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One Direction: This Is Us (2013)


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

Critics Consensus: 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.

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

Critics Consensus: 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.


Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 30,359


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 … More

PG (for mild language)
Musical & Performing Arts , Documentary
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Dec 17, 2013
Box Office:
Sony Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for One Direction: This Is Us

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.

Full Review… | August 31, 2013
Top 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 ...

Full Review… | August 30, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top 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.

Full Review… | August 30, 2013
Detroit News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | August 29, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | August 29, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | August 29, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 30, 2014

About as journalistically useful as a promoted tweet.

Full Review… | February 5, 2014
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.

Full Review… | December 27, 2013
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

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

Full Review… | September 29, 2013

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

Full Review… | September 22, 2013

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

Full Review… | September 20, 2013
The Standard

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

Full Review… | September 16, 2013
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.

Full Review… | September 16, 2013
FILMINK (Australia)

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

Full Review… | September 12, 2013
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.)

Full Review… | September 10, 2013
Salt Lake Tribune

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

Full Review… | September 9, 2013

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.

Full Review… | September 6, 2013

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.

Full Review… | September 5, 2013
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.

Full Review… | September 4, 2013
Film Threat

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

Full Review… | September 3, 2013

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

Full Review… | September 3, 2013
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.

Full Review… | September 2, 2013
Film International

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

Full Review… | September 2, 2013
Observer [UK]

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

Full Review… | September 2, 2013
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.

Full Review… | September 2, 2013
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.

Jeff B.
Jeff Boam

Super Reviewer

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