56 Up

Since 1964, director Michael Apted has documented the fates of a group of Britons, questioning them every seven years about their lives and beliefs. Apted's subjects are now 56 years old, and provide perspectives that are frequently surprising.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.9
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 98%
Critics' score: 98   Audience score: 76   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

Yes, on some level it's just a seven-year check-in with people maybe half-remembered, if that. Yet the films also serve as a kind of check-in with us, too. full review

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

What ultimately is so compelling about 56 Up is the universality of the experiences. We were all once children. And we all will die. And in between, there is everything else. full review

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

We feel good, refreshed and depressed in watching these people get older, also embarrassed in moments and cautioned about the passage of time. full review

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Apted skillfully weaves old footage with the new, and we become poignantly aware of another factor shaping their lives (and our own): biology, as the we watch the once-cute kids grow gray and heavy. full review

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Apted, himself now in his early 70s, says he hopes to continue the series further. Long may it live. full review

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

Watching "56 Up" gives you the wonderful feeling of seeing a sociological experiment blossom into something novelistically rich and humane. full review

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Time has been neither kind nor cruel to the 13 men and women profiled in "56 UP." It has just been time, which is what this groundbreaking series is about. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

We are all older now, and this series proves it in a most deeply moving way. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Inevitably, one looks in the mirror afterward and thinks, What have I lost? What have I gained? And at what cost? full review

David Denby, New Yorker

To see "56 Up" is to be reunited with an old friend. full review

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"56 Up" reminds us that change is ceaseless and often dramatic, bringing growth we could never have dreamed of as little kids. full review

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

Apted creates a graceful back-and-forth from the earlier films to the present, and the experience of seeing people who have lived so much on screen is quite profound. full review

John Anderson, Newsday

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. full review

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

"56 Up" is a rather bittersweet chapter, as age begins to further narrow those possibilities already defined at birth. And it hints that "63 Up," if we get there, may be sadder still. full review

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

'56 Up" is as good a point as any to get hooked on the magnificent half-century series of documentaries ... full review

Kyle Smith, New York Post

These are moving images of touchingly vibrant lives at certain moments in time and space. full review

Manohla Dargis, New York Times

It offers a few insights, and fascinating updates on the most compelling characters. full review

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. full review

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

As pop anthropology, the series is unchallenged. full review

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

Self-contained enough for theatrical auds new to the series, it will play best with those who've come to care for these Brits over time. full review

John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
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