Ruth & Alex

May 8th, 2015


Ruth & Alex

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A long-time married couple who've spent their lives together in the same New York apartment become overwhelmed by personal and real estate-related issues when they plan to move away.

Release Year: 2014

Rating: 6.5/10 (107 voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Richard Loncraine

Stars: Diane Keaton, Morgan Freeman, Cynthia Nixon

A long-time married couple who've spent their lives together in the same New York apartment become overwhelmed by personal and real estate-related issues when they plan to move away.

Writers: Jill Ciment, Charlie Peters

Morgan Freeman -
Diane Keaton - Ruth
Carrie Preston -
Cynthia Nixon - Niece
Miriam Shor -
Alysia Reiner - Blue Leggings
Claire van der Boom - Young Ruth
Sterling Jerins - Zoe
Josh Pais - Jackson
Liza J. Bennett - Mrs. Vincent
Maddie Corman - Friendly Lady
Hannah Dunne - Debbie
Katrina E. Perkins - Lady with Dog
Joanna Adler - Boy's Mother
Alanna Blair - Young Wife

Taglines: A coming of age story

Country: USA

Language: English

Release Date: 8 May 2015

Filming Locations: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Based on a novel called "Heroic Measures," it was renamed "Life Itself," then "Ruth and Alex," then "5 Flights Up." See more »

User Review


Rating: 10/10

From the story line, it may seem that this film will be boring to kids. But, when I started watching this film I fell in love with it. Morgan Freeman's perfect timing of jokes and Diane Keeton's wonderful and priceless emotions make this film entertaining and heartfelt from the very start to the last second.

It is a bit hard to say what the main genre is. Of course, there is a lot of romance between the two characters, Alex (Morgan Freeman) and Ruth (Diane Keeton), there is also that funny side that makes it all that more enjoyable. And, there is still a serious dramatic side which keeps you on the edge of your seat till the end.

The story starts when an elderly couple, Ruth and Alex, live in a high up, massive apartment in New York City, Brooklyn actually. However, the five flight of stairs they need to take is getting more and more challenging so they decide to move to a location with an elevator. To add to the challenges, their dog is in the hospital undergoing treatment for spinal injury.

The director, Richard Loncraine makes this movie feel authentic and rustic and also shows how current society stereotypes elderly people, how they truly feel about it and how wrong it is. The cast is wonderful and the acting is just superior with serious and comedy scenes mixed together and standing out all the time. I also like how they lightly touch upon problems of the past as well as problems of today. For example, Ruth and Alex got married in a time when bi- racial couples were not welcomed with open arms. Then it shows how today a gay couple is making an offer on a house. They submit it along with a note telling how they tried to adopt a child and finally were able to adopt one. It is something Ruth and Alex wanted to do when they were younger but were denied.

My favorite scene is when they have an open house to sell their apartment and a huge crowd of people comes through, looking at everything and touching everything. Alex doesn't like it but Ruth tries to see the positive side but fails. I like that scene because it shows how the couple's life isn't perfect and also makes the film feel very real. Not only this moment does that but many others as well.

This film has perhaps several moments of adult content but none that is too mature. I recommend it to kids ages 10 to18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, go to kidsfirst dot org.


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