42 Up
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Michael Apted's renowned series tests the maxim by returning every seven years to 14 British children originally profiled in 7 UP (1964). He began the series seeking to confirm the class distinctions were alive and well in England. And while their accents are a dead give-away as to who studied ballet and who drives a cab, there are also remarkable similarities--as youth gives way to middle-age, parents die, and children prepare to leave the nest.
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Their largely negative or only superficially positive responses make me feel guilty about finding the series so fascinating -- and should make the filmmakers feel even guiltier."
‑ Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader
"As beneficial as helmer's influence may be to that aging franchise, his work here reps a fascinating use of the docu form."
‑ Eddie Cockrell, Variety
"42 Up is a delightful and moving look at humanity through the singular stories of this captivating group."
‑ Chuck Walton, Hollywood.com
"Two subjects acknowledge their conjoined lifeline, become best friends, and as a result a life is forever changed."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"A fascinating entry in Michael Apted's long-running documentary series."
‑ Jason Clark, Matinee Magazine
"On some level, 42 Up is a startling home-movie time capsule. Simply to behold the aging process with such intimacy is enough to give you a shudder."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"The grand, class-society-embracing conception of this film has become too rich for its narrow stylistic confines."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Perfect. An absolute must-see."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"This movie is a living artifact that does what movies do best: exist in time. May this series continue up, up, and beyond."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"This fascinating ongoing sociological document and human drama by its very nature gets better with each progressive installment."
‑ Christine James, Boxoffice Magazine
"One of the best movie series ever is a true-life drama like no other. Miss it at your peril."
‑ Louis B. Parks, Houston Chronicle
"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."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Part of Apted seminal docu series that began with 7Up, then 14, 28, and 35, this chapter centers on the subjects as they head into middle-age, with all its compromises and disappointments."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"This series remains as fascinating as it did when it started - a lifetime ago."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone, TheMovieChicks.com
"42 Up engages you in ways that other movies can't; it works emotional muscles you may not know you have."
‑ Steve Vineberg, Boston Phoenix
More reviews for 42 Up on Rotten Tomatoes