35 Up (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

35 Up1991

35 Up (1991)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

35 Up Photos

Movie Info

In 1963, director Michael Apted and then-partner Paul Almond chronicled the lives of 14 seven-year-olds for British television; they returned to the same group at intervals of seven years for updates, of which this is the fifth. It's possible to watch this film without having seen the other chapters (28 Up and 42 Up are the only other installments in circulation), because Apted offers thumbnail flashbacks with each interview. Several of the original subjects declined to be filmed for 35 Up (the film acknowledges them with reference to their most recent appearance in the series), and several others express ambivalence about participating. Two trios of friends from the original film -- John, Andrew, and Charles, and Jackie, Lynn, and Sue -- are interviewed collectively; the women seem to be still close, but it's not clear if the men are. Most of the subjects are married and raising children (and most have moved from London to the suburbs or the country); there are a few divorces, and one woman has chosen to be a single parent. The film saves its most fascinating figure, Neil, for last. In 28 Up, he was a university dropout, living a nomadic existence on the coast of Scotland. In the present film, he has moved to the Shetland Islands, where he's involved in local theater and taking medications for his psychological illness.


Critic Reviews for 35 Up

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7)

There's certainly plenty of food for thought here, but most of it is served raw rather than cooked -- most of the significance of the development of faces, physiques, aspirations, and attitudes over three decades is left to the subjects themselves.

August 14, 2012 | Full Review…

The remaining participants grapple with disillusionment, their reconcilement of the past, and their relationship to their own children.

October 26, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

[35 Up] finds this series growing increasingly rueful with age.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

The latest installment in the most engrossing long-distance documentary project in the history of film.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Most people will feel the start of tears at unpredictable points in this movie. They come from compassion and sympathy in the truest sense of those words -- we identify with these people living their lives as best as they can.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

It's a brilliant, vital human document.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 35 Up


At first, the impression is that this is more of the same following what we saw in 28 Up, with very basic questions about work, marriage and family, but then the film grows much more interesting as it begins to take a deeper look into the complexities and nuances of those people's lives.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Perhaps I should review Apted's series in its totality but each of these films has their uniqueness and charms. This one is no exception although some of the children who were originally filmed in 1963 declined to be in this and subsequent series. Lives are falling a bit apart for our subjects. All the more reason to get updated in 42 Up.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

This series is great. Well worth watching from the start, but maybe with a few month's worth of rest between each film (unlike what I did) otherwise the flashbacks get a bit much. By 35 up I was starting to feel like it was all flashback and no current footage.

Angela Alcorn
Angela Alcorn

Super Reviewer

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