Les Miserables


Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41

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Critic Reviews

  1. Arizona Republic
    Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 25, 2012
    If you like your musicals enormous, over the top and bang-on-the-head manipulative, Les Miserables is the movie for you.
  2. 60
    The tasteless bombardment that is Les Misérables would, under most circumstances, send audiences screaming from the theater, but the film is going to be a monster hit and award winner, and not entirely unjustly.
  3. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Dec 10, 2012
    Even at a generous running time that matches this season's other giant award candidates, Les Misérables seems like it's in a hurry, skittering from one number to the next without interlude. After Hathaway's early high point, it starts to feel numbing, an unending barrage of musical emoting carrying us through Valjean's adopting of Cosette, the latter's first encounter with Marius, the battle at the barricade and a last hour that can feel like it's a non-stop series of death arias.
  4. Reviewed by: Catherine Shoard
    Dec 6, 2012
    By the end, you feel like a piñata: in pieces, the victim of prolonged assault by killer pipes.
  5. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 1, 2013
    We're all familiar with the experience of seeing movies that cram ideas and themes down our throats. Les Misérables may represent the first movie to do so while also cramming us down the throats of its actors.
  6. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Dec 31, 2012
    It's a relief to see Sacha Baron Cohen, in the role of a seamy innkeeper, bid goodbye to Cosette with the wistful words "Farewell, Courgette." One burst of farce, however, is not enough to redress the basic, inflationary bombast that defines Les Misérables. Fans of the original production, no doubt, will eat the movie up, and good luck to them. I screamed a scream as time went by.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 26, 2012
    Fans of Les Misérables wouldn't have minded if the movie were different, but better, or just as effective. The screen version demanded some reconception, some vision to make sense of its existence. Instead, we're left with a film that is conscientious in all its particulars and yet strangely and mysteriously dead.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Dec 25, 2012
    Fans of the franchise will greet Les Misérables as a feast for the senses, but the rest of us are left with crumbs.
  9. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Dec 25, 2012
    Song after song, as relationships and rebellion bloom, you wait in vain for the movie to, as well, and for the filmmaking to rise to the occasion of both its source material and its hard-working performers.
  10. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Dec 23, 2012
    Hooper's approach comes across as the equivalent of sitting in the front row of a stage play while the entire cast leans forward and blares each song into your eardrums.
  11. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Dec 18, 2012
    For the more Hooper tries - and oh, how he tries, ratcheting the filth amp to 11 and shooting almost everything with an arsenal of wide-angled, handheld cameras - the more the moist-eyed storybook romanticism of the source material proves resilient to his efforts.
  12. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dec 12, 2012
    This steam-driven military weapon of an enterprise is a sobering reminder of just how tinny a musical Les Misérables was in the first place.
  13. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 11, 2012
    Sensitive souls in search of wrenching emotion can be guaranteed their Kleenex moments; you will get wet. But aside from that opening scene, you will not be cinematically edified. This is a bad movie.
  14. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Dec 6, 2012
    While 'Les Mis' ends terrifically, it cannot make up for the largely uneven experience that comes before it. There is no doubt an abundance of passion and commitment in Les Miserables but when the musical isn't connecting emotionally -- which is at least half the time -- it's a lot of blustering sound and fury that could either use a dialogue break or an edit.
  15. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Dec 6, 2012
    As the enduring success of this property has shown, there are large, emotionally susceptible segments of the population ready to swallow this sort of thing, but that doesn't mean it's good.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 710 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 236
  1. Dec 25, 2012
    Absolutely incredible - easily matches the likes of The Hobbit, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty as one of the best films this year. Best musicalAbsolutely incredible - easily matches the likes of The Hobbit, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty as one of the best films this year. Best musical film adaptation since Chicago. Jackman's 'Bring Him Home' is sure to go down in Les Mis history as the best since the likes of Colm Wilkinson; the same can be said for Eddie Redmayne's 'Empty Chairs', which is easily on par with the legendary Michael Ball. Surprisingly, Russell Crowe does very, very well as Javert - he's not a fantastic singer but his vocals are still very good. Stars is within the top five of the film.

    EDIT: 'CineTigre' clearly has no idea what they are talking about. Les Miserables did NOT originate as an opera, it was a French musical which was translated into English and presented on the West End in 1985. There is no 'guillotine' because that was A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FRENCH REVOLUTION. The entirety of the main cast, other than Amanda Seyfriend and Russell Crowe, have significant experience when it comes to musical theatre, so they indeed hired singers. He/she is either a Les Mis purist who is far too clingy to the source material or a troll who is simply trying to lower the score, possibly in comparison to that *other* big christmas movie.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 25, 2012
    Having seen the musical version of
  3. Dec 25, 2012
    As a die hard fan of the musical, I feel like my opinion will be most helpful to other die hard fans. What I can say is that it does change aAs a die hard fan of the musical, I feel like my opinion will be most helpful to other die hard fans. What I can say is that it does change a lot of minor things, like the order of some songs, some of the lines, and even cuts some musical portions out. Everything that is absolutely essential is there, but they cut out Valjean's final stanza in The Confrontation, so Javert just sings his part solo, they cut out the end part of that song, they cut out Dog Eats Dog altogether, and they cut out most of Turning, for example. However, it's all minor, and everything works out extremely well. The changes they make, for the most part, help uphold a structure more suited for a movie than a stage production. Russell Crowe as Javert is emotionless, yet the background music and the directing help make his scenes as good as they can be despite his weak performance. Everybody else is great though. Anne Hathaway as Fantine better win an Oscar, otherwise I will be boycotting the entire ceremony for years to come. I never had the type of reaction in any movie as I had during I Dreamed A Dream. I was involuntarily breathing heavily enough for the people two rows behind me to hear, and I noticed that my heart was pounding. I was too numb to even clap. She sang it in such a way that I had never heard before, and I've heard many versions that I've loved. Still, when I heard Anne's, it was like a lightbulb went off, and someone finally figured out how you're really supposed to sing it. Eddie Redmayne as Marius also gave a pretty beautiful performance, and Hugh Jackman held up his role very well, and brought a lot of emotion to What Have I Done?, Who Am I?, and Bring Him Home. Helena Bohnam Carter isn't nearly as enjoyable as some of the Broadway performers I've seen in that role, but the Thenardiers hold their roles up very nicely. Amanda Seyfried has an unexpectedly good voice, which blends well with Eddie's and Samantha Barks's, who is great as Eponine. The directing is very intimate and passionate, which I thought was a fantastic choice for a story this much based on human thoughts and emotions. The one change I really didn't like was that Eponine wasn't included with Fantine in the finale. It was just Fantine, which I didn't like, because the harmonies they did in the stage production were absolutely beautiful, in my opinion. All in all, there were some changes I didn't like, and Russell Crowe's performance fell flat. For me though, as amazing as I think the musical is, it would take a whole lot of unnecessary changes, more than just one weak (although not even particularly bad) performance, for me to not be absolutely blown away by Les Miserables. If you find the musical to be an absolute knockout, for other reasons than just Javert's character alone, you will probably love this movie as I did. Full Review »