(III) (2010)

Critic Reviews



Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Documentaries have been coming down on humanity so hard in recent years -- from "An Inconvenient Truth" to the latest Oscar winner, "Inside Job" -- that it's refreshing to bask in a bit of optimism coming from a nonfictional film.
If you believe that, as one interviewee says, "Science is just another story," then these ideas may ring true. If you're looking for actual solutions to global problems, rather than ways to feel better about them, I Am will be a frustrating experience.
Boxoffice Magazine
Shadyac spins cooperation in a different direction. I Am takes the sharing instinct as proof that all living beings are interconnected.
An earnest, lumpy macramé of a personal nonfiction project.
What lifts the film above its dubious boilerplate assemblage of talking heads and archival images is Shadyac himself. With his gentle, self-mocking humor, he comes across as an exceptionally mellow, earnest and likable guy.
Village Voice
Embellished with a lot of CG, supporting clips, and lovely stock footage, I Am's basic tenets are hardly ridiculous: What's so funny about empathy, compassion, and love? Shadyac, looking like the lost triplet of Kenny G. and Al Yankovic, cheerfully indicts his own overconsumption first.
Shadyac didn't need to channel his angst into narrative fiction: He just needed to look in the mirror to find a symbol of Hollywood's arrogance and misplaced priorities.
Pay close attention to the title of Tom Shadyac's documentary. He will try to convince you his film is about humanity uniting to solve its problems. But somehow, his own ego keeps getting in the way.
For some, this sort of thinking is a much-needed revolution in human consciousness. For others, it's little more than New Age platitudes and questionable science.
All of this touching and feeling makes I Am a so-awful-it's-mesmerizing mash-up of Hollywood entitlement and earnest goodwill. There's no questioning Shadyac's googly-eyed sincerity, but the film has all the depth of a late-night dorm-room exchange.

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