Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 100
    I am not British, was born 14 years before the subjects, and yet by now identify intensely with them, because some kinds of human experience -- teenage, work, marriage, illness are universal. You could make this series in any society.
  2. If you haven't gotten hooked already on Michael Apted's series--collectively, one of the great documentaries in the history of the cinema--you should prepare yourself for the latest installment, 49 Up.
  3. 100
    Dropping by on the same people every seven years like an old friend - or an unwelcome relative - Apted has constructed a peerless, suspenseful work that develops character to a depth that would make Tolstoy jealous. If you have any interest in documentaries, watch the DVD of the first film, "7 Up" (49 Up hits DVD Nov. 14). You won't be able to stop.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    No matter their wealth or social status, these people share disappointments and elations and a sense that life, in the end, may be what life is about.
  5. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    100
    How 49 Up differs from its precursors for the better is that it's the first to have its participants interact with Apted the filmmaker, no longer a one-sided interviewer.
  6. 49 Up is a precious document, and must viewing.
  7. 100
    The latest riveting, heartbreaking chapter to one of the supreme creations of documentary filmmaking, the "7 Up" series.
  8. 100
    This seventh installment is utterly fascinating.
  9. Michael Apted's landmark films documenting the lives of a disparate group of Brits in seven-year intervals have always been fascinating from a sociological perspective. But the latest installment proves that they are undeniably brilliant cinematically as well.
  10. One of the best things about Michael Apted's uniquely ambitious and continuing documentary series on the lives of a group of British schoolchildren is that you don't have to have seen the last one to enjoy the next.
  11. 88
    A solid starting point for those unfamiliar with Apted's greatest work, and a must-see for those who have been down this road before.
  12. The passage of time has rarely been more forcefully conveyed in a movie, as we see clips of the interviewees not only from today but also at seven-year intervals from the past.
  13. 83
    While all the "Up" films hold a fascination akin to a Christmas letter from an almost-forgotten friend, 42 Up didn't show much progress from "35 Up." Even fans of the series had to wonder whether the faces of England were going to remain permanently frozen.
  14. 80
    Their pain is our pleasure, for though occasionally Apted's bluntness makes you want to take a bite out of his neck, there's something immensely satisfying about watching the playing out of ordinary lives we've become attached to over time.
  15. 49 Up is more than a deeply satisfying movie; it's a reminder of the wonder contained in ordinary lives.
  16. 80
    Suzy's marriage, Nick's divorce, Paul's work history: none of it is my or anyone else's business. But these things -- these people -- have become, through Mr. Apted's films, a vital part of modern life, which seems to grow richer every seven years, when the new "Up" movie comes out.
  17. The segments are so cleverly arranged--Apted includes past pictorial references for each of the people we revisit--that now there is something almost mystical involved. It is as if a wizard were giving us an overview of forty-two years that mortals were possibly not meant to see.
  18. What the series means in the long run is anybody's guess; I just know I sleep better at night knowing it's out there.
  19. Taken as a whole, these films constitute one of the greatest uses of cinema a documentary filmmaker has ever devised. Like the other films in the series, 49 Up is alternately touching and mundane, part soap opera, part reality show and part anthropological study.
  20. Because the subjects are all mellowing into grandparenthood and their abrasive, wilder days are behind them, this particular "scrapbook" isn't as heavy hitting and hard-edged as its predecessors.
  21. Profoundly different from the others. On the cusp of their half-century mark, Apted's British subjects have accommodated themselves to what they were, what they are, and what they will be.
  22. Moving and ambitious in scale like nothing else in cinema, Michael Apted's Up films began in 1964 as a BBC news program exploring an old Jesuit maxim: "Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man."
  23. The more you watch, the more you are committing yourself to watching "56 Up" and beyond.
  24. 63
    For Americans, the film may be best taken as fodder for debate, especially for individuals interested in sociology. You wonder why those people stuck to the commitment. You may also wonder how different a parallel American film would've been.
  25. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    60
    It doesn't make for involving drama, unless the audience is already invested in the subjects' fortunes. Thus, 49 Up will have more appeal for long-time followers than newcomers.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. RalphM.
    Dec 10, 2006
    9
    A fascinating look at life. I don't know how much distortion the documentation process causes, but the stories of this group of individuals pushes through time and time - sad, tragic, inspiring. This time around I found a theme of middle age contentment - one of the more optimistic editions of this series. Full Review »
  2. DanC.
    Dec 9, 2006
    9
    The series is brilliant, a 10 out of 10 all the way. I found this installment ever so slightly less compelling than the previous ones, because the subjects have moved into comfortable later middle age. Still, it's a great film. Recommendation: watch the entire series on DVD before viewing this one - it's well worth the investment. Full Review »
  3. JosephFJ
    Oct 18, 2006
    10
    Several are heroes to me. They may not have achieved their goals but from a standpoint of family, grand children and toughing it through, I have enormous respect and admiration for them. Full Review »