Wayans plays George Raveling, a Black athlete-turned-Nike employee. Viola Davis and Julius Tennon play Michael Jordan's parents (Michael himself is mostly kept off-camera); Deloris Jordan is portrayed as a force to be reckoned with. She has agency and is a master negotiator. Actor Matthew Maher, who has a speaking difference as the result of cleft palate surgery, plays Peter Moore, the genius shoemaker who builds the Air Jordan.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex-related dialogue. Playboy and Hustler magazines (with brown paper slip cover) seen on shelf at convenience store. Joke about STDs.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Strong, frequent language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "damn," "badass," "stupid," "nuts," "nutsack," "balls," "dumb." Exclamatory use of "Jesus Christ."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The Nike logo, shoes, slogans, and various products are mentioned or on display throughout. Adidas and Converse brands are also mentioned and shown. Various 1980s products (Kodak, Wendy's, 7-Eleven, Slurpee, Wheaties, Wonder Bread, Trivial Pursuit, etc.) are seen in an opening montage and in the background.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking: beers at restaurant.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Air is based on the true story of how a once sinking Nike corporation rocketed to the top by making a deal with NBA superstar Michael Jordan and creating their bestselling Air Jordan sneakers. The Ben Affleck-directed drama follows a formula but has an undeniable underdog energy. Language is the biggest issue, with frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and more. There's also sex-related dialogue (including jokes about STDs) and glimpses of adult magazines (protected by brown slipcovers) in a convenience store. Characters drink socially -- i.e., beers in a restaurant -- and the Nike logo, shoes, slogans, and various products are mentioned or on display throughout. Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, and Viola Davis co-star. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Directed capably (if not excitingly) by Ben Affleck, this Great American "triumph of the underdog" story isn't exactly a slam dunk, but it's at least a solid layup. Air relies on many "sitting in a room and talking" shots, as well as several phone conversation scenes, and then tries to pump these moments up with a large selection of period songs, one of which seems to pop up about every five minutes. And there's too much dialogue that "predicts" the future, designed so that viewers can nod along in recognition. Air isn't a dynamic movie, but perhaps thanks to the fine performances, the energy is there, and it becomes undeniably exciting. Plus, this isn't a movie about amassing great wealth. It's more about regular folks simply keeping their jobs (and, in some cases, their identities), and about a Black family setting a new precedent so that others may follow. Ultimately, it's the characters who count in Air, and we get to know them well enough that their setbacks and victories actually mean something.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.