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Generally favorable reviews- based on 644 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 644

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  1. Jul 30, 2014
    "Les Miserables" is great-looking and features some touching performances. Its colourful cinematography, though, outshines the dark tone that makes Hugo's novel so engaging, and its inexperienced youths seem incompetent to mark a want-to-be classic with their weak performances. Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe feel out of place, even with some competent acting, while Hathaway is too dramatic to be believable, but it is obvious that by every cry and every drop she comes closer to the Oscar. Expand
  2. Sep 4, 2013
    the story is great, the picture is so good but I did not like the musical theme which the movie was based on! so I couldn't complete it until the end!
  3. Aug 22, 2013
    Well I haven't laughed that much for ages! Lots of good actors making fools of themselves. It's amazing that they all took on the project! Can't be enough scripts around I guess. Loved the Liam Neeson version, much much more entertaining.
  4. Jun 17, 2013
    A miserable attempt to adapt this beloved musical for a film audience. Don't get me wrong, I like Russel Crowe under proper direction and in the right role, but his performance in this film was absolutely dreadful.
  5. Jun 13, 2013
    So I already hate musicals, and this one just confirms how awful they are. Anne whats her name is so bad it makes Vince Vaughn look like a good actor. Disgusting, boring, and just plain terrible.
  6. Apr 1, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. N MY OPINION **MAY CONTAIN SPOIILER S** by CtheTav I had heard great things about this film going into it. It had Oscar buzz and had already taken multiple best picture awards. Apparently I saw a different version of the film because the film I saw was terrible! The "singing" in this film by the main cast is reminiscent of Mama Mia! Or Moulin Rouge as in big name karaoke at best. The majority of the big names can't sing with the exception of Russel Crow who is a bit better than the rest but still a long way off staring a singing career after this film, and to give Hugh Jackman the lead role when he is the worst singer of the lot is unforgiveable and a stupid move by the casting director. Another problem with this film is the fact that there is very little talking and everything is sing talked which, takes away from the songs as its difficult to tell when a song starts and ends which is why when initially writing this review I struggled to recall even 2 songs (2 hours after watching the film). Back to the plot now, so carefully hinged on the back drop of a French revolution showing that everyone's super poor or mega rich and the no one likes the king at the moment so it, revolution! There is no character development in this film at all after the first 5 minutes. Jon Valjean goes from angry thief to God loving good guy in 10 seconds or 8 years of unseen moments in the plot, feels guilty for not being granular about his employees actions, buys some kid, raises her and then realises "actually I lied to get where I am today but I'm okay with that", gets a mystery illness whilst lifting luggage and dies. Javert Javert goes from letter of the lawman (he literally sang a song about it) to a suicidal fool who can't deal with being given a second chance. The young revolutionary goes from tactician to screw it I'm in love over the course of 1 night (the same night he saw his entire friendship die horribly). At the end of this film the people at the barricade are all dead this is touted as a happy ending. This ending is miserable all of those who died as martyrs achieved nothing, so well done everyone, NOT! This film has the worst action sequences ever. Being shot in the chest and not bleeding? Why not? Did the budget not allow for fake blood to be used? Then the character has the audacity to sing for three minutes before dying, not dying immediately like most of the other idiots foolish enough to point the barrel of a gun at themselves and not just away from everyone Rubbish! Rating 1 out of 10 An awful film that received too much praise due to the stage production it was based on Expand
  7. Mar 31, 2013
    Musicals are not my thing. Up until now I have seen only 2 that worked: Moulin Rouge and Romeo Julliet (yes both Baz Luhrman's). With all the positive reviews and the high imdb score I was willing to give it a fair chance...but after 5,5 mins I had reached the limits of my patience, I had to turn it off. This is just unbearable! Do they really have to sing EVERY SINGLE LINE of dialogue? No wonder this thing clocks in at 158 mins. It's better to burst out into song for no reason then to continuously pound people in the face with them. Some performers are great actors, sure, but that doesn't mean they have a great singing voice. Be realistic, no one is good at everything. I guess this film has a certain audience (it made 433 m$ worldwide) but I'm pretty certain I'm not one of them Collapse
  8. Mar 23, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm not typically one for writing reviews but I decided after suffering through this movie that I needed the catharsis of doing one. I'll begin by saying that I am a fan of the musical. I saw it with a touring group when they came through and I own the "Dream Cast" concert version. I believe Les Mis has some of the most beautiful music and themes I've ever seen in a musical, albeit presented through a loosely woven story. Unfortunately this latest version, while attempting to stay closer to the musical production, didn't seem to be assembled with the same quality. The most distracting thing to me was that many of the cast were weak singers. They were unable to reach their notes without straining or giving up before hitting them. Some of Javert's music was even rearranged to accommodate Mr. Crowe. I appreciate the actors' ability to break down emotionally when needed but the voices were not as strong as their performance and many times took away from the impact that a song could have had. Mr. Crowe and Mr. Jackman's solos were often muffled or nasal respectively. I cringed before Valjean began his "God on high" at the barricade uncomfortably fearing what was about to come. And Javert's Stars solo, which would normally be belted out with a strong baritone fell flat.

    The cinematography was done in an odd manner. There were a lot of artistic angles presented. Some were interesting, like the sweep over the cross into the city toward the beginning. Others were very distracting like the butterfly on the gate during Cosette's duet with Marius in the garden. Valjean was annoyingly upstaged by a large-eyed banner during his solo at the barricade. The camera seemed handheld much of the time as well.

    I greatly appreciated the cut during Fantine's first sexual encounter as a prostitute I was watching this with my family and questioned if I needed to do some editing of my own. Yet we were all taken aback at the decision to follow Javert all the way down to his bone crunching end in the Seine. I believe this would have been better had it been left to the imagination. It was actually distracting when done in such a blatant manner.

    All in all I appreciated the sets and some of the singing as well as most of the art. I am glad someone made an attempt to bring the musical to video. Sadly, I think I would have enjoyed it more had they just filmed the actual stage play (like the 2011 Royal Albert Hall Phantom of the Opera). I decided to rate this a "0" to even out the unrealistically positive reviews. This should really be around a 6 in my book. Thanks for reading if you got through this!
  9. Mar 2, 2013
    the only thing good about this movie is the performances of Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman, i hate it when all the movie is songs and there is not an actual dialogue, it gets boring
  10. Feb 27, 2013
    I do love musicals. I am a big fan of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rodgers, and Cyd Charrise, The greatest musical has to be either Fiddler on the roof or Singin in the Rain. The problems with Les Miserable stem from the actual Broadway musical itself. The story "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo is a chronicle of french life in the french revolution era. The purpose of the story was to show the hardships and exploitation of the French people in the most important eras in French history. To create a musical based on these hardships would trivialize and take away Hugo's masterpiece. The other problem is the language.Why create a musical that is in predominately in English (yes, there are french translations) that totally disrupts and destroys the cultural context of what the story is suppose to be about? When considering the 2012 version, an adaption of a huge Broadway musical with a colossal amount of fans waiting to see it makes it a for sure money maker.Yet, it does not allow an unacquainted audience to embrace the story or music. The story is redundant and the music, while I admit is great, really gets boring after the first 20 minutes of the cast screeching it in my face and really forcing me to like it. I felt the film had great points in photography and costuming, the film felt long and tiring. The pace of the film was like a roller coaster ride that after the 15th rendition of the same three songs, I gave up. The lack of professional singers (i.e. Russell Crowe and High Jackman) really made me doubt their musical prowess and I just hoped they were able to hit the really high notes. Th final problem is the song dialogue. I felt it was gimmicky and unnecessary. The great musicals of "Singin in the Rain" and "Fiddler on the Roof" used dialogue to move the stories forward and make the songs more enjoyable. "Les Mis" oversang their songs that could have potentially be a great musical. Yet, it disappointed this musical lover! Expand
  11. Feb 10, 2013
    The whole movie is tedious. The singing was too much and acting was pretentious.
    It's totally the opposite experience while I was watching Moulin Rouge. Moulin Rouge is way much better than Les Miserables.
  12. Feb 4, 2013
    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 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
  13. Feb 4, 2013
    My wife and I both cried watching this movie. The problem is we cried for different reasons. She had an emotional attachment to the movie because of her childhood. I cried because this was horrible. Letting the actors sing live and going with that was a big mistake. I have to believe that people voting this good, even the Oscar nominations, are all because you are SUPPOSED to like this rather than anyone actually liking it. Every time someone other than Anne Hathaway sang, you are pulled out of the movie. I have heard better singers at a Karaoke bar. they need to go back and clean up the terrible singing before they release this on DVD. While this isn't the worst movie I have seen this year (Movie 43) this was far more difficult to sit through. Expand
  14. Feb 3, 2013
    Self indulgent and pretentious. This defines pretty well what Tom Hooper´s Les Miserables is. The camera is always in the wrong place. The tight shots make the production design seem like a waste and the actors look bad, embracing their over-acting. There is no dialogue, everything is sung, there is no silent moment and there is absolutely no subtlety. Everything is bad, nobody can really sing (especially Russel Crowe) and the performances are so weird and over the top. The only thing that saves this movie from complete disaster is the beautiful production design. Definitely not a must-see. Expand
  15. Jan 28, 2013
    Rather disappointing considering all the hype...

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

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

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

    3. Hugh Jackman was worth watching and I would say he has the best voice in the cast as well as actually acted too.
  16. Jan 11, 2013
    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.
  17. Jan 11, 2013
    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.
  18. Jan 9, 2013
    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.
  19. Jan 9, 2013
    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.
  20. JMc
    Jan 8, 2013
    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
  21. Jan 5, 2013
    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
  22. Jan 2, 2013
    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.
  23. Dec 30, 2012
    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
  24. Dec 28, 2012
    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!
  25. Dec 28, 2012
    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
  26. Dec 28, 2012
    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
  27. Dec 26, 2012
    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.
  28. Dec 26, 2012
    This was an boring, overblown mess of a movie. Anne Hathaway's performance is the single highlight where she radiates pure pathos. Meanwhile, Russell Crowe was just embarrassing to watch.
  29. Dec 25, 2012
    The millions of faithful followers of this no-spoken-dialogue pop opera will flock to any incarnation. For everyone else, try to be kind. Producers clearly wanted the A-list actors (Hugh Jackman/Valjean, Anne Hathaway /Fantine, Amanda Seyfield/Cosette, Russell Crowe/Javert -- who auditioned like American Idol hopefuls) for two reasons: for box office clout, and to make the soap-opera-smaltzy sung dialogue seem almost credible, at least in super closeup. Anne Hathaway gives a moving performance as the ill-fated (and early departing) Fantine, and Hugh Jackman, who won a Tony for the Boy from Oz and played Curly in a West End production of Oklahoma, will probably be the greatest surprise to film fans. But when the "real" singers arrive -the young revolutionaries and the wonderful Samantha Barks as Eponine -- all the leads except for Jackman seem out of place. (I notice they didn't include Sam Barks in the finale.) More successful is the staging of the comedy numbers like "Master of the House" with Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the grifters, although those numbers seem odd set in director Tom Hooper's ultra-realistic Parisian slums. My suggestion: on a long trans-oceanic flight, try Kindle-sampling Victor Hugo's sprawling 1,500 page novel. Expand

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
    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
    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
    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.