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Up

Up

Genders: Adventure, Fantasy, Drama, Comedy, Animation, Family

Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Writer: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Actors: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Christopher Plummer

Year: 2009
Run time: 1h 36min
IMDB score: 8.3
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Up

Genders: Adventure, Fantasy, Drama, Comedy, Animation, Family

Imdb Score: 8.3

Runtime: 1h 36min

Released: 29 May 2009

Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Writer: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Actors: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Christopher Plummer

Box Office: $293.0M

Company: Walt Disney Pictures

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

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Trailer


Review

Pixar hits it out of the park, again

10/10 I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a special pre-release screening of Up at Pixar studios in Emeryville, organized by the San Francisco Film Society. After a hour-long reception in the atrium of their beautiful main building we went through some rigorous security (metal detectors!) and were treated to an hilarious short (Partly Cloudy) and Pixar's new high water mark, Up.

My favorites to date have definitely been Wall-E and the Incredibles, and Up is another slightly-left-of-center masterpiece. The emotional impact of the beautiful, wordless summation of Carl's life that opens the movie is the bass note that resonates through the whole film and is at least as affecting as the scene in Wall-E when he holds his own hands while watching Hello Dolly. The rest of the movie, of course, is breathtaking on just about every level, especially the tactile quality of all the characters and textures and the completely realized weather effects and action scenes. With no "new" technical milestones (fur in Monsters, Inc., water in Finding Nemo, realistic camera effects in Wall- E), the design is the main focus, from the hilariously stylized characters to the amazing setting of the tepui.

As the associate producer who participated in the Q&A following the movie pointed out, the past three Pixar movies have not been easy sells to their parent company Disney (they'll be back in familiar territory with Toy Story 3 and Cars 2), but Pixar's commitment to inventive, story-driven films continues to pay off here. All of the good press is true, and I can't wait to see it again. Thanks for staying true to yourselves Pixar!

4 years ago

Brilliant, another Pixar home run

5/10 If there's a list of great computer animation movies of all time, Pixar would dominate most of the top positions. Great story, great voice talent, great timing, great for all ages. It'd be hard to pick just one above another and perhaps another viewing of Up may be in order to figure out where I'd place it among so much stellar work.

Up is by far the most emotional human drama of any Pixar movies thus far, very heavy, so much so if you're looking for pure fun with some jaw-dropping chase and/or thematic scenes and no downer moments, Up may not be for you. I saw it in a packed theatre of about a 65% adult, 35% adult split audience and it's the only time I can remember being in ANY animated movie where there was sniffles and watery eyes, and that was within the first 10 minutes of the movie. There's an undercurrent of life after losing a loved one in this movie, which I don't feel gives anything away. It's pretty heavy subject matter, Pixar handles it, like they do everything they touch, incredibly well, but it doesn't make it any less sad to have the material threaded throughout much of the movie you're reminded of it, but I suppose it's up to one's own interpretation of loss and how to place it in your life that perhaps will have an emotional effect on you.

Story is what makes a great movie great. Without story, you don't really have anything, maybe some effects, some action, maybe some cute or clever sight gags, maybe some laughs, hopefully some emotion, where Pixar shines above all others in animation and over a good 99% of the movies out there is they can intertwine it all and do it seemingly effortless, which is an incredible feat. To do this in a few movies is one thing, but Pixar has pretty much nailed this now for their entire career of making movies, that's just simply unprecedented.

I should note I saw the 3D version which, to be honest, didn't really take the movie to the next level. One of the more well known syndicated reviewers had said you're better off seeing the non-3D version on screen, and I actually agree. The 3D glasses added little to nothing to the movie except for an eye-strain headache later in the night. It didn't take away from Up mind you, it just didn't add to it either.

Up is a great movie either way you slice it and it should be noted, the theatre I saw it in gave it a fairly loud round of applause at the end. It's pretty rare these days that an audience applauds after a movie, perhaps we as a society has become too jaded, or too just expecting of the goods or feeling we're entitled to the entertainment. It's nice when a movie hits on all cylinders and elicits such a range and emotional reaction people who don't know each other in a packed room all gasp, laugh, cry, and applaud together. Great movies however can do that and Up is truly a great movie.

4 years ago

Imaginative, fun and moving - as close to perfect as Pixar has ever been

10/10 Carl Frederickson (Ed Asner) has lived a long life, but dreams of adventuring to South America. He wants to spend his remaining days in his home, but new high-rises are being constructed around it. After a chance accident, Carl loses his home, and is set to be taken into a retirement home. Unhappy with this idea, the former balloon salesman ties thousands of balloons to his house and simply floats away, en route to his dream adventure. Except, he is not alone – young "wilderness explorer" Russell (Jordan Nagai) inadvertently shows up in mid-air, and Carl sees no other choice but to bring the boy with him.

The fact that this plot line is even relevant enough to get made into a movie is more than enough reason to praise Up. Ever since Toy Story, Pixar has consistently delivered the most radically original and unique ideas for animated films, and live action films. Sure, not all of them are as amazing as others (Cars is quite simply stale compared to the likes of Ratatouille and WALL-E), but there is something brilliantly imaginative and exciting going on at the studio, and Up is no exception.

Coming off the breakthrough of WALL-E, I was not expecting the same reaction to Up, but I was more than just pleasantly surprised. The film is hilarious, heartfelt, moving and depressing all at once. This may sound like it is an issue, and that the film has a problem holding its ground with its tonal structure. But instead, it handles it quite well; splitting the film into quadrants and allowing the themes and plot line to coincide with whatever emotional response the filmmakers are going for. And while there is plenty for young children to enjoy and take from the film, it is the older audience that will get the biggest reaction from it. There is a lot going on in the film, but it never loses its speed and never loses control of what it wants to say and do. It knows exactly where it wants to be and when. And where other recent Pixar films have failed (specifically in their lengthy runtimes and frequent need to drag themselves out), Up does not. It practically blasts its way through its beginning, all the way up to its ending, with time left to spare.

What makes Up work so well, much like WALL-E before it, is the focus on very few characters. Where WALL-E spent the majority of its runtime primarily on Earth with its main character, a love interest and a cockroach, Up spends its majority with Carl, Russell, a "bird" named Kevin and a talking dog named Dug (voiced by co-director Bob Peterson). It does allow for more characters to enter in later on, but the focus never strays from these main characters. Some may say the film is trying to tell multiple stories, but as the film progresses, it is clear it is telling one story – the tale of a man who never experienced what he wanted the most. The film builds up Carl's backstory heavily in startlingly moving moments that surprisingly were surprisingly kept rather secretive in the marketing for the film. We know from the very first trailer that Carl is a fairly mean old man, but the film spends a great deal of time to develop him into an emotional wreck of a man.

But the real success of the film is in its imagination and adventure. While WALL-E is perhaps the most startlingly unique and original animated picture of the last decade, Up still manages to pack in a lot of uniqueness. But while WALL-E got caught up in its own environmentally sound message, Up sticks with being an almost straight adventure picture. It is frequently thrilling and exciting, and lets up only for a few moments at a time. For such an older character, the film really stuns with some of its fantastical ideas. Sure, it is obvious this is a film that could only ever be done as an animated film, but what it lacks in realism it makes up for in fun – something that has been sorely missing from the movies for years. It came back for a short while with the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, but the focus as of late for any film has been on deeply conflicted, depressing narratives. And while this film is struck with having some of the most depressing scenes the year has seen so far, it never wallows in the sadness. It throws the moments at you, and then quickly moves on. And as said previously, the tonal shifts work excellently in Up's favour.

But of course, an animated movie cannot work without its animation. While Up is not a breakthrough in the way other Pixar films have been, it keeps with the tradition of still looking stunning and leading the curve for computer animated films. It does look cartoony and fantastical in many instances, but this only continues to work towards it being even better. The locales are realistic looking; the dog fur is near perfect. For me, watching Carl's facial hair gradually grow in as the story moves along was simply amazing. The little details and minute perfections have always been key to the Pixar films, and Up is no different. Additionally, the 3D effects really add a layer to the film, and bring the movie to life (unlike other recent efforts like Monsters vs. Aliens and Bolt).

I cannot praise Up enough. Words cannot do justice for how excellent the film is. Pixar continues to outdo itself year after year, even with their subpar films. While each film has their own flaws, Up revels in being as close to perfect as the company has been in years. I adored every minute, and look forward to watching it again with an even bigger smile on my face.

10/10.

4 years ago

Possibly the best Pixar film to date.

10/10 I was luckily able to catch a screening a few weeks ago here in Houston.

As an avid lover of Wall-E, I felt Pixar could never reach those heights again.

I was wrong.

UP's story will probably seem peculiar at first glance. An old man as a protagonist? It definitely blew my expectations. The first 5 minutes demolished every other Pixar feature just because it was the first time I cried in a theater.

This just shows how much heart there is to the movie. I really don't want to get into specifics because of spoilers but the movie literally has everything.

Amazing visual effects.

Amazing sound.

Hilarious comedy.

Breath taking action.

Heart.

All those combined equal something special. Today's movies like to blow you away with gimmicks, Pixar is different. Each movie shows soul and UP definitely has it.

I can't wait until it comes out so I can see it in 3d, im bringing everybody.

10/10

4 years ago

Drag me to heaven

10/10 UP, Pixar's latest animated feature, is just delightful. But how do you go about extolling the movie's virtues without giving away its surprises? Like the kid at the beginning of the movie, you don't try to conquer the immovable force; you work around it.

The one clue I can give away – because it's the movie's heavily hyped premise – is that Carl Fredrickson, a gruffy old widower (voiced with gruffy old charm by Ed Asner), miraculously inflates enough balloons to use his house as an aircraft. Soon, he finds himself reluctantly sharing his ride with a short-attention-spanned kid named Russell.

I'll also mention a couple of other items that can gauge your potential interest in the movie. One is a gag that is a take-off on a famous painting – perhaps too inside of an inside joke, but typical of Pixar's cheery attempts to appeal to viewers of all ages.

Also, part of the plot involves Carl's long-held wish to meet a Lindbergh-type adventurer named Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer!). This is another in-joke that's even vaguer than the first one. Cartoon historians know that Walt Disney started in the cartoon biz by creating Oswald the Rabbit for producer Charles Mintz, who then greedily stole the rights to Disney's creation. This gives you a pretty good idea where the ostensible hero Muntz stands in the scheme of things.

Beyond that, I can only offer you some enticing clues about the characters. There's a dog who's the leader of his pack and in menacing beyond measure, until he opens his mouth and gets one of the movie's biggest laughs. There's a huge, awkward bird that is a big laugh-getter at first. Then she becomes a real enough character that – at least in the audience I was in – when she's injured, she elicits screams of fright worthy of Bambi's late mother.

There's surprising, heartfelt emotion, vivid imagery (you can almost touch the landscapes and skies), and a music score by Michael Giacchino that's practically a character in the movie – particularly in a thoughtful montage that takes Carl from childhood to widowhood.

There aren't many (or at least not enough) live-action movies that are engrossing as this cartoon. Pixar Studios has gotten to be one of those movie icons that shouldn't even have to deliver a premise to get funded anymore. The moneymen should just shut up, hand over the money, and trust they'll get a product that will appeal to everyone.

UP is only the second Pixar feature to get a PG rating, only for mildly intense imagery and action – nothing off-color in the least. Again, if you can handle "Bambi," this film should be a breeze.

4 years ago