Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Nov 27, 2011
    100
    This is a great director's greatest love story.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 23, 2011
    100
    Instead of sticking with the familiar, Scorsese has followed his impulses into something that feels entirely new but is still distinctively his. He has made a potential holiday classic, an exciting, comic and sentimental melodrama that will satisfy children and adults alike and reward repeat viewings for many years to come.
  3. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Nov 23, 2011
    100
    As well as an engaging fable about a homeless orphan living in a train station, Scorsese's film is a richly illustrated lesson in cinema history and the best argument for 3-D since James Cameron's "Avatar."
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Nov 23, 2011
    100
    This kind of cinematic delight is a rarity, a warm and masterfully crafted reminder of why we love to go to the movies in the first place.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Nov 23, 2011
    100
    Bursting with earned emotion, Hugo is a mechanism that comes to life at the turn of a key in the shape of a heart.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Nov 22, 2011
    100
    An exhilarating tale of magic, machines, memories, and dreams, Martin Scorsese pulls off the neatest trick of all. He marshals the marvels of modern movie technology - up to and including the dreaded 3-D - to create a love letter to the earliest of movies and, by extension, to every movie from then to now.
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Nov 22, 2011
    100
    The way Hugo deals with Melies is enchanting in itself, but the film's first half is devoted to the escapades of its young hero. In the way the film uses CGI and other techniques to create the train station and the city, the movie is breathtaking.
  8. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Nov 22, 2011
    100
    All the actors are wonderful, including Sacha Baron Cohen as a villainous Inspector.
  9. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Nov 21, 2011
    100
    Hugo is superbly playful.
  10. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Nov 21, 2011
    100
    Magical and imaginative, this eye-popping masterpiece from director Martin Scorsese will transport audiences to a place they won't believe.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Nov 18, 2011
    100
    In attempting to make his first film for all ages, Martin Scorsese has fashioned one for the ages. Simultaneously classical and modern, populist but also unapologetically personal, Hugo flagrantly defies the mind-numbing quality of most contempo kidpics.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Nov 17, 2011
    100
    A fabulous and passionate love letter to the cinema and its preservation framed by the strenuous adventures of two orphans in 1930s Paris.
  13. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Nov 23, 2011
    91
    The performances are universally good, the 3-D is utterly gorgeous, and the nutshell history of the early days of movies is inspiring.
  14. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nov 22, 2011
    91
    Hugo both ticks and flies by, a marvel meant to be pulled from the cabinet and enjoyed again and again.
  15. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Nov 22, 2011
    91
    It's a complex fusion of film history and personal history, filled with dazzling embellishments and unabashed sentiment about the glories of cinema.
  16. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Nov 23, 2011
    90
    Hugo states, in its adamant, straightforward poetry, that old things do matter.
  17. Reviewed by: Andrew Lapin
    Nov 23, 2011
    90
    There is much to observe, for Hugo (the film) is a marvel of spectacle, a sensory feast steeped in cinematic lore that proves pure joy is attainable in three dimensions.
  18. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Nov 22, 2011
    90
    Waves of melancholy wash over the story and keep the treacle at bay, as do the spasms of broad comedy, much of it nimbly executed by Mr. Baron Cohen.
  19. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Nov 22, 2011
    90
    What Scorsese has really made is a beautifully crafted love letter to movies, the passion of his life. What sounded like an odd pairing winds up being a perfect fit.
  20. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Nov 29, 2011
    89
    Although a nip and a tuck here and there might improve Hugo's overall pace, there is no denying that this love letter to the movies is something to cherish.
  21. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Nov 25, 2011
    88
    With Hugo, Martin Scorsese has accomplished what few in Hollywood are willing to try: make a movie for adults that arrives without sex, violence, or profanity and earns a PG-rating.
  22. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Nov 22, 2011
    88
    For cinematic sojourners, Hugo is a trip to the moon.
  23. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Nov 21, 2011
    88
    Overall, however, the manner in which the film blends the tale of an imperiled boy and the history of cinema makes for an ambitious and fanciful ride.
  24. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Nov 21, 2011
    88
    Scorsese builds Hugo in the Méliès manner, creating a complete, ravishing Parisian world on a soundstage in England and reveling in the sheer transporting joy of it. Hugo will take your breath away.
  25. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Nov 23, 2011
    83
    Hugo is a mixed bag but one well worth rummaging through.
  26. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Nov 23, 2011
    83
    Hugo is Scorsese's most personal film, from the standpoint of both an artist and a grandfather. He is as interested in Melies' posterity as in making a movie that his descendants can see before they're adults.
  27. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Nov 23, 2011
    80
    Scorsese transforms this innocent tale into an ardent love letter to the cinema and a moving plea for film preservation.
  28. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Nov 23, 2011
    75
    As much of a personal Scorsese picture as "Raging Bull" or "Taxi Driver." In some ways, this could be his most heartfelt movie.
  29. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Nov 23, 2011
    75
    What about the kids and families who have no connection to Méliès, little familiarity with Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton? Will Hugo keep them in their seats? I'm not sure.
  30. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    Strangely, Scorsese's very passion for the subject matter turns out to be both a blessing and a curse for Hugo.
  31. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    Rich and stimulating even when it wanders.
  32. Reviewed by: Phil Coldiron
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    Scorsese's affection for cinema is, of course, no surprise, and Hugo doesn't shy away from stumping for the cause of his Film Foundation; which isn't to say it's a vanity project, at least not any more than any film with a budget in the nine figures is.
  33. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Nov 21, 2011
    75
    A stunning exercise in 3D and a delightful celebration of Scorsese's lifelong love of the movies, something he, like Hugo, developed on childhood.
  34. 70
    For all the wizardry on display, Hugo often feels like a film about magic instead of a magical film.
  35. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Nov 23, 2011
    70
    Somehow, for me, this earnest, pretty movie never came to life on screen; it remained a curio in a cabinet, to be admired through a pane of glass.
  36. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Nov 22, 2011
    70
    The director's visually thrilling Hugo has real moments of 3-D magic. Sadly, they aren't quite enough to make this adaptation of Brian Selznick's celebrated novel, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," a wholly satisfying experience.
  37. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Nov 22, 2011
    60
    Perfunctorily mounted as a children's adventure, Hugo is weirdly staid in its pacing, and the screenplay, by Scorsese's "Aviator" collaborator John Logan, is full of groaners. The movie is far more successful as a barely veiled issue flick.
  38. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Nov 22, 2011
    60
    You still can't help admiring the project's ambition; an odd combo of "Babe: Pig in the City" and Godard's "Histoire(s) du cinéma," Hugo is the strangest bird to grace the multiplex in a while.
  39. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Nov 28, 2011
    50
    Visually Hugo is a marvel, but dramatically it's a clockwork lemon.
  40. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Nov 23, 2011
    50
    Young Hugo (Asa Butterfield), a boy who literally lives inside the clocks he manages in a grand Paris train station in the 1930s, embodies one problem that bedeviled even Dickens: He's boringly nice.
  41. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 22, 2011
    50
    The result is a movie that's kinetic yet slow, whose joys are architectural more than spiritual.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 585 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 197
  1. Nov 26, 2011
    10
    Hugo is a very cute and enjoyable film. Martin Scorsese brought the book to life. It showed very much suspense and even some laughs. I definitely agree with shibumi7126 that is was a very heart-felt film. Hugo is about a little brave boy who works at a train station in the clocks area where he finds this amazing robot that has the ability to do a lot of things along with an amazingly smart man (Ben Kingsley). This great picture is filled with amazing writing and amazement. Full Review »
  2. Nov 27, 2011
    3
    Over-acting, plodding pace, too long. You can understand why this movie is well-received by critics. The plot involves the early making of movies. But that's really a distraction. The director fawns over that aspect of the plot. And why do American actors playing French people have such strong and unauthentic English accents? Full Review »
  3. Nov 29, 2011
    1
    Just a movie that was falsely advertised. It didn't have any of the "magic" that I was anticipating. It was a beautiful movie to "see", it just didn't have a story. It was hopping around with really no where to go. I left and was asking what was the reason for the Dad dying? Uncle dying? the mean Cop? the weird Dog? the weird old man and the weird old lady with the over aggressive dog? and what the heck was the purpose of the iron boy or the dream that Hugo had about the key and why did he turn into the iron boy. So confusing and stupid. It only left me and my family asking, what the heck did we just watch? And we were very happy we didn't pay the 3D ticket price. Full Review »