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Generally favorable reviews- based on 638 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 638

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  1. Feb 25, 2013
    such a touching movie. i cried from halfway all the way to the end. Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried work really well together and i am totally hooked on the songs from les mis. I think this movie deserves loads of awards and amanda and eddie should date (in my opinion)
  2. Feb 23, 2013
    Hugh Jackman you deserve an Oscar for your performance "All Cast take a bow superb performances" Russell Crowe you where great as always singing was in character loved your portrayal
  3. Feb 23, 2013
    The story is great, but I'm judging it as a musical and I will have to give it a 5/10. In general I found the songs ridiculous and weird, yes there were good ones such as the Susan Boyle song or the song about revolution, but the rest was plain songs filled with obvious rhymes and bad singers. I can't compare this movie to musicals such as Singing in The Rain, or The Phantom of Opera.
  4. Feb 21, 2013
    Musicals are always a tough nut to crack, especially on film. This musical had even more to prove thanks to its well publicized live performances and in many ways it works brilliantly. The film follows Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a man who after 19 years of time in a work camp is released to live under constant watch, a man carrying a terrible burden and stigma. Because of this he breaks his parole only to be chased by a relentless inspector called Javert (Russell Crowe). Valjean makes a promise to a factory worker named Fantine (Anne Hathaway), who he fails, a promise to care for her daughter Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) although to do so he must continue running in search of his own redemption. The story is complex and this is where the first problem arose for me. It wasn't that the film was too hard to follow story wise, I've read the book so I knew the story before hand, I had also seen the 25th anniversary musical version, the problem was that with most musicals it takes a while to get into the swing of things. For instance you must get used to the idea of plot being conveyed through song, that the story is in the lyrics. It's an incredibly jarring film in this regard as there are moments where the cast sings in unison, but with separate lines, each with their own relevant feeling and plot developments. Dissecting these lines while trying to hear the other is almost impossible so information is missed and it lead to quite a few moments of complete confusion. The film also doesn't really manage to convey the rebellious nature of the musical, the brotherhood and other themes associated with the social anarchy depicted. However that doesn't mean as a serious piece of film making it is a failure, it has many other qualities. The film soars in its characterization, in fact the film is wonderful in its portrayal of redemption, with it giving a full and involving tale of Jean Valjean's rehabilitation and Hugh Jackman is sensational in the lead role. Equally as impressive is Anne Hathaway as Fantine despite her very limited screen time. Her tragic story is one of the most affecting parts of the film and one that sticks with you long after the end. The idea of recreation and reinvention, not only of a country but of people is one handled extremely well and the failure of some to change is something touched upon by the great performance by Crowe as Javert. However, the film overall is frustrating due to its problems with plot progression and its failure to capitalize on some of the key themes of the musical but it does manage to say some profound things, if only in passing with an ending that manages to make 2 and a half hours of misery seem somewhat joyous even if it only lasts a moment. Expand
  5. Feb 19, 2013
    Les Miserables is an amazing musical now created into an on screen film. The songs are sung beautifully and passionately, and all actors and actresses sing gloriously, including Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Samantha Banks and Eddie Redmayne. I loved this film even more than the musical. Very moving and powerful and up there with a lot of the top films. Not surprised at all that this film has already won tonnes of awards and now nominated for several Oscars, including best supporting actress, best production design, best costume design, make up, original song and sound mixing!! Expand
  6. Feb 16, 2013
    A wonderful tribute to the 1982 French musical. And yes, time has passed since the 1980s and its torrents of emotion and tears but the initial concept is here, honored and magnified. Surely, one the best musical on screen after Moulin Rouge.
  7. Feb 14, 2013
    I never read the book (or see the musical) but most of the story is part of general knowledge in France, everybody know Jean Valjean and the candlestick, the Tavernier or the song of Gavroche for example.
    The film is great, really. The visual is amazing with several memorable shot, musics are splendid and most of the actors fits fully in their character (Russel Crow is incredible).
    the "98% song" of the movie is probably too much. I like musicals but song lose their impact when characters were already singing just before and continue just after. And few times it sounds quite ridiculous to heard someone sing just for 3 words. Plus I'm not sure that the story need a comic part with characters originally awful. Finally some turning point of the story don't have epic music like what could have been expected.
    PS: the fact that all the writing and few single words are in French is a nice touch (necessary but nice)
  8. Feb 13, 2013
    I HATE MUSICALS. But...this movie was fantastic. Thank God the singing was real and not recorded and then lip synched to the action. One of the best movies I have ever seen. High Jackman should get an Oscar for this movie!!! Totally NOT my type of movie at all but even I could see its brilliance and I really enjoyed it. The entire audience applauded at the end as if there were live performers. Expand
  9. Feb 13, 2013
    An amazing film! Emotionally draining but for good reason, although do not watch if you are tired. I have never seen the stage production but would definitely like to after watching the film. Anne Hathaway's performance as Fontine is tear jerking and amazing, it has such an impact on the whole film especially as she only has 15 minutes of screen time in a 3 hour film. Also brilliant performances from Eddie Redmayne and Hugh jackman. The singing is all recorded live apart from the first scene because of the water hazard, and this allows you to really connect with the emotions of the songs and enjoy the rawness of the voices with every crackle in the actors voices only helps to tell to tell their character's story. Expand
  10. Feb 12, 2013
    Les Miserables is cinematic gold. It is the movie that has confirmed the renaissance in movie making. A healthy story line that is complemented by strong relationships between the characters is captivating from start to finish. Hugh Jackmans performance as Jean Valjean is exceptional and leaving me for one captivated along with many other performances. Anne Hathaway had me casting her as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady as I just admired her performance a performance to me that Hollywood has longed for. Even Russell Crowe had you warming to him in the end and surprised me in the way he gave such a Steller performance. Les Miserables is an epic in all sense of the word. For such a movie to be vying for attention with the likes of Argo, Django Unchained, Lincoln etc is a compliment in itself and the choice of using song as the narrative was maybe daring but certainly genius. Could the movie been made any more better. Personally the answer is no and the reason why I give this film such a high score. Expand
  11. Feb 12, 2013
    Fabulous cinematography amazing acting (apart from Russell Crowe whose singing us abysmal) Hugh Jackman shines and Anne Hathaway us simply amazing. I did not expect to enjoy this movie but left the cinema completely in love with it
  12. Feb 10, 2013
    Let me start by saying that over all this was a great movie. It isn't necessarily as perfect as some people say it is. First, Anne Hathaway was incredible in every form of creating herself as Fantine and could connect emotionally winning over every audience truely deserving every award she is nominated for. The reason this doesn't exactly get a ten in my book is because not all of the actors in this movie delivered amazing performances. Amanda Seyfried turned a ten dimensional character into just one and I felt like the guy playing Marius was just static the whole time. Everyone also must remember that Les Miserables is a contemporary opera meaning that basically every word is being sung. Overall, the movie was fantastic and I recommend that everyone should see it. Expand
  13. Feb 10, 2013
    Really brought 19th Century France to life. Having never watched the musical, I'm not able to compare it to that, but it seemed to be pretty good in its own right. Music was great although some of the actors were really straining to sing their parts at times.
  14. 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.
  15. Feb 8, 2013
    It had been some time since the last time I saw a movie musical. I don't flock to just any. Mamma Mia and Chicago were the last ones I saw. When I heared that Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway were doing a movie together and that Tom Hooper who directed The King's Speech was doing it I thought how could it miss? Well Hugh, Anne and newcomer Samantha Barks aside, I had some issues with it. Russell Crowe for instance. He's a really good actor. He's just not plausible in a movie musical. While I enjoyed Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baren Cohens parts and thought Eddie Redmayne was adorable the rest of the film felt overstuffed. Hathaway is the best thing about the movie. Jackman is the second best thing about it. Expand
  16. Feb 8, 2013
    Two things to clarify 1. I am not a musical movie fan in general 2. I have never seen the stage show of Les Mis. With that in mind, maybe this film was always facing an uphill battle to impress me. However I had heard some great stuff from friends and family going in so I had the best of intentions. And for the first 45 minutes, things went fine. Jackman was immense (throughout), Crowe seemed a suitable foil and Hathaways short span in the film contained (for me) the best performance and song. So far, so good.

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

    Still, as I clarified, maybe this was never for me. I can recognise that Jackman was terrific throughout and that some of the numbers are iconic. The set design in the first half is lovely too (the barricades near the end, however, look like a musical). But at the end of the day, I didn't enjoy it. Worse, it wouldn't encourage me to take in the actual musical either.
  17. Feb 6, 2013
    Any film that features actors in singing roles is going to get criticism. I knew that Anne Hathaway could sing well anyway and Hugh Jackman came from a musical theatre background, so at least we've got two crucial roles that could be decent. As much as I liked Anne's rendition of I Dreamed A Dream, I just feel like she was trying a bit too hard to win an Oscar what with the repertoire of extreme facial expressions she crammed in there (at least it looks like not one of those actors uses Botox because I could count every wrinkle on their foreheads what with all the close-ups while they sang). I was blown away by Samantha Bark's performance and found it hard to believe that she was once that young girl from the Isle of Mann who was on the UK reality show, I'd Do Anything to win a role as Nancy in Lloyd Webber's production of Oliver. Back then, I didn't think her acting and singing were anything special, but after this, wow. She's clearly been well trained in the years since she became a theatre actress. I have to say, I preferred her the most out of all the actresses in this movie and I wish she could have got nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar because she certainly earned it. I can't say the rest of the cast had me gripped. Helena Bonham Carter has to be one of the most typecast actresses in Hollywood and her presence made the film seem too Tim Burton like, Russell Crowe didn't seem to be giving it his all and Amanda Seyfried just can't seem to get an amazing role where everyone can admire her acting. This 2012 adaption is what it is: an adapation. Not amazing, but not bad either. It is cheaper than seeing it at the theatre and it's condensed down more, but if you can afford theatre tickets and can last through a full length opera, best go see it on the stage, where the actors can sing and act to the highest ability. Expand
  18. Feb 6, 2013
    A full-house weekend cinema viewing, maybe a second-row syndrome which left my anticipation unfulfilled. First of all, I never successfully accustomed to the “all sung script”bravura which blatantly dissolved the narrative into a mess of inconsistent singing ballyhoo, yes, I aware it is a musical film, but the semi-sing,semi-speak preposterousness is so distracting as if we were watching aliens perform their own performing art, a dreadful insouciant nonchalance has penetrated from the beginning to the very end. Secondly, the singing expertise from the cast is uneven, I don’t intend to name the black sheep here, just wonder what’s the advantage of adapting a musical into a feature film if the latter’s voice prowess cannot keep in the same level albeit putting money to create more detailed settings instead of simple tableaux on the stage. There must be some artistic reasons behind but for the profitable perspective with exponentially-surging attendance. I may opt for a stage musical against my film aficionado predilection. Special congratulations to Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks, their solo renditions alone are worth the ticket (maybe a soundtrack is more felicitous), Hathaway will 99% sure win her first Oscar, and she should perform in the upcoming Grammy awards as well. Barks is a new-found gem, but whether or not she can leap into a stardom out of the genre is a moot. Hugh Jackman finally gets his hard-earned Oscar nomination, but impaired by the sketchy and episodic storytelling, it is far from an award-worthy leading performance. Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried are adequate, while Helena and Sacha pair engenders a Burton-esque high spirit to offset the dreary misery and wide-eyed revolutionist mirage. Fairly speaking, Tom Hooper’s workmanship doesn’t generate too much excitement, starts with his shaky camera, eerie and undetermined, the CGI surroundings can hardly be called innovative, as an Oscar-winning director, his unjust fluke will sooner or later boomerang on his own luck.

    Sorry for grudging all over the place, I am pining for some involving lifelike revelations, clearly I am pigeonholing myself into the wrong consumer coterie, or simply don't watch any film in the second row.
  19. Feb 6, 2013
    Masterful, emotional, and some of the best performances of the actors and actresses careers, Les Miserables is one of the best films to appear in the last several years.
    The fantastically talented Hugh Jackman stars as Jean Valjean, a man who is granted parole after nineteen years serving under prison guard Javert (Russell Crowe) for stealing bread.
    He soon seeks forgiveness and breaks
    his parole to start a good and honest life as a mayor of a small French town. Here me meet the troubled Fantine (Anne Hathaway) and of course the one of the best numbers of the film, I Dreamed A Dream, which, by Hathaway, is a beautifully crafted piece of cinema, its hard not to feel emotional and but utterly shocked at how brilliant it is.
    Comedic performances from Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen are not to be painted over, they both a valued presence as the guardians of Fantine's illegitimate daughter Cosette played as an adult by Amanda Seyfried), who is later cared for and raised by Jean Valjean.
    Jackman's rendition later in the film of "Bring Him Home' was powerful and solidified his performance as historic and hard to replicate. His entire performance throughout the film helps to recognise his character. know him, and feel his grief.
    Amanda Seyfried's limited performance was excellent, mimicking her singing prowess from Mamma Mia!,
    Anne Hathaway shows her diversity, after her captivating performance as Selina Kyle in last years Dark Knight Rises, her transformation to Fantine is remarkable.
    The film debut of Samantha Barks, who starred in the stage show, plays Eponine, the daughters of Baron Cohen's and Bonham Carter's characters, her screen presence his excellent and lets hope this is the start of bigger and better things.
    Its safe to say that Les Miserables isn't for everyone, at 158 mins long, it certainly is a long film, and the singing is constant, however, this certainly didn't deter me from watching a fantastic adaption, but it isn't difficult to see how this wouldn't satisfy everyone.
    The live-set singing certainly benefits the emotional depth of the movie, its shocking to read the lengths Hugh Jackman went to to prepare for his role, and it certainly showed as he was the standout of the film, from start to finish. Les Miserables does set out to amaze, and with phenomenal performances, wonderful sets and musical numbers that won't be forgotten, it certainly is breathtaking and i left the cinema with a smile on my face. With joy and sorrow combined, this is one mixed bag of emotional wizardry that will live on forever.
  20. Feb 5, 2013
    A beautifully immersive take on a timeless musical. The acting and singing were equally amazing. I was definitely not disappointed with this film and would recommend a watch to anyone.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. Feb 3, 2013
    I´m not that into musicals and I was a virgin when it comes to this one: Les Miserables. I don´t know if there have been better adaptations before this one (I doubt it). I was a little afraid before seeing it cos such a long movie and all singing, or at least 90%, I had never experienced before... But damn, I was in shock at some of the songs, the performances, the atmosphere. There is a first part a little bit more tedious if you want (still with some amazing scenes). But the rest was just incredible. Could not wait to see what was going to come next and it was a big roller coaster of emotions non stop. So emotive and passionate. The performances: all of them so great including the kids. It´s true Russell Crow´s voice is not made for musicals but it was nice to see his different singing style in his scenes. So it was even a plus for me. Probably the highlight as a solo performance is Anne Hathaway´s "I dreamed a dream" but I´m serious when I say there are so many equally impact ful moments from the rest of the cast after that as the story continues
    I was surprised and impacted. I need to check more musicals I guess
  24. 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
  25. Jan 31, 2013
    Les Miserables, the new adaptation by Tom Hooper of the classic novel written by Victor Hugo is absolutely touching, emotional and overwhelming. There is nothing to say about the story because is a universal masterpiece, so the stronghold is the performances and the interpretations of the typical songs. The most incredible jobs are the ones of Jackman as Valjean, whose most amazing performance is Suddenly, the only original song in this version of Les Miserables; then we have the surprising Anne Hathaway, who with a heart full interpretation of I Dream a Dream in just one take, can make anyone shiver; also there is Crowe as Javert, who gives an excellent representation of the ambivalence of the character. Other well played characters are Gavroche and the Thenardiers. However the protagonist couple is deficient, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne as Cosette and Marius are not believable at all. Other beautiful songs are Look Down, At the End of the Day, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables and Do You Hear the People Sing? This is a more than acceptable adaptation and Tom Hopper did a fine job in directing, apparently he likes to show an enormous conflict but from the perspective of a single human being trying to change his life, the same as in The Kings Speech. Expand
  26. Jan 31, 2013
    This wonderful film version of the musical play is truly a delight on so many levels. Several years ago I viewed the theatre version in London and, although the music was grand, it was hard to understand the story - I had not read the book by Victor Hugo. For example, the very funny sequence, "Master of the House," did not make any sense. Well, that is all cleared up in this film - some comedy is necessary to balance the enormous human suffering, both emotional and physical which is the plight of the masses in nineteenth centure France under the kings. This movie definitely has its flaws, especially going in and out of focus on the close ups of the solos and some of the singing - Russel Crowe sometimes is flat or off key at times. The director, Hooper, took great risks by filming the singing live instead of the usual methods. But, these matters pale in comparison to the power of the emotional drama and the impact on an audience. Crowe gives a brilliant performance as Javert. This film will go down as an extraordinary classic of the cinema. Expand
  27. Jan 30, 2013
    As a person who isn't a huge fan of musicals, I was surprised by how good the film is. It drew me in with its amazing acting, inspiring music and visuals, and the vocals were truly immense; you could tell that each actor gave it 100% to ensure that they acted throughout their music. A captivating tale featuring an extremely talented cast, especially the rightly acclaimed Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, whose performances drew me to tears on more than one occasion, with goosebumps throughout. A classic musical helmed by a brilliant director, Les Misérables is sure to go home happy on Oscars night. Expand
  28. Jan 28, 2013
    Les Miserables had several talented actors and actresses however it had too many slow parts to it. The movie really made me just want to fall asleep. I literally did fall asleep for about ten or fifteen minutes of it. I was also disappointed that Anne Hathaway was only in such a small portion of the movie. I expected her to have appearances the whole movie and not just mainly in the beginning. Also, the movie was just to long. I could not focus on the movie at all. I did not give it a rating of below a five because the one thing they did good was the graphics and the excellent musical aspects. I would recommend that everyone see's the movie, but wait until it is on DVD so you can start and pause the movie as it seems to drag on and on. Expand
  29. Jan 28, 2013
    This movie is a Rorschach Test for moviegoers. Some people love it, some hate it. I'm in the former camp, and don't understand the vitriolic rants of the latter. Some of the anger that foments from this movie suggests to me that the reviewers might have more issues than the movie.

    Come on. Its a musical. It's light entertainment to cheer you up, lift your spirits. In that regard its a
    wonderful movie.

    Ok, let's evaluate the film on very basic levels: Entertaining=yes, Cast=great, Visually rich=yes, Music=great songs of course. Some users/reviewers actually base their rating/impression of the movie on the camera work ("the camera work was shoddy"). Go see it. Ignore the snotty reviews.
  30. 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.

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.