41 user 73 critic

5 Flights Up (2014)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 8 May 2015 (USA)
2:21 | Trailer

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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.


Richard Loncraine


Charlie Peters (screenplay), Jill Ciment (book)
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Keaton ... Ruth Carver
Morgan Freeman ... Alex Carver
Cynthia Nixon ... Lily Portman
Carrie Preston ... Miriam Carswell
Claire van der Boom ... Young Ruth
Korey Jackson ... Young Alex
Michael Cristofer ... Larry
Diane Ciesla ... May
Josh Pais ... Jackson
Maddie Corman ... Friendly Lady
Miriam Shor ... Cool Lady
Gary Wilmes ... Mr. Vincent
Liza J. Bennett ... Mrs. Vincent
Ted Sod Ted Sod ... Mr. Rahim
Sterling Jerins ... Zoë


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The best moves in life are the ones you make together. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

PG-13 for language and some nude images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

8 May 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life Itself See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$238,491, 10 May 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,013,061, 21 June 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full 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 »


The central characters say (two times) that they are buying an apartment on 1st Avenue and 77th Street and when they enter the apartment (also two times) it's clearly off Amsterdam Avenue on Cathedral Parkway, which is around 110th Street in West Harlem/Morningside Heights - more than 2 miles from where they are supposed to be. These two neighborhoods don't look alike at all. See more »


Alex Carver: Who would have thought that the whole of my life's work would be worth less than the room it was painted in?
See more »


The Very Thought Of You
Performed by Diane Keaton
Written by Ray Noble
Used by permission of Range Road Music, Inc.
O/B/O Itself and Quartet Music and Biestock
Co Publisher Chester Music Ltd. Trading as Campbell Connelly & Co.
See more »

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User Reviews

9 May 2015 | by ferdinand1932See all my reviews

There are several ways to create dramatic interest in film, not all are reliant on the old theatrical modes. There are docudramas and movies that are like magazine stories, which narrate stories over several decades to give a complete tale.

Scorsese said once that he thought American movies were more like magazine articles with pictures in that they told a story rather than created drama. From the director of "Casino", which really is the magazine style movie par excellence, that is an insight.

It is possible to create tension and engagement with this style, even when reduced to a small episodic tale. In books this can work well because the author does the meta-narration, which is the interpretation of action. It is a difficult task to make cinematic and so it is with 5 Flights Up, or Ruth and Alex.

While this style may work on the page, in that clear, bland, non-style of glossy magazine commercial fiction, its lack of a center leaves the movie vacuous. Superficially, the story of moving apartments and juggling brokers might seem enough but it isn't. It's too mundane and property is a weak idea to make an entire movie function. Imagine if Lady Macbeth and the Thane of Cawdor had got into a castle moving story: she preoccupied with cleaning up the blood stains for the new tenants, he unable to move all his knives, shields and swords out to make the castle look bigger.

This is a small, dull film, with all the pace and visual qualities of wallpaper paste. It has frittered the talents of its cast. Ruth and Alex is a very slight story that didn't really deserve to be made into a film and doesn't deserve anyone's time.

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