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7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 635 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 67 out of 635

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  1. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    Let me start by saying I know very little of the source material and the broadway show. But I felt this movie was just jaw-dropping. Les Mis has so many moments of intensity and passion; characters battling their own inner-turmoil on screen, ultimately rising above it to act with conviction. And I didn't even want to like Les Mis! I was angry that here was another two-and-a-half hour Oscar contender I had to sit through. Les Miserables rises above a pack of VERY worthy 2012 films. Expand
  2. Jan 24, 2013
    9
    I write this review as an avid fan of the stage productions of Lis Misérables - and ,yes, I still loved the movie. The plot is slightly cut down to size to fit a more reasonable theater run time (and it is still very unwieldy), and a few pieces from the stage production are cut ("I Saw Him Once" and "Dog Eat Dog"), while others are shortened. However, all of these changes were made by producers and directors who are veterans of their field (and, in fact, Cameron Mackintosh himself); whatever changes were made were certainly made for a reason, and to make the movie flow more smoothly. What works in a novel doesn't always work in a film, and I'm certain that the same can be said of stage productions.

    Moving on to the cast: every last performer did an excellent job, as far as I'm concerned. Bear in mind that these people are not trained theater performers, for the most part; they're actors, and they perform to the absolute best of their ability. If you're looking for the rich tenor of Alfie Boe or the booming baritone of Norm Lewis, you're simply not going to find it. However, Ann Hathaway and Hugh Jackman lost a combined fifty pounds to portray Fantine and Jean Valjean accurately - Hathaway even sports a boyish cut for the latter half of her role, and Jackman apparently dehydrated himself and cut an ungainly amount of fat from his body to give himself a withered and wasted yet powerful look; simply put, these two actors went above and beyond to lend a beautiful authenticity to their roles. Ann's performance of I Dreamed a Dream is breathtaking and tear jerking beyond a doubt, and Russel Crowe even surprised me by learning to sing properly (having heard him sing with some of the cast members from Robin Hood, I can safely say this was not always the case). I'm not a huge fan of Crowe, but even he seems to have dedicated himself to the role of Javert and performs it very well.

    All in all, the film portrays the plot of Les Misérables in a way that the stage production simply can't; I'll always be a bigger fan of any stage performances of the show, but the film has done an extraordinary job of bringing the story to life. No, the camera does not need to be bolted down; it sways and bucks in tense chase scenes, as is a staple of general cinematography. Yes, the vocal performances are a bit on the weak side, but once again, these are film actors, not stage actors.

    The only reason I rate the movie a nine instead of a ten is actually because of the epilogue; one of my favorite pieces in the show is the duet between Fantine and Eponine during the epilogue, and in this piece Eponine is nowhere to be seen, which is a shame because Samantha Barks is a wonderful actress and beautiful vocalist. On the bright side, Colm Wilkensen portrays the Bishop of Digne and Frances Rufelle cameos as a prostitute early on the movie, as well as several West End cast members from the ABC club reprising their roles.

    If you're disappointed by the film, all I can say is that you shouldn't have come to the film expecting a stage edition of Les Misérables. You should have come expected a faithful film adaptation, simple as. I came expecting a great movie, I saw a great movie, and I was immensely pleased.
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  3. Jan 24, 2013
    9
    Les Misérables is a stunning musical epic that will touch the even the coldest hearts, and it results in one of the best films of the year. I have been anxious to see this movie for a long time, as I have never seen the Broadway play, but I have read the novel by Victor Hugo, and I am now excited to see the Broadway version of this story. It was also9 being directed by the brilliant Tom Hooper so how could I not go see this film? Well now that I have seen it, I can honestly say it Expand
  4. Jan 21, 2013
    8
    As a huge fan of musical movies, I had been waiting for thiz. It
  5. Jan 21, 2013
    10
    This is an amazing movie!! The music is wonderful, heart-wrenching, and glorious all at the same time!! The actors are all great, especially with Samantha Barks' heartbreaking performance and her version of "On My Own", but Anne Hathaway steals the show as Fantine. Her version of "I Dreamed A Dream" is absolutely brilliant and devastating as she puts her heart and soul into her performance. She deserves the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress! This is a wonderful film that will make even the coldest people shed tears of sadness and joy! Expand
  6. Jan 20, 2013
    10
    This movie is the best musical movie i have ever seen. It can make you laugh, smile and make you want to sing with them too. To some of you have said this movie was bad, i think you should watch it again and think of what you have said to this movie before
  7. Jan 20, 2013
    8
    Les Miserables is one of the most beloved musicals in recent memory, so this film adaptation has a lot to live up to. I have to admit though that I am a complete newbie, and I have not seen the musical before so at lest, I came into the film with a fresh perspective. What we have here is probably one of the most ambitious musical in recent memory. When it goes for the grand scale, Les Miserables does great wonders, especially in the first 15 minutes or so. However, for some of the musical numbers, Tom Hooper decided to use these extreme close ups, while allowing us to see the actors' facial expressions, prove to reduce the impact of some of the songs in many instances. The decision to shoot the musical numbers works most of the time though, allowing standout performances from Jackman and Hathaway. Javert's story arch though is a bit unclear, his motivations a bit murky and one dimensional; more of a script problem than Russel Crowe's performance more than anything else. In conclusion, well deserving of its Oscar nominations but too uneven to win. Expand
  8. Jan 19, 2013
    10
    Les Miserables is an amazing and captivating movie. It shows sadness and happiness. It takes place before during and after the French Revolution. Anne Hathaway nails "I Dreamed A Dream". Also, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne have amazing chemistry during the movie. How all of the characters are linked together through out the movie, makes it easier to understand. I fell in love with this movie. I saw it once and i'm going to see it again. I recommend this movie to anyone. Expand
  9. Jan 19, 2013
    7
    Les Miserables. A very beautiful and powerful book of love and misery. The film was alright not groundbreaking, yet worth the watch. Though I will only watch it again to see the wonderful performances not the story. Each actor acted and sang perfectly for their role. Though i found Russell Crowe as Javert as the weakest in singing, i loved how the use of extreme close up gave a more powerful and emotional view of the singing and acting. Though it seems the close-ups were overused a little bit, though it does present the misery of the characters. The film seems a little TOO fast paced, i was about to cry after Anne Hathaway sang I Dreamed A Dream but the shift to next scene did not give me time to. This is proven when reports say that the film was supposed to be 4 hours but was edited to two and a half. Overall, the film is a collection of the wonderful and powerful songs and performances by the cast perfectly translated to film. Though not one I would watch for the story since they changed it so much. Expand
  10. Jan 18, 2013
    8
    You could excuse this film for being showy, and perhaps pretentious, but the characters fill the void with their own spirit. Hugh Jackman especially had the most spirit, specifically with his humanity without showing off. The music is shivery, particularly when it gets to the climax of the revolution. A very good film.
  11. Jan 17, 2013
    10
    This epic and bombastic approach to cinema is perfect for les miserables! yes the cinematography wasn't as incredible as it could of been and it was shot in a very hurried way I think that made the film ,the imperfections of the sound and camera work gave the sense of the pain and pace that Hooper was trying to achieve, what was best about the direction was it wasn't pretending to be perfect ! it was an epic story not an artistic revelation, we have seen film of this magnitude before and its been worse so that's why I loved it so. Hopper always had a world on his shoulders with this film and if he didn't get slated for the direction or cinematography then it would of been the story and he didn't have much control over that ! over all the best musical film ever ! Expand
  12. 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..
  13. Jan 15, 2013
    7
    Whether you are interested in musicals or not, Les Miserables is something you should see. That's not to say you should see this movie specifically, but it's a story and series of songs you should treat yourself to knowing. Let's get this out of the way - the musical pieces are incredible, and the initial draw to this film for me, like with so many others, was due to the fact that the singing is comprised of live performances as they're acting and are not pre-recorded/lip-synced. The musical's flagship song, "I Dreamed a Dream", performed by Anne Hathaway, is the chilling centerpiece for the movie, and will quite literally send shivers down your spine with the absolute intensity of her voice. This is true with many of the songs in the movie, and I recommend that if you aren't familiar with them that you listen to the soundtrack of the movie again after watching. There are problems with the movie, however. Russell Crowe's singing is just not that amazing. He's on key, for sure, but his voice isn't strong enough for the part nor does it contain the proper bass needed for the part. On top of this, many of the scenes themselves are a bore, especially in the French Revolution sections. Overall, I feel that the movie drags as a whole near the end, which unfortunately draws away from the alluring music. It really does become a bit of a crawl to reach the end unless you're absolutely engaged in the soundtrack. So in the end, it's not perfect, nor is it the best movie of the year by any means, but it still contains some amazing musical performances and is sure to please your ears. Expand
  14. Jan 15, 2013
    7
    This was a pretty good portrayal of Les Miserables the musical, sadly, the vocal performances were not up to par.

    Hugh Jackman tried, but failed miserably. His counterpart, Russell Crowe was even more dismal. The only vocal performance which was good was sung by the actress who played Eponine. I know that she was also a cast member for the 25th anniversary performance of Les Miserables,
    clearly she has some musical theater background. Everyone is raving about Anne Hathaway. Yes, she did a good job. Yes, you felt her performance emotionally. However, her tears and whining got in the way of one of the vocal highlights of Les Miserables, "I Dreamed a Dream."

    If you like the musical, go see the movie, it's a fun time. However, you might want to lower your expectations of the vocals.
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  15. Jan 15, 2013
    7
    I was so emotionally affected during the first ten minutes of the film. Actors did such a superb job at expressing themselves whilst singing. Not easy, but they delivered it. The message of the movie was clear, and Jean Valjean depicts the image of Christ in this movie. Plot and script were good. The only things that could've been better were the 3D effects & the continuous musical throughout the whole movie. Expand
  16. Jan 15, 2013
    8
    The movie that has divided critics all across the globe, proves to be an awesome film, in my opinion. Les Miserable, was an excellent film and its almost impossible to give an object review for it. Either you liked Tom Hooper's treatment of the beloved stage musical, or you hated it. Clearly, I'm on the camp that loved it. First of all, Hooper's decision to make his cast sing live was an excellent one. That way, he captured all there emotion and imperfection which added a lot of personalty to the characters each cast member was playing. His over use of long takes and close ups in his shots, only supplemented the emotional heft and captured every inch of the cast's facial expressions. Ultimately, all these directorial flares worked in the actors' favor. They all delivered honest and emotionally rich performances; each holding there own with their distinct musical numbers and more. As many may have heard, the standout was Anne Hathaway who killed it in her small but booming role. Also of note was Hugh Jackman, who finally gets a meaty role to chew on. He also nailed it as Jean Valjean. The film's production elements were all eloquently crafted, with special mention to the character and class defining costume designs. As its divisive reviews suggest, this is by no means a perfect film; but part of what made it so great were its imperfections. All of which resulted from Hooper's adventurous film making. Expand
  17. Jan 14, 2013
    9
    This is a sophisticated crossover between musical and opera.There are so many magnificent moving performances, especially Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne. They could have perhaps made more of what is the First Act Finale. Overall the small changes from the Stage version of this amazing musical worked beautifully.
  18. Jan 14, 2013
    10
    Excellent film....I very rarely feel glued to the screen but this film did it for me..I am a fan of Les Mis and have both 10th and 25th anniversary DVDs....this film stands on its own and should not be compared as its a different art form but with the story you love and the songs you love... The music is superb the shots are superb Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are Superb...they should not be compared to tenors like Alfie Boe...singing might not be as powerful but the film and acting and emotion more than makes up for it and then some!....
    I would definitely go and see again!
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  19. Jan 14, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Disclaimer: This review is merely an opinion of this movie alone. I have not read the book and this will not be based on the faithfulness of said movie to Victor Hugo's classic piece.

    Les Miserables was not the perfect movie far from it but it is a great movie. The entire cast was magnificent even the bystander singers conveying the emotions intended, the mood matching every piece of music sang. The actors did not falter in their performance praise should be given to lead actor Hugh Jackman for showing the character of a repentant man willing to go to great lengths just to redeem his past actions. You will really feel for his plight by how he took care of Cosette and gave her a life worth living. This was Anne Hathaway's strongest performance for this year even much better than her stint in The Dark Knight Rises. Though short in screen time she no doubt had one of the strongest presence with the way she conveyed the emotions of despair, sorrow and at her last living moment (in movie) hope that her daughter would be in good hands. The musical score was some of the best I heard On My Own, Life that killed the Dream especially. Great narrative but one flaw is the faulty pacing.
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  20. Jan 14, 2013
    10
    Tom Hooper's direction is flawless, absolutely genius! Hathaway's performance steals the show despite being on screen for less than 20 minutes, but Jackman's performance is utterly stunning. The music is amazing and you can notice the benefits of having the actors sing live, then recording the music to the singing, the scenes flow beautifully. The film is consistently entertaining, I didn't want it to end. An incredible film and it deserves every piece of recognition it gets! A true British Masterpiece! I simply don't understand people saying that it is overly emotional and over-acted... at the end of the day people, it is a musical!!! it is going to be emotional, very dramatic and yes, believe it or not there is going to be a lot of singing! if you don't like musicals like some people have said in their reviews, why go and waste money and time going to see it just to post a ridiculously stupid and inaccurate review. Expand
  21. Jan 13, 2013
    9
    Now that the Academy and Golden Globes have nominated the film for so many awards the critics start rating this film positively?? What's with that?? The critics were giving this mediocre reviews until now. The professional critics really don't know what they're talking about.
  22. Jan 13, 2013
    9
    Espectacular puesta en escena. La actuación de Anne Hathaway es digna de Oscar, imposible actuar y dramatizar mientras está cantando. El resto del elenco también canta y actua maravillosamente. Pocas veces se oye en el cine a la gente llorar y aplaudir al final.
  23. Jan 12, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First of all I should say that Les Miserables, the stage musical, is one of my favorites and I had VERY high expectations for this film. I'm happy to say that they were met. Hugh Jackman was awesome, as was Russell Crowe. Amanda Seyfried really surprised me, as did Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks. Sadly, I wasn't too crazy for Sacha Baron Cohen, who seemed too comedic and out of place. Helena Bonham Carter was... well... like she is in every other film.

    Then there was Anne Hathaway... any flaws that the film had were completely eradicated by her performance. She appears in the film for barely 20 minutes, and she still steals the show. Any doubts of Anne's acting abilities should be gone after seeing this film. She is the heart of the film, and I dare you not to cry during her perfect rendition of I Dreamed A Dream.

    Overall, a great musical, a great film, and a great experience. I can't wait to get it on Blu-ray.
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  24. Jan 12, 2013
    7
    I confess this movie is my first encounter with Les Miz. I rated it higher than I would have due to what I understand and assume has been the theme of the Les Miserables' story: the relative value of compassion and love vs. duty. Sasha Baron Cohen's effectiveness at very broad comedy amused a relatively sophisticated audience and me. The CGI art direction gave a sound stage look to this film. The solo vocal performances were generally poor. Except for the interesting tension between the different values involved, I would have given this movie a "4." Expand
  25. Jan 12, 2013
    9
    This movie is absolutely, one of the best films of the year, the acting, the music, the directing, everything is very well done, really appreciate the idea of "Les Miserables" presenting the life of miserable people in France, this is what miserable people look like, all around the world.
  26. Jan 12, 2013
    10
    This was the first time I had seen "Les Mis" in any for, and I have to say I loved it. I've read review with people complaining about the close camera work feeling suffocating, but i think that was the entire point. Being so close to the characters enhanced the despair and made you feel it with them. As for why did Valjean go to prison for 19 years for stealing bread... HE DIDN'T! He was imprisoned for 5 years for the original crime, the rest was for trying to escape. Yes it was excessive, but that's how the French did it back then.
    The acting, especially Hugh Jackman, was fantastic. I was moved by the whole thing and by the end I was almost in tears. I am certainly looking forward to seeing it again, and again.
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  27. Jan 11, 2013
    10
    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 is extraordinary, particularly Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. I cannot recommend this enough. Expand
  28. Jan 11, 2013
    0
    Oh boy, what a terrible mess. Acting horrifying, singing ear bleeding, a story of absolute garbage and a movie that suffocates you on the length. The talk and sing style trash isn't only irritating, it makes the movie almost impossible to follow. Les Miserables not only takes the title of worst movie of the year but of all time. Move over Chicago, we have a movie even worse.
  29. Jan 11, 2013
    1
    If it wasn't but some very brief moments, and I mean brief, this movie would be a complete disaster. It is so horribly long and boring with absolute no dialogue. It is filled with dreadful songs and melodramatic acting.
  30. 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 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
  31. 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 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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  32. Jan 9, 2013
    2
    The acting was alright but this movie is a musical. Good actors but no singers. The plot was unoriginal and the movie progressed very slowly. This is a good movie for those people who give good ratings to poor movies but for the rest of us, this movie is one that should be avoided.
  33. 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.
  34. JMc
    Jan 8, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's safe to say that Les Mis has ruined my week. My eyeballs hurt from all the rolling they've done. The only part I enjoyed was when Russell Crowe jumped off the bridge. At least we didn't have to listen to his wretched singing any more. I'm not even sure what the film was about -- well I THINK it's about a bunch of folk who pile some furniture up in the middle of the street in Gay Paree and then hide behind it for a while, but hey, that's just me.j Expand
  35. Jan 8, 2013
    8
    It's a long movie and boy is there a lot of singing but there's no denying this is a great film. Full of outstanding performances from the talented cast and it's hard to single them out because as a whole they are all great. Storyline is very interesting and spans three different time periods which is rather interesting! Honorable mentions must go to both Anne Hathaway & Samantha Barks who I thought were both amazing. Overall a fantastic musical well worth a look that fans of the play will love! Expand
  36. AML
    Jan 8, 2013
    8
    Even the lackluster and claustrophobic direction of Tom Hooper couldn't spoil the superb performances of the entire cast. I was frustrated by Hooper's talking head close ups - talk about a one shot pony - but the music and talented cast triumphed.
  37. Jan 7, 2013
    10
    I thoroughly enjoyed this musical and by time forgot it was a musical. It was successfully captivating because of its natural believable characters. Rather than the professional repetitive opera rendition, it was more than refreshing to experience real acting with a tangible connection. I rarely applaud after a performance, but I couldn't refrain after this performance. Efficiently carried through and excellence on all accounts: costumes, sets, casting & direction. Perfect and exuberant. A unique movie-musical incomparible to any computerized, phoney, spectacles, we are accustomed to viewing. Expand
  38. Jan 7, 2013
    8
    "Le Miserables" doesn't hold its breath when in comes to delivering amazing vocals. Having no prior experience with the content, I walked both in and out of the theater excited, pleased, and giving of one of my top films of the year.
  39. Jan 6, 2013
    10
    Absolutely wonderful movie! I've seen the play many times. It's the story that is compelling, and these actors did an absolutely brilliant job! i will see this again and again!
  40. Jan 6, 2013
    8
    Overall while there are certain aspects of Les Miserables that I felt like could have been handled better I really enjoyed the film. The cast was good for the most part. While I feel that some of the characters could have been better there are some really good performances. I love how the film makers were not afraid to take some liberatities in what happens when and how. I especially love how the story gets expanded with songs and scenes that were not in the original story. Again I would have liked it if the film had done certain things in regards to cinematography and casting but a lot of things are done right some I am not going to be picky. If you are fan of Les Miserables I would recommend this one it Expand
  41. Jan 6, 2013
    8
    Beautiful production and sets. Standout performance by Anne Hathaway. Not so, Russell Crowe. At time's the singing seems becomes laborious, but with the film running about 45 minutes longer than necessary, that's to be expected. Less would have been more.
  42. Jan 6, 2013
    7
    I liked it. I get the bad things like Tom Hooper having no idea how to shoot a big set and reaching a peek in the first 30 minutes, but it was fun. The music is soooo good and Anne Hathaway proved that she can act in this movie. The grandiosity worked and the ending is beautiful. Not the best movie but a good 7.5 that rounds up.
  43. Jan 5, 2013
    7
    I'm not much for musicals, but being a movie buff I had to see in theatres. Hooper seems to provide true passion for the source material and I love the addition of live vocals while filming. Voices and emotions are so much more powerful and raw because of this choice. Hathaway is brilliant and I expect to see her take this years Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Beautiful performance. Seyfreid also surprised me with her vocal talent. I see that Russell Crowe is getting quite a bit of flack for his performance as Javert, but I enjoyed his place within the story. I only have a few complaints. The scale of Les Miserable proves a tad inconsistant in some places. At some points in the film the scale seems grand and epic, but at other times slightly repetitive and anti-climactic. Specifically in the case of the Revolution, as there is no clear closure as to what comes next. Overall, Les Miserable is a good film that provides genuine feeling and is sure to please many movie goers. Expand
  44. 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 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
  45. Jan 5, 2013
    9
    Hugh Jackman is nothing short of phenomenal in this film. There are a couple of scenes in which I felt both chills and tears within moments of one another. Anne Hathaway is also tremendous in a supporting role. Most importantly for me - as someone who saw the musical over 20 years and did NOT enjoy it - I could hear every word of dialogue of very clearly, and every facial expression is captured beautifully, so I didn't have to struggle empathize with these characters. Revolutionary passion, wrongful incarceration, the unyielding rule or law, young love, and unrequited love - it's all here, and it's beautifully presented. Yes, the film vastly exceeded my expectations. I am surprised that the professional critics did not embrace it more enthusiastically. Expand
  46. Jan 4, 2013
    8
    Great movie, with great performances by the cast. The singing was raw and packed with emotion, and the characters were well sculpted with a helpful pageantry.
  47. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    I would wholeheartedly recommend this movie to not only anyone who likes musicals, but afficionados of cinema itself. Simply breathtaking from start to finish.
  48. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    Flawless. One of the greatest musical adaptations I have ever seen, and all I can say without spoiling much of the film is that Anne Hathaway better win the Oscar.
  49. Jan 4, 2013
    8
    It's big and it's brassy and if you like to listen to lyrics it gets you in the gut quite often. I usually hate musicals, and "Chicago" is the last one I saw-and liked-and I've seen, and liked, the stage version. The movie version allowed me to hear the lyrics better, and I finally was able to get into Redmayne's great solo "empty chairs," (made me wonder how veterans would take it) and hated what Cohen and Bonham Carter did with "Master of the house." It was a tad long and had Cohen been cropped after his main bit it would have helped. You'll either get sucked in or be bored to tears. Expand
  50. Jan 4, 2013
    8
    I found Les Miserables a very enjoyable movie. I'm not a big fan of musicals but I found myself humming the songs after leaving the theater. The cast did a surprising job of creating memorable characters and singing some of the most memorable songs. The criticisms I have is that it is very long (2 and half hours) and some awkward scenes where the singing is forced. This isn't one of my favorite movies of the year but was more than I expected and something I would recommend seeing. Along with last years The King's Speech, Hooper has shown that he has the potential to become the next great English director and one who creates diverse movie experiences. Expand
  51. Jan 3, 2013
    9
    I just saw Les Miz and was so aghast at how this movie was rated by a lot of critics. I read the reviews aa soon as they came out and was a little disappointed but since this has been my favorite musical for ages, I had to see it. I cannot imagine why it was judged so harshly but I am so glad that I went to see it anyway. This movie was as close to the stage musical as a movie can get and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you have seen the musical, then you know that it is not necessarily an uplifting story but it is a beautiful one and the music is wonderful. I think the entire cast did an excellent job and I have to disagree with all of the critics than panned it. I would have thought that the accumulation of scores of the critics would have equaled somewhere in the eighties at the very least. I don't believe that true fans of the musical will be disappointed and hopefully those who are unfamiliar with the musicall will enjoy it also. I haven't heard as much about Hugh Jackman as I have of Anne Hathaway, but I think he did a great job. Bravo! Expand
  52. Jan 3, 2013
    9
    Overall this movie was great. I was insisted to see it because of how much acclaim the play got and the acting nominations. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and others (Sasha Baron-Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, etc.) were great, and this is a must see.
  53. Jan 3, 2013
    8
    Be forewarned: I had never seen the stage production of Les Miserables prior to watching the movie, nor had I read the book. All I knew about the story was that it was set in France sort of around the time of the French Revolution (several years later, I came to find out). That being said, the story FEELS like a story, rather than something that could actually happen (e.g., love at first sight is used as a major plot device, characters often find the characters they're looking for out of sheer coincidence, etc.). Despite that, it is still a very solid movie. The acting is phenomenal. Anne Hathaway's and Samantha Barks' solos are heart-wrenching, and really help bring the movie to life. And all the songs are recorded live, i.e., we're hearing what we see, rather than a studio recording. Again, I have never seen any other version of Les Mis, but it certainly feels like the director did everything in his power to bring this classic back to life. Expand
  54. Jan 3, 2013
    7
    I really enjoyed this movie and thought that it did a good job of doing a great original story justice. Jackman and Hatheway are definitely the outstanding performers for me but the rest of the cast was good as well. At times the singing of dialogue seems out of place especially on Crowes part. I feel like the movie could have been better if the actual dialogue was spoken and acted out and then characters go into the big songs from the musical. Expand
  55. Jan 2, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The film was, to sum it all up in one word, amazing. Each individual cast member was perfect for the role that they played. Hot shots like Russel Crowe portrayed the unforgiving Javert with utmost perfection. Anne Hathaway's Fantine was heartbreaking and beautiful, especially during the wrenching and tortured performance of "I Dreamed a Dreamed." Hugh Jackman was a great Jean Valjean, showing, with clarity, the transitions that the character goes through throughout the years. This allowed the audience to clearly see his character development from ex-con, to Changed man, to a new father, protective father and throughout all these different times, he was always the man on the run. Amanda Seyfried was a wonderful Cosette opposite the charming Eddie Redmayne as Marius. I always imagined Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the infamous Thernadiers. The dynamic duo were, as I just said, DYNAMIC. Newcomer to the BIG SCREEN Samantha Barks was wonderful as Eponine. Watching her on stage and the Anniversary Concert, there is a clear difference in her portrayal of the character in the different mediums. Although there were large names in this movie, I must say that one of the actors that popped in his role was Daniel Huttlestone who played the street child Gavroche. His performance was comical and, at the end, very heartbreaking. He certainly held his own among an accolade of stars, making himself a star in his own right. Though the music was wonderful, and the idea of LIVE SINGING on the film set was a game changer, I have only one criticism: Russel Crowe's singing. Though his acting skills captured the role of Javert perfectly, his singing was not entrancing like the stage singers that have played the role. His voice was weak and barely had enough vibrato for the songs he was given. At least, however, he was on tune. His weak voice also, on a more positive note, gave the song "Stars" a more serenely haunting tone. Overall the movie was Great. Great actors. Great music. Great design. A must see for all those who appreciate the arts, music, AND, film. Expand
  56. Jan 2, 2013
    8
    Tom Hooper's adaptation of the long running musical based on the novel by Victor Hugo has its fair share of problems. I found most of them to lie in the choices that Hooper made as director and by how frenetic and dizzying that damn camera is. At times (particularly during the revolutionary scenes), I had to take a moment to rub my eyes and look away so as to not induce vomiting. I was so nauseated for the majority of the movie. Hooper also never lets the story take a breath and slow down, which might leave some viewers exhausted on par with the frenetic cinematography. This is a blunt, head-bashing, brash musical that is anything from subtle. It makes films like 'Chicago' and 'Moulin Rouge' look like highly philosophical works of art. All of my complaining aside though, this is a good movie. The production design and staging is quite impeccable and the story manages to remain comprehensible even across a near three hour running time. But if I am to say that anything redeems 'Les Miserables' it has to be the work from its dedicated cast. Everyone in the film gives great performances (even those who don't quite have the greatest singing chops). Many of the supporting turns, given by such new talent as Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks, threaten to brew into deservedly lucrative acting careers in the future. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (both in that classic, twisted musical from 2007, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), provide much needed comic relief to the movie. Hugh Jackman, I dare say, is a pitch perfect choice for the part of Jean Valjean. He has great vocals and that pained, burdened kind of look needed for the role. Now to the final bit of business. To describe Anne Hathaway's performance as Fantine as a show-stopper, is just completely unfitting. She makes this movie. If any reason at all, see this film for her legendary performance of 'I Dreamed a Dream'. I expected that it would be the highlight of the film and I was right. She completely steals the show. This movie should grant her the first Oscar of her career and it would be more than well-deserved. So, to sum up 'Les Miserables', the movie is problematic and flat-footed, but I dare you not to leave the theater unaffected because, as obvious as it is, the movie works because of the acting on display. Expand
  57. Jan 2, 2013
    7
    The movie was actually just as entertaining as the book, and other various takes on in on stage productions and movies but this definitely seemed to be much longer than expected. The story truly draws you in; you laugh, you cry, and you get squirmy in your chair mostly due to the fact that it seems to go on and on, and on.... more like a 5 hour production. It was entertaining but I am so glad that I decided to go to the matinee and not take in a later showing because I'm sure I would've fallen asleep. Expand
  58. Jan 2, 2013
    1
    From the second it begun to its end, I was not interested. The characters did not pull me and the singing was not that good, especially compared to the musical. The only part that was actually entertaining were the Thenardiers, they were a very good comic relief for the boring plot. Altogether the story was boring, the singing wasn't up to par, and the characters were not interesting at all.
  59. 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.
  60. Jan 1, 2013
    10
    There has been a great deal of division amongst reviewers of Les Miserables. Quite honestly, the people with the most vocal and negative opinions are the people who don't really have any understanding of what they're talking about. The majority of critiques are from people who walked into the movie expecting and wishing it to fail. Naturally, when you want something to be bad, it will be. To you. Objectively, you will still be wrong and look like an idiot, but you can be wrong if you want to. That said, I really do not see how this movie could possibly improve. The vision for this movie was simply executed as exact as the project was planned. The cinematography was excellent, as expected. People complained that it was in peoples faces too much. That, to me, is just a childish complaint that isn't even worth paying attention to. There are just as much long distance shots as there are close-ups (I specifically looked for this). People are just giving unnecessary emphasis on the close-ups. It's fine, people. Get over it. Now, on to the concept. One thing must first be said. This is first and foremost a "movie." NOT a musical. The musical aspect comes second. This means the cast's acting must be judged at a higher priority than singing ability. Secondly, this is not a normal musical. Characters are not just singing songs, they are "acting" them. I can't tell you how many reviews I've seen claiming all kinds of "flat" notes that issued forth. Nonsense. Not only is that ridiculous in light of the refinement this project had before the final optimization of every single song, but it is a ridiculous claim in light of the project itself. Like I said, they are not simply singing the songs. They are singing some parts of the song, and speaking/yelling/crying other parts of the song. That is to be expected. However, some more ignorant people are overlooking this fact and seeing those parts of songs as "flat" notes.

    Now, the cast. I'm sure nobody would disagree with me that the most controversial selection for this movie is Russell Crowe. It would be avoiding the elephant in the room to avoid talking about him. People are still to this day trashing Crowe's performance, some saying he ruined the movie. That's like getting a paper-cut and saying you're going to die. These people are so dramatic. Crowe's performance was more than excellent. There is no better Javert than Crowe, I'm sorry. Some people will say "...But his singing!..." -was great. Crowe was never flat, and his acting was excellent. If you know anything about Hugo's description of Javert from the actual book, you'll know that Victor Hugo spends the majority of the time describing in great detail the physical appearance of Javert, and the atmosphere/presence he gives off. THAT is most important, according to the "author" of this entire story. I'm sorry, that is more important than anything else. For example, Javert is described to look like a wolf and have an extremely intimidating presence. Crowe is biologically suited for this role. Someone like Norm Lewis (Javert, 25th Anniversary) may be considered better than Crowe vocally in terms of Opera, Lewis is far from intimidating. Also, you don't expect a character like Javert to have some clean, crisp voice. You expect what you get from Crowe. A rugged and rough voice. There is just no comparison. Crowe fits the uniform better than anybody. Nina Gold (Casting Director) knew what she was doing. Ironically, all this fuss about Crowe shows his performance was not forgettable. I hear not a single person talking about Amanda Seyfried's performance, because it was probably the most forgettable of the entire cast. Not to say she did a bad job (she didn't), she was just boring. One thing I find funny is that you can always tell the childish critic by one simple feature. Their review after the movie is identical to their review before the movie. They walk into a movie with bias and preconceived notions, and this effects their entire opinion of the movie before they even see it. It's a shame. If you're going to see this movie, understand first what you are going to see. If you understand that and go with an open mind (not expecting this to be just a parrot of the 10th or 25th anniversary), you will love this movie.
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  61. Jan 1, 2013
    10
    I personally can't believe how negative the critics reviews have been for the film. I think in terms of musical numbers, acting and story, this is one of the best adaptations from musical to film. Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Eddie Redmayne really knocked out of the park, while Russell Crowe (somewhat weird voice) did just fine. I thought the cameo additions of Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter was tremendous, adding a light side to such a dark tale. I don't know what movie a good percentage of critics saw. Expand
  62. 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
    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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  63. Dec 30, 2012
    10
    "To love another person is to see the face of God."
    I hear the beautiful voices and see the magnificent acting as the movie vibrates in my memory. I will never forget this feeling.
  64. Dec 30, 2012
    10
    Our plan was to see "Lincoln" but we reluctantly ended up with "Les Miserables" because of a time shift. What a pleasant surprise this was ! ... The movie was incredibly incredible to say the least. I have not seen such a well put together movie from all its aspects for the longest time and I would indeed considered it a classic for the ages. The story and the picture glued me to my seat and connected me emotionally at all times. It is the sort of movie that you live in and somehow you do not want it to end because it is appealing to all your senses. I know already that I would acquire this movie for my home collection as soon as this is possible and will be visiting it frequently knowing that it will only get better with time. Expand
  65. Dec 30, 2012
    9
    I have seen two other adaptations of Les Miserables. They are both pretty well done and they earned better reviews than this new adaptation. The new Tom Hooper adaptation is ultimately the best. Hugh Jackman leads the way strongly packing emotion in almost every word he sings. Anne Hathaway ended up stealing every single scene she was in and ended up being one of the best singers. Samantha Barks was probably my favorite part of the film. She was sweet, beautiful, strong, packed enough emotion to show up all the big time stars that are with her. Eddie Redmayne was sometimes sounding like Kermit the Frog and Amanda Seyfried was sounding like a bird in the early morining. While Aaron Tveit was the best vocally and the most entertaining. Les Miserables was a performance film, it had some solid humor, while being emotionally powerful. Tom Hooper had some weird camera angles which sometimes took away from the experience. The new song Expand
  66. Dec 30, 2012
    9
    http://scriptsmotion.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/les-miserables/
    I normally don't even give a musical a chance. The only musical I ever liked, and yes it is a musical as defined by the director, was The Blues Brothers.
    Imagine my surprise at how well Les Misérables resonated with me.
  67. Dec 30, 2012
    7
    Though the fantastic performances of Hathaway, Barks, Redmayne, and little Huddlestone carries much of this film, the astoundingly sub-par performances of Jackman, Crowe, and Seyfried hide the beauty of Hugo's novel. This rushed performance skims through the complexities and beauties of Les Miserables, seemingly to arrive at a "showstopping" number. With shallow depth-of-field throughout, the obvious focal point is the star cast, abandoning the setting which and the characters who make up Les Miserables. Expand
  68. 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").
  69. Dec 30, 2012
    10
    If you're not a fan of the musical, keep in mind the title: most of these people are miserable, so expect drama and suffering. There is an occasional flash of spectacle, but the majority of the film's powerful songs are in close-ups, often one take. The intimate handheld camera adds to the intensity, but sometimes interferes when it's too jerky or causes shadows on faces. The actors run the gamut from revelatory (Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Lucy Hale) to solid (Hugh Jackman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter) to vocally weak (Russell Crowe). All of the singing is done live, so there's an intimate, expressive power that's distinctive. The narrative unfolds with intensity and grandeur, but this is basically opera, so it's more about emotion than logic or dialogue. Overall, this film is a glorious union of moving moments, beautiful music and powerful performances. Expand
  70. Dec 30, 2012
    1
    I have never been more disappointed. I've seen the stage and concert versions and while it was great visually, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe were PAINFUL to listen to. The power of the drama which comes from good singing was totally lost. One needs to hear a really good singer sing Bring Him Home (like Thomas Hampson) to know how truly BAD Jackman was. He just didn't have the voice to carry it. There are plenty of people who could have done better! The best singers were the smaller parts. I feel they ruined what could have been a classic by using such poor singers. I don't care if they had a big name, they can't sing! This is a show that NEEDS good singing. I'm so very disappointed. Could go on and on. Expand
  71. Dec 29, 2012
    9
    I am not a musical person and was unfamiliar with the story but went to this on a date - a little too long but amazing cinema photography and music. I almost cried a few times
  72. 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
  73. Dec 29, 2012
    10
    This album brought tears to my eyes! Amazing acting, fantastic songs, and of course a genius story. All portrayed in the most perfect way possible. I recommend going to see this movie ASAP!!!
  74. 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.
  75. Dec 29, 2012
    9
    People who have seen the play on Broadway with an incredible cast may not like the film because the singing (other than the actors who play Eponine and ok---Jean Val Jean) don't have Broadway-caliber voices (although the priest seemed to be one of the original Jean Val Jeans). Even though I saw the original Broadway cast, I enjoyed the movie because I went with the intention of accepting this version as a movie. The weakest performance was Russell Crowe's. He couldn't pull off the emotion required to explain suicide. Overall, the movie is beautiful. Expand
  76. Dec 29, 2012
    10
    I fell in love with this musical as soon as I heard the first lyric. I've seen it on stage countless times, I have bought the 25th anniversary show on DVD, and have every single recording of the show. I was afraid that the movie would let down the amazing show that is Les Mis. It did not. The scale of this movie is immense. The songs were sung on set, rather than recorded and dubbed later, making the songs 'acted' more than 'sung'. Some may see this as a bad thing. "This is a musical! The focus should be on the music!" I have heard time and time again. But when every song makes you cry because of the emotion infused in each actor, you forget you are watching a musical. You become inside the movie. You just want to say, "Don't worry! Jean Valjean will save you!" The characters become real rather than people just singing to a tune. Expand
  77. Dec 28, 2012
    1
    Incredible! ly boring. Amazing! ly bloated. Terrific! ally overwrought and tasteless. When everything on display is Earnest! and Heartfelt!, it renders it all meaningless. Never subtle, always strained, the musical is shockingly claustrophobic instead of soaring, and needlessly literal at all turns.

    A few observations: When making a musical, it might be a good idea to hire singers for
    the lead roles.
    Helena Bonham Carter seems to have wandered in from Sweeney Todd, the prostitutes seem to think they are in Cats, and good deal more of the cast seems to think they are in Oliver! (isn't this supposed to be France?)
    Finally, be careful about your end-of-life haircut choices, as apparently the cut follows you to Heaven!
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  78. 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 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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  79. Dec 28, 2012
    9
    My first Les Mis experience was also one of the most moving movies I ever seen. I find it very hard to believe that someone cannot be moved by this; even people who do not enjoy musicals. From the very first "look down" I was sucked into this musical, philosophical, and religious journey. My ONLY issue is that I found Russel Crowe's singing a little flat; but perhaps that lent well to his very spartan like character he must convey (this of course, has absolutely no bearing on his acting, which is sublime as usual) Expand
  80. Dec 28, 2012
    0
    By far the funniest musical I've ever seen. Never mind that it isn't supposed to be funny. If you read this review and then go see Les Miserables anyway, you better know how to entertain yourself. I laughed my way through the final two hours by making up Weird Al style verses to substitute for the piteous wailing and moaning and brow beating and self-flagellation that makes up the actual verses. Even my 66 year-old mother was making wisecracks by the end of it. Her final verdict was the movie needed less singing and more fighting. Sadly Les Miserables also lacks a guillotine, so you will have to hear the entire cast of characters go on and on in sobbing song until you long for a short, unmusical death scene. Preferably a scene involving the entire cast. Expand
  81. 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 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
  82. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    Anyone actually telling you that this movie isn't amazing, just ignore them. Some people don't care for musicals so I understand them not enjoying this film but people actually trying to break down reasons for why this movie wasn't great are just morons. Les Misérables is probably the most intense and dramatic musical I've ever seen. The acting, especially at the top with Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russell Crowe was Oscar worthy. I haven't seen an entire theater cry that much in my life. Sure, Titanic made just about every cry but that was one scene at the very end. There were probably 5 or 6 scenes throughout Les Mis that were so moving, there were sniffles all around. The singing was also very impressive. Jackman is an all-around star and this movie proves that much. I was also really impressed with Crowe and Hathaway. They're not as polished as Jackman but their voices, and how they acted out their roles, fit perfectly. The only actor who came up short was Amanda Seyfried but even she did a commendable job and the character of Cosette wasn't featured as much as the others. I thought the cinematography, the part of the movie the haters are trying to attack because they can't attack any other element, was also perfectly fine. Overall, this was one of the three best movies I saw all year and, personally, I think Anne Hathaway deserves an Academy Award for Best Actress because she was fantastic. I understand not everyone appreciates musically driven films but if you do, this movie is definitely worth spending the movie to see in theaters. Expand
  83. 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 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. Expand
  84. Dec 28, 2012
    9
    Les Miserables - An adapted musical drama of Victor Hugo's novel, Les Miserables. Casting [4/4] Excellently cast, specifically Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Russell Crowe. Every actor was able to work effectively as a group, and the Hugh Jackman/Russell Crowe conflict was superb. Acting [14/16] Great performances all around, especially from Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. Jackman and Hathaway should both expect nominations in their respective categories. Then again, acting in a musical is difficult to judge, and despite many highlight performances, talent was occasionally wasted in lazy scenes.
    Costume/Make-Up [7/8]
    Visually appealing robes help create a realistic scene and often contribute to the character development (fr example, Baron Cohen and Bonham Carter's ridiculous outfits reflected their thieving lifestyles)
    Visual Effects [6/8]
    Grandiose and majestic, but often too exaggerated. The visual effects sometimes clouded the appropriate representation of the scene (although more frequently than not they aided in delivering the "pow" of the scene)
    Setting [11/12]
    Every scene was wonderful and had the true vibe of post-revolution urban France. Rich colors and vibrant hues maintained the turmoil or peace of each moment almost flawlessly. There were rate scenes, though, where the setting was right, but too blasé for the eye to handle.
    Script [11/12]
    Each musical number was unmistakably genius in the lyrics (adapted from previous theatrical performances, like that on broadway). The messages were unmarred by useless fillers, although some lines were difficult to understand (but fun to listen to).
    Soundtrack [12/12]
    Beautiful and unobtrusive, letting the vocals be heard clearly and the action scenes be enjoyed wholly. A superb job, indeed.
    Storyline [10/12]
    Sweet and heartfelt (sometimes tearful), but when you least expect it to, it'll trudge and march slowly (like the marching bands in parades that bore you, but get you excited for a much more fulfilling event in the near future). Nevertheless, the story was complete and understandable.
    Direction [14/16]
    You'd expect more from Hooper (after The King's Speech), but the way he addressed this dramatic tragedy is in no way shameful. He successfully incorporated the talents of each actor, the action and intensity of the revolution, and the personalities of the characters cleanly and neatly, all in the fun-to-view format of a musical.
    Additional [-2]
    2 hours and 40 minutes was simply too long for this film. Hooper should've shaved off at least 20 minutes from the film, especially in the tiresome revolutionary scenes.
    Final score - 87 [Must-See!]
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  85. 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 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
  86. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    Great themes permeate the beautifully sung and brilliantly acted film version of the long-running stage show. In addition to updating the operatic form, the movie embraces its epic destiny. Instead of playing to the short attention spans of those who love the bloated excesses of Batman, or the adolescent charm of the Avengers, Les Miserables has the courage to examine just how hard it is to change anything for the better, and the redemption available for those willing to try. I have seldom been so moved by a motion picture and never by a musical. Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and the luminous Samantha Barks shine. Cynics and those immune to the terrific score should maybe opt out. Those who can still feel their hearts beating should head to the barricades. Best film of 2012. Expand
  87. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    This is an absolute must-see! All the performances were phenomenal, and you'd have to be heartless to not get swept up in all the emotion beautifully conveyed through song. Hathaway, Barks, and Seyfried were all great. Jackman was absolutely breath-taking. You could just see how devoted he was, and I can honestly say that is an Oscar-worthy performance. Brought me to tears multiple times. Also, Redmayne as Marius was extremely talented as well. Crowe, though the weak-link, was still fantastic. His acting was so convincing, and it really got to me. I can't wait to see this again in theaters as well as buying the DVD when it comes out. Even if you are not a fan of musicals, you will be for this one! Expand
  88. 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 (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
  89. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    Adored every second of this film. Suspend disbelief and you will be swept up into an emotional and cathartic love-fest. It takes the best of theatre and film and delivers a stunning rendition of the popular story. The close-up solos ( especially Anne Hathaway's Fontine) are literally breath-taking.
    I was skeptical of an operetta style ( all sung) but it worked. This film is a feast for
    the eyes and soul. Expand
  90. Dec 27, 2012
    8
    Quite a movie but more like a cinematic opera. At times it drags and is overdone, but did keep my attention. Hugo's themes ring true throughout. The performances are outstanding and I although the vocals were not perfect, the added some realism to the story and emotion.
  91. Dec 27, 2012
    9
    This is one of the the most moving show I watched this year, it definitely made me cry. I love the acting and singing of the casts, especially that of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. Definitely recommended if you like musicals, and even if you don't you should catch it cause it has become a classic about love and redemption despite their harsh circumstances.
  92. Dec 27, 2012
    7
    Having seen the Broadway show 4 times I was so excited going in. To me, it is very hard to bring some of those rousing stage numbers to the big screen without giving up the energy and passion of those songs. "One Day More" cutting from actor to actor was jarring and did not have the full impact; the same was the case with other songs. Eddie Redmayne, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and a few others really stood out. I thought The Tenardier's songs were more gross than funny and, although I am a huge fan of Sacha Baron Cohen, he looked bored and uninspired with his character. I also did not need his silly ad libs during his numbers. It was great to see Colm Wilkinson as the priest! Nice cameo! Russell Crowe was just o.k., not having the range for "Stars" did hurt him. Yes, I still filled up several times during the movie, but there was an emotional cohesiveness lacking. This is one movie which needed an intermission just so we, the audience, could relax for a moment instead of being thrust into a constant barrage of sadness, despair, pain and suffering, without a break. Expand
  93. Dec 27, 2012
    8
    Having seen the stage version multiple times, including both the original staging and 25th anniversary edition, I have anticipated the film version since announced. Overall, I was pleased with the result. The biggest negative for me is the acting of Russell Crowe as Javert. It's not that he can't sing or act. He just can't do both at the same time. His voice timbre and range are also wrong for the role. Compared to the rest the cast, Crowe just looks and sounds uncomfortable, and he rarely expresses through his face and voice the deep passion and reverence this character carries that drives his obsession across the years. Not to belabor the point, but only in rare moments did I not see Russell Crowe rather than Inspector Javert. On the other side, both Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman deliver as Fantine and Jean Valjean. This film version allows an intimacy that is just not possible on the stage. For me, the live singing absolutely works for nearly every performer. We get raw, emotional and heartfelt rendering of the music. Most of the changes made for the movie worked for me. I could quibble with of the director's choices for camera position and editing but for most of the movie, Les Miserables simply soars. Expand
  94. 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.
  95. Dec 26, 2012
    9
    I had never seen anything of Les Miserables before this movie. Not even a single song. It turns out I had a great time and was impressed by all the actor's singing abilities. The effects and sets were very impressive also, which was nice to see in a musical adaptation. I did not really feel the length, as the movie introduces characters deep into the running time, which keeps things fresh. You will probably hear many people talk of how depressing and sad this movie is. I will not deny that, but I found the movie's message to be invigorating, rather than deflating. Expand
  96. Dec 26, 2012
    10
    I wasn't thrilled about going to a musical but I have to admit, this was a really great movie! The scenery was incredible and the acting was worth an academy award! I think the critics will be out voted when the awards come out. This one is a masterpiece!
  97. Dec 26, 2012
    10
    I had no previous experience with "Les Mis" before watching this movie; so as a virgin to the musical, I thought it was absolutely fa nominal. The acting was Oscar worthy, the voice's were enchanting, and the casting was 'parfait'! The live singing made the movie real, the passion from all of the actors was contagious, and the story was well executed. Simply amazing.
  98. Dec 26, 2012
    8
    I feel that there is an obvious difference in singing ability between the theatre/opera singers and the regular hollywood actors/actresses. For example, Hugh Jackman's acting was excellent, but I feel that his singing voice is only an ok fit for the role of Jean Valjean. And Russell Crowe is not a great singer, but again his acting was great. This probably describes both the good and bad sides of doing a live recording of their singing. Their emotions are expressed much better compared to regular musicals where the actors/actresses are only lip-syncing, but at the same time, the weaknesses are also more obvious because it cannot be tweaked and polished in the recording studio. I also feel that they had too many close ups in the earlier parts of the movie. I understand that they wanted to show the character's faces and emotion, but when the close up is too long, it becomes a bit awkward. What I did love was that despite those minor complaints, I found the overall experience very enjoyable, I cared for the characters and was greatly moved by parts of it. Overall this was a great movie and I will watch again. Expand
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.