One Direction: This Is Us

Rated 3.0

Director Morgan Spurlock traces the rise of the current boy-band sensation One Direction (Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson), formed by Simon Cowell from also-rans on his series The X Factor. Spurlock also follows their world tour, with generous helpings of their backstage hijinks. In performance, we seldom see more than a few bars of any given song; ordinarily, that would be a mistake, but with these songs, that's plenty. The movie is patently staged and may have been scripted (it's always fishy when a “documentary” has camera crews on both ends of a phone call). This valentine to a manufactured pop group is odd coming from Spurlock, whose movies usually decry rampant consumerism. Still, the boys are likeable enough, and who can begrudge them their moment in the spotlight?