56 Up Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly
April 28, 2015
Perhaps predictably the mellowest of the movies. They for the most part seem to have settled into an autumnal contentment. The big conflicts have been largely resolved.
Norman Wilner
NOW Toronto
January 1, 2014
As the project hits its half-century mark, with the "kids" settling into middle age, the signature cross-cutting between then, now and everything in between feels downright Proustian in its emotional depth.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Sean Means
Salt Lake Tribune
January 1, 2014
Apted, now 72, has said he'll keep calling on his subjects every seven years until he or they are dead. Whether the subjects show up or not, I for one will be in line when 63 Up comes around.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
January 1, 2014
This suffers as well from the fact that the subjects' lives haven't changed all that much since 49 Up (2005); perhaps the series will improve yet as they head into old age.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
January 1, 2014
The original documentary was intended to illustrate how the country's deeply ingrained class system inscribed itself on the aspirations and inner lives of its young people. But the successive movies have been far less polemical.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 1, 2014
We're now at 56 Up,, and with each passing calendar leap, the experience of watching has only become more soul-stirring.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Bill Gibron
Film Racket
July 8, 2013
a window into our shared human experience, and a terrific one at that.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
May 6, 2013
56 Up has become a stirring reflection, even tribute, to the little bends and turns of ordinariness, the ebbs and surges of everyday lives.
Mike Scott
Times-Picayune
April 11, 2013
Apted's subjects would object to the idea that we really know them, but we think we do -- and that's good enough to make his film feel like a reunion, a visit with an old friend. Or 14 of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
March 28, 2013
Yes, on some level it's just a seven-year check-in with people maybe half-remembered, if that. Yet the films also serve as a kind of check-in with us, too.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
March 21, 2013
Chances are that you'll come away from this long film feeling a sense of knowing its characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
March 8, 2013
We might say that '56 Up' serves much the same function as 'Amour,' but it responds to the inevitability of decline with compassion, not dread.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Greg Evans
Bloomberg News
February 28, 2013
What started as a crafty way of looking at the U.K.'s rigid class structure has grown into a portrait of melancholy middle age, with its heartbreaks and minor-key triumphs.
Full Review | Original Score: ***1/2
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
February 23, 2013
In 49 Up, many of the series' subjects seemed to be just settling into their bliss; now they're committed to it, and the foreclosed possibilities that come alongside.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Robert Denerstein
Movie Habit
February 22, 2013
Those British kids are now 56
Vanessa Farquharson
National Post
February 21, 2013
Watching the eighth film is intriguing but, in a way, disappointing. At this point in the game, it feels as if all the characters have determined their lots in life and are simply plodding through their interviews.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 21, 2013
What ultimately is so compelling about 56 Up is the universality of the experiences. We were all once children. And we all will die. And in between, there is everything else.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
February 21, 2013
Quite simply one of the great documentary projects in the history of cinema, an engrossing sociological experiment on film; and though this mostly mellow installment isn't as revelatory as some earlier ones, it's still a remarkable document.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Sarah Boslaugh
PopMatters
February 15, 2013
... feels like a retrospective and summation of the whole series, with ample quotation from the previous films, an approach that makes it interesting even for viewers who haven't seen the previous installments.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 14, 2013
We feel good, refreshed and depressed in watching these people get older, also embarrassed in moments and cautioned about the passage of time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Page 1 of 4