Box art for The Last Airbender

The Last Airbender

action & adventure

Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 9
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Boring -- but age-appropriate for young fans of the TV show.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that even though this live-action fantasy based on Nickelodeon's popular Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon TV series was directed by The Sixth Sense's M. Night Shyamalan, it doesn't have much content that's inappropriate for the show's elementary-school-aged fans. There's some fighting and violence, but it's not bloody or even particularly scary. And one character gives up her life in order to save her people, but otherwise there's nothing too dark. Language and substance use aren't issues, and there's only very mild flirting between two characters, who kiss once. It's worth noting that there has been some controversy around the movie's casting, with fans objecting to Caucasian actors playing characters who are Asian in the TV series.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how The Last Airbender movie compares to The Last Airbender cartoon. How are the characters different?
  • How does the violence in this movie compare to others you've seen? Does this kind of media violence have more or less impact than what's in other fantasy/action movies? Why?
  • Aang, like most great heroes, is on a journey. Who are his helpers? Who are his nemeses? What does he need to do overcome his obstacles?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: I can see why Shyamalan was attracted to this material, but the results are clunky even by his recent standards.

- Andrew O'Hehir,, Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rotten: Sadly, M. Night Shyamalan has not regained what he lost three films ago. His films are truly bad.

- Bob Grimm, Reno News and Review, Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rotten: Even 3-D technology can't inject a much-needed extra dimension to The Last Airbender.

- Bruce Demara, Toronto Star, Thursday, July 1, 2010

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Never having seen the tv show i can say this. It was not a bad movie. Wasnt great just interesting. I like fantasy type stuff so this was a good show for me. A pretty unique story thanks to the tv show ive been told. But supposedly the director did not capture it. NOW knowing many people who did watch the show. I hear this was not good. I will try and watch the tv show now to see how bad the movie supposedly was.

- jmanard52, Monday, January 10, 2011

2 stars

Even as someone who is not familiar with the anime of the same name, you can tell that this has probably little to do with it. The set-up, world-building and idea behind this mythology is great and interesting. There are also a couple of genuinely fun action scenes, especially when the bender work with their elements. The main problem are the characters. Why do the main characters from the ice look Caucasian but everyone around them Inuit? Those two aren't much of actors anyway. Then there is this somewhat flat but often bratty main character. All that makes it hard to care for everything that's going on. The film is still entertaining and offers some nice special effects, gorgeous landscapes and cities. So the result is not as catastrophic as fans of the original may want to make you believe. It's not that great a movie on its own either, though. And the sequel the ending dares to hint at very strongly will probably never happen.

- ironclad1609, Wednesday, November 21, 2012

0 star

There are few films that I advocate destroying, but sadly this is one of them. Why you ask? Well...I fear that aliens might one day accidentally pick up the film's signal while some poor soul is streaming it into their home. Wielding a rare power to create water out of thin air, a power much needed by earth as it's rising population has made water a precious resource, they would end up seeing The Last Airbender and assume that it is representative of the Earth as a whole. Rather than being afraid of Earth's inhabitants, I fear they would be bored to tears by the story and in the end come to the decision that Earth is not worth saving. So yeah...I have pretty good reason to want this film obliterated from the face of the planet.

- axadntpron, Wednesday, October 3, 2012