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One Direction: This Is Us Review

  • Release Date: Aug 30, 2013 RealD 3D
  • Rated: Mild Language
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 55 min.
  • Genres: Documentary, Music/Performing Arts, 3D
  • Director:Morgan Spurlock Critics


Dave White Profile

An extremely easy day's night. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 20

    out of 100

    Village Voice Amy Nicholson

    Even calling the film a documentary feels deluded.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Variety Andrew Barker

    The film’s central fivesome prove charming pallbearers throughout the film, which alternates between inspired and insipid as it hits its hagiographic marks.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Chris Nashawaty

    We're treated to what's essentially a slick, airbrushed promo reel of a bunch of genuinely sweet superstars who can't believe their dumb luck. That's charming. But it's also a little boring. What it's most definitely not is a documentary.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Justin Lowe

    The filmmakers’ intent to depict them as “normal guys” mostly succeeds, primarily due to their not inconsiderable charm.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's misleading to call this a documentary — fan fodder is more like it.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Bill Stamets

    The true strength of Spurlock’s documentary is how he showcases the behind-the-scenes, off-stage personalities of the One Direction boys.

    Read Full Review

  • See all One Direction: This Is Us reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Like 1D, concert docu is clean cut, with tiny bit of edge.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that One Direction: This Is Us follows the international concert tour of Britain's most popular boy band since the Beatles. The documentary, directed by Academy Award nominee Morgan Spurlock, chronicles how Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry, and Louis went from being a bunch of humble British/Irish boys who could sing to becoming a near-overnight sensation -- first in the United Kingdom and then the world. There's some mild language (including a couple of uses of "ass"), several glimpses of the One Direction guys shirtless (including camera shots of their tattoos), and some romantic song lyrics. Fans -- particularly tween/teen girls -- will want to see this on the big screen.

  • Families can talk about One Direction's meteoric rise. Do you think concert documentaries should be reserved for artists with years in the business, or does it make sense to capitalize on popularity right away?
  • Why is One Direction's music so appealing to even very young kids (especially girls)? How do they compare to other acts with tween appeal -- like the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry?
  • Do you think the documentary offers a balanced look at the band members' personal lives and their professional lives? What were you surprised they included? What about 1D do you wish you had learned more about?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Audiences will learn how the band got together via the British talent show The X-Factor, where the guys are all from, and what it's like for them on each international stop of their first global concert tour.

  • message true3

    Messages: The guys, who seem as close as siblings, show how important it is to be grateful for success and to realize that without their fans, they'd still be working in bakeries or singing for just their families.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: According to the documentary, the guys are all incredibly close mates and are grateful to their fans for turning them into a global pop sensation. They take care of their families -- one scene shows Zayn buying his parents a house -- and seem genuinely surprised by their success and the reach of their fandom.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: No violence, although the hordes of excited fangirls who follow 1D can sometimes threaten their personal security.

  • sex false2

    Sexy stuff: The guys often hang out backstage shirtless, and in one scene, one of them is shown changing (he's momentarily seen in just his boxer briefs). Several of the band members have visible tattoos, and one of Harry's is shown a few times because it's across his chest. Band members don't discuss their personal romantic relationships, but the language in a couple of their ballads can be overtly romantic and makes references to physical attraction/attributes.

  • language false2

    Language: Language includes a couple uses of "ass," plus "what the hell," "bloody," "crap," "damn," "oh my God," and "mental."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: The British boy band is itself the "product" of the film, and it serves as a powerful promotional tool for their unbelievably popular act. The movie capitalizes on the band's origins and popularity, as well as how much social media and young female fandom is responsible for making them so famous. Producer Simon Cowell and his brainchild The X-Factor are also prominently featured.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable