One Direction: This Is Us

 
(i)

 

Like 1D, concert docu is clean cut, with tiny bit of edge.
  • Review Date: August 27, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

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.

Positive 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.

Positive 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.

Violence & scariness

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

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

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

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.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

What's the story?

Oscar-nominated director Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) helms ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US, a 3D concert documentary that shows the 1D guys -- Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson -- on their first big international concert tour. In between on-stage sets of 1D performing everywhere from Madison Square Garden to Japan, Germany, France, Spain, Scandinavia, and back home at London's O2 Arena, the film chronicles their rise to superstardom -- from their middle-class beginnings to the fateful day producer Simon Cowell put them together on the British talent show The X Factor.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

As Zayn admits in one scene, yeah, One Direction "is a boy band, but it's a cool boy band." The five guys don't try to deny that they were completely manufactured by the music and marketing genius that is Cowell, but they also stand by their actual vocal talents. They're not just good-looking blokes Cowell saw walking down the street: They were already on a talent show, proving they could actually sing. And the guys, seemingly humbled by their remarkable near-overnight success, also acknowledge that they aren't amazing dancers (like Usher and Justin Bieber) or prolific songwriters (like Harry's ex, Taylor Swift).

What One Direction is good at is harmonizing and making even the youngest of fans (usually girls) squeal with excitement ... like that other English boy band that started out singing pop ditties. The mates are ridiculously charming, and, despite their tattoos, are clean cut enough to be even a single-digit-aged girl's first celebrity crush. Although the film does explore the guys' home lives, there aren't any huge emotional revelations like in Katy Perry's film. Sure, there's much more to these guys than what's included here (for example, Zayn recently got engaged), but for a starter look at how they went from singing in their showers to selling out stadium arenas, This Is Us is as catchy and surface-cute as the band's songs.

Families can talk about...

  • 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 30, 2013
DVD release date:December 17, 2013
Cast:Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik
Director:Morgan Spurlock
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Documentary
Topics:Music and sing-along
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild language

This review of One Direction: This Is Us was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 10 year old Written bymollysmom704 August 30, 2013
 

Boys will always be Boys

I wasn't expecting much when I took my 10 year old daughter to see this but I was very pleasantly surprised. My daughter was in heaven and wanted to get on the line for the next show! This is a fun movie and the boys in One Direction are just a blast to watch. I enjoyed the introspective moments when they individually wondered about things like the future, whether people would like them for themselves rather than for the fact they were in One Direction, how to stay real (normal), etc. They seem to be staying "real" because even though they're currently at the top, they don't act like superstars, they act like boys; normal, fun-loving boys, with lots of good-natured pranks, jokes, and rough-housing. Despite the tattoos, most parents would be proud if they had sons like these boys. It left me hoping that success will not destroy them the way it has so many other pop stars. Go see this movie with your daughter (if she'll let you), you'll be glad you did.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old September 3, 2013
 

Will convert you to directionerism!!!!

Amazing!!!! I went with my friends to get out of the house bieng a nondirectioner now im a directioner. They are lol worthy. They cuss a little.... And at some points they are shirtless. One time Harry is wearing boxers and yells keep the camerea up here not there. Its great!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byndrwcd August 30, 2013
 

strictly for the one direction fans

Unless your a one direction fan ,chances are your gonna dislike this movie

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