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One Direction: This Is Us

MPAA Rating: PG-Rating (MPAA) for mild language.
not reviewed
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Family
Music Documentary
1 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 30, 2013 (wide—2,500+ theaters)
DVD: December 17, 2013
Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Sony Pictures Releasing

music in the Bible

Featuring: Niall Horan … Himself
Zayn Malik … Himself
Liam Payne … Himself
Harry Styles … Himself
Louis Tomlinson … Himself
Jon Shone … MD/Keyboards
Dan Richards … Guitar
Sandy Beales … Bass
Josh Devine … Drums
Director: Morgan Spurlock—“Super Size Me,” “Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?”
Producer: Fulwell 73
Syco Entertainment
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Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US is a captivating and intimate all-access look at life on the road for the global music phenomenon. Weaved with stunning live concert footage, this inspiring feature film tells the remarkable story of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis’ meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the X-Factor, to conquering the world and performing at London’s famed O2 Arena. Hear it from the boys themselves and see through their own eyes what it's really like to be One Direction.”

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Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—I went to see this because I was curious about the beginnings of the group, as I had only heard bits and pieces, and I’ve always liked the Boy Band sound, as well. I came away quite impressed with them as a group and as individuals. They came across as just nice and regular guys who like joking around, and are extremely talented. It is sad though that they have been separated from their families at such a young age. I compare this to other documentaries I have seen in this genre, including Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers, and certainly “One Direction” stands out as having about twice as much talent as the others. They remind me of a cleaner version of The Beatles.

The feature went over their humble beginnings and rise to fame, as well as their humanitarian work. Other positives include the beautiful ballads that they sing a couple of times in the film, and the content of some of their songs. I feel that some of their lyrics promote the idea that girls do not have to be perfect to be beautiful, and I take this as a positive influence on girls” body image.

The areas that may be offensive include a few mild swears (a**, d***), a couple of OMGs, and one use of Jesus” name in vain by one member when he was surprised to see a life-like cut out of another band member. There are a few practical jokes and one time a band member pulled down Harry Styles” pants so you could see his boxers. Many of the band members have tattoos and lots of bare chests are shown. Although they are not outspoken about any faith they may have, two of the group members, Liam? and Harry wear crosses on a regular basis.

Apparently Harry’s father is Jewish, but he may also be Catholic. He is very attractive, and I can see why he in particular is so popular. He has the hair! haha! After seeing the film, I was encouraged that this group is better than most these days and are positive role models overall. They’re not trying to be weird or prove a point, but just be themselves.

However, based on some media interviews, they do not necessarily promote Christian morals and values like the Jonas Brothers did when they were so popular.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Kathy Pj, age 53 (Canada)
Comments from young people
Positive—I went to see this movie today with some of my friends. While they are VERY obsessed with One Direction; I went mainly to socialise, not really expecting the film to be very interesting. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the film was quite enjoyable, and I found myself laughing quite a bit. There were quite a few heart-touching moments along with plenty of scenes with the band performing. I found the interviews with the band members especially interesting, and insightful.

I went to see the movie in 3D, of course, and found the picture amazingly clear and the cinematography extremely well done, giving me a different perspective to what one would normally see at a concert. This is why I gave it a 5 for filmmaking quality—I couldn’t fault it. The contrast between the quiet and upbeat scenes was well done, keeping the audience interested. I saw that the film was a PG for language; I was slightly worried, as my younger sister was watching as well, that this would be an issue, but I assure you it wasn’t. There was nothing I had a problem with—the language was very mild, and the only objectionable word was cut out.

I rated the film as average because there was nothing really “bad” or offensive (some “boy” silliness), but it held a typically worldly view, which is expected. It neither promoted nor demoted the Christian faith. The Lord’s name may have been profaned once or twice, but I wasn’t counting and it didn’t happen enough for me to notice.

It does show how lots of young girls idolise One Direction though, and this was presented as fine and acceptable, which I do not, personally, agree with. The Lord should be our God, and the ONLY one we worship. I have no problem with people enjoying One Direction’s music, I enjoy it myself, but it important for impressionable, young girls to not be lead astray by the ways in which fans “worship” celebrities.

I would recommend this film, especially if your children like One Direction because it is a happy, feel-good film, suitable for everyone and because I had a good time when I didn’t think I was going to.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Megan, age 14 (England)
Movie Critics
…this is a rather watchable record of a phenomenon. … [3/5]
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)
… if Spurlock's job is to make this group look as good as possible, ours is to look even more closely at the messages being delivered in this seemingly harmless, feel-good package. And as winsome as these five “normal” guys are here, the worldview that's being peddled is one that parents might want to think more than once about before inviting their kids to take it home. …
Adam R. Holz, Plugged In
…While the 3-D pop-umentary One Direction: This Is Us is entertaining enough for those of us wondering what all the fuss is about, the film fails to offer a fully drawn portrait of the teen idols. It's misleading to call this a documentary — fan fodder is more like it. …
Claudia Puig, USA Today
…“One Direction: This Is Us” gives fans what they want — but only them…
Paul Doro, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
…Well, at least it’s better than that Justin Bieber movie… In short, there is nothing you wouldn’t expect, but at least it’s all done with flair. And it’s not like it’s made for anyone but the teenage girls who saw the concert the first time through anyway.
David Berry, National Post
…alternately inspired and insipid concert doc…
Andrew Barker, Variety
…a tame and somewhat fake documentary…
Miriam Bale, The New York Times

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