49 Up

Critics Consensus

The latest installment in this remarkable series, 49 Up is a satisfying continuation of Michael Apted's singular sociological and cinematic experiment.



Total Count: 65


Audience Score

User Ratings: 27,413
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Movie Info

"49 Up" is the seventh film in a series of landmark documentaries that began 42 years ago when UK-based Granada's "World in Action" team, inspired by the Jesuit maxim "Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man," interviewed a diverse group of seven-year-old children from all over England, asking them about their lives and their dreams for the future. Michael Apted, a researcher for the original film, has returned to interview the "children" every seven years since, at ages 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and, now again, at age 49. In this latest chapter, more life-changing decisions are revealed, more shocking announcements made and more of the original group take part than ever before, speaking out on a variety of subjects including love, marriage, career, class and prejudice.


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Critic Reviews for 49 Up

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (2)

  • This seventh installment is utterly fascinating, drawing heavily on footage from the previous movies to follow each child on the journey into middle age.

    Aug 14, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Michael Apted's Up series remains one of the great imaginative leaps in film.

    Nov 3, 2006 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • I can think of no single movie, fictional or factual, that more strongly awakens our common humanity or that establishes such a marvelous, tight bond with its characters.

    Nov 2, 2006 | Rating: 4/4
  • The segments are so cleverly arranged -- [director Michael Apted] includes past pictorial references for each of the people we revisit -- that now there is something almost mystical involved.

    Oct 26, 2006
  • But a funny thing happened on the way to the class-warfare lecture: Most of the subjects got on with living their lives, ignoring their class distinctions in the process.

    Oct 13, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4

    Sean P. Means

    Top Critic
  • I'll wait breathlessly for 56 Up, and hope this brave group will speak to the camera again; giving us the gift of a share in their lives.

    Oct 13, 2006 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 49 Up

  • Jan 25, 2019
    Made during the boom of reality television, this is curiously the first chapter in which some of the participants snap back at Michael Apted for his questions, giving us a wonderful insight into what they feel about being part of the series and also how it has affected their lives.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2013
    As I mentioned in my review of 35 Up, this series continues to be fascinating even though some of the original participants have fallen by the wayside. The only issue in the later films is the recap particularly if you are seeing the films back to back. Forgive the repetitiveness and and the rest flows well.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 23, 2012
    I love how the big hook of this installment was "What's happened to Neil?" although I have to say I was also quite pleased to see Tony and Sue's happy stories and to find out about Bruce's job. And now the fact that I can talk about them by name is starting to scare me a little.
    Angela A Super Reviewer
  • Apr 27, 2012
    A striking testament to the inexorable effects of time, aging, and human psychological and social change. The film hits us hard as we observe the subjects phase into their midlife crises; they reflect on their perpetual failures or successes from their own spoken aspirations documented in the earlier entries when they were undeveloped children. Scary. There's just something about this film that appeals to us all on a personal, primordial level. We watch the subjects progress through life and feel the same joys or sorrows that we share. There is, without a doubt, much science to be extrapolated from the "evidence" displayed in these films. But, it's always much more fascinating to watch it applied as our fellow men and women ride the human experience. From this, we start to muse if the benign or malign patterns will occur in our own journeys as well. We almost trivialize the longevity and exceptionalism of our own lives, no? "49 Up" is yet another welcomed cinematic addition from Michael Apted's mindblowingly persistent and high-quality longitudinal experiment.
    Edward S Super Reviewer

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