28 Up - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

28 Up Reviews

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August 30, 2011
Looks even MORE interesting then the first couple installments.
½ June 28, 2011
I think this is the best of the series so far. You can clearly see how they have developed from children into adults and their reflections on their lives and experiences is great. Seeing them reflect on their past answers here is much more rewarding than in previous editions. All of the subjects seem so much more interesting than ever before.
½ November 17, 2010
This series is a fantastic idea, and is extremely interesting and well implemented. Every 7 years the documentary team revisit these 14 people, from childhood through adult life.
½ August 3, 2010
Not Surprised That By Now Some Are Either Pulling Out Or Questioning The Relevance Of Such A Pet Project. It Does Get You Thinking About Yourself. There Are Some Age-Stage Milestones Reached By Quicker By Others & In This One It Really Shows. Although Personal Nature Still Shows Out Above All Else, Which Is All The More Interesting Now.
½ June 26, 2010
Another great installment, now at 28, some have turned it around for better, a couple of them weren't doing so good. There was one question to the wife of a subject, "what is it about him that you love about", "who says anything about love?", my jaw dropped...
Super Reviewer
½ February 26, 2010
SEVEN UP Series (1964-->onwards)
Directed by Michael Apted.
This realism-style of documentary film-making was truly innovative in its time, a fact that in these days of 24hr-a-day Reality TV one can easily overlook.
Director, Apted, did not select particularly special children & yet, each in their own way, IS special. One feels privileged to be permitted to share a little of their lives & the journeys that those lives take them on.
It is also interesting (& sometimes confronting) to recognise parallels in one's own life to those seen on screen & has certainly given me pause to think at times.
I don't believe a film-maker could hope to achieve more than that.
****4 & a half out of 5 stars****
(This R/V applies equally to all films in the series.)
February 8, 2010
While there's many good interviews here, Neil stands out, perhaps just by being the only guy who hasn't figured his life out yet, or got a job or got married or got kids. Nobody is uninteresting or boring (though seeing John is fascinating as a direct contrast to Neil), and there's some fresh insight as to how one has grown from 7, or if growth has occurred at all. Ultimately, it's that the potential for growth is there, really, and that life is about filling in the gaps - or not, as case may be.This is one of the best in the series, though sadly a few of the original kids declined to be interviewed for this one, ironically one of whom works for the BBC!
½ November 14, 2009
very interesting and well-made, this is the first one in the series i've seen and somehow the subjects are mostly intriguing, especially seeing them grow up and how they evolve
August 26, 2009
This is reality television. The details may disengage the already disengaged. No loss there I guess?
August 8, 2009
first of all, this five star rating is a general rating to the whole series, aswel as the review. secondly, its a magnificent study, more than anything else. more than the label of documentary or tv show. I saw the whole series, from when the subjects were still children, until they're 49, and I must say, its so damn interesting to see and reflect on how people, in general, evolve, wether mentally or physically. Its also briliant because it provides a comparison basis to the viewers, as it did for me. Its no problem to be 7 and say you want to be an astronaut and prefer to play instead of thinking about girls, its no problem to be 21 and don't have a clue of what to do in the future. these are just some examples of some things that are all part of life and growing up, and this doc proves that quite well.
Super Reviewer
May 13, 2009
With this installment in the series we lose two of the "kids". They decide not to participate anymore. It's unfortunate but ultimately their choice,Huge changes come this time around as we see our folks with families and adult lives and thoughts. Gone are a lot of the cockiness of youth. A lot... not all. Some folks seem to know who they are and what they want while others seem lost in life still.It was nice to see a couple of the "kids" grow up and stop being the brats they were in the last couple installments.
½ April 5, 2009
Four films into the Up series, it's beginning to get to the point where it's difficult to say new things about the film in these reviews.

As before, the film is extraordinary in the way that it remains so thought-provoking. The viewer is encouraged to come to his or her own conclusions about the life paths that the children from the previous movies have taken into adulthood. Director Michael Apted continues asking piercing questions that make the subjects think for a moment, or simply rile them up. Although it has never been addressed before, it is in 28 Up that Apted asks the kids (can I call them "kids" still? when will I stop?) whether they agree with the statement that begins and ends each of the films: "Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man." Were they the same person at age seven that they are now?

Are you? Watch this movie with some close friends, because this is a group experience. What makes the Up series so endlessly fascinating is in how much it causes you to debate and consider and pose questions in your mind. It's helpful to have a sounding board to throw those questions out to.
And then of course, there is the simple fact that you have become entwined in the fates of this group. You feel as though you know them, even though you really don't, and their ups and downs can be as exhilarating or painful for you as if they were people that you had actually spoken with.

P.S. It's weird to know that the children of the subjects in this film are just a couple of years older than I am.

Oh! One other thing that I'd really like to mention about 28 Up that sets it apart from the previous films in the series. Where before, the film would cut back and forth between footage from the current date and the previous films, this installment kind of has a different twist that makes good use of the power of flashback. Instead of cutting off all video/audio from the current interviews while re-showing the viewer stuff he or she has already seen in the past installments, now you will sometimes hear audio from a current interview being played over images from the past.
And again, at the end of the movie, rather than just playing out the same, tired old ending sequence from 7 Up, this time Apted overlays the images from the children at seven with the children at age 28. It's remarkably effective and an interesting departure from the previous films.

All in all, I can only reiterate what I've said in my reviews for the previous three films. 28 Up is fantastic and thoughtful and absolutely worth seeing as soon as you can.
April 3, 2009
Much more subdued episode, with everyone settling down (except Neil, poor Neil). Marked by some terrible 80s fashion and hair. Interesting side trips to the US and Australia.
½ March 2, 2009
"Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man."

Michael Apted's "Up Series", beginning in 1963, first started to blossom in "21 Up". At 7, the film's subjects were endearing and humorous, but hardly compelling. At 14, the children were still oblivious and reserved, however it was interesting to see that their former expectations became self-fulfilling prophecies. It wasn't until 21 that the children had reached the point in their life where they had to make crucial decisions - some dropping out of school, some focused intently on their studies. "21 Up" is a fascinating film, and the first really important film of Apted's series. It's with "28 Up", however, that Apted's series becomes the most unpredictable. The character we assumed would end up in jail is a happy family man, and the distant and terribly miserable woman is now a glowing mother. If nothing else, this series has you closely examine your own life and ask what remnants of the current you will remain in seven years, and what have you gained throughout aging?

For those unfamiliar with the series, "Seven Up!" was a documentary made for British television in 1963. It examined the British class system by picking fourteen 7-year-old subjects of different social glasses, races, and genders. Since 1963, Apted has gone back to these same children every seven years, to explore what's become of their life. In each of the films, he provides flashbacks so that we don't forget the progression of each subject's story. Now at "49 Up", the series is undoubtedly one of the great achievements in film history.

In "28 Up", the most unforgettable face is Neil. At 7 years old, his smiling face glimmered through the screen as he skipped down the sidewalk. At 14, he was clearly an intelligent boy who was far more attentive than the other children. At 21, he had dropped out of school and as suffering day-to-day doing manual labor. Now, at 28, he's a drifter in Great Britain, a loner who feels that society has passed him by. I cannot express the joy I feel watching the series now rather than the series in progress - the wait of 7 years to see what becomes of this man would be excruciating.

Unfortunately, the series' most eccentric character, John, drops out and doesn't appear in "28 Up". Apted does the best he can, editing in past footage and pointing out that he has been married, however there's a glaring hole in the series with his absence. That being said, with these men and women's life examined so closely under a microscope, you almost can't blame him for wanting to take a step back and live life on his own.

"28 Up" is perhaps the best installment in the series up to this point. It's available on NetFlix Instant View, however i'd recommend checking out the entire series as a whole.
January 16, 2009

GREAT, GREAT, GREAT series to watch these movies...started watching them all in order in 2007...

(by coincidence one of the subjects ends up living in Madison, WI!)

So very interesting to watch this non-statistically-relevant social experiment unfold...

Reality TV before there was Reality TV...

We see a little of ourselves in each on of the characters and family...

A masterful editing of subject matter, to get the audience to CARE about each of the subjects and APPRECIATE things from their lives...

Ebert puts this series in his all-time top 10 or even top 5 lists...I agree...

A must-watch for anyone over the age of 25...
December 9, 2008
At 28, with a couple of very notable exceptions, they all seem to have settled into sedate, mediocre lives. It all feels very Mike Leigh, without the brilliant black humor. There was some greatness to it, and further reinforcement of the series-defining quote, but frankly, it wasn't nearly as exciting as 7/14/21. Plus, two of my favorites, the most interesting, decided not to return. Fooey on them!
December 1, 2008
It's at this point where things really start to hit home. Admittedly, I'm watching as a 30-year-old myself, so that certainly adds a layer to the proceedings. But given the tempo set by the previous 3 films, '28 Up' hits like the tonne of bricks real life sometimes resembles.
November 30, 2008
Apted mixes it up a bit with a more straightforward format: We visit with one "child" at a time rather than constantly cutting back and forth. Good 'ol East-End Tony has mapped out his life almost as well as the upper-class kids did: predicted he'd be a jockey, and become a cab driver if that didn't work out. His family life seems to have really mellowed him. The black guy now has five (!) kids but is working the same freezer-room job as 7 years prior. Our young missionary-wanna-be still seems like a great guy, now as an East-End teacher. The other teacher is our likable Liverpool lad, though he comes across as cynical. The most annoying of the upper-class kids refused to be interviewed (thank goodness), but so did the most interesting one, who was by then a BBC documentarian. The one who did submit to an interview seems like an OK guy. Overall, the paths seems similar to what was forecast in 21 Up, which is bad news for the Liverpool guy's old buddy: He's now wandering aimlessly in Scotland.
November 21, 2008
this is a great series
October 6, 2008
These seem to keep getting sadder and sadder, but I love them anyway. I'm starting to think that maybe Britain isn't the greatest place after all.
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