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Life in a Day (2011)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 15,446

My Rating

Movie Info

The 24th July 2010.... 80,000 Lives.... 4,500 Hours of Footage... 2 Award winning Filmmakers..... Now one incredible motion picture event. What began life as a startling cinematic experiment becomes the must see movie experience of the Summer. Created entirely from footage uploaded by YouTube users, Life in a Day is a film first: exhilarating, moving and very, very funny... it is the story of our world. Told by us. -- (C) National Geographic


Documentary, Special Interest

Nov 8, 2011


National Geographic Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Life in a Day

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January 28, 2011:
Life in a Day Premiere and Interview
The crowdsourced documentary "Life in a Day" is unlike any other film making its debut at Sundance...


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All Critics (76) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (15) | DVD (1)

Almost inevitably, a film made from these snippets is less than the sum of its parts.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This pointillistic view of everyday people never quite gels as a movie, but it has its point-and-click moments.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comment (1)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What I took away were some individual moments from people whose lives I wish had played out more.

August 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Give Macdonald and crew credit for picking out good, clear, telling contrasts, and not sweating potential heavy-handedness.

August 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It strives awfully hard for depth but, more often than not, comes off too shallow.

July 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comment (1)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are dull spots, as with any other day, yet "Life" aims to be, and occasionally is, like a YouTube-y "Our Town," giving a sense of what it is to be alive on planet Earth.

July 29, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All too well summed up by its closing bit, where a young woman bemoans how she hoped for an eventful day but ended up with another rather mundane one.

July 16, 2012 Full Review Source:

The many windows into different lives, capturing moments humorous and sad, ordinary and momentous, build into quite a moving film.

September 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

It's best to simply ignore its corporate branding and accept the spirit of deeper understanding and celebration of the project's intention.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source:

With director Kevin Macdonald finding a rhythm among the myriad footage submitted, this honest, funny and touching doco is an incredible achievement.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

You walk out with a good feeling, having seen a lot of humanity in the almost raw.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

It's a feel-good movie in that sense, affirmative without being sentimental or exploitative.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Not all of this stuff will totally grip you with its urgency or relevance, but not a second of it (yes, even that fellow contemplating his laundry list) will wear out its welcome.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

The clips add up to a poignant reminder of how much beauty there is in our world and its people.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Inevitably, the 90-minute film has a lot to live up to. And, by and large, it succeeds in its mandate.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

While its intentions are pure and its goals often on mark with its presentation of a world both banal and spectacular, Life in a Day cannot help but delve into pretentious territory, creating an equally engrossing and frustrating viewing experience.

August 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

There is a cumulative effect of so many snapshots of life on earth, but it isn't meaningful so much as jumbled

August 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Sometimes it soars, sometimes it flops. Worse still, it gets boring. Our fascination lies in the diversity of experience

August 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile | Comment (1)
Urban Cinefile

Resides somewhere between the head trip of 'Koyaanisqatsi' and the it's-a-small-world-after-all reassurance of a Kodak commercial.

August 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Breaks all the established rules of filmmaking and storytelling, yet comes together as something that is unique, inspirational and occasionally profound.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Moviedex

Testifies to the remarkable, democratizing nature of cinema and the power of images seen and voices heard for the first time.

August 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

What makes "Life in a Day" so compelling is how completely ordinary it is. There are no YouTube antics, no one is putting on a show. It's simply a collection of how people decided to spend one July day.

August 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Audience Reviews for Life in a Day

The very idea of this film fascinated me, so I had to give it a shot. I must say, that if life itself fascinates you, you may just fall in love with this film, if you want to call it a film. These two directors asked people across the entire world to document their day and send in the footage so that this film could display the joys, struggles, happiness, and sadness surrounding us. This film displays these peoples lives very well, I just wish the film had been a little longer to explore a bit more of their lives, because in their videos they clearly wanted that. Life is intriguing to me and think this movie broadened my mind of how others view the world. "Life in a Day" is a very special film, that may not be groundbreaking, but it is very well put together.
June 17, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Truly a groundbreaking achievement that shows the kind of art only possible in our "always connected" present. "Life in a Day" is the reason Youtube was invented.

Away from gag-inducing pop, rant, and novelty videos is a global community capable of more than flaming each other in the site's comment sections. Over 80,000 video submissions have been cut and edited together in a glorious, sequential kaleidoscope depicting just what life meant to countless individuals in one day (July 24th 2010) from around the globe. The result is stunning, a meditative experiment that deserves comparison to the liked of "Baraka" and Godfrey Reggio's Qatsi trilogy.

The viewer is taken on an emotional odyssey, through segments warm, sad, funny, disturbing; to uncomfortably voyeuristic. It's exhausting, it's scatter shot, and it's life. You'll be thinking about this after the credits role.
January 17, 2014

Super Reviewer

Life in a Day isn't the most moving piece of cinema ever made, nor is it capable of sustaining an audience's interest through out. But there's a lot of amazingly captured material here that was shaped into an awe-inspiring film that has a simple message. It's great to be alive.
March 4, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Life in a Day isn't really what you would call a film so much as a long Youtube video without anything tying it together. The film balances between the everyday, ordinary lives of people from all over the world and the fantastical possibilities of one day, all encapsulated by film, and all simultaneously happening at the same time. This film was made possible by a compilation of Youtube videos, and several camera crews which went into the developing world. The parts that were shot by Scott Free Productions didn't always coalesce with the irregular footage of Youtubers. These people showed their everyday actions, including their morning routines, what was in their pockets, and telling what they were most afraid of, all questions the production company asked them to answer in their videos. These questions at times helped to keep the film balanced between the mundane and spectacular, although this film was haphazard much of the time. It wasn't exactly the amazing trip around the world I was expecting or a true look into the lives of every culture and clandestine society on Earth, but visually there were some great scenes, including a skydiving expedition, the explicit death of a cow, and scenes of the everyday lives of Indians, Africans, Australians, and the like, a view of the world I hardly ever get to see. Still, there could have been more. Though the film broaches much of the world, and tries to tie things together with questions, human experiences, and the confessions and condemnations of the scared youth and far more vulnerable adults, it still tried to please too many people with cutesy faire. The film doesn't reach any new heights, or showcases anything extremely vivid or interesting, but does give a chuckle once in a while, a swell of emotion at others, and a decent amount of introspection to anyone who watches with an open heart and mind. Though the execution might not have been perfection the first time around, it was a decently poignant film in places and though not hard hitting it did reveal a new layer of humanity that hasn't been seen directly. For such a broad spectrum of life, they did a decent job overall.
January 31, 2012

Super Reviewer

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