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83

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 563 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on Brian Selznick's captivating and imaginative New York Times bestseller "The Invention of Hugo Cabret." Hugo Cabret, Scorsese's first film shot in 3D, tells the tale of an orphan boy living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station. When Hugo encounters a broken machine, an eccentric girl, and the cold, reserved man who runs the toy shop, he is caught up in a magical, mysterious adventure that could put all of his secrets in jeopardy. (Sony Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Nov 27, 2011
    100
    This is a great director's greatest love story.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    Rich and stimulating even when it wanders.
  7. 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.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 194
  1. Dec 9, 2011
    10
    The main mystery in Hugo is one so lovingly unraveled that you are taken along for one of the most viscerally entertaining films of the year. Hugo tells the story of Hugo Cabret a young boy who lives in a train station in Paris following the death of his father and his subsequent taking in by his unpleasant uncle. When the film starts, Hugo has been along for a long stretch of time, his uncle having disappeared. He is slowly collecting spare parts to repair a machine left to him by his father but while doing so he is interrupted by many different characters coming through the station. It's a marvel of a film in the way its presented with long sweeping shots through station platforms and beautiful lobbies into the clock towers Hugo visits throughout the station. It just looks brilliant with the 3D being some of the finest I have seen since Avatar, possibly better.
    Scorsese has assembled a fantastic cast with Asa Butterfield giving a touching performance as Hugo as he desperately tries to fix the machine as he believes it may hold a message from his father. Chloe Moretz puts on a great British accent and performance as a young girl just looking for a good adventure. However the films finest performance has to be Ben Kingsley as the man who has lost everything in his life and has to live with the shame of it. The comparisons between him and Hugo are both tragic and intriguing. The film skillfully tells a tale not only of loss but of the early days of cinema with the best use of classic cinema like Voyage to the Moon I have ever seen. The comparison of the adventure that is Hugo to the adventure experienced by film makers in its early days is one shown skillfully and elegantly by some fantastic directing by one of the true greats of film making. With some great cameos by the likes of Christopher Lee, Richard Griffiths and a great "villain" in Sacha Baron Cohen it is an absolute joy to watch, a real film lovers film.
    Expand
  2. Aug 22, 2012
    10
    2011 in film saw two very successful films depicting forgotten ages of cinema. I speak of course, of Hugo and The Artist. The story-lines weaved within this film may be confusing for some, but for the right individual Hugo is a rare film that is both charming and full of illusion. Simply put, Hugo is easily the best film of 2011 and should be considered among the great films of the 3-D era. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Jan 30, 2014
    8
    ''A Masterpiece.'' ''Spectacular!'' The Best use of 3D. Martin Scorsese shows his love of Film-making. One of the Best Films of 2000's. A New Masterpiece of the millennium. One of the most important film you're ever going to see. You won't see anything like Hugo. Expand
  5. Dec 15, 2011
    7
    On a technical scale, "Hugo" is a masterwork. Scorsese majestically helms this adventure delivering superb 3-D cinematography and a steady pace. Out of all of Scorsese's films, this is definitely one of his most personal. While delivering an engaging story, he uses the movie to celebrate his love of films, in particular, the ones that got the art of film off the ground. It's during these moments when the movie radiates a sense of magic. But these are the only magical moments. When the movie doesn't focus on film, it's only an interesting story, nothing more. The main issue is that few of the characters are satisfyingly developed. Kingsley's Georges Melies is the one exception. His back story is far more intriguing than Hugo's, and with only a limited amount of screen time, Kingsley gives us a complete heartbreaking portrait of a sorrowful genius. But the film focuses on Hugo, and his story and character is nowhere near as fascinating. This prevents the movie from taking off into greatness. Once Scorsese's love of film shines, the movie starts to soar, but this doesn't happen until the last 20 minutes. Still, it's a very good film that should be seen by anyone who's a fan of Scorsese or a fan of cinema in general. I wouldn't recommend it to younger kids however. The movie moves too slow for them, and they'll most likely leave the theater confused and bored. Expand
  6. Dec 27, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is beautiful to look at, has a good cast among the adults, and has some nice moments with the train station setting. But the plotting and pacing kills it. For one thing, the two plots seem to be forced together in a non-credible way. That may be the fault of the source material, but a good director ought not to reproduce strained plotting out of some sense of faithfulness to the text. It was just too abrupt for me the way Hugo is all about the automaton and then suddenly he's all about movies. Too much coincidence, not well integrated. Then, there are two places where the movie basically stops for a lecture about film history. Nothing against the topic, but voice-over to explain it is a poor dramatic technique in a non-documentary film. Finally, the secret behind Papa Georges' reaction to Hugo's notebook and to seeing his old drawings didn't have sufficient dramatic heft. "He went bankrupt because tastes changed" is sad, OK, but hardly the tragedy presaged by all the preceding build-up. He didn't change with the times so his studio failed. This happens all over in every industry. I was left with a big feeling of "Is that all there is?" He seemed pitiful (and self-pitying) rather than tragic. I realize we are meant to view the melting of his films as an awful warning about preserving the classic films we know and love, but the point was laid on with too heavy a hand. Besides all this, the screenplay was uneven, sometimes awkward, there were too many extraneous bits such as the bookseller and the wicked uncle, and the pace was very slow. All these factors kept me from becoming fully involved. I can't imagine a child having the patience to try to follow this. In short, for a movie about the magic of movies, there just wasn't enough magic. Expand
  7. Mar 4, 2012
    0
    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. Expand

See all 194 User Reviews

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