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One Direction: This Is Us (2013)

tomatometer

63

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 86
Fresh: 54 | Rotten: 32

It's mostly for the converted, but One Direction: This Is Us will be fun for fans -- and it offers just enough slickly edited concert footage to entertain the casual viewer.

61

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 9

It's mostly for the converted, but One Direction: This Is Us will be fun for fans -- and it offers just enough slickly edited concert footage to entertain the casual viewer.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 30,118

My Rating

Movie Info

ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US is a captivating and intimate all-access look at life on the road for the global music phenomenon. Weaved with stunning live concert footage, this inspiring feature film tells the remarkable story of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis' meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the X-Factor, to conquering the world and performing at London's famed O2 Arena. Hear it from the boys themselves and see through their own eyes what it's

Dec 17, 2013

$28.9M

Sony Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on One Direction: This Is Us

December 20, 2013:
Parental Guidance: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Plus The Lone Ranger, One Direction: This is Us and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
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December 10, 2013:
Digital Multiplex: One Direction: This Is Us, Blue Caprice, and More
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All Critics (86) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (32)

This Is Us does what it needs to do for its target audience. But anyone looking for actual substance or insight will be disappointed and maybe even a little bored with its repetitive nature.

August 31, 2013 Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com
RogerEbert.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fact is that they are as criminally cute as a basketful of puppies. This Is Us manages to frame that boyish appeal astutely ...

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It might not make you a fan of One Direction, but it will certainly make you understand the group, which is the job of any good documentary.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is a successful witness to the great charm possessed by all five members of One Direction.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"One Direction: This Is Us" leaves the larger questions it points toward teasingly unexplored, making the film little more than a harmless keepsake.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a group so evidently versed in the visuals of rock history, it's a shame that a filmmaker wasn't hired who would pay homage to classic pop films instead of offering a satisfactory paid promotional.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The boys are very likable, but the film around them is still very repetitive.

May 30, 2014 Full Review Source: Nonfics

About as journalistically useful as a promoted tweet.

February 5, 2014 Full Review Source: SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Even Niall's schtick of whipping up or quieting down a mass of waiting fans seems the most innocuous metaphor imaginable for the manipulation that, unexamined here, lies at the hollow heart of all this manufactured stardom and its manufactured followers.

December 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

What's super-odd about this film is its director, Morgan Spurlock. Best-known as an activist documentarian...it's a bit of a shock to see his controversy-magnet name attached to something so tame, formulaic and corporate.

September 29, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

Background graphics burst past the stage and into the foreground - a flashy, amusingly distracting gimmick that feels true to the band it accompanies.

September 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

This Is Us is like a balloon - it's shiny and kinda fun for about 10 minutes, but ultimately it's full of nothing.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: The Standard
The Standard

One Direction: This Is Us feels like a 90 minute advertisement that has been created to further promote the One Direction brand.

September 16, 2013 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
ABC Radio Brisbane

Perhaps the nicest surprise of the doco is that, despite emerging from the manufactured pop machine, these boys feel refreshingly grounded and they're not taking their success for granted.

September 16, 2013 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

An inoffensive but shallow cash-in on a temporary phenomenon.

September 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

Fans will eat this stuff up with a spoon, while any stray nonfans will likely spend the movie gauging the bubblegum tunes and matching faces to names. (By the end, I could finally tell bandmates Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson apart.)

September 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Like their music, the film proves to be inoffensively genial, if surface-deep.

September 9, 2013 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

One Direction: This Is Us... doesn't bother with bummers, even small ones. Fame, according to this movie, is a journey to the center of radness.

September 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Movies.com
Movies.com

Spurlock, who revolutionized activist documentary filmmaking with Super Size Me, has set the genre back with this cinema equivalent of a glossy teen magazine cover.

September 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Spurlock makes inventive use of 3-D technology. The picture is trippy in places, making it more pleasant to sit through the forgettable songs than it otherwise would be. But Beatles comparisons? Please. One Direction is less a band than a business plan.

September 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A documentary about "One Direction" that is aimed solely at their fans. For anyone else the entertainment lags.

September 3, 2013 Full Review Source: jackiekcooper.com
jackiekcooper.com

It's a superficial publicity piece. But it's enjoyable even if you're not a pre-pubescent girl.

September 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

(Spurlock) has occupied both sides of manufacturing, first as the engine of expose, and now as a wide-eyed, willing participant.

September 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Film International
Film International

This is the rock revolution reduced to the level of the Eurovision Song Contest.

September 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

A glossy, promotional concept that's overly enhanced by unnecessary amplification.

September 2, 2013 Full Review Source: SSG Syndicate
SSG Syndicate

While this documentary may be as carefully constructed as the band, no amount of stage management can stop genuine emotions seeping through, and you're likely to find your cynicism crumbling in the face of the lads' sheer energy and down-to-earth charm.

September 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Audience Reviews for One Direction: This Is Us

Though definitely not worth the blood-curling screams of girly adulation comprising much of this musical pop bio, the sing-songy This is Us passes as entertainment purely on the merits of its, well, Direction. Of course, the movie wasn't necessarily produced for the kind of booze-addled curmudgeonly film critic in his late '30s whose next concert is Merle Haggard. The moviegoers who're not Boy Band enthusiasts and fanclub card-holders, however, must keep this in mind: One Direction's musical travelogue follows in the small footsteps of such recent teen pop concert films as The Jonas Brothers Concert Experience, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and Katy Perry: Part of Me, inflated cinematic experiences with the quality and entertainment value of a VH1 Special minus 3D technology. Still, as one broadcaster notes, "Not even the Beatles achieved such trans-Atlantic success so soon in their careers." Thanks to a 90-minute running time, a few welcome codas and zippy visuals, the 'why' behind this statement gets hammered home whether you want to hear it or not.

This PG-rated concert film and documentary chronicles the meteoric rise to fame of pop band One Direction, from their humble hometown beginnings to performing at London's famed O2 Arena.

Morgan Spurlock, the whipsmart documentarian behind Super Size Me, imbues the behind-the-scenes story of these latter-day New Kids on the Block with visual tics such as animated lyrics and tender telling family moments allowed to run rather than cut short to respect a music video watcher's attention span. He keeps this piece of caramel popcorn from completely becoming No Direction.

Bottom line: A Hard Day's Blight.
September 8, 2013
Jeff B.
Jeff Boam

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