Life in a Day


Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jul 28, 2011
    Life in a Day is, without exaggeration, a profound achievement.
  2. 83
    It's our equivalent of that '80s art-film kaleidoscope "Koyaanisqatsi."
  3. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Jul 26, 2011
    Life really sings when it's simply pulling together thematic montages - of waking up, food preparation or answers to the question "What do you fear?" - or letting a genuine moment unfold without comment.
  4. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Jul 24, 2011
    Life in a Day is an experimental project driven by the Internet at its best, where connectivity among the planet's population has become a reality.
  5. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    Jul 24, 2011
    Moving and insightful. Not a classic by any means, but a fascinating glimpse of the way we live today.
  6. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    Jul 28, 2011
    At once ambitious in its global reach and modest in its simplicity.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 27, 2011
    It's a pretty experiment with no apparent results, but plenty of marketability.
  8. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jul 28, 2011
    Life in a Day has an earthy and at times euphoric appeal. Helping on that front is the editing artistry of Walker (and an expansive team), the man in charge of all that splicing and dicing keeps things moving at an entertaining clip.
  9. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Jul 28, 2011
    If nothing else, Life In A Day serves as a fine time capsule, recording some of what life was like on Earth in 2010.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Aug 4, 2011
    Macdonald knows plenty about crafting something evocative from unscripted material.
  11. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Jul 28, 2011
    It's the sort of big thought that makes a small point, which is precisely the problem with Life in a Day. A documentary that looks to give this notion visual form, it strives awfully hard for depth but, more often than not, comes off too shallow.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jul 29, 2011
    There are dull spots, as with any other day, yet "Life" aims to be, and occasionally is, like a YouTube-y "Our Town," giving a sense of what it is to be alive on planet Earth.
  13. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 28, 2011
    Does the film add up to something more than a stunt? Maybe not. I was captivated by the several hours I recently saw of Christian Marclay's 24-hour-long "The Clock," a video mashup in which thousands of clips from hundred of movies contain watches and clocks telling the same time that spectators can read on their wrists. Life in a Day doesn't aspire to such intricacy, but it's fascinating all the same, an electronic update of Alexander Pope's maxim that the proper study of mankind is man.
  14. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jul 29, 2011
    It's a clever concept that should play well on TV and the Internet. But as a big-screen movie, Life in a Day -- which lists brothers Tony and Ridley Scott as producers -- elicits a shrug and a question: Who cares?
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Jul 28, 2011
    It's a hard movie to engage with or even sit through, despite the fact that much of the material is interesting in its own right. Oddly, but perhaps predictably, the problem is the resolutely conventional and soft-headed way in which that material has been assembled.
  16. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Jul 26, 2011
    The resulting object is less about the world than about itself, and feels like a hey-that's-neat 90-minute troll through the video-sharing website (which co-presents the project).
  17. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 29, 2011
    Produced in partnership with YouTube and distributed by National Geographic Films, the documentary Life in a Day is offspring with the worst genetic traits of both: narcissism on a global scale, speckled with pretty pictures. In a world without books or magazines, this is the movie people would watch in the waiting room at the dentist's office.
  18. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jul 24, 2011
    Only a few snippets escape the uncritical narcissism that the film celebrates and, despite their unimaginative employment, they stand as something of a rebuke to the film's dominant images.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 24, 2011
    Youtube's "Life in a Day" has too much flaws; it spills in racism, self-deprivation, sexism, and death. Kevin Mcdonald here does a beautifulYoutube's "Life in a Day" has too much flaws; it spills in racism, self-deprivation, sexism, and death. Kevin Mcdonald here does a beautiful job in fusing these parts together but fails to cover up these cons. However, after watching this documentary I realized how many things happened in July 24th, 2010, and I'm happy with that. Full Review »
  2. Nov 6, 2011
    Life in a Day attempts the impossible - representing the experiences of the entire world on 24th July 2010. While this task could never beLife in a Day attempts the impossible - representing the experiences of the entire world on 24th July 2010. While this task could never be achieved to perfection, director Kevin MacDonald and his army of Youtube contributors manage to create a fascinating smorgasbord of the day-to-day experiences of people from all over the world. We witness a day in the life of a huge range of people, with vastly differing cultures, beliefs and levels of affluence. It must have been such a challenge for the filmmakers to choose what to put in the film from the thousands of clips submitted, and from these clips create a coherent narrative. There's no beating about the bush - yes, Life in a Day is an undeniably artificial creation, the clips used were chosen at the expense of others in order to put forward a particular message, a very subjective world view. That said, the film is extremely entertaining, sometimes emotional, and often profound. The majority of the film is made up of a compilation of clips of whatever aspect of the contributor's life they wished to film, presented either in chronological order (we begin with a set of clips from early morning, then waking up, breakfast, going to work etc) or organised along a particular theme/line of thought (there's sections covering everything from relationships to water). Where Life in a Day really stands out is in the three questions that were asked to the video uploaders - 1. What do you have in your pocket or handbag? 2. What do you love? and 3. What do you fear? The answers to these three seemingly simple questions, divided throughout the film, provide some of its most memorable moments. The answers are so varied, so individual, that they veer between the conventional, the unexpected and the shocking. While the film clearly couldn't represent everyone on the planet, you can't fault it for showing a huge variety of different opinions of the world. Life in a Day is nothing if not ambitious, and this huge undertaking has truly turned out to be something really special. By presenting snapshots of people's lives we are allowed to witness the beauty, the comedy and the tragedy of Planet Earth, and you are taken on a huge emotional rollercoaster while spectating. Simply put, it's the film event of a generation - there's really nothing else like it. Full Review »
  3. Oct 2, 2011
    The movie is decent. "Life in Day" is literally a 2010 July 24th time capsule. You can observe everything, all the beautiful sights andThe movie is decent. "Life in Day" is literally a 2010 July 24th time capsule. You can observe everything, all the beautiful sights and events, but that's the farthest reach the movie will take you. I would recommend this film to artists, I guess?

    R) 6.0
    Full Review »