Les Miserables

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 708 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 69 out of 708

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User Reviews

  1. 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 isHugh 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
  2. Jan 26, 2013
    9
    The was pretty intence at times, The casting was perfect and well it is a musical as you know, which i really prefer not to go see, but it was really well made and i guess i got used to every one singing instead of talking. Ann hathaway was amazing, she sang beautifully. i felt it as a little long and it made me laugh a little to. there were a lot of other actors who did very well and iThe was pretty intence at times, The casting was perfect and well it is a musical as you know, which i really prefer not to go see, but it was really well made and i guess i got used to every one singing instead of talking. Ann hathaway was amazing, she sang beautifully. i felt it as a little long and it made me laugh a little to. there were a lot of other actors who did very well and i expect to be seeing them in other movies in the future. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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
    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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  5. 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) andIt'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
  6. 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").
  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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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  11. 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 loveOverall 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
  12. 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
  13. Jan 28, 2013
    10
    If you hate musicals don't go see this, you will hate it. I went in thinking there would be a few songs, not that the whole movie would be non-stop singing and knew next to nothing of the story. I'm not a fan of musicals, but I am a fan of well made movies. This was a well made movie. I enjoyed the story and the music, some of the performances blew me away. Anne Hathaway (sp?) singingIf you hate musicals don't go see this, you will hate it. I went in thinking there would be a few songs, not that the whole movie would be non-stop singing and knew next to nothing of the story. I'm not a fan of musicals, but I am a fan of well made movies. This was a well made movie. I enjoyed the story and the music, some of the performances blew me away. Anne Hathaway (sp?) singing "I dream a dream" was the best movie moment I've seen in a loooong long time. She will win an Oscar for it. I'm forced to give this movie a 10/10 even as not a fan of musicals. Expand
  14. Dec 25, 2012
    8
    I fell in love with Les Miserables the first time I read it. It's story of redemption,faith, and hope has survived for over a century. I was fairly excited for this movie and have to say that I was only a tad disappointed. The one thing that sells this movie is the phenomenal performances from the entire cast. Everybody does a fantastic job and who knew that Russel Crowe could sing? TheI fell in love with Les Miserables the first time I read it. It's story of redemption,faith, and hope has survived for over a century. I was fairly excited for this movie and have to say that I was only a tad disappointed. The one thing that sells this movie is the phenomenal performances from the entire cast. Everybody does a fantastic job and who knew that Russel Crowe could sing? The film is just as depressing as the book is which I'm sure everyone is expecting. If you don't get choked up at least 3 times during this movie you are broken. The scene where Anne Hathaway sings "I Dreamed a Dream" is both heartbreaking and beautiful. I also think that this is the best performance of that song ever. Instead of writing about the things everyone is sure to write about such as Hugh Jackman's career defining performance and the incredible set design I am going to talk about my few complaints because the compliments are too obvious. I really only have two complaints and one is relatively minor. The first is that Hooper doesn't know how to direct action at all. During the few scenes that are heavy on action the camera is often chaotic and at times can possibly lose the viewer. Besides that Hooper did a really good job and I applaud him. My biggest complaint and even though I am a huge Les Mis fan I must address the films length. At 2 and 1/2 hours plus the film drags a bit in certain places. The story is very long I realize, but some things could have been amended or adjusted to just make the movie a little bit shorter. Besides that the movie was excellent and any Les Mis fan deserves to see this wonderful movie. For every complaint I have there are a dozen compliments and the movie is the best cinematic musical since Chicago. Expand
  15. 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.
  16. Jun 4, 2013
    9
    "Les Mis is simply an astounding, captivating rendition of one of the most beloved musicals in history. Its not the best movie of the year but Filled with breathtaking performances, this three hour long spectacle is truly, what i like to say, incredible." A-
  17. 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 runIf 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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 thisI 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
  23. 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.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
  24. 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!
  25. Jan 21, 2013
    8
    As a huge fan of musical movies, I had been waiting for thiz. It
  26. 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 theWhether 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
  27. 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..
  28. 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
  29. 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 badI 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.