Les Miserables

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 679 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 679
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  1. Dec 28, 2012
    6
    A disclaimer before I make my review: this is the first iteration of Les Miserables I've ever seen. The film showcases spectacular performances, headed by Anne Hathaway's heartbreaking portrayal of Fantine. Others who deserve sure praise are: Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, and Samantha Barks. That being said, the film struggles hold the performances together. Hooper's decision to recordA disclaimer before I make my review: this is the first iteration of Les Miserables I've ever seen. The film showcases spectacular performances, headed by Anne Hathaway's heartbreaking portrayal of Fantine. Others who deserve sure praise are: Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, and Samantha Barks. That being said, the film struggles hold the performances together. Hooper's decision to record the audio live on set surely helped push these performances to their peak, but it feels like it constrained the way he shot the film. In order to get these great performances, we get a lot of close, continuos shots, which hinders the film from feeling "cinematic". Another adverse effect: star power seems to have influenced how much screen time each character gets, sometimes to a fault. Some characters, namely Eponine, get swept under the rug, and don't get the time they need to fully touch the audience's hearts. Expand
  2. Jan 31, 2013
    6
    Les Miserables, the new adaptation by Tom Hooper of the classic novel written by Victor Hugo is absolutely touching, emotional and overwhelming. There is nothing to say about the story because is a universal masterpiece, so the stronghold is the performances and the interpretations of the typical songs. The most incredible jobs are the ones of Jackman as Valjean, whose most amazingLes Miserables, the new adaptation by Tom Hooper of the classic novel written by Victor Hugo is absolutely touching, emotional and overwhelming. There is nothing to say about the story because is a universal masterpiece, so the stronghold is the performances and the interpretations of the typical songs. The most incredible jobs are the ones of Jackman as Valjean, whose most amazing performance is Suddenly, the only original song in this version of Les Miserables; then we have the surprising Anne Hathaway, who with a heart full interpretation of I Dream a Dream in just one take, can make anyone shiver; also there is Crowe as Javert, who gives an excellent representation of the ambivalence of the character. Other well played characters are Gavroche and the Thenardiers. However the protagonist couple is deficient, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne as Cosette and Marius are not believable at all. Other beautiful songs are Look Down, At the End of the Day, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables and Do You Hear the People Sing? This is a more than acceptable adaptation and Tom Hopper did a fine job in directing, apparently he likes to show an enormous conflict but from the perspective of a single human being trying to change his life, the same as in The Kings Speech. Expand
  3. Feb 6, 2013
    6
    A full-house weekend cinema viewing, maybe a second-row syndrome which left my anticipation unfulfilled. First of all, I never successfully accustomed to the “all sung script”bravura which blatantly dissolved the narrative into a mess of inconsistent singing ballyhoo, yes, I aware it is a musical film, but the semi-sing,semi-speak preposterousness is so distracting as if we were watchingA full-house weekend cinema viewing, maybe a second-row syndrome which left my anticipation unfulfilled. First of all, I never successfully accustomed to the “all sung script”bravura which blatantly dissolved the narrative into a mess of inconsistent singing ballyhoo, yes, I aware it is a musical film, but the semi-sing,semi-speak preposterousness is so distracting as if we were watching aliens perform their own performing art, a dreadful insouciant nonchalance has penetrated from the beginning to the very end. Secondly, the singing expertise from the cast is uneven, I don’t intend to name the black sheep here, just wonder what’s the advantage of adapting a musical into a feature film if the latter’s voice prowess cannot keep in the same level albeit putting money to create more detailed settings instead of simple tableaux on the stage. There must be some artistic reasons behind but for the profitable perspective with exponentially-surging attendance. I may opt for a stage musical against my film aficionado predilection. Special congratulations to Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks, their solo renditions alone are worth the ticket (maybe a soundtrack is more felicitous), Hathaway will 99% sure win her first Oscar, and she should perform in the upcoming Grammy awards as well. Barks is a new-found gem, but whether or not she can leap into a stardom out of the genre is a moot. Hugh Jackman finally gets his hard-earned Oscar nomination, but impaired by the sketchy and episodic storytelling, it is far from an award-worthy leading performance. Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried are adequate, while Helena and Sacha pair engenders a Burton-esque high spirit to offset the dreary misery and wide-eyed revolutionist mirage. Fairly speaking, Tom Hooper’s workmanship doesn’t generate too much excitement, starts with his shaky camera, eerie and undetermined, the CGI surroundings can hardly be called innovative, as an Oscar-winning director, his unjust fluke will sooner or later boomerang on his own luck.

    Sorry for grudging all over the place, I am pining for some involving lifelike revelations, clearly I am pigeonholing myself into the wrong consumer coterie, or simply don't watch any film in the second row.
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  4. Lyn
    Dec 30, 2012
    5
    Yes, Anne Hathaway's performance of "Dream" is stunning. But when she croaks you've got two more hours to sit through! To be fair, those who loved the stage musical are bound to enjoy this; costumes and performances are first-rate. It's just not as much fun for those of us who like musicals that feature acting and speaking in between the songs (e.g. "Funny Girl," "The Sound of Music").
  5. Jan 16, 2013
    6
    There are two kinds of musicals. The "movie with songs thrown in" type - think West Side Story. And the "sing every line" type. Les Mis is the second type. Would have loved it if it had been a little more movie and a little less "sing every piece of dialogue." Anne Hathaway is perfect and kills it on her big number... but if a movie is going to be around 3 hours long? Don't sing every line..
  6. Jan 26, 2013
    5
    I love the story, but found this musical version perplexing. I understand the need for "stars" involvement to drive the box office, but the resulting effect was that while most acting was good, singing ranged from acceptable to downright painful. My prayers that Russell Crowe would just abandon any pretenses of "singing" and speak his part, went unanswered and I don't understand how theI love the story, but found this musical version perplexing. I understand the need for "stars" involvement to drive the box office, but the resulting effect was that while most acting was good, singing ranged from acceptable to downright painful. My prayers that Russell Crowe would just abandon any pretenses of "singing" and speak his part, went unanswered and I don't understand how the director/producers could have allowed this major distraction to go on, since it negated most of the pluses of this production. In the end the only feeling I was left with was despondency for what could have been. Expand
  7. Jan 5, 2013
    4
    I saw it again, 2 days after seeing it the first time. Remember, I have seen the stage play 8 times, in 5 different venues, and adored every one. I have the 10th and 25 anniversary DVDs and play them a couple of times a year. The more I think about this movie, despite its attractiveness as spectacle, it does the stage play a gross disservice. While Ann Hathaway is brilliant in herI saw it again, 2 days after seeing it the first time. Remember, I have seen the stage play 8 times, in 5 different venues, and adored every one. I have the 10th and 25 anniversary DVDs and play them a couple of times a year. The more I think about this movie, despite its attractiveness as spectacle, it does the stage play a gross disservice. While Ann Hathaway is brilliant in her sadly brief performance, Hugh Jackman is acceptable, and Russell Crowe is abysmal. The inner torment of Javert is such a critical element of the story and is best articulated in his two solos: Stars and the suicide. Crowe totally misses this essential character element and, as a consequence, his portrayal is pitiful. The play has 2 essential and wonderfully executed comic reliefs: the Thenardiers Master of the House, and The Wedding. The director has destroyed the comic relief aspect, omitted incredibly amusing and vital portions, and grossly miscast Helen Bonham Carter as Madam Thenardier. Sasha Baron Cohen could have executed better, but didnt , either due to Hooper or his own limitations. Hooper fundamentally misunderstands where Les Mis, the play, gets its power. It's the music and how it is presented. Hooper spends too much of his energy on the spectacle and setting of 19th century France, and not enough on the magnificent music and the powerful story the music can tell. Damn shame too. Expand
  8. Dec 28, 2012
    5
    The bombastic approach to the classic material is wildly ambitious and imaginative, but can't shake off its many flaws:

    The camera work is shoddy. The opera approach hurts the story immensely. The choppy editing kills all beauty of the gorgeous set design. Russel Crowe can't sing. Even with moments of brilliance such as Sacha Baron Cohen's rendition of "Master of the
    The bombastic approach to the classic material is wildly ambitious and imaginative, but can't shake off its many flaws:

    The camera work is shoddy.

    The opera approach hurts the story immensely.

    The choppy editing kills all beauty of the gorgeous set design.

    Russel Crowe can't sing.

    Even with moments of brilliance such as Sacha Baron Cohen's rendition of "Master of the House" and Anne Hathaway's short-but-memorable performance, the movie is bogged down by an enormous running time, a failure to understand its material, and some very inappropriate choices during filming. It hurts to say that what must have been an extremely difficult production is so forgettable, but I can't recommend this to anyone. It is simply a beautiful bore with a handful of good moments.
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  9. BKM
    Jan 9, 2013
    5
    In the end Les Miserables is too much. Too much singing, too many closeups, too many underdeveloped characters and plot lines, etc. Its saving grace lies with its stars. Hathaway and Jackman provide an emotional kick whenever the films starts to meander (which is frequently) and Russell Crowe provides an underrated performance as the heartless Javert.
  10. Dec 27, 2012
    6
    First of all, let me just emphasize that I am a HUGE fan of musicals so I was very excited for the release of this film. And as I was watching the film I SO wanted to love this film; however, as high as my expectations and anticipation were, my disappointment was equally high. Now, I have to say that I thought the casting was perfect and in that vein, I also thought the acting (andFirst of all, let me just emphasize that I am a HUGE fan of musicals so I was very excited for the release of this film. And as I was watching the film I SO wanted to love this film; however, as high as my expectations and anticipation were, my disappointment was equally high. Now, I have to say that I thought the casting was perfect and in that vein, I also thought the acting (and singing! the actors' vocals were fine!) was tremendous. Where I thought the film fell short was in its directing and oh my goodness, in my opinion, the directing was terrible! Bad compositions, bad camera work, bad choreography, bad art direction (well, mostly) and HORRIBLE editing! The film ended up roughly being a series of singing heads and I have to say that really tries even my patience and believe me that is not easy to do! RR Expand
  11. Dec 28, 2012
    4
    What a disappointment! Way too much singing and no dialogue! All the songs sound exactly the same and that can only be attributed to the directing. Note: This movie is the first musical not to use a pre-recorded soundtrack that actors match during their performance. It was supposed to make the music more raw and real and connect more. It does but, sadly, it also makes all the songs soundsWhat a disappointment! Way too much singing and no dialogue! All the songs sound exactly the same and that can only be attributed to the directing. Note: This movie is the first musical not to use a pre-recorded soundtrack that actors match during their performance. It was supposed to make the music more raw and real and connect more. It does but, sadly, it also makes all the songs sounds the same. There are no variations in melody and a lot of the singing sounds irregular in rhythm and progression. That said, Anne Hathaway does give a beautiful performance but her screen time in this movie is very limited. While some in the audience did cheer at the end, I saw a few people walking out throughout the movie as well and I wish that I had walked out with them. I simply wanted the movie to be over and I simply recommend viewing the 1998 version of Les Miserables instead. Expand
  12. Dec 29, 2012
    5
    Anne Hathoway is the ONLY redeeming character in this film. The only reason it even receives a 5 from me is because the source material is a masterpiece.

    A masterpiece crumbled into unrecognizable pieces.
  13. Jan 9, 2013
    5
    Please bring the show back to Broadway--I so wanted the film to be better but it just didn't excite me the way the show has always done. It should have been a bigger spectacle and amazingly enough it felt much smaller. I guess because you spend the entire film in the character's faces. The effort the actors made with the camera up their nose was incredible and they should win prizes forPlease bring the show back to Broadway--I so wanted the film to be better but it just didn't excite me the way the show has always done. It should have been a bigger spectacle and amazingly enough it felt much smaller. I guess because you spend the entire film in the character's faces. The effort the actors made with the camera up their nose was incredible and they should win prizes for that. But the singing was secondary and added to the overall disappointment when you compare the show with the film. On the plus side, the film is much cheaper to see. Expand
  14. Feb 4, 2013
    4
    My wife and I both cried watching this movie. The problem is we cried for different reasons. She had an emotional attachment to the movie because of her childhood. I cried because this was horrible. Letting the actors sing live and going with that was a big mistake. I have to believe that people voting this good, even the Oscar nominations, are all because you are SUPPOSED to likeMy wife and I both cried watching this movie. The problem is we cried for different reasons. She had an emotional attachment to the movie because of her childhood. I cried because this was horrible. Letting the actors sing live and going with that was a big mistake. I have to believe that people voting this good, even the Oscar nominations, are all because you are SUPPOSED to like this rather than anyone actually liking it. Every time someone other than Anne Hathaway sang, you are pulled out of the movie. I have heard better singers at a Karaoke bar. they need to go back and clean up the terrible singing before they release this on DVD. While this isn't the worst movie I have seen this year (Movie 43) this was far more difficult to sit through. Expand
  15. Dec 28, 2012
    5
    I really didn't like this film much at all, honestly. The film is much too Broadway and not enough like a movie musical. I hated Tom Hooper's direction, and while I respect the ambition, I would have preferred to see the musical version of this story told in a much different way. There is NO dialogue in film, almost none at all; every conversation and thought was sung, as it would haveI really didn't like this film much at all, honestly. The film is much too Broadway and not enough like a movie musical. I hated Tom Hooper's direction, and while I respect the ambition, I would have preferred to see the musical version of this story told in a much different way. There is NO dialogue in film, almost none at all; every conversation and thought was sung, as it would have been on stage...that it the major reason why Les Miserables didn't work for me. This film is like watching the actual Broadway production on tape, songs included. For die-hard fans of the musical, that's great, but for others who just love the story, or even those that love films, this adaptation of Les Miserables disappoints. By including every song from the musical, it included the not-so-great songs as well. This creates a film that soars for some moments, but bores in most others. Instead of including the lesser Les Mis songs, the film should have manipulated the structure of the songs, or even cut some songs entirely. I respect that the film wants to uphold the integrity of the musical, but as a film, it doesn't work. Some of the songs were brilliant, but many weren't, and some were plain awkward, thus weakening the emotional effect of the film.

    There are some amazing things about Les Miserables, though, particularly in the acting. Hugh Jackman gives the performance of his career; he's never been better, and Anne Hathaway is stunning as Fantine! Both are locks for Oscar nominations, and Anne will win based on her heart-wrenching rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" alone. It's probably her best performance to date and while she's only in the film for 20 minutes, Les Mis is worth seeing just for her performance. The rest of the cast is okay at best, Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne both have their moments to shine and I enjoyed their performances/songs. Russell Crowe was a very poor Javert; he's not a great singer and it was clear he was uncomfortable in the role.

    As Les Miserables was coming to a close, I was very satisfied with the ending. I did not think it would come together as effectively as it did considering I didn't like the film, but it did still remind me of how a great musical version of Les Miserables is still to come at some point in the future, because this is not that film!
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  16. Dec 25, 2012
    4
    The millions of faithful followers of this no-spoken-dialogue pop opera will flock to any incarnation. For everyone else, try to be kind. Producers clearly wanted the A-list actors (Hugh Jackman/Valjean, Anne Hathaway /Fantine, Amanda Seyfield/Cosette, Russell Crowe/Javert -- who auditioned like American Idol hopefuls) for two reasons: for box office clout, and to make theThe millions of faithful followers of this no-spoken-dialogue pop opera will flock to any incarnation. For everyone else, try to be kind. Producers clearly wanted the A-list actors (Hugh Jackman/Valjean, Anne Hathaway /Fantine, Amanda Seyfield/Cosette, Russell Crowe/Javert -- who auditioned like American Idol hopefuls) for two reasons: for box office clout, and to make the soap-opera-smaltzy sung dialogue seem almost credible, at least in super closeup. Anne Hathaway gives a moving performance as the ill-fated (and early departing) Fantine, and Hugh Jackman, who won a Tony for the Boy from Oz and played Curly in a West End production of Oklahoma, will probably be the greatest surprise to film fans. But when the "real" singers arrive -the young revolutionaries and the wonderful Samantha Barks as Eponine -- all the leads except for Jackman seem out of place. (I notice they didn't include Sam Barks in the finale.) More successful is the staging of the comedy numbers like "Master of the House" with Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the grifters, although those numbers seem odd set in director Tom Hooper's ultra-realistic Parisian slums. My suggestion: on a long trans-oceanic flight, try Kindle-sampling Victor Hugo's sprawling 1,500 page novel. Expand
  17. Dec 26, 2012
    4
    This was an boring, overblown mess of a movie. Anne Hathaway's performance is the single highlight where she radiates pure pathos. Meanwhile, Russell Crowe was just embarrassing to watch.
  18. Jan 2, 2013
    5
    The film affectingly stumbles over its own grandeur. While many of the actors do a fine and occasionally memorable job, they also seem to be given more freedom to express their roles the way they choose, which can cause serious problems. The structure of the film was shoddily slapped together and the director botched it. Such a shame as his previous work is of note.
  19. Dec 30, 2012
    5
    I'm sure there will be plenty of people who feel this is an oscar worthy film, but for me, it was a disaster. The jittery camera work, and the forced vocals were just too overwhelming to rate this film higher for me. The costumes were beautiful, the cinematography and grand sets were brilliantly done and probably worthy of an oscar.

    I felt most of the female singing roles were well
    I'm sure there will be plenty of people who feel this is an oscar worthy film, but for me, it was a disaster. The jittery camera work, and the forced vocals were just too overwhelming to rate this film higher for me. The costumes were beautiful, the cinematography and grand sets were brilliantly done and probably worthy of an oscar.

    I felt most of the female singing roles were well done. Ms Hathaway's performance should land her at least an Oscar nomination. The younger Cosette and the young rebellious boy sang beautifully. I believe Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne did brilliant as the older Cosette and Marius.

    For me, that's where the brilliance stops. Hugh seemed strained most of the time and I never felt he had control of his voice the whole film. I'm not a music coach, but my ear knows what it likes. Russell Crowe was worse and never sold me on his character as Javert.

    As far as musicals go, this was no where near what Chicago offered and makes me wonder why Mr Hooper decided to recreate an actual musical on the big screen. There's probably a reason why it hasn't been done before. I felt like I had been treated to a musical without even the option of an intermission. I would have rather watched a real musical than this mess of a performance.
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  20. Dec 26, 2012
    4
    Inert. Bloated. A relic of the 1980s that should have been left where it belongs. Needed to be edited down by at least 15 minutes--would not have affected storyline but the pacing would have been much better. A lot of time, energy and money used to produce a very mediocre musical.
  21. Feb 4, 2013
    4
    I know now why they call it "Les Miserables". I was miserable watching it! First of all, there is no spoken dialog, so be prepared for that. When they are singing the dialog it is absolutely tuneless and meandering. I liked Hugh Jackman's upper register but didn't care for his lower register, but his acting was flawless. Anne Hathaway also has a nice voice and turns in a greatI know now why they call it "Les Miserables". I was miserable watching it! First of all, there is no spoken dialog, so be prepared for that. When they are singing the dialog it is absolutely tuneless and meandering. I liked Hugh Jackman's upper register but didn't care for his lower register, but his acting was flawless. Anne Hathaway also has a nice voice and turns in a great performance. People are complaining about Russell Crowe's voice, but I thought he did a fine job. He sings in tune, he just doesn't have a voice that projects. It's fine for the movie version. There are many unnecessary extreme close-ups throughout the film, and the film is a downer throughout. One over-dramatic moment after another. This is a long movie and I looked at my watch many times hoping it would end soon. The acting is good throughout, but the story was boring and I didn't care for the opera-style musical with no spoken dialog. Expand
  22. Jan 9, 2013
    4
    My biggest issue with "Les Mis" is I don't buy into the main story. Why on earth would someone go to prison for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread? Why would Javert be SO obsessed with capturing Valjean because he broke parole after being released? Maybe that is the way the law worked at that place and time in history, or maybe it's meant to symbolize oppression, thus providing reasonMy biggest issue with "Les Mis" is I don't buy into the main story. Why on earth would someone go to prison for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread? Why would Javert be SO obsessed with capturing Valjean because he broke parole after being released? Maybe that is the way the law worked at that place and time in history, or maybe it's meant to symbolize oppression, thus providing reason for the peasants' uprising later in film. Either way, that plot line is just hard for me to swallow as an American citizen in the 21st century, where matters of crime and punishment tend to be at least a bit more just than that.
    Otherwise, I found the film to be both breathtaking and bewildering. The sets, costumes and several of the solo/duo numbers ("I Dreamed a Dream," "On My Own," "A Little Fall of Rain" and "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" in particular) were enchanting and wonderful. The cinematography, on the other hand, was awful. Why did the filmmakers decide to shoot almost exclusively in close-ups? I felt like I was trapped in boxes with these people every time they sang, and while in real life I wouldn't mind being trapped in a box with Hugh Jackman (ha ha), it felt too suffocating while viewing this film. In almost every scene, the singing characters and their songs weren't given room to breathe on screen, and the narrow shots made it hard to perceive how other characters in the same given scene were reacting. I understand the need to show us the misery and desperation of these characters, but I think that could have been done in a manner more creative than just shoving the viewers down the throats of the performers.
    So I suppose if you can buy the major plot line (or at least suspend your disbelief), you might enjoy this film more than I did, but it's hard for me to understand how anyone can rate this film "in the green" when the cinematography was so god-awful. It pretty much single-handedly destroyed this film.
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  23. Mar 2, 2013
    4
    the only thing good about this movie is the performances of Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman, i hate it when all the movie is songs and there is not an actual dialogue, it gets boring
  24. Feb 6, 2013
    6
    Any film that features actors in singing roles is going to get criticism. I knew that Anne Hathaway could sing well anyway and Hugh Jackman came from a musical theatre background, so at least we've got two crucial roles that could be decent. As much as I liked Anne's rendition of I Dreamed A Dream, I just feel like she was trying a bit too hard to win an Oscar what with the repertoire ofAny film that features actors in singing roles is going to get criticism. I knew that Anne Hathaway could sing well anyway and Hugh Jackman came from a musical theatre background, so at least we've got two crucial roles that could be decent. As much as I liked Anne's rendition of I Dreamed A Dream, I just feel like she was trying a bit too hard to win an Oscar what with the repertoire of extreme facial expressions she crammed in there (at least it looks like not one of those actors uses Botox because I could count every wrinkle on their foreheads what with all the close-ups while they sang). I was blown away by Samantha Bark's performance and found it hard to believe that she was once that young girl from the Isle of Mann who was on the UK reality show, I'd Do Anything to win a role as Nancy in Lloyd Webber's production of Oliver. Back then, I didn't think her acting and singing were anything special, but after this, wow. She's clearly been well trained in the years since she became a theatre actress. I have to say, I preferred her the most out of all the actresses in this movie and I wish she could have got nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar because she certainly earned it. I can't say the rest of the cast had me gripped. Helena Bonham Carter has to be one of the most typecast actresses in Hollywood and her presence made the film seem too Tim Burton like, Russell Crowe didn't seem to be giving it his all and Amanda Seyfried just can't seem to get an amazing role where everyone can admire her acting. This 2012 adaption is what it is: an adapation. Not amazing, but not bad either. It is cheaper than seeing it at the theatre and it's condensed down more, but if you can afford theatre tickets and can last through a full length opera, best go see it on the stage, where the actors can sing and act to the highest ability. Expand
  25. Jan 28, 2013
    4
    Rather disappointing considering all the hype...

    IMHO, the worst thing about this movie wasn't any single performance since the acting was generally good and no better or worse than most big-cast movies...rather, it was the direction. When you take a musical with a pretty full plot, it's not easy but the director did not take advantage of the fact that a movie was being made. Compared
    Rather disappointing considering all the hype...

    IMHO, the worst thing about this movie wasn't any single performance since the acting was generally good and no better or worse than most big-cast movies...rather, it was the direction. When you take a musical with a pretty full plot, it's not easy but the director did not take advantage of the fact that a movie was being made. Compared to Chicago, another musical turned movie, the direction and sets in Chicago made you feel believe the singing adapted and suited the plot and not nice versa. Some details, without any spoilers...
    - there were way too many closeups of people's faces and for too long. This is what they do in musicals, i.e., focus on one character at a time. But this is a movie and you can zoom out and show the environment, give the audience a better feel of the surroundings, and create a scene that's not limited to what can fit on a theatre stage. I felt the director lost sight of this as during most songs, all you saw was one face on about 2/3 of the screen, and had no idea what, if anything, was in the background. I think this, above all else, ruined the film
    - I don't think the plot was clear and wasn't laid out very well considering it was about the same length as the show and the show does it soooooo much better
    - Too much focus on crying and not as much on acting
    - Having known the plot in advance and having seen the rebellion before, I didn't think it was clear why there was a revolution at all
    - Some very good performances, such as Jean Valjean, Gavroche, Marius, and to a lesser extent, Fantine
    - Not so good performances included Javert, Cosette (her acting was fine, but she was the wrong voice type for her talent and I felt they just really wanted her to be in the movie), and young Cosette
    - I was indifferent with the innkeeper, his wife, and Eponine. Again, not a lot of acting and too much concentration on getting the notes right (less so for Eponine who was a little better than that)
    - I was impressed and not many will have recognized that the man who played the priest who takes pity on Valjean was none other than Colm Wilkinson, the original Phantom in Toronto, and who has also played Valjean many times on stage. That was a nice touch :)

    1. Russell Crowe has tone but no power and cannot hold any of the long notes...sound like he was yelling. Also, not much acting as he seemed to be trying to concentrate on hitting the notes correctly and his facial expression never changed.

    2. Anne Hathaway can sing but again, like Rusell Crowe, didn't have enough power in her voice. I'm being picky here but she has a number of bad habits in her singing, like taking a breath at times that seemed inappropriate with the melody of the songs

    3. Hugh Jackman was worth watching and I would say he has the best voice in the cast as well as actually acted too.
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  26. Feb 27, 2013
    4
    I do love musicals. I am a big fan of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rodgers, and Cyd Charrise, The greatest musical has to be either Fiddler on the roof or Singin in the Rain. The problems with Les Miserable stem from the actual Broadway musical itself. The story "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo is a chronicle of french life in the french revolution era. The purpose of the story was toI do love musicals. I am a big fan of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rodgers, and Cyd Charrise, The greatest musical has to be either Fiddler on the roof or Singin in the Rain. The problems with Les Miserable stem from the actual Broadway musical itself. The story "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo is a chronicle of french life in the french revolution era. The purpose of the story was to show the hardships and exploitation of the French people in the most important eras in French history. To create a musical based on these hardships would trivialize and take away Hugo's masterpiece. The other problem is the language.Why create a musical that is in predominately in English (yes, there are french translations) that totally disrupts and destroys the cultural context of what the story is suppose to be about? When considering the 2012 version, an adaption of a huge Broadway musical with a colossal amount of fans waiting to see it makes it a for sure money maker.Yet, it does not allow an unacquainted audience to embrace the story or music. The story is redundant and the music, while I admit is great, really gets boring after the first 20 minutes of the cast screeching it in my face and really forcing me to like it. I felt the film had great points in photography and costuming, the film felt long and tiring. The pace of the film was like a roller coaster ride that after the 15th rendition of the same three songs, I gave up. The lack of professional singers (i.e. Russell Crowe and High Jackman) really made me doubt their musical prowess and I just hoped they were able to hit the really high notes. Th final problem is the song dialogue. I felt it was gimmicky and unnecessary. The great musicals of "Singin in the Rain" and "Fiddler on the Roof" used dialogue to move the stories forward and make the songs more enjoyable. "Les Mis" oversang their songs that could have potentially be a great musical. Yet, it disappointed this musical lover! Expand
  27. Jul 30, 2014
    4
    "Les Miserables" is great-looking and features some touching performances. Its colourful cinematography, though, outshines the dark tone that makes Hugo's novel so engaging, and its inexperienced youths seem incompetent to mark a want-to-be classic with their weak performances. Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe feel out of place, even with some competent acting, while Hathaway is too dramatic"Les Miserables" is great-looking and features some touching performances. Its colourful cinematography, though, outshines the dark tone that makes Hugo's novel so engaging, and its inexperienced youths seem incompetent to mark a want-to-be classic with their weak performances. Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe feel out of place, even with some competent acting, while Hathaway is too dramatic to be believable, but it is obvious that by every cry and every drop she comes closer to the Oscar. Expand
  28. Jan 11, 2013
    6
    Fans of the musical will adore this (I am one and I did) but the real test this film will face is to a neutral audience. It may be far too heavy for some and over the top for others but for me and others this is an epic tale of romance, faith and love that has several tear jerker moments. The cast is outstanding, granted the vocals are not always as good but the acting throughout isFans of the musical will adore this (I am one and I did) but the real test this film will face is to a neutral audience. It may be far too heavy for some and over the top for others but for me and others this is an epic tale of romance, faith and love that has several tear jerker moments. The cast is outstanding, granted the vocals are not always as good but the acting throughout is extraordinary, particularly Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. I cannot recommend this enough. Expand
  29. Aug 16, 2013
    5
    Didn't work for me. I preferred the 1998 distribution with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush. Having said that, I did like "some" parts but I was mostly annoyed by the singing. Too much of it.
  30. Aug 24, 2014
    6
    The bold, harsh emotion of the musical is certainly still present. Les Miserables suffers from one too many miscasts and a godawful performance from Russell Crowe as Javert. Nevertheless, Anne Hathaway gives the finest performance of her career to date--closely matched by an impeccable Samantha Barks.
  31. Mar 24, 2013
    5
    “Les Miserables” is a beautiful movie to look at. The shots of France are great and Tom Hooper does a good job of us getting a sense of the time. He also directs a enormous cast of characters well and there are truly some memorable moments. However, I feel as if the film is devoid of any real emotion, which is ironic because that is what he so whole heartily tried to do. The actors try so“Les Miserables” is a beautiful movie to look at. The shots of France are great and Tom Hooper does a good job of us getting a sense of the time. He also directs a enormous cast of characters well and there are truly some memorable moments. However, I feel as if the film is devoid of any real emotion, which is ironic because that is what he so whole heartily tried to do. The actors try so hard to bring emotion to the screen, but it is a wasted effort. I couldn’t care for the characters our their story. Never have I ever felt like walking out of film so much like I did in this one.

    The characters are interesting and layered, but that is credit to the source material. Anne Hathaway is the only one that made me feel an ounce of emotion throughout the film. Her version of “I Dreamed a Dream” is impeccable. Hugh Jackman, I believe gives a career performance. While I didn’t feel his emotions all the time, he did show a lot of range. Russell Crowe is good as well, but his singing is not very good. All the characters have their moments, but most of their emotions don’t get through.

    The musical numbers are good, but the infuriating decision to make the characters sing everything did not pay off. I think a more traditional musical would have sufficed. The main musical numbers are good, but the overall choice did not work for me. Overall “Les Miserables” is a fundamentally well made film and I bet most people will enjoy it. However, for me this was a miserable experience. I appreciate the actors, director, and the sheer technical level of the film, but I could not get myself to care for anything happening on screen and the sing talking made me want to tear my own ears out (this is coming from someone who enjoys Ke$ha’s music). I give it 2.5/5, a technically well made film that is devoid of a satisfyingly emotional experience.
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  32. Dec 29, 2012
    6
    This movie had some amazing stand out performances. However the technique used to capture the actors' singing while was effective at some points was also very problematic. For a full review go here: http://youngthespian42films.blogspot.com/2012/12/les-miserables.html
  33. Feb 8, 2013
    5
    Two things to clarify 1. I am not a musical movie fan in general 2. I have never seen the stage show of Les Mis. With that in mind, maybe this film was always facing an uphill battle to impress me. However I had heard some great stuff from friends and family going in so I had the best of intentions. And for the first 45 minutes, things went fine. Jackman was immense (throughout), CroweTwo things to clarify 1. I am not a musical movie fan in general 2. I have never seen the stage show of Les Mis. With that in mind, maybe this film was always facing an uphill battle to impress me. However I had heard some great stuff from friends and family going in so I had the best of intentions. And for the first 45 minutes, things went fine. Jackman was immense (throughout), Crowe seemed a suitable foil and Hathaways short span in the film contained (for me) the best performance and song. So far, so good.

    But then things started to sag. The songs didnt grab as the first few had (although not for lack of performance). New characters came and added little (I would even argue the revolutionaries detracted) and the plot wobbled along. Then in the final third it creaked and pretty much fell over. The love story is tacked on, at best. The resolution to Javerts pursuit of Valjean is... well, its bloody stupid to be honest. And by this point, my arse had grown numb thanks to the 150+ minutes running time. I left the cinema wondering what the fuss was about.

    Still, as I clarified, maybe this was never for me. I can recognise that Jackman was terrific throughout and that some of the numbers are iconic. The set design in the first half is lovely too (the barricades near the end, however, look like a musical). But at the end of the day, I didn't enjoy it. Worse, it wouldn't encourage me to take in the actual musical either.
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  34. Apr 1, 2013
    6
    Maybe I think like this because my local cinema didn't pause the movie, but this was just so tedious. While the intro of the movie was a rather weak debut, the second chapter was ceaselessly sublime and full with great, rememberable scenes. Anne Hathaway's performance was perfect, but sadly this can't be said about the bigger part of the others. While Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha BaronMaybe I think like this because my local cinema didn't pause the movie, but this was just so tedious. While the intro of the movie was a rather weak debut, the second chapter was ceaselessly sublime and full with great, rememberable scenes. Anne Hathaway's performance was perfect, but sadly this can't be said about the bigger part of the others. While Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen added admirably funny touch the movie, I was quite disappointed with the rest of the cast. Yes, they were all good, but it's just not what I expected from such a big production. Hugh Jackmann did a great job most of the times, but I think his turn in this movie is overrated. The singing was also not as good as I expected it to be.

    So much about the acting. A big plus point of the film is how it looks. Cinematography, make-up, costumes, set design, etc. are all quite Oscar- worthy. So the only major problem of mine with 'Les Miz' was the exhausting length. I admit that I've seen neither a stage performance nor an other movie based on Victor Hugo's novel in all my life therefore I was a total newbie to the story therefore I can't agree with the people that have read/seen 'Les Misérables' before and consider it a too short adaption of the story because the 158 minutes of this movie were already much too long for me.

    But let's go back to the point where I was actually loving the movie, which is about the first hour and 15 minutes. After this second chapter was over and time fast-forwarded once again, the entertainment factor got lost in the skipped years. The revolution and the film's big love story are the new plot-points and that was far less interesting as the story of the films 2nd part. I admit, it was made totally fine, but it was just missing something to jazz it up (Anne Hathaway probably would've helped).

    All in all, if you haven't seen any form of the story before like I did, you'll be better off getting the movie on home media so you can take a big break at some point you'll need that.
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  35. Feb 23, 2013
    5
    The story is great, but I'm judging it as a musical and I will have to give it a 5/10. In general I found the songs ridiculous and weird, yes there were good ones such as the Susan Boyle song or the song about revolution, but the rest was plain songs filled with obvious rhymes and bad singers. I can't compare this movie to musicals such as Singing in The Rain, or The Phantom of Opera.
  36. Mar 23, 2013
    6
    "Les Misérables" isn't for everyone, but fans of the stage version will not be disappointed. While successfully "opening up" the musical far beyond the limitations of a theater-bound production, Tom Hooper retains its heart and soul. In many ways, the movie is more opera than musical. There's very little dancing and even less spoken dialogue. Visually, "Les Misérables" is a splendid"Les Misérables" isn't for everyone, but fans of the stage version will not be disappointed. While successfully "opening up" the musical far beyond the limitations of a theater-bound production, Tom Hooper retains its heart and soul. In many ways, the movie is more opera than musical. There's very little dancing and even less spoken dialogue. Visually, "Les Misérables" is a splendid spectacle, with set and costume design that is second to none. Hooper does an excellent job recreating 19th century France, and it's in this area that the motion picture separates itself from the live version. What it lacks in the intimacy of singers performing directly to an audience, it gains in cinematic achievement. That being said--to the causal movie viewer unfamiliar with Victor Hugo's novel; a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit--it is a tedious, bloated, and exhausting 238 minutes you'll never get back. Expand
  37. May 20, 2013
    6
    Les Miserables is a powerful and depressing which is just what the adaptation needs. However, despite Anne Hathway great acting, Tom Hooper basically just made the musical with more awesome sound eits. So my message to this mixed film is, if you want to be a musical, then dammit Hooper make a freaking musical for crying out loud.
  38. Jan 27, 2013
    5
    Let us begin by acknowledging that this is a MUSICAL. Okay, now that we have that elephant in the room cleared, this movie falls short as a musical mainly because of its mainstream, Hollywood casts. The camera work was fantastic and the plot is universally cherished, yet what slashed this movie as one this year's undeserving hyped films is the lack of emotion among the casts when theyLet us begin by acknowledging that this is a MUSICAL. Okay, now that we have that elephant in the room cleared, this movie falls short as a musical mainly because of its mainstream, Hollywood casts. The camera work was fantastic and the plot is universally cherished, yet what slashed this movie as one this year's undeserving hyped films is the lack of emotion among the casts when they sing. It doesn't matter if the acting is ingenious in the musical when the cast cannot even stay on pitch. Though I despise musicals simply because characters SING their thoughts instead of the audience proactively engaging consciously with the character, the excitement of musicals come from each character's dramatic but hearty rich tone when they BELT out their emotions. Samantha Barks (played Eponine) was possibly the ONLY actor that solved this fundamental equation.

    ps I will hold my own revolt if Russell Crowe decides to release a full length studio album just because of this one gig...
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  39. Jan 28, 2013
    5
    Les Miserables had several talented actors and actresses however it had too many slow parts to it. The movie really made me just want to fall asleep. I literally did fall asleep for about ten or fifteen minutes of it. I was also disappointed that Anne Hathaway was only in such a small portion of the movie. I expected her to have appearances the whole movie and not just mainly in theLes Miserables had several talented actors and actresses however it had too many slow parts to it. The movie really made me just want to fall asleep. I literally did fall asleep for about ten or fifteen minutes of it. I was also disappointed that Anne Hathaway was only in such a small portion of the movie. I expected her to have appearances the whole movie and not just mainly in the beginning. Also, the movie was just to long. I could not focus on the movie at all. I did not give it a rating of below a five because the one thing they did good was the graphics and the excellent musical aspects. I would recommend that everyone see's the movie, but wait until it is on DVD so you can start and pause the movie as it seems to drag on and on. Expand
  40. Oct 20, 2013
    5
    when I finished watching this movie I did not know that was the rewarding feeling or was that a good movie or was because I hold an entire movie in which all the dialogues are sung
  41. Nov 17, 2013
    5
    Was all the singing really nesessary? No, with the budget that the director had, he should have made a proper epic. All the singing actually destracts from the story. As for the characters, this film would be falling apart if it were not for Crowe. Just a matter of personal opinion.
  42. May 16, 2013
    5
    Looking at this movie entirely from the single perspective of itself, instead of comparing it to its musical counterpart (To which i hear is brilliant). It is a good musical, with a cast to which any film would happily boast, with some outstanding performances from a plethora actors whom most would never relate to a musical, yet in some instances it is clear singing isn't their strongLooking at this movie entirely from the single perspective of itself, instead of comparing it to its musical counterpart (To which i hear is brilliant). It is a good musical, with a cast to which any film would happily boast, with some outstanding performances from a plethora actors whom most would never relate to a musical, yet in some instances it is clear singing isn't their strong point.

    The over use of singing is also ironically its downfall, the subtext is entirely removed with little to no speaking dialogue, instead a strange blend in certain scenes of song talk instead of some of the more apparent staged musical numbers. The rather odd over use of themed characters moments gives the French backdrop a strange feel, to how it feels more like "Oliver" at points.

    As the film goes on (Mostly near to the start of the third act) i felt myself more distracted by patchy cinematography and began to be bored, not say the final stand of the revolutionaries was not interesting, its just how long takes and little change can begin to drag. It was heavily clear throughout that Tom Hooper was more focused upon during the Musical moments, the singers rather than these amazing sets.

    to summarise, the film deserves praise for showing that Musicals can have a serious tone instead of the likes of "Hairspray" and the actors within in it deserve meritorious praise, yet it fails due to a long running time and lack of change, with little use of the large budget sets.
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  43. Mar 3, 2014
    6
    Having unintentionally dodged this story for so long, the first I see of it is this adaption, which I know is a great shame. It mostly feels like a homage to those who know this story well, and I know they rave about it. I'm sure the story is brilliant on stage. However, for those who have no real knowledge of the piece, the characters are thrown at you pouring their hearts out and it'sHaving unintentionally dodged this story for so long, the first I see of it is this adaption, which I know is a great shame. It mostly feels like a homage to those who know this story well, and I know they rave about it. I'm sure the story is brilliant on stage. However, for those who have no real knowledge of the piece, the characters are thrown at you pouring their hearts out and it's strangely hard to get emotionally invested until towards the end. I can't deny that I didn't enjoy it though. Expand
  44. Jan 2, 2015
    6
    e Miserable es un musical que sin dudas logra resaltar con su gran ambientación de la época en que se desarrolla esta película, pero, tristemente, en muy pocas veces llega a dar un entretenimiento factible.

    Esta película se libera de una manera satisfactoria en cuanto a muchas cosas del apartado técnico, como, por decir, el vestuario, que se enfoca bien en la época del film, o también
    e Miserable es un musical que sin dudas logra resaltar con su gran ambientación de la época en que se desarrolla esta película, pero, tristemente, en muy pocas veces llega a dar un entretenimiento factible.

    Esta película se libera de una manera satisfactoria en cuanto a muchas cosas del apartado técnico, como, por decir, el vestuario, que se enfoca bien en la época del film, o también se puede resaltar su banda sonora, pero en algo que falla en un punto un tanto declinado en este largometraje es en no transmitir en buen nivel un entretenimiento factible al público o entablar una relación sufrible con el espectador., aunque sí logra entablar una relación sentimental con el mismo, y eso hace que la historia se pueda sentir en un tono más indagable y fluyente, dándole así un mejor ambiente, volviéndose más ilustrada, prepotente y audaz.
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  45. Jan 22, 2015
    6
    The stage show is far, far superior. That goes without saying. I don’t ever want to hear Russell Crowe sing again......Instead of making a filmic version of the theatre production, it’s like they’ve tried to convey what a theatre production would be if it was a film. So everything is sort of pantomime. Nothing is real looking, it’s all staged and theatrically lit which doesn’t work as aThe stage show is far, far superior. That goes without saying. I don’t ever want to hear Russell Crowe sing again......Instead of making a filmic version of the theatre production, it’s like they’ve tried to convey what a theatre production would be if it was a film. So everything is sort of pantomime. Nothing is real looking, it’s all staged and theatrically lit which doesn’t work as a feature film.......They have used big names to fill out most of the cast, many of whom just don’t do a good enough job. That said I was completely enamoured by the original cast so I’m utterly biased..........Redeeming factors: easyish to follow. Attractive people singing good songs to a fairly decent standard. Amid all the silly things it’s a great story.

    Full review available at the ponderflix site on wordpress.
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Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    Jan 7, 2013
    80
    Occasionally, like its characters, ragged around the edges, this nevertheless rings with all the emotion and power of the source and provides a new model for the movie musical.
  2. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 1, 2013
    50
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Dec 31, 2012
    50
    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.