Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 100
    This series should be sealed in a time capsule. It is on my list of the 10 greatest films of all time, and is a noble use of the medium.
  2. The latest installment is packed with surprises and emotion for people who've seen earlier stages of the project, but even newcomers will be fascinated by the vivid glimpses it provides of everything from love and family to political action and the pervasiveness of class distinctions in British life.
  3. Reviewed by: Phoebe Flowers
    100
    A truly great and deceptively simple work, redefining the power of film.
  4. 100
    The latest episode of this ongoing masterpiece of reality TV -- which every seven years revisits a group of English people first interviewed as 7-year-olds in 1964 -- is every bit as enthralling as the earlier ones.
  5. This is an amazing record of a group of lives -- and probably more resonant than anyone could have imagined when the project began.
  6. 91
    An empathetic portrait of humanity on a house-by-house, heart-by-heart basis.
  7. That nothing more monumental than an everyday life has occurred to any of the subjects is perhaps the film's most compelling aspect.
  8. 90
    The 7Up series is thus one of the rare documentaries to have had a positive practical effect on the life of at least one of its subjects.
  9. 90
    Perhaps the most remarkable documentary project ever undertaken, and certainly the longest, is Michael Apted's Up series, which he began shooting for the BBC in 1962.
  10. Time is truly on Apted's side because the passing of time not surprisingly brings a richer, deeper perspective with each new segment.
  11. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    90
    When this hugely ambitious project began, it was a longitudinal study of class divisions among English schoolchildren. But time and persistence have turned it into much more.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    Apted...has the storytelling skills to weave a powerful and poignant snapshot of some decent folks who have become, collectively, Britain's first family.
  13. 88
    42 Up is filled with truth and poignancy as these people reflect on their first half of their lives, their goals, ambitions, and how they, for the most part, succeeded in reinventing them.
  14. The only film sequels in history that just keep getting better.
  15. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    88
    A miracle of data retrieval as the grown schoolchildren are measured against their footage from the earlier films.
  16. Offers a welcome continuation of what has proven a fascinating journey both for the film's 11 subjects (three of the 14 opted out of the project this go-round) and its audience.
  17. I love this series; it's possibly the most exciting use of the documentary medium ever.
  18. Difficult to weigh and rate precisely because it deals with real life and real people.
  19. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    70
    Where this still vital series was once about what sets us apart, it now seems to be turning towards the things that, in the end, render us all equal.
  20. 70
    Intending to study the degree to which social class would determine the subjects' destinies, the series actually documents something more filmable--the degree to which the subjects believed social class would determine their destinies and the degree to which they believe it has.
  21. A living artifact that does what movies do best: exist in time.
  22. It would be tempting to describe the Up movies as a miracle in the history of nonfiction filmmaking, if they didn't also represent one of the cinema's most singularly squandered opportunities.

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