Flash Movie Review: One Direction: This Is Us

There are a variety of reasons why someone films a documentary. They may want their film to inform, reveal or promote something about their chosen topic. Depending on the creative team that came together, a documentary can easily be exciting to watch as well as boring. Just this week a member in one of my classes told me her and her husband had decided they would concentrate on watching documentaries through the summer. I thought it was an excellent idea since I enjoy a good documentary also. When I saw director Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold) was directing this film, I decided to see it in a theater instead of waiting for it on DVD. Not familiar with One Direction’s music, I was aware they draw millions of predominantly preteen girls to their concerts. Prepared to experience all manner of noises, I was pleasantly surprised to find most of the audience was well behaved. For those of you who do not know, the members of One Direction got their start on Simon Cowell’s television show X Factor. Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Stiles and Louis Tomlinson were each a contestant on the show. When none of them made it individually, they were put together to form under the group category and the rest as they say was history. When I watch a music documentary, I want to see what the musicians are like when they are not performing. If the director uses an unbiased viewpoint, I feel we see a more realistic picture of the artists. Granted, the movie studio has to get permission from the musicians in the first place; so, who really knows how much access is allowed. In this film I felt everything was highly scripted, making sure there was no chance to present One Direction in any type of negative light. I could appreciate the portrayal of the members’ humble beginnings to international phenomenons. However, I really did not learn anything about the group. It really started to feel like one long, polished marketing campaign. The barely legal guys act like anyone their age, except every single move is either planned, managed or manipulated for the public. The director kept the story going but after a while I found myself tired of all the antics and adulation. I left the theater still not understanding why these four individuals are so popular.


2 stars




About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on September 12, 2013, in Documentary and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. It does seem weird that Morgan Spurlock took this project on. Maybe they made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse? It’s also a high profile project, so he would also know that someone would watch the film in any case and he wouldn’t have to seek out his audience.

  2. I don’t think I could sit through this movie. Watching a video of them singing is long enough for me.

  3. LOL – I think all movies about bands (or artists) are that way. It’s not so much a documentary as more of a biography written with a very positive slant.

  4. I’m not surprised this is more a promotional “documentary” then an actual one. I was on the fence about watching this one and choose not to after the reviews started coming in. I’m sure they Spurlock’s hands tied.

    Have you ever watched the Mettalica Doc from a few years ago. That’s probably the last true music doc that has been released.

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