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.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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.
| Original Score: 4/4
We feel good, refreshed and depressed in watching these people get older, also embarrassed in moments and cautioned about the passage of time.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
Apted, himself now in his early 70s, says he hopes to continue the series further. Long may it live.
Watching "56 Up" gives you the wonderful feeling of seeing a sociological experiment blossom into something novelistically rich and humane.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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.
We are all older now, and this series proves it in a most deeply moving way.
Inevitably, one looks in the mirror afterward and thinks, What have I lost? What have I gained? And at what cost?
To see "56 Up" is to be reunited with an old friend.
| Original Score: 4/5
"56 Up" reminds us that change is ceaseless and often dramatic, bringing growth we could never have dreamed of as little kids.
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.
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.
| Original Score: A-
"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.
'56 Up" is as good a point as any to get hooked on the magnificent half-century series of documentaries ...
These are moving images of touchingly vibrant lives at certain moments in time and space.
It offers a few insights, and fascinating updates on the most compelling characters.
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.
| Original Score: 5/5
As pop anthropology, the series is unchallenged.
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.
[The film will be] of interest to faithful followers and easily accessible to newcomers.
An intimate portrait of settling down and finally making peace with one's well-publicized past.
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."