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Generally favorable reviews- based on 636 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 636

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  1. May 20, 2013
    Les Miserables is a powerful and depressing which is just what the adaptation needs. However, despite Anne Hathway great acting, Tom Hooper basically just made the musical with more awesome sound eits. So my message to this mixed film is, if you want to be a musical, then dammit Hooper make a freaking musical for crying out loud.
  2. May 19, 2013
    This is a creative way to bring a musical to a film.Even though it's weird hearing all the diolage spoked though singing,it is a very beautiful well developed film.
  3. May 18, 2013
    Now, this review is coming from someone whom had never heard of the theatrical production of 'Les Miserables' nor read of the book, but I can soundly say this movie had me thoroughly impressed. Whilst I know movies rarely follow the exact footsteps of a book, I was quickly drawn in by the storyline, memorable characters and emotional instances.
    Never has reality been delivered with this
    amount of perfection and emotion, with a score you will not forget. My only complaint, as all modest reviews must discuss, is that some characters are introduced too late in the film, that the audience does not build up as strong an emotional bond as they would have, if the characters were brought in earlier.

    Overall, the best film I have seen so far this year; I cannot wait to see the production!
  4. May 16, 2013
    Looking at this movie entirely from the single perspective of itself, instead of comparing it to its musical counterpart (To which i hear is brilliant). It is a good musical, with a cast to which any film would happily boast, with some outstanding performances from a plethora actors whom most would never relate to a musical, yet in some instances it is clear singing isn't their strong point.

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

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

    to summarise, the film deserves praise for showing that Musicals can have a serious tone instead of the likes of "Hairspray" and the actors within in it deserve meritorious praise, yet it fails due to a long running time and lack of change, with little use of the large budget sets.
  5. May 14, 2013
    Great movie with awesome songs. It is the best musical of all time. It is filled with emotions that is very amusing. The ending almost made me want to cry. It is the best
  6. May 12, 2013
    Mixed feelings about this film. Production values were very high and some of the performances were very good. I felt the singing was a bit hit and miss, particularly Russel Crowe who put in a disappointing performance. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen characters were too nasty, with not enough comedy. I feel they should have reduced the length of the film by cutting out the filler. I've seen the theatre production and although 3 hours is acceptable for that, 3 hours for a film is just too long. The film was dull, drawn out and grim before picking up half way through. Good editing would improve this, reducing the total length by a third by cutting out the less memorable songs would improve things a lot. Expand
  7. May 8, 2013
    The only reason I do not give Les Miserables a 9 or a 10 is because I hate Musicals. The story was gripping, the cast phenomenal, the character development was excellent. It was an emotional film that made me shed a tear more than once.
  8. Apr 29, 2013
    People seem to be confusing their subjective taste in movies to an objective appraisal of the movie if a movie is not to your taste, it does not make it a bad movie, and you shouldn't base your rating on whether you liked it or not. People making ratings based on their taste are making the movie rating here unreliable.

    The people who voted 0 or 1, I'm talking to you. How can you not
    give credit to the amount of details that have been put into the movie? How can you not give credit to the performances put forward by these actors and actresses acting and singing simultaneously is not easy, especially when it is done live. Those of you complaining about how the actors cannot sing, and they should have hired professional singers. let me ask you, would you rather watch professional singers who can sing but who can't act in a movie? That would have been worse. This is a movie, not a stage opera. Apples to oranges.

    There are many other examples but my point is that the movie is not getting credit where credit is due, because people are throwing ratings out based on their taste, and not based on how the movie actually is.
  9. Apr 29, 2013
    I had never seen the musical before I watched this film, and I'm confident enough to say that this was a good introduction to the multitude of Les Miserables's. The musical production in the film is amazing with live performances from Hugh Jackman and Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway (who was only in the film for 20 minutes). Unfortunately though, there are a few drawbacks. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen play the caretakers of Cosette. In other words, THEY PLAY THE EXACT SAME CHARACTERS FROM SWEENEY TODD. Apparently, the director just resorted to whoever played two goofballs in the nineteenth century in a movie: THESE TWO. It was annoying seeing that they were only in the movie to play the exact same parts as in Sweeney Todd. It took me out of the movie and it always reminded me that these two are from an entirely different film. Other than a few camera issues, such as the infamous bobbing, the film is marvelous and rich with musical entertainment. Expand
  10. Apr 21, 2013
    A beautiful, touching film with a wide and recognizable cast. Although the singing is slightly off at times, the atmosphere will sweep any doubts away.
  11. Apr 18, 2013
    Les Miserables tells a simple and touching story, and although the film may not do it justice, there is certainly a beautiful element at its center that we would be fools to ignore.
  12. Apr 16, 2013
    Having seen the play, and having read the original novel, I don't think this movie could've been any better. Bits of the book that aren't in the stage musical are wisely added into the film. GOOD changes from the play are made in the film, and every actor involved, even those in smaller parts, are sublime. I wish more material could've been created for Hathaway and Samatha Barks, because they were probably the best. Overall though, it's an extremely touching film that will make anyone with a soul, shed a few tears. Expand
  13. Apr 13, 2013
    Les Misérables directed by Tom Hooper, a great movie, good interpreters, big emotions, good songs, very interesting movie, There are two impressive moments in which two actresses make a big test, beautiful scenery and beautiful picture, in short, I recommend the film, a lot of emotions this film.
  14. Apr 13, 2013
    One of my most favorite movies of 2012 and worthy to be one of my favorite of all time. When first hearing about the film, I thought it would be overrated for being a Broadway production brought to the big screen, but I was definitely moved by the very memorable experience within the cast and wonderful music.
  15. Apr 4, 2013
    I'm going to make this short and say les miserable is the best movie I've seen seen all of 2012 to me a definite 10 out of 10 definitely see this movie you wont regret it.
  16. Apr 1, 2013
    Maybe I think like this because my local cinema didn't pause the movie, but this was just so tedious. While the intro of the movie was a rather weak debut, the second chapter was ceaselessly sublime and full with great, rememberable scenes. Anne Hathaway's performance was perfect, but sadly this can't be said about the bigger part of the others. While Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen added admirably funny touch the movie, I was quite disappointed with the rest of the cast. Yes, they were all good, but it's just not what I expected from such a big production. Hugh Jackmann did a great job most of the times, but I think his turn in this movie is overrated. The singing was also not as good as I expected it to be.

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

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

    All in all, if you haven't seen any form of the story before like I did, you'll be better off getting the movie on home media so you can take a big break at some point you'll need that.
  17. 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
  18. 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 Expand
  19. Mar 26, 2013
    Though I am not a fan of musicals, and though it took me a good 15 minutes into the film to adjust to the constant musical numbers, I became immersed into quite a theatrical experience I haven't felt in a long time (with an amazing line of acting from talented actors to support it). This movie will perhaps open my eyes and force me to reconsider the genre of musicals.
  20. Mar 26, 2013
    It's a great movie one of the best of the year as it has all actors, music, production, love, everything I loved it and it was one of my favorites to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
  21. Mar 25, 2013
    It's the one of the deepest movies I've seen. Although to speak by singing is a little bit frustrating I enjoyed it. The screenplay is incredibly nice, and the film has a special atmosphere, you must see it, must enjoy :D
  22. Mar 24, 2013
    “Les Miserables” is a beautiful movie to look at. The shots of France are great and Tom Hooper does a good job of us getting a sense of the time. He also directs a enormous cast of characters well and there are truly some memorable moments. However, I feel as if the film is devoid of any real emotion, which is ironic because that is what he so whole heartily tried to do. The actors try so hard to bring emotion to the screen, but it is a wasted effort. I couldn’t care for the characters our their story. Never have I ever felt like walking out of film so much like I did in this one.

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

    The musical numbers are good, but the infuriating decision to make the characters sing everything did not pay off. I think a more traditional musical would have sufficed. The main musical numbers are good, but the overall choice did not work for me. Overall “Les Miserables” is a fundamentally well made film and I bet most people will enjoy it. However, for me this was a miserable experience. I appreciate the actors, director, and the sheer technical level of the film, but I could not get myself to care for anything happening on screen and the sing talking made me want to tear my own ears out (this is coming from someone who enjoys Ke$ha’s music). I give it 2.5/5, a technically well made film that is devoid of a satisfyingly emotional experience.
  23. Mar 24, 2013
    I saw the musical version of Les Miserables, it was very good and I enjoyed this movie. It is very long, almost three whole hours, I loved it and I think everyone will.
  24. 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!
  25. Mar 23, 2013
    I loved this movie especially the performances of Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. The singing is well done even Russell Crowe, I know he's not as good as Hathaway or Jackman but I thought he was solid.
  26. Mar 23, 2013
    "Les Misérables" isn't for everyone, but fans of the stage version will not be disappointed. While successfully "opening up" the musical far beyond the limitations of a theater-bound production, Tom Hooper retains its heart and soul. In many ways, the movie is more opera than musical. There's very little dancing and even less spoken dialogue. Visually, "Les Misérables" is a splendid spectacle, with set and costume design that is second to none. Hooper does an excellent job recreating 19th century France, and it's in this area that the motion picture separates itself from the live version. What it lacks in the intimacy of singers performing directly to an audience, it gains in cinematic achievement. That being said--to the causal movie viewer unfamiliar with Victor Hugo's novel; a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit--it is a tedious, bloated, and exhausting 238 minutes you'll never get back. Expand
  27. Mar 19, 2013
    In my opinion, this is an excellent movie. Extremely touching form it's begining, altough i found really hard to watch musicals, this is a different one, based on a classic novel, tells a great story. I must said i didn't see the show, only the movie, so I based my critic only as a film addict, and not a les mis expert. The cast did a an excellent job. Hugh Jackman espectacular, Anne Hathaway outstanding, great job of Amanda Seyfried and and Russell Crowe. Also reallly impressive Samantha Barks on her debut. Expand
  28. Mar 16, 2013
    That's the best musical ever with the role of Anne Hathaway portraying Fantine being one of the best roles in 2012 movies. Hugh Jackman has a nice voice.
  29. 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
  30. 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

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.