User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 585 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 51 out of 585

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  1. Nov 27, 2011
    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?
  2. Nov 29, 2011
    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. Expand
  3. Nov 24, 2011
    I had to leave the theatre for awhile because it was so tedious and predictable. This movie is made for 10 year old kids, not for adults. It is a great story and Scorsese is a great director. But I'm beginning to think Scorsese has become Altman and Kurbrik in their later years. The pacing is a killer, some wonderful moments but it was edited like a student film, everything had to be included. It was irritating the way to spoke down to the audience. Expand
  4. Nov 29, 2011
    Not enough words can be said in terms of how much I love Scorcese's work, but Hugo is a near-total flop. The idea that Scorcese would take on the daunting, film-crippling fad that is 3D, came as a surprise to me. But it was Scorcese, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and went into the theatre with high hopes. Boy, was I disappointed. The storyline, writing, and acting by the main character who plays Hugo are put together producing a flat product. The movie is boring. The only true part of the movie I liked was Scorcese going through the history of film periodically, which had nothing to do with the main story-line at all. Wait for it on DVD, don't see it in 3D. Disappointed! Expand
  5. Nov 23, 2011
    A major disappointment. What a mess. While it was fine from a technical standpoint, the story was completely unengaging. The result is a big beautiful mess. And these reviews about how it's a "Love letter to cinema" are laughable. The movie's about the young boy, and the stuff about "Cinema" is only about 20 minutes or so at the end of the movie, and has nothing to do with the boy's story at all.
  6. Nov 26, 2011
    This was the worst movie I have ever sat through in my life. 1.Story- What's the point of it all? Dead father, broken robot, movie maker who gave up b/c of the war, (boohoo), security guard who finds love and softens up, girl who just happens to have the key, author of book happens to be standing right there and have obsessive collection of girl's grandfather's movies, dead unkle (it didn't even matter that he dies). 2.Acting-horrible 3.Coincidences- way too many stupid ones. Like I said earlier. The girl just HAPPENS to have the key hanging around her neck. All the girls in the world and he hooks up with the one who chooses to wear it as a neckelace. 4. Way too long. 30 min would have been too long. 5. Was this fantasy or not? Robot that draws all this is unbelievable. Why were the papers flying around when the box dropped? Why was the grandfather so upset when the kids found the box of drawings? Why was he so upset about the book the boy had with the drawings? (another stupid super coincidence). He was just too darn upset about nobody liking his movies anymore? This movie dragged on and on and for what? For us to learn that the moviemaker DOES have people who like his movies still? That is so stupid. What the #### does that have to do with the robot he built and the boy happens to have? (coincidence). The trailer for the movie shows the robot flying through the air and a dragon shooting fire. It tricked me into thinking this may be somewhat of an exciting movie. With maybe some fantasy thrown in. (Not that a movie needs it to be good) But no. The robot is not flying. It is being dropped. Their is no dragon. It is a 1920 movie being made. I started this review trying to be structured but I am just spewing it out now. This movie is a waste of time and I do not understand how other people like it. This is the reason I created an account and wrote this first review. Some more ranting- How did the father die? It doesn't really matter but they didn't even bother with a real reason. Just fire shooting up the stairs after he heard noises. Lame. The movie tried to create tension filled and emotional scenes with way too much music but they just weren't there. Why when the kids tried to run away they all of a sudden were running AGAINST all the traffic. Run on the other side WITH the traffic dummies. And the boy was just living on stolen bread rolls? Please. The security guard side story was stupid and not needed. There was at least an 8 min scene with him trying to talk to the flower girl. What a waste of time. This movie is so bad that I am glad I saw it with my daughter. We will always remember it and laugh about it. Thankyou for making it so tereribly boring and stupid. Expand
  7. Nov 25, 2011
    This was a beautiful movie. It was also unengaged, tedious, predictable and just down right boring. I am sure film students will rave about it as a masterpiece. I know Martin Scorsese's work very well and appreciate all of it but not this. This was the worst thing I have ever seen him put his name on. The fact that the movie was so beautiful just made it more disappointing because that is all it had going for it. Like a beautiful train wreck. Expand
  8. Nov 27, 2011
    I fell asleep for a moment watching this movie. Much too slowly paced. Lots left undeveloped. Surprising to see other reviewers comments about the performances. Except for the child, all the other characters were quite undeveloped. Some quite good actors had very little to work with here. Humor is lame, groin injuries and dog bites. Characters that you thought might have some interest were left dangling and unfinished. And even the child's most dramatic moment in the movie is poorly integrated into the story. He shifts on a dime, or rather the director does. This is not a story Scorcese should have directed. And I certainly would not take children, unless they need a good nap! Contra shibumi, there isnt much to get. And whatever there is takes so long in the getting. Visually it is stunning, and the paean to the beginnings of cinema are appreciated, but it was too much of a good thing. Expand
  9. Nov 27, 2011
    It seems that people enjoy making unbiased assumptions about others. You take your time to give a low score and give your insight on this film, and then expect us to respect your opinion, the problem is that you then start making such stupid assumptions on why critics gave Hugo a high score. You want us to believe your opinion, but then create such ridiculous reasoning for other opinions as if their opinion were wrong, the movie expresses love for other movies, therefore, that is the ONLY reason why the critics gave it a high mark? Preposterous. That is not a sane justification of any hypothetical. These people think they know better than movie critics, Your opinion of this movie, although unexplained well and improper, is not relevant to my point, the bitter assumptions of why critics gave this film a high mark is relevant to the point. Hugo, a film about fixing people, unfortunately, the message was not received. People saw the film, but they did not truly watch it. There is plenty of effort found in this movie, it has so much heart and beauty. The small minor details are not important, it is a very kind film that does not deserve such arrogant rhetoric. Review the film such as that of a professional, Do not scoff or insult the film, critique it. if you cannot, then you truly are broken. Arrogance is the weak poison of humanity. Expand
  10. Dec 2, 2011
    Yes, most people have it right here. Beautiful to look at and all. Great homage. Nice Depp to the thing, as a sort of Django Reinhardt/Depp there in the Cafe, along with James Joyce and Salvador Dalí type playing guitar...but who cares? It pains me to say this but it was very stale dog turds. The only light bits were Sacha Cohen...and it was nice that there wasn't a lot of dialog...but, what was that LONG INTRO then BAM! Here's the title? Orson Welles homage? WTF? Lame. Expand
  11. Dec 3, 2011
    I was almost shocked by the stream of 100 reviews by critics, which the more I think about the less I like. I'll try to be fair and line up the points in its favour first then more onto the more disappointing. In its favour, Hugo carries a strong cast with (albeit brief) roles by Jude Law, Christopher Lee, the pleasantly surprising Sacha Baron Cohen as well as the superb Ben Kingsley and Annoymous Child Actor with Sparkling Blue Eyes. Y'see, I've already slipped into the negative because there's so many of them. Director Scorsese doesn't seem to be able to focus on Child Actor with Sparkling Blue Eyes (hereby referred to as CASBE) without an overly long and rather blunt focus on his sapphire blue eyes. Thus starts a long stream of the film throwing what it wants you to think in your face in a blunt and unconvincing manner. He's an innocent child, it screams, can't you see that, in his blue-blue eyes! Ahem, back to the good. The setting of the film is spectacular, beautiful even. We are pleasured optically with panoramas of early 1930's Paris bedecked in a powdering of snow, lit in the evenings by twinkling lights and a few obvious landmarks like l'Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, just to make sure you're absolutely sure it's Paris because amazingly NO-ONE, except Christopher Lee's line "Mousieur Cabret," sound even remotely French. Okay, we can forgive that, back to the good things. A lot of money has clearly been put into backdrops and extras; the train station in which most of the film is set is bustling with hundreds of Parisian folk about their business, crushingly busy at points (like during chases) but fortunately empty at others (like when extended dialogue takes place). Maybe Parisian's were more polite in the 1930's than they are now. There's a few moments that may make you laugh, mostly with comedy relief Cohen, but they were few and far between for me. Right, is that the good stuff done? Recap, imagery, some actors, a few laughs. So much for Hugo as a good film, now for it as a monster....

    The film's so God-awfully slow as to be painful. In a world of high octane films that demand attention through sheer eye popping explosiony goodness, it's nice to slow the pace, it really is, but not this far. I was bored by mid-way, checking my watch for the first time in a film in years. Each scene is staggered out with long dramatic pauses that drag on and on. My hopes were high in the extended introductory scene where a chase with Cohen, the unlikable and awkward station inspector, pursues CASBE through a throng of Parisians. Just as I'm thinking "ooo, this is fun" WHAM, it slows down again to a snails pace and becomes brooding and dark, which gives me another impression; this films doesn't know what it wants and so has a pot shot at everything. Rather than stick with a theme, it veers chaotically from tragic, comedic, philosophical, romantic, like it's on a runaway locomotive ploughing into a Parisian station.... The thing that annoyed the most, beyond the agonisingly slow pace and the butterfly plot, the thing that really got to me more than anything was how demanding this film is. Now I don't mean demanding in terms of complexity, God no. I mean demanding in what it asks of you in a manner almost as petulant as CASBE when he follows child acting school rule 17, "Act Shocked When Accused" and snarls that he's not a thief when anyone even vaguely implies a five finger discount being taken. This films DEMANDS how you feel about characters while providing so little background to them that to call them two dimensional in within serious risk of being overstating them. He's an orphan, roars the film, you HAVE to feel sorry for him! He's a sad old man, can't you see that? Aren't we making it clear enough how you should feel!? Every character that we are meant to empathise with has so little back story, or such a limited back story, that it makes it almost impossible to feel anything for them. The backstory that pads out Kingsley's character is given in one large chunk right at the end of the movie and I actually found this quite engaging as it allowed me to appreciate the character I wasn't allowed to feel anything for. Every time another character tries to peek into the bubble each character has around themselves they're rebused with almost the same petulance as CASBE along the lines of "I don't want to talk about it". The only character that gave any inkling into their motives was surprisingly the unlikeable Inspector, Cohen offering the touching line almost as an apology of his disability to the girl of his desires. In that brief conversation more was giving about one character than most of the others in the entire film. In short, appalling pacing, almsot non-existent character development and a waste of good actors do not make up for pretty settings and facing graphics. Let's not even talk about the 3D.
  12. Dec 5, 2011
    2 words to describe this disaster: boring, garbage!

    I can't believe the critics gave this such a high score. They are blind or just stupid. How do you become a critic anyway? Critics are worthless shills to artsy fartsy crappola and follow each other like blind sheep.
  13. Mar 6, 2012
    visually pleasing and a not all together unpleasing 2 hour distraction, but FAR from a masterpiece. characters are two dimensional and their interactions are unbelievable. ben kingsley's portrayal is unconvincing and sasha baron cohen is plain terrible. if it wasn't for the high production value, this movie would be merit-less.
  14. Dec 6, 2011
    A visually-stimulating eye-candy that got lost in a cornfield in terms of storytelling. I wanted to see more of Hugo's growth and his relationship with his female friend after the death of his father. I also wish there was more to the Automaton (sp?) than just showing that Ben Kingsley's Méliès is still alive and well. Méliès's creative approach to film-making was a side-plot that somehow overruled the whole story after thirty minutes in, and I feel that the protagonist position shifted to him rather than Hugo as well. I agree w/ awhubsch that the critics may have loved this because it shows some film history, but the movie itself has too much airy, half-hearted acting (anyone could immediately tell that Asa Butterfield didn't know a thing about fixing things by the way he touched and handled the parts of a contraption) and badly developed characters - as well as many redundant ones. What exactly was Isabelle's purpose after her key was known to fit into Hugo's father's machine? It's like she became a smiley prop object or something. I feel that Hugo was just a mouse running on its wheel continuously and that somehow got lucky. Expand
  15. Dec 7, 2011
    Very disappointing and hard to believe Scorsese had a hand in it. Brilliant cinematography but the rest of the movie and acting was very bad. Other reviews are very interesting, very high or very low but my wife and I both came out of this movie almost bewildered with a "What was that?" We saw it in an extreme 3D theater and those effects were also very good but the lead character boy, in some scenes, was absolutely terrible. Expand
  16. Dec 17, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The subject matter of the lonely boy living in the train station was so dreary and sad, I couldn't
    get over it. People were mean to him and I just wanted to go to sleep. The pacing was very
    slow. The colors were dark, the clothes were dark, the movie was dark. Not a fun time.
    Wish I could get a refund on this. I did not find it enjoyable at all. Disturbing imagery with
    chldren being abused, locked up, hungry. Not a fun time.
  17. Feb 27, 2012
    It is unbelievable how a film like this one can get so many Oscar nominations. A mix of artificial technical effects, boring script, a copy of some French films style (Delicatessen, Amelie,...) but without any humour, ridiculous characters... Once again, Scorsese over-rated, unable to tell a real story, full of banalities. Nogo recommendation
  18. Mar 6, 2012
    I am a fan of some European films, and can find interest in old movies, but this was barely engaging at all. The train station and artistic detail is lovely for the first 20 minutes, but after that, we are led mostly nowhere by tragic characters who speak very little. The intense focus on mechanical things and all these supposed French characters acting bitter and speaking with British accents made it seem like a post WWII British engineering education film. Not deep or well-scripted enough for adults, too dreary and slow for children, it mainly was an equal-opportunity aggravation. Why the critics are swooning about this, I can't imagine. Expand
  19. May 10, 2012
    Yet another 2011 film receiving rave reviews that I don't get. While it is interesting to see Mr Scorsese defend his not selling out to SFX, that's exactly what he did. Watching at home, without 3D, the movie falls flat. A movie should have been made about Mr Melies but this is not about him, but about things that fly off the screen. And what's the story with the dust or snowflakes that drift around the entire film? Is everyone in a snow globe? Is this Dr Suess? Disappointing on so many levels. The director needed long explanations about the characters, their families, the evil cop, etc. instead of "showing" us some background-this is a visual medium. The best part of the film is the flashbacks on how movie making got it's start. Now that would make a good film. Mr S should get back to developing strong characters, fierce relationships, and de-emphasize the SFX. Poor outing from a usually brilliant director. Expand
  20. Dec 23, 2011
    This is one of the worst movies i've ever seen, i'm not sure i can rate this movie because i slept through half of it. The only reason you should ever watch this terrible movie is if you have insomnia.
  21. Dec 28, 2011
    I don't think I can even remember the last time I've ever been subject to such a stagnant, passive viewing experience. Such a slow, sluggish plot that I found myself silently urging along. The film felt like all twinkling lights and tenderness, almost never jumping out at me. Watching it could be compared to trying to swim through a lake of honey - there's warmth and sweetness, sure, but it's very slow going. The main boy actor hardly shows any emotion on his face - to me, he looked either creepily indifferent or morose and sullen. Collapse
  22. Mar 28, 2012
    One of the more pretentious movies made in the past few year. A love letter to itself and the the self absorbed members of Hollywood that believe all the magic and originality in the world is a result of their own collective efforts. The story is so slow, and unconvincing, you'll likely doze off well before the movie's anti climatic ending. The only redeeming quality is the beautiful set and costume design, as well as some slightly inspired acting . Expand
  23. Jun 11, 2012
    Today I saw Hugo on DVD for the first time believing that it was supposed to be an adventure fantasy story. I was very wrong. This movie looked cool, and i can tell it was meant for 3D in the theater, but other than that it was not very good. The plot is so very slow moving that you think it has to lead up to some big climax of how all the mixed story lines tie together, but it does not. I still do not understand how that was supposed to flow well at all. The Automaton had so much potential to be entertaining, but actually had very little to do with the story. It all was very coincidental and the story of Hugo, his dad and the automaton and the story of the movie director didn't quite flow together, heck the Automaton doesn't flow with the director. How would it draw images of his movies if he took it apart to make his camera before making any of his films? Why did he fake his death or why do people think he is dead? What happened to Hugo's mother? Over all the movie left many questions unanswered and was not a fantasy adventure story that the previews made it out to be at all. Expand
  24. Jul 26, 2012
    This movie was quite falsely advertised. All these commercials saying "This movie is the greatest movie of ALL TIME...Magical...enthralling..." It wasn't that good whatsoever. This is nothing close to enthralling. The most exhilarating part was when the main character was running from a security guard. Hugo is repetitive, slow, and didn't appeal to me WHATSOEVER. It was visually entertaining, as the setting was interesting and the gears were a nice touch, but I still didn't like the movie. Not recommended. Expand
  25. Jul 10, 2013
    Nice, cute, Hugo is a nice film and a bit tedious and um, hilarious in itself. Its too long though and it was extended. Though its good it won a few Oscars, though its kind of odd
  26. Dec 29, 2012
    A pretty film in blue-ray, and one of few movies a parent can take a kid to without the inevitable F-bomb. Entertaining but slow to the point and a bit overacted.
  27. Jan 11, 2013
    Well there goes two hours of my life I'm not getting back. Many others have nailed what's wrong here; it's too long, there's almost no plot, the acting is weak, there are glacier size holes in the story, trite characterizations, exposition is the main source of dialogue, I could go on. Yes, it's beautifully shot, but we go to movies to see ourselves through the characters portrayed. If we only wanted beauty, we could go to the beach, or a park. The filmmaker (George Milies) in the film became a has-been because once the novelty of moving pictures wore off (a train! Special effects!) the audience craved rich, complex characters overcoming seemingly impossible odds to acheive their goals. The Director of Hugo forgot that.

    It's much much easier to criticize than it is to create a movie start to finish. And yet, we as Scorcese's audience deserve to see him use his awesome power and budgets in the service of great characters in a great story, and not in talking down to us. The ten-year old in me is disappointed.
  28. May 15, 2013
    I didn't read the book so I don't know if its properly ported, but the movie is... omg.
    It's been years since I have to stop watching a movie and this had even Oscars behind it.
    The girl is extremely painful and the main character is even worse.
    I'm not trying to be troll. I'm just saying that, for me, it's an incredible bored movie.
  29. Jun 11, 2013
    I didn't really like this film. It was too long and boring, lame. I didn't get the message of that movie and i didn't even bother to look for it through the internet or watch the movie again. A waste of my time.
  30. Mar 18, 2012
    This movie is not captivating, not magical and not exiting. a movie about a washed up old man and a kid is pathetic Tin Tin was a better movie choice. I really did not like this.
  31. Mar 13, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Very disappointing given the hype. The darndest thing is that it just isn't very interesting --though it should be given its, pardon, mechanisms and reality behind the magic. Whether fantasy or magical realism, this movie evoked no emotions in me --oops. The only reason to see it is Sacha Baron Cohen as the inspector, who endearingly steals what little is left of the show. Expand
  32. Mar 4, 2012
    What a boring movie! I always finish movies, doesnt matter how bad they are. But with Hugo, I lost intrest 3/4 of the way! The movie was a big dissappoinment for me.
  33. Apr 19, 2012
    Make no mistake, "Hugo" is a film for kids. It's wrapped in fine 3D cinematography set in 1940's Paris but it's leveled at your pre-teen. Even the film's theme is revealed via dialogue so there's no mystery to ponder or interpretation to debate. The 3D version certainly added an interesting visual dimension to it but it's still a kid's film and was largely a waste of time for me but again, your pre-teen may find some adventure and enchantment there. Expand
  34. Feb 26, 2012
    First of all I want to mention that I am a big fan of Scorsese and I love almost every movie which was directed by him! My favourite is Taxi Driver, followed by Good Fellas, Departed and even Shutter Island wasn't that bad, like some people say! So I just thought, I have to watch 'Hugo', because it's a 'Scorsese', although I don't really like fairy tales and stuff like that. Now, after I saw 'Hugo', I have to say that the movie is not so bad, but really not great!
    I also don't understand, why this movie is nominated for 11 oscars!

    Is it because Scorsese was the director?!

    Well, about the movie itself: the effects were great (not too much or less, but just right), the story was half interessting, half boring, the actors were partly good (Ben Kingsley), partly bad (Asa Butterfield, the innocent looking acting-noob) and the runtime was way too long!

    It really needs more than dirty hands and baby-blue eyes to play an orphan quite authentic!
    Asa was much too whiny...

    Also there were way too much 'coincidences', like the girl carrying the key as a necklace (of course...)!

    All in all I would say take another child actor, wrap up the story a little bit, shorten it and show it again.
    Otherwise, it's not worth an oscar!
  35. May 15, 2013
    This movie suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkksssssssssssssssssssssssss. I am a professional movie critic.
  36. Mar 2, 2014
    when i saw this it was boring and something that isnt enjoyable . Wow martin scoresse why would you make a film like this . it is boring , it is Sh***t

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Nov 29, 2011
    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.
  2. 70
    For all the wizardry on display, Hugo often feels like a film about magic instead of a magical film.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Nov 28, 2011
    Visually Hugo is a marvel, but dramatically it's a clockwork lemon.