Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born adults he has been chronicling in documentaries every seven years since they were each 7 years old. The original concept, starting in 1964′s “Seven Up,” was to interview 14 children from diverse backgrounds from all over England, asking them about their lives and their dreams for the future. Every seven years, Apted, a researcher for Seven Up, has been back to talk to them, examining the progression of their lives. From cab driver Tony to schoolmates Jackie, Lynn and Susan and the heart-breaking Neil, as they turn 56 more life-changing decisions and surprising developments are revealed. (First Run Features)









Film information

Director: ,
Starring: , , ,
Release date: Jan 4, 2013
MPAA rating:
Official website:
Runtime: 144 min
Movie Reviews:
  • 100
    Movie Nation - by Roger Moore
    56 Up feels like the most hopeful film of them all - amusing, entertaining, and touching. more

  • 100
    Portland Oregonian - by Stan Hall
    Every profile is fascinating, but certain ones stand out. more

  • 100
    New York Post - by Kyle Smith
    56 Up is as good a point as any to get hooked on the magnificent half-century series of documentaries, beginning in 1964 with "7 Up." more

  • 100
    New York Daily News - by Joe Neumaier
    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. more

  • 91
    Christian Science Monitor - by Peter Rainer
    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. more

  • 90
    Arizona Republic - by Bill Goodykoontz
    What makes 56 Up, like the “Up” films before it, so remarkable is how it puts these stories together, giving us an ensemble of characters as interesting as any in a scripted drama. ...

  • 88
    Boston Globe - by Ty Burr
    The attitude of many “UP” fans hovers between voyeurism and concern, between cherishing these people as distant friends and as extensions of ourselves. They’re canaries in the coal mine of human existence. more

  • 80
    The New York Times - by Manohla Dargis
    Life rushes by so fast, it flickers today and is gone tomorrow. In 56 Up - the latest installment in Michael Apted's remarkable documentary project that has followed a group of Britons since 1964, starting when they were 7 - entire lifetimes race by with a few edits. ...

  • 80
    Time Out New York - by David Fear
    Apted once wanted to give us "glimpses into Britain's future," per the archival-footage announcer. With this installment, he's delivered an intimate portrait of settling down and finally making peace with one's well-publicized past. more

  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle - by Mick LaSalle
    In the end, that just might be the takeaway from the "Up" series, that a 28-year-old, say, has more in common with another 28-year-old than with his own incarnation at 70. Who knows? There are mysteries of life captured within the frames of this film that are eluding our grasp. We're still too close to it. more

  • 75
    The A.V. Club - by Tasha Robinson
    However crafted their stories may have become, and however reluctantly they participate, their sacrifice will be appreciated by history, and by the next generation of voyeurs as well. more

  • 75
    Slant Magazine - by Steve Macfarlane
    The series is both a testimonial to the vagaries of chance and an endlessly cyclical study into the implications of being studied. more

  • 70
    The New Yorker - by David Denby
    In all, these men and women don't seem to have the seething ambitions and the restlessness of so many Americans. They don't expect to get rich, somehow, next year. They may be happier than we are but they're also less colorful. [28 Jan. 2012, p.80] ...

  • 70
    The Hollywood Reporter - by John DeFore
    Self-contained enough for theatrical audiences new to the series, it will play best with those who've come to care for these Brits over time. more

  • 70
    Village Voice - by Michael Atkinson
    By now, grandchildren are ever-present, and stasis has set in. Apted's entire project is awesome in scale but subject to inevitable diminishing returns. more

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