56 Up - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

56 Up Reviews

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
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
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
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
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 14, 2013
Apted skillfully weaves old footage with the new, and we become poignantly aware of another factor shaping their lives (and our own): biology, as the we watch the once-cute kids grow gray and heavy.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 7, 2013
Apted, himself now in his early 70s, says he hopes to continue the series further. Long may it live.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 7, 2013
Watching "56 Up" gives you the wonderful feeling of seeing a sociological experiment blossom into something novelistically rich and humane.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 7, 2013
Time has been neither kind nor cruel to the 13 men and women profiled in "56 UP." It has just been time, which is what this groundbreaking series is about.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 31, 2013
We are all older now, and this series proves it in a most deeply moving way.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
January 28, 2013
Inevitably, one looks in the mirror afterward and thinks, What have I lost? What have I gained? And at what cost?
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
January 17, 2013
To see "56 Up" is to be reunited with an old friend.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
January 10, 2013
"56 Up" reminds us that change is ceaseless and often dramatic, bringing growth we could never have dreamed of as little kids.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
January 10, 2013
Apted creates a graceful back-and-forth from the earlier films to the present, and the experience of seeing people who have lived so much on screen is quite profound.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 7, 2013
The effect is often profoundly moving, but you can't help but feel at times like there are other stories here you're missing.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
January 4, 2013
What gives the series its force is not just its universality but also its particularity. These grown-ups may be Everyman, but they are also singular.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
January 4, 2013
"56 Up" is a rather bittersweet chapter, as age begins to further narrow those possibilities already defined at birth. And it hints that "63 Up," if we get there, may be sadder still.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
January 4, 2013
'56 Up" is as good a point as any to get hooked on the magnificent half-century series of documentaries ...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
January 3, 2013
These are moving images of touchingly vibrant lives at certain moments in time and space.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
January 3, 2013
It offers a few insights, and fascinating updates on the most compelling characters.
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
January 3, 2013
It shows that life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. And how, in case we forget, every age can predict the next.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
January 3, 2013
A rich portrait of how individual lives progress, and how age shapes expectations and experience.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
January 2, 2013
As pop anthropology, the series is unchallenged.
Top Critic
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
January 2, 2013
Self-contained enough for theatrical auds new to the series, it will play best with those who've come to care for these Brits over time.
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
January 2, 2013
[The film will be] of interest to faithful followers and easily accessible to newcomers.
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
January 1, 2013
An intimate portrait of settling down and finally making peace with one's well-publicized past.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 20, 2012
More than ever in this seventh edition, the Up people seem to be fulfilling Henry David Thoreau's observation that "most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4