User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 627 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 66 out of 627

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  1. Dec 25, 2012
    8
    Having seen the musical version of
  2. Dec 25, 2012
    10
    Absolutely incredible - easily matches the likes of The Hobbit, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty as one of the best films this year. Best musical film adaptation since Chicago. Jackman's 'Bring Him Home' is sure to go down in Les Mis history as the best since the likes of Colm Wilkinson; the same can be said for Eddie Redmayne's 'Empty Chairs', which is easily on par with the legendary Michael Ball. Surprisingly, Russell Crowe does very, very well as Javert - he's not a fantastic singer but his vocals are still very good. Stars is within the top five of the film.

    EDIT: 'CineTigre' clearly has no idea what they are talking about. Les Miserables did NOT originate as an opera, it was a French musical which was translated into English and presented on the West End in 1985. There is no 'guillotine' because that was A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FRENCH REVOLUTION. The entirety of the main cast, other than Amanda Seyfriend and Russell Crowe, have significant experience when it comes to musical theatre, so they indeed hired singers. He/she is either a Les Mis purist who is far too clingy to the source material or a troll who is simply trying to lower the score, possibly in comparison to that *other* big christmas movie.
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  3. Dec 25, 2012
    9
    As a die hard fan of the musical, I feel like my opinion will be most helpful to other die hard fans. What I can say is that it does change a lot of minor things, like the order of some songs, some of the lines, and even cuts some musical portions out. Everything that is absolutely essential is there, but they cut out Valjean's final stanza in The Confrontation, so Javert just sings his part solo, they cut out the end part of that song, they cut out Dog Eats Dog altogether, and they cut out most of Turning, for example. However, it's all minor, and everything works out extremely well. The changes they make, for the most part, help uphold a structure more suited for a movie than a stage production. Russell Crowe as Javert is emotionless, yet the background music and the directing help make his scenes as good as they can be despite his weak performance. Everybody else is great though. Anne Hathaway as Fantine better win an Oscar, otherwise I will be boycotting the entire ceremony for years to come. I never had the type of reaction in any movie as I had during I Dreamed A Dream. I was involuntarily breathing heavily enough for the people two rows behind me to hear, and I noticed that my heart was pounding. I was too numb to even clap. She sang it in such a way that I had never heard before, and I've heard many versions that I've loved. Still, when I heard Anne's, it was like a lightbulb went off, and someone finally figured out how you're really supposed to sing it. Eddie Redmayne as Marius also gave a pretty beautiful performance, and Hugh Jackman held up his role very well, and brought a lot of emotion to What Have I Done?, Who Am I?, and Bring Him Home. Helena Bohnam Carter isn't nearly as enjoyable as some of the Broadway performers I've seen in that role, but the Thenardiers hold their roles up very nicely. Amanda Seyfried has an unexpectedly good voice, which blends well with Eddie's and Samantha Barks's, who is great as Eponine. The directing is very intimate and passionate, which I thought was a fantastic choice for a story this much based on human thoughts and emotions. The one change I really didn't like was that Eponine wasn't included with Fantine in the finale. It was just Fantine, which I didn't like, because the harmonies they did in the stage production were absolutely beautiful, in my opinion. All in all, there were some changes I didn't like, and Russell Crowe's performance fell flat. For me though, as amazing as I think the musical is, it would take a whole lot of unnecessary changes, more than just one weak (although not even particularly bad) performance, for me to not be absolutely blown away by Les Miserables. If you find the musical to be an absolute knockout, for other reasons than just Javert's character alone, you will probably love this movie as I did. Expand
  4. Dec 26, 2012
    10
    Wonderful masterpiece! If you dont have a stone as your heart this movie will touch you, move you and make you cry. And who will not a deeply feel sorry for.....I am certainly not a big fan of musicals but this movie made it.
  5. Feb 3, 2013
    2
    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
  6. Dec 25, 2012
    10
    Wonderful. Just saw the show with my wife. She wanted to stand up at various junctures of the movie and clap. We saw the broadway show at least 6 times and believe that the movie did the show justice. It is the rare movie that people we see it several times.
  7. Dec 25, 2012
    10
    Also being a diehard fan of the musical, and now a huge fan of this film, I have to disagree with MichaelDN. I actually found that Russell Crowe was the strongest characterisation of Javert since Philip Quast - even better than my personal favourite, Norm Lewis. Javert isn't a true antagonist - in reality, he's an anti-hero, because while he is the rival of the Jean Valjean, he is simply "doing [his] duty, and nothing more". He's cold, calculating, emotionless and remorseless, which I think Russell captures perfectly. You're not supposed to hate Javert - in my opinion, you should pity him, because his unrelenting attachment to the law and unwillingness, in fact, his inability to be merciful makes him the perfect lawman yet it is also his downfall. Otherwise, I agree with everything else. Expand
  8. Dec 25, 2012
    10
    Although I would have loved more background, I understand that you can't do everything in the book, in the movie. The acting, the singing, the pageantry - wow, what a musical. (Stars was SUPERB!)
  9. Dec 26, 2012
    7
    There are undoubtedly some amazing scenes in there, almost all the feature songs of the original musical have really been captured well considering just how vastly different film really can be from the stage. What I believe let this movie down are the bits in between, while acting was excellent in just about everything the same can't be said for the singing. There were some amazing moments where acting and singing merged together to produce an art that will be almost guaranteed to put a tear in your eye, but they were just glimpses now and then, for the most part the singing lacked the same kind of spirit and intensity that the acting was showing. Expand
  10. Dec 25, 2012
    10
    While not a perfect film, it was everything a Les Miserables fan could have asked for and more. The camera work was both intimate and sweeping, the art direction was stunning, and the performances really brought the music to life. While some of the singing left a bit to be desired (Russell Crowe's voice, while good, is not meant for musicals) the performances brought emotion and pathos to the music that the musical alone could not. Not in the least bit subtle, this adaptation expands upon the musical, adding missing information from the novel into the movie to tie the storyline together in a masterful way that makes the overarching themes of faith and redemption even more meaningful. A must see. Expand
  11. Dec 26, 2012
    10
    I fell in love with Les Miserables as a book first in high school, followed shortly by the love of the movie with Liam Neeson, and finally the musical. I cannot sing for the life of me, but I auditioned just to be in the background for the school production we were putting on. I have watched the 25th anniversary concert a million times. Finally, from the time they announced there would be a movie, I have been obsessively following every announcement from casting, to trailers, to featurettes. To say that I am a die hard fan would be certainly putting it lightly. I finally saw this movie yesterday and I have to say that I am impressed. Some songs were out of order, and pieces of songs were missing, but I felt that it made sense to the storyline. Redmayne's performance of "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables" was brilliant and touching, Hathaway's Performance in "I Dreamed a Dream" had me in tears, Samantha Barks was just stunning and I hope this starts a long movie career for her, and finally Hugh Jackman did an amazing job. Crowe and Seyfriend both did adequate jobs to play their characters, but both paled in comparison with the others when it comes to singing alone. I feel that Crowe is an amazing actor, and he pulled of Javert's emotional side very well. He did a great job singing the part, but his real contribution as Javert was just how amazing he is as an actor. Most people portray the cruel side of Javert, but have a hard time showing the conflict inside him. Crowe did fantastic! The decision in the movie to have Javert leave his badge on Gavroche, was so good, especially when showing the emotional conflict that Javert is facing. Hooper did a great job. This is now my favorite movie and I cannot wait to see it again! Expand
  12. Dec 28, 2012
    5
    The bombastic approach to the classic material is wildly ambitious and imaginative, but can't shake off its many flaws: The camera work is shoddy. The opera approach hurts the story immensely. The choppy editing kills all beauty of the gorgeous set design. Russel Crowe can't sing. Even with moments of brilliance such as Sacha Baron Cohen's rendition of "Master of the House" and Anne Hathaway's short-but-memorable performance, the movie is bogged down by an enormous running time, a failure to understand its material, and some very inappropriate choices during filming. It hurts to say that what must have been an extremely difficult production is so forgettable, but I can't recommend this to anyone. It is simply a beautiful bore with a handful of good moments. Expand
  13. Dec 26, 2012
    10
    I had no previous experience with "Les Mis" before watching this movie; so as a virgin to the musical, I thought it was absolutely fa nominal. The acting was Oscar worthy, the voice's were enchanting, and the casting was 'parfait'! The live singing made the movie real, the passion from all of the actors was contagious, and the story was well executed. Simply amazing.
  14. Dec 25, 2012
    4
    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
  15. Dec 28, 2012
    1
    Incredible! ly boring. Amazing! ly bloated. Terrific! ally overwrought and tasteless. When everything on display is Earnest! and Heartfelt!, it renders it all meaningless. Never subtle, always strained, the musical is shockingly claustrophobic instead of soaring, and needlessly literal at all turns.

    A few observations: When making a musical, it might be a good idea to hire singers for
    the lead roles.
    Helena Bonham Carter seems to have wandered in from Sweeney Todd, the prostitutes seem to think they are in Cats, and good deal more of the cast seems to think they are in Oliver! (isn't this supposed to be France?)
    Finally, be careful about your end-of-life haircut choices, as apparently the cut follows you to Heaven!
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  16. 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").
  17. 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? 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
  18. Jan 3, 2013
    8
    Be forewarned: I had never seen the stage production of Les Miserables prior to watching the movie, nor had I read the book. All I knew about the story was that it was set in France sort of around the time of the French Revolution (several years later, I came to find out). That being said, the story FEELS like a story, rather than something that could actually happen (e.g., love at first sight is used as a major plot device, characters often find the characters they're looking for out of sheer coincidence, etc.). Despite that, it is still a very solid movie. The acting is phenomenal. Anne Hathaway's and Samantha Barks' solos are heart-wrenching, and really help bring the movie to life. And all the songs are recorded live, i.e., we're hearing what we see, rather than a studio recording. Again, I have never seen any other version of Les Mis, but it certainly feels like the director did everything in his power to bring this classic back to life. Expand
  19. Dec 30, 2012
    9
    I have seen two other adaptations of Les Miserables. They are both pretty well done and they earned better reviews than this new adaptation. The new Tom Hooper adaptation is ultimately the best. Hugh Jackman leads the way strongly packing emotion in almost every word he sings. Anne Hathaway ended up stealing every single scene she was in and ended up being one of the best singers. Samantha Barks was probably my favorite part of the film. She was sweet, beautiful, strong, packed enough emotion to show up all the big time stars that are with her. Eddie Redmayne was sometimes sounding like Kermit the Frog and Amanda Seyfried was sounding like a bird in the early morining. While Aaron Tveit was the best vocally and the most entertaining. Les Miserables was a performance film, it had some solid humor, while being emotionally powerful. Tom Hooper had some weird camera angles which sometimes took away from the experience. The new song Expand
  20. Feb 6, 2013
    6
    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.
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  21. Jan 11, 2013
    0
    Oh boy, what a terrible mess. Acting horrifying, singing ear bleeding, a story of absolute garbage and a movie that suffocates you on the length. The talk and sing style trash isn't only irritating, it makes the movie almost impossible to follow. Les Miserables not only takes the title of worst movie of the year but of all time. Move over Chicago, we have a movie even worse.
  22. Dec 28, 2012
    0
    By far the funniest musical I've ever seen. Never mind that it isn't supposed to be funny. If you read this review and then go see Les Miserables anyway, you better know how to entertain yourself. I laughed my way through the final two hours by making up Weird Al style verses to substitute for the piteous wailing and moaning and brow beating and self-flagellation that makes up the actual verses. Even my 66 year-old mother was making wisecracks by the end of it. Her final verdict was the movie needed less singing and more fighting. Sadly Les Miserables also lacks a guillotine, so you will have to hear the entire cast of characters go on and on in sobbing song until you long for a short, unmusical death scene. Preferably a scene involving the entire cast. Expand
  23. Dec 26, 2012
    10
    This film is a cinematic masterpiece. What really makes Les Miserables stand out amongst musical films is the bare emotion and reality depicted in the characters, it stays true to the nature of non-stop musical storyline that makes it incomparable to anything else in the genre. The vocals are near-perfect, with the exception of Russell Crowe's incompetent range, which he makes up for with his characterization of a man whose conflicting emotions lead him to his grave. This film stayed so true to the musical on so many levels, and exceeded expectations in terms of delivery, beauty, and pure cinematic mastery. It is overfilled with incredible meaning, timeless music and wonderful characters that are depicted so rawly and truly that it hurts. Les Miserables is a must-see, for die-hard fans and those unfamiliar alike. Expand
  24. Dec 26, 2012
    7
    This is a classic story which is well handled in this production. My negative comment is that the big budget actors/actresses cast in the roles are not as strong vocal talent as would be expected in a proper stage production. Musical numbers come across as a touch over produced. Of course, that is easily overlooked by the sheer beauty of the film. It is absolutely stunning and worth watch just for the visual spectacle. Anne Hathaway has gone from bubble gum films to a series contender for an Oscar. Enjoy this film it is a worthy contribution to a timeless classic. Expand
  25. Dec 26, 2012
    4
    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.
  26. Dec 25, 2012
    1
    Laborious. Strained male voices. They should have worked on it in the cutting room a bit further. Hugo's story is a classic, but the attempt at the operatic style will not be loved by the average American I feel. Why do we need this in the theater now? Why couldn't they show what these "poor, innocent" Revolutionaries did to the aristocrats? No sign of the guillotine here! How many times did the audience need to hear of the crimes of the man? I'm afraid it is mirroring what is happening in America today. They advertised it wrong. It was an opera, not a musical. I love these actors, but they should have hired singers for this movie. I love music and I couldn't even turn on the radio going home because my ears hurt so much. Those people ruined Paris and great art. Why are we rewarding them today? I'd love to see it as a good movie and not as an opera. I bet those men were embarrassed to sing like that. Sad, sad, sad. Expand
  27. Dec 26, 2012
    9
    The source material and many individual performances saved the movie. The close-ups wouldn't have been a problem, if they had EVER done a wide shot during the scene. LOVED Sacha Baron-Cohen.
  28. Dec 26, 2012
    9
    Forget all the middling reviews, this is a terrific movie. You don't have to be "emotionally susceptible," as The Hollywood Reporter claims, to enjoy this film, but I do suppose you must have the capacity to be stirred by noble themes, great acting, and, of course, powerful music. Go see it.
  29. Dec 26, 2012
    10
    I am not sure why others are giving this bad reviews. The cast choice was amazing, and the singers were amazing. I am someone who lives and breaths music. These were top notch singers. My only complaint goes with Russell Crowe as Javert. It's not that he can't sing, I just think his style of voice wasn't as suited and didn't match up for this musical as well as the other stars of this musical. Overall, a very touching and uplifting movie. I would recommend it for anyone. Expand
  30. Dec 30, 2012
    1
    I have never been more disappointed. I've seen the stage and concert versions and while it was great visually, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe were PAINFUL to listen to. The power of the drama which comes from good singing was totally lost. One needs to hear a really good singer sing Bring Him Home (like Thomas Hampson) to know how truly BAD Jackman was. He just didn't have the voice to carry it. There are plenty of people who could have done better! The best singers were the smaller parts. I feel they ruined what could have been a classic by using such poor singers. I don't care if they had a big name, they can't sing! This is a show that NEEDS good singing. I'm so very disappointed. Could go on and on. Expand
  31. Jan 1, 2013
    10
    There has been a great deal of division amongst reviewers of Les Miserables. Quite honestly, the people with the most vocal and negative opinions are the people who don't really have any understanding of what they're talking about. The majority of critiques are from people who walked into the movie expecting and wishing it to fail. Naturally, when you want something to be bad, it will be. To you. Objectively, you will still be wrong and look like an idiot, but you can be wrong if you want to. That said, I really do not see how this movie could possibly improve. The vision for this movie was simply executed as exact as the project was planned. The cinematography was excellent, as expected. People complained that it was in peoples faces too much. That, to me, is just a childish complaint that isn't even worth paying attention to. There are just as much long distance shots as there are close-ups (I specifically looked for this). People are just giving unnecessary emphasis on the close-ups. It's fine, people. Get over it. Now, on to the concept. One thing must first be said. This is first and foremost a "movie." NOT a musical. The musical aspect comes second. This means the cast's acting must be judged at a higher priority than singing ability. Secondly, this is not a normal musical. Characters are not just singing songs, they are "acting" them. I can't tell you how many reviews I've seen claiming all kinds of "flat" notes that issued forth. Nonsense. Not only is that ridiculous in light of the refinement this project had before the final optimization of every single song, but it is a ridiculous claim in light of the project itself. Like I said, they are not simply singing the songs. They are singing some parts of the song, and speaking/yelling/crying other parts of the song. That is to be expected. However, some more ignorant people are overlooking this fact and seeing those parts of songs as "flat" notes.

    Now, the cast. I'm sure nobody would disagree with me that the most controversial selection for this movie is Russell Crowe. It would be avoiding the elephant in the room to avoid talking about him. People are still to this day trashing Crowe's performance, some saying he ruined the movie. That's like getting a paper-cut and saying you're going to die. These people are so dramatic. Crowe's performance was more than excellent. There is no better Javert than Crowe, I'm sorry. Some people will say "...But his singing!..." -was great. Crowe was never flat, and his acting was excellent. If you know anything about Hugo's description of Javert from the actual book, you'll know that Victor Hugo spends the majority of the time describing in great detail the physical appearance of Javert, and the atmosphere/presence he gives off. THAT is most important, according to the "author" of this entire story. I'm sorry, that is more important than anything else. For example, Javert is described to look like a wolf and have an extremely intimidating presence. Crowe is biologically suited for this role. Someone like Norm Lewis (Javert, 25th Anniversary) may be considered better than Crowe vocally in terms of Opera, Lewis is far from intimidating. Also, you don't expect a character like Javert to have some clean, crisp voice. You expect what you get from Crowe. A rugged and rough voice. There is just no comparison. Crowe fits the uniform better than anybody. Nina Gold (Casting Director) knew what she was doing. Ironically, all this fuss about Crowe shows his performance was not forgettable. I hear not a single person talking about Amanda Seyfried's performance, because it was probably the most forgettable of the entire cast. Not to say she did a bad job (she didn't), she was just boring. One thing I find funny is that you can always tell the childish critic by one simple feature. Their review after the movie is identical to their review before the movie. They walk into a movie with bias and preconceived notions, and this effects their entire opinion of the movie before they even see it. It's a shame. If you're going to see this movie, understand first what you are going to see. If you understand that and go with an open mind (not expecting this to be just a parrot of the 10th or 25th anniversary), you will love this movie.
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  32. Jan 4, 2013
    8
    It's big and it's brassy and if you like to listen to lyrics it gets you in the gut quite often. I usually hate musicals, and "Chicago" is the last one I saw-and liked-and I've seen, and liked, the stage version. The movie version allowed me to hear the lyrics better, and I finally was able to get into Redmayne's great solo "empty chairs," (made me wonder how veterans would take it) and hated what Cohen and Bonham Carter did with "Master of the house." It was a tad long and had Cohen been cropped after his main bit it would have helped. You'll either get sucked in or be bored to tears. Expand
  33. Jan 5, 2013
    4
    I saw it again, 2 days after seeing it the first time. Remember, I have seen the stage play 8 times, in 5 different venues, and adored every one. I have the 10th and 25 anniversary DVDs and play them a couple of times a year. The more I think about this movie, despite its attractiveness as spectacle, it does the stage play a gross disservice. While Ann Hathaway is brilliant in her sadly brief performance, Hugh Jackman is acceptable, and Russell Crowe is abysmal. The inner torment of Javert is such a critical element of the story and is best articulated in his two solos: Stars and the suicide. Crowe totally misses this essential character element and, as a consequence, his portrayal is pitiful. The play has 2 essential and wonderfully executed comic reliefs: the Thenardiers Master of the House, and The Wedding. The director has destroyed the comic relief aspect, omitted incredibly amusing and vital portions, and grossly miscast Helen Bonham Carter as Madam Thenardier. Sasha Baron Cohen could have executed better, but didnt , either due to Hooper or his own limitations. Hooper fundamentally misunderstands where Les Mis, the play, gets its power. It's the music and how it is presented. Hooper spends too much of his energy on the spectacle and setting of 19th century France, and not enough on the magnificent music and the powerful story the music can tell. Damn shame too. Expand
  34. 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.
  35. 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..
  36. Dec 26, 2012
    9
    The transition from stage to screen isn't perfect, but it is glorious. Jackman, Hathaway, Redmayne, and Barks stand out both in voice and presence. If it suffers at all it is that it feels crowded even with some of the songs shortened. A three hour stage show with a Playbill for exposition has been shrunk to 2:40 to keep within perceived movie limits. You need to know the story. Other than that just let the music wash over you, and if there is any justice hand Jackman and Hathaway their Oscars. Expand
  37. Jan 31, 2013
    7
    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
  38. Dec 27, 2012
    8
    Quite a movie but more like a cinematic opera. At times it drags and is overdone, but did keep my attention. Hugo's themes ring true throughout. The performances are outstanding and I although the vocals were not perfect, the added some realism to the story and emotion.
  39. Jan 9, 2013
    2
    The acting was alright but this movie is a musical. Good actors but no singers. The plot was unoriginal and the movie progressed very slowly. This is a good movie for those people who give good ratings to poor movies but for the rest of us, this movie is one that should be avoided.
  40. Dec 28, 2012
    5
    I really didn't like this film much at all, honestly. The film is much too Broadway and not enough like a movie musical. I hated Tom Hooper's direction, and while I respect the ambition, I would have preferred to see the musical version of this story told in a much different way. There is NO dialogue in film, almost none at all; every conversation and thought was sung, as it would have been on stage...that it the major reason why Les Miserables didn't work for me. This film is like watching the actual Broadway production on tape, songs included. For die-hard fans of the musical, that's great, but for others who just love the story, or even those that love films, this adaptation of Les Miserables disappoints. By including every song from the musical, it included the not-so-great songs as well. This creates a film that soars for some moments, but bores in most others. Instead of including the lesser Les Mis songs, the film should have manipulated the structure of the songs, or even cut some songs entirely. I respect that the film wants to uphold the integrity of the musical, but as a film, it doesn't work. Some of the songs were brilliant, but many weren't, and some were plain awkward, thus weakening the emotional effect of the film.

    There are some amazing things about Les Miserables, though, particularly in the acting. Hugh Jackman gives the performance of his career; he's never been better, and Anne Hathaway is stunning as Fantine! Both are locks for Oscar nominations, and Anne will win based on her heart-wrenching rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" alone. It's probably her best performance to date and while she's only in the film for 20 minutes, Les Mis is worth seeing just for her performance. The rest of the cast is okay at best, Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne both have their moments to shine and I enjoyed their performances/songs. Russell Crowe was a very poor Javert; he's not a great singer and it was clear he was uncomfortable in the role.

    As Les Miserables was coming to a close, I was very satisfied with the ending. I did not think it would come together as effectively as it did considering I didn't like the film, but it did still remind me of how a great musical version of Les Miserables is still to come at some point in the future, because this is not that film!
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  41. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    This is an absolute must-see! All the performances were phenomenal, and you'd have to be heartless to not get swept up in all the emotion beautifully conveyed through song. Hathaway, Barks, and Seyfried were all great. Jackman was absolutely breath-taking. You could just see how devoted he was, and I can honestly say that is an Oscar-worthy performance. Brought me to tears multiple times. Also, Redmayne as Marius was extremely talented as well. Crowe, though the weak-link, was still fantastic. His acting was so convincing, and it really got to me. I can't wait to see this again in theaters as well as buying the DVD when it comes out. Even if you are not a fan of musicals, you will be for this one! Expand
  42. Jan 5, 2013
    9
    Hugh Jackman is nothing short of phenomenal in this film. There are a couple of scenes in which I felt both chills and tears within moments of one another. Anne Hathaway is also tremendous in a supporting role. Most importantly for me - as someone who saw the musical over 20 years and did NOT enjoy it - I could hear every word of dialogue of very clearly, and every facial expression is captured beautifully, so I didn't have to struggle empathize with these characters. Revolutionary passion, wrongful incarceration, the unyielding rule or law, young love, and unrequited love - it's all here, and it's beautifully presented. Yes, the film vastly exceeded my expectations. I am surprised that the professional critics did not embrace it more enthusiastically. Expand
  43. 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.
  44. Dec 27, 2012
    6
    First of all, let me just emphasize that I am a HUGE fan of musicals so I was very excited for the release of this film. And as I was watching the film I SO wanted to love this film; however, as high as my expectations and anticipation were, my disappointment was equally high. Now, I have to say that I thought the casting was perfect and in that vein, I also thought the acting (and singing! the actors' vocals were fine!) was tremendous. Where I thought the film fell short was in its directing and oh my goodness, in my opinion, the directing was terrible! Bad compositions, bad camera work, bad choreography, bad art direction (well, mostly) and HORRIBLE editing! The film ended up roughly being a series of singing heads and I have to say that really tries even my patience and believe me that is not easy to do! RR Expand
  45. 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.
  46. Dec 30, 2012
    10
    If you're not a fan of the musical, keep in mind the title: most of these people are miserable, so expect drama and suffering. There is an occasional flash of spectacle, but the majority of the film's powerful songs are in close-ups, often one take. The intimate handheld camera adds to the intensity, but sometimes interferes when it's too jerky or causes shadows on faces. The actors run the gamut from revelatory (Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Lucy Hale) to solid (Hugh Jackman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter) to vocally weak (Russell Crowe). All of the singing is done live, so there's an intimate, expressive power that's distinctive. The narrative unfolds with intensity and grandeur, but this is basically opera, so it's more about emotion than logic or dialogue. Overall, this film is a glorious union of moving moments, beautiful music and powerful performances. Expand
  47. Dec 28, 2012
    4
    What a disappointment! Way too much singing and no dialogue! All the songs sound exactly the same and that can only be attributed to the directing. Note: This movie is the first musical not to use a pre-recorded soundtrack that actors match during their performance. It was supposed to make the music more raw and real and connect more. It does but, sadly, it also makes all the songs sounds the same. There are no variations in melody and a lot of the singing sounds irregular in rhythm and progression. That said, Anne Hathaway does give a beautiful performance but her screen time in this movie is very limited. While some in the audience did cheer at the end, I saw a few people walking out throughout the movie as well and I wish that I had walked out with them. I simply wanted the movie to be over and I simply recommend viewing the 1998 version of Les Miserables instead. Expand
  48. 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!
  49. JMc
    Jan 8, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's safe to say that Les Mis has ruined my week. My eyeballs hurt from all the rolling they've done. The only part I enjoyed was when Russell Crowe jumped off the bridge. At least we didn't have to listen to his wretched singing any more. I'm not even sure what the film was about -- well I THINK it's about a bunch of folk who pile some furniture up in the middle of the street in Gay Paree and then hide behind it for a while, but hey, that's just me.j Expand
  50. Jan 6, 2013
    8
    Beautiful production and sets. Standout performance by Anne Hathaway. Not so, Russell Crowe. At time's the singing seems becomes laborious, but with the film running about 45 minutes longer than necessary, that's to be expected. Less would have been more.
  51. Jan 1, 2013
    10
    I personally can't believe how negative the critics reviews have been for the film. I think in terms of musical numbers, acting and story, this is one of the best adaptations from musical to film. Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Eddie Redmayne really knocked out of the park, while Russell Crowe (somewhat weird voice) did just fine. I thought the cameo additions of Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter was tremendous, adding a light side to such a dark tale. I don't know what movie a good percentage of critics saw. Expand
  52. Dec 29, 2012
    10
    This album brought tears to my eyes! Amazing acting, fantastic songs, and of course a genius story. All portrayed in the most perfect way possible. I recommend going to see this movie ASAP!!!
  53. Jan 11, 2013
    1
    If it wasn't but some very brief moments, and I mean brief, this movie would be a complete disaster. It is so horribly long and boring with absolute no dialogue. It is filled with dreadful songs and melodramatic acting.
  54. Dec 29, 2012
    5
    Anne Hathoway is the ONLY redeeming character in this film. The only reason it even receives a 5 from me is because the source material is a masterpiece.

    A masterpiece crumbled into unrecognizable pieces.
  55. Jan 2, 2013
    8
    Tom Hooper's adaptation of the long running musical based on the novel by Victor Hugo has its fair share of problems. I found most of them to lie in the choices that Hooper made as director and by how frenetic and dizzying that damn camera is. At times (particularly during the revolutionary scenes), I had to take a moment to rub my eyes and look away so as to not induce vomiting. I was so nauseated for the majority of the movie. Hooper also never lets the story take a breath and slow down, which might leave some viewers exhausted on par with the frenetic cinematography. This is a blunt, head-bashing, brash musical that is anything from subtle. It makes films like 'Chicago' and 'Moulin Rouge' look like highly philosophical works of art. All of my complaining aside though, this is a good movie. The production design and staging is quite impeccable and the story manages to remain comprehensible even across a near three hour running time. But if I am to say that anything redeems 'Les Miserables' it has to be the work from its dedicated cast. Everyone in the film gives great performances (even those who don't quite have the greatest singing chops). Many of the supporting turns, given by such new talent as Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks, threaten to brew into deservedly lucrative acting careers in the future. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (both in that classic, twisted musical from 2007, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), provide much needed comic relief to the movie. Hugh Jackman, I dare say, is a pitch perfect choice for the part of Jean Valjean. He has great vocals and that pained, burdened kind of look needed for the role. Now to the final bit of business. To describe Anne Hathaway's performance as Fantine as a show-stopper, is just completely unfitting. She makes this movie. If any reason at all, see this film for her legendary performance of 'I Dreamed a Dream'. I expected that it would be the highlight of the film and I was right. She completely steals the show. This movie should grant her the first Oscar of her career and it would be more than well-deserved. So, to sum up 'Les Miserables', the movie is problematic and flat-footed, but I dare you not to leave the theater unaffected because, as obvious as it is, the movie works because of the acting on display. Expand
  56. Dec 28, 2012
    6
    A disclaimer before I make my review: this is the first iteration of Les Miserables I've ever seen. The film showcases spectacular performances, headed by Anne Hathaway's heartbreaking portrayal of Fantine. Others who deserve sure praise are: Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, and Samantha Barks. That being said, the film struggles hold the performances together. Hooper's decision to record the audio live on set surely helped push these performances to their peak, but it feels like it constrained the way he shot the film. In order to get these great performances, we get a lot of close, continuos shots, which hinders the film from feeling "cinematic". Another adverse effect: star power seems to have influenced how much screen time each character gets, sometimes to a fault. Some characters, namely Eponine, get swept under the rug, and don't get the time they need to fully touch the audience's hearts. Expand
  57. Jan 2, 2013
    7
    The movie was actually just as entertaining as the book, and other various takes on in on stage productions and movies but this definitely seemed to be much longer than expected. The story truly draws you in; you laugh, you cry, and you get squirmy in your chair mostly due to the fact that it seems to go on and on, and on.... more like a 5 hour production. It was entertaining but I am so glad that I decided to go to the matinee and not take in a later showing because I'm sure I would've fallen asleep. Expand
  58. Dec 29, 2012
    9
    People who have seen the play on Broadway with an incredible cast may not like the film because the singing (other than the actors who play Eponine and ok---Jean Val Jean) don't have Broadway-caliber voices (although the priest seemed to be one of the original Jean Val Jeans). Even though I saw the original Broadway cast, I enjoyed the movie because I went with the intention of accepting this version as a movie. The weakest performance was Russell Crowe's. He couldn't pull off the emotion required to explain suicide. Overall, the movie is beautiful. Expand
  59. Dec 28, 2012
    9
    My first Les Mis experience was also one of the most moving movies I ever seen. I find it very hard to believe that someone cannot be moved by this; even people who do not enjoy musicals. From the very first "look down" I was sucked into this musical, philosophical, and religious journey. My ONLY issue is that I found Russel Crowe's singing a little flat; but perhaps that lent well to his very spartan like character he must convey (this of course, has absolutely no bearing on his acting, which is sublime as usual) Expand
  60. Jan 31, 2013
    10
    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
  61. Dec 26, 2012
    4
    Inert. Bloated. A relic of the 1980s that should have been left where it belongs. Needed to be edited down by at least 15 minutes--would not have affected storyline but the pacing would have been much better. A lot of time, energy and money used to produce a very mediocre musical.
  62. Jan 14, 2013
    10
    Tom Hooper's direction is flawless, absolutely genius! Hathaway's performance steals the show despite being on screen for less than 20 minutes, but Jackman's performance is utterly stunning. The music is amazing and you can notice the benefits of having the actors sing live, then recording the music to the singing, the scenes flow beautifully. The film is consistently entertaining, I didn't want it to end. An incredible film and it deserves every piece of recognition it gets! A true British Masterpiece! I simply don't understand people saying that it is overly emotional and over-acted... at the end of the day people, it is a musical!!! it is going to be emotional, very dramatic and yes, believe it or not there is going to be a lot of singing! if you don't like musicals like some people have said in their reviews, why go and waste money and time going to see it just to post a ridiculously stupid and inaccurate review. Expand
  63. Jan 8, 2013
    8
    It's a long movie and boy is there a lot of singing but there's no denying this is a great film. Full of outstanding performances from the talented cast and it's hard to single them out because as a whole they are all great. Storyline is very interesting and spans three different time periods which is rather interesting! Honorable mentions must go to both Anne Hathaway & Samantha Barks who I thought were both amazing. Overall a fantastic musical well worth a look that fans of the play will love! Expand
  64. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    Great themes permeate the beautifully sung and brilliantly acted film version of the long-running stage show. In addition to updating the operatic form, the movie embraces its epic destiny. Instead of playing to the short attention spans of those who love the bloated excesses of Batman, or the adolescent charm of the Avengers, Les Miserables has the courage to examine just how hard it is to change anything for the better, and the redemption available for those willing to try. I have seldom been so moved by a motion picture and never by a musical. Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and the luminous Samantha Barks shine. Cynics and those immune to the terrific score should maybe opt out. Those who can still feel their hearts beating should head to the barricades. Best film of 2012. Expand
  65. Dec 28, 2012
    9
    Les Miserables - An adapted musical drama of Victor Hugo's novel, Les Miserables. Casting [4/4] Excellently cast, specifically Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Russell Crowe. Every actor was able to work effectively as a group, and the Hugh Jackman/Russell Crowe conflict was superb. Acting [14/16] Great performances all around, especially from Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. Jackman and Hathaway should both expect nominations in their respective categories. Then again, acting in a musical is difficult to judge, and despite many highlight performances, talent was occasionally wasted in lazy scenes.
    Costume/Make-Up [7/8]
    Visually appealing robes help create a realistic scene and often contribute to the character development (fr example, Baron Cohen and Bonham Carter's ridiculous outfits reflected their thieving lifestyles)
    Visual Effects [6/8]
    Grandiose and majestic, but often too exaggerated. The visual effects sometimes clouded the appropriate representation of the scene (although more frequently than not they aided in delivering the "pow" of the scene)
    Setting [11/12]
    Every scene was wonderful and had the true vibe of post-revolution urban France. Rich colors and vibrant hues maintained the turmoil or peace of each moment almost flawlessly. There were rate scenes, though, where the setting was right, but too blasé for the eye to handle.
    Script [11/12]
    Each musical number was unmistakably genius in the lyrics (adapted from previous theatrical performances, like that on broadway). The messages were unmarred by useless fillers, although some lines were difficult to understand (but fun to listen to).
    Soundtrack [12/12]
    Beautiful and unobtrusive, letting the vocals be heard clearly and the action scenes be enjoyed wholly. A superb job, indeed.
    Storyline [10/12]
    Sweet and heartfelt (sometimes tearful), but when you least expect it to, it'll trudge and march slowly (like the marching bands in parades that bore you, but get you excited for a much more fulfilling event in the near future). Nevertheless, the story was complete and understandable.
    Direction [14/16]
    You'd expect more from Hooper (after The King's Speech), but the way he addressed this dramatic tragedy is in no way shameful. He successfully incorporated the talents of each actor, the action and intensity of the revolution, and the personalities of the characters cleanly and neatly, all in the fun-to-view format of a musical.
    Additional [-2]
    2 hours and 40 minutes was simply too long for this film. Hooper should've shaved off at least 20 minutes from the film, especially in the tiresome revolutionary scenes.
    Final score - 87 [Must-See!]
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  66. Dec 29, 2012
    10
    I fell in love with this musical as soon as I heard the first lyric. I've seen it on stage countless times, I have bought the 25th anniversary show on DVD, and have every single recording of the show. I was afraid that the movie would let down the amazing show that is Les Mis. It did not. The scale of this movie is immense. The songs were sung on set, rather than recorded and dubbed later, making the songs 'acted' more than 'sung'. Some may see this as a bad thing. "This is a musical! The focus should be on the music!" I have heard time and time again. But when every song makes you cry because of the emotion infused in each actor, you forget you are watching a musical. You become inside the movie. You just want to say, "Don't worry! Jean Valjean will save you!" The characters become real rather than people just singing to a tune. Expand
  67. Dec 30, 2012
    10
    "To love another person is to see the face of God."
    I hear the beautiful voices and see the magnificent acting as the movie vibrates in my memory. I will never forget this feeling.
  68. Dec 30, 2012
    5
    I'm sure there will be plenty of people who feel this is an oscar worthy film, but for me, it was a disaster. The jittery camera work, and the forced vocals were just too overwhelming to rate this film higher for me. The costumes were beautiful, the cinematography and grand sets were brilliantly done and probably worthy of an oscar.

    I felt most of the female singing roles were well
    done. Ms Hathaway's performance should land her at least an Oscar nomination. The younger Cosette and the young rebellious boy sang beautifully. I believe Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne did brilliant as the older Cosette and Marius.

    For me, that's where the brilliance stops. Hugh seemed strained most of the time and I never felt he had control of his voice the whole film. I'm not a music coach, but my ear knows what it likes. Russell Crowe was worse and never sold me on his character as Javert.

    As far as musicals go, this was no where near what Chicago offered and makes me wonder why Mr Hooper decided to recreate an actual musical on the big screen. There's probably a reason why it hasn't been done before. I felt like I had been treated to a musical without even the option of an intermission. I would have rather watched a real musical than this mess of a performance.
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  69. Jan 27, 2013
    10
    When I saw it the first time and started crying in empty chairs and empty tables and didn't stop till the end, i have never seen the play versions but i am positive that the emotion in them could not of compared with that of the movie. I nagged my friends to see it for about a month and finally when they wouldn't allow us to see the rated R movie we planned on we went to see it. Before they said things like "that's not my kind of movie" and "i am not going to like it" but after it they gave me a hug and thanked me for nagging because that was the best movie they have ever seen. Me and my friends loved it and so will you! Collapse
  70. Jan 2, 2013
    1
    From the second it begun to its end, I was not interested. The characters did not pull me and the singing was not that good, especially compared to the musical. The only part that was actually entertaining were the Thenardiers, they were a very good comic relief for the boring plot. Altogether the story was boring, the singing wasn't up to par, and the characters were not interesting at all.
  71. Jan 4, 2013
    8
    I found Les Miserables a very enjoyable movie. I'm not a big fan of musicals but I found myself humming the songs after leaving the theater. The cast did a surprising job of creating memorable characters and singing some of the most memorable songs. The criticisms I have is that it is very long (2 and half hours) and some awkward scenes where the singing is forced. This isn't one of my favorite movies of the year but was more than I expected and something I would recommend seeing. Along with last years The King's Speech, Hooper has shown that he has the potential to become the next great English director and one who creates diverse movie experiences. Expand
  72. Jan 9, 2013
    5
    Please bring the show back to Broadway--I so wanted the film to be better but it just didn't excite me the way the show has always done. It should have been a bigger spectacle and amazingly enough it felt much smaller. I guess because you spend the entire film in the character's faces. The effort the actors made with the camera up their nose was incredible and they should win prizes for that. But the singing was secondary and added to the overall disappointment when you compare the show with the film. On the plus side, the film is much cheaper to see. Expand
  73. Jan 12, 2013
    10
    This was the first time I had seen "Les Mis" in any for, and I have to say I loved it. I've read review with people complaining about the close camera work feeling suffocating, but i think that was the entire point. Being so close to the characters enhanced the despair and made you feel it with them. As for why did Valjean go to prison for 19 years for stealing bread... HE DIDN'T! He was imprisoned for 5 years for the original crime, the rest was for trying to escape. Yes it was excessive, but that's how the French did it back then.
    The acting, especially Hugh Jackman, was fantastic. I was moved by the whole thing and by the end I was almost in tears. I am certainly looking forward to seeing it again, and again.
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  74. Jan 12, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First of all I should say that Les Miserables, the stage musical, is one of my favorites and I had VERY high expectations for this film. I'm happy to say that they were met. Hugh Jackman was awesome, as was Russell Crowe. Amanda Seyfried really surprised me, as did Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks. Sadly, I wasn't too crazy for Sacha Baron Cohen, who seemed too comedic and out of place. Helena Bonham Carter was... well... like she is in every other film.

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

    Overall, a great musical, a great film, and a great experience. I can't wait to get it on Blu-ray.
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  75. Jan 13, 2013
    9
    Now that the Academy and Golden Globes have nominated the film for so many awards the critics start rating this film positively?? What's with that?? The critics were giving this mediocre reviews until now. The professional critics really don't know what they're talking about.
  76. Jan 14, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Disclaimer: This review is merely an opinion of this movie alone. I have not read the book and this will not be based on the faithfulness of said movie to Victor Hugo's classic piece.

    Les Miserables was not the perfect movie far from it but it is a great movie. The entire cast was magnificent even the bystander singers conveying the emotions intended, the mood matching every piece of music sang. The actors did not falter in their performance praise should be given to lead actor Hugh Jackman for showing the character of a repentant man willing to go to great lengths just to redeem his past actions. You will really feel for his plight by how he took care of Cosette and gave her a life worth living. This was Anne Hathaway's strongest performance for this year even much better than her stint in The Dark Knight Rises. Though short in screen time she no doubt had one of the strongest presence with the way she conveyed the emotions of despair, sorrow and at her last living moment (in movie) hope that her daughter would be in good hands. The musical score was some of the best I heard On My Own, Life that killed the Dream especially. Great narrative but one flaw is the faulty pacing.
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  77. Jan 17, 2013
    10
    This epic and bombastic approach to cinema is perfect for les miserables! yes the cinematography wasn't as incredible as it could of been and it was shot in a very hurried way I think that made the film ,the imperfections of the sound and camera work gave the sense of the pain and pace that Hooper was trying to achieve, what was best about the direction was it wasn't pretending to be perfect ! it was an epic story not an artistic revelation, we have seen film of this magnitude before and its been worse so that's why I loved it so. Hopper always had a world on his shoulders with this film and if he didn't get slated for the direction or cinematography then it would of been the story and he didn't have much control over that ! over all the best musical film ever ! Expand
  78. Jan 19, 2013
    10
    Les Miserables is an amazing and captivating movie. It shows sadness and happiness. It takes place before during and after the French Revolution. Anne Hathaway nails "I Dreamed A Dream". Also, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne have amazing chemistry during the movie. How all of the characters are linked together through out the movie, makes it easier to understand. I fell in love with this movie. I saw it once and i'm going to see it again. I recommend this movie to anyone. Expand
  79. Jan 26, 2013
    5
    I love the story, but found this musical version perplexing. I understand the need for "stars" involvement to drive the box office, but the resulting effect was that while most acting was good, singing ranged from acceptable to downright painful. My prayers that Russell Crowe would just abandon any pretenses of "singing" and speak his part, went unanswered and I don't understand how the director/producers could have allowed this major distraction to go on, since it negated most of the pluses of this production. In the end the only feeling I was left with was despondency for what could have been. Expand
  80. Feb 4, 2013
    4
    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
  81. Mar 24, 2013
    10
    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.
  82. Mar 26, 2013
    8
    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.
  83. Apr 29, 2013
    10
    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.
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  84. 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 i expect to be seeing them in other movies in the future. Expand
  85. 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.
  86. Jan 6, 2013
    8
    Overall while there are certain aspects of Les Miserables that I felt like could have been handled better I really enjoyed the film. The cast was good for the most part. While I feel that some of the characters could have been better there are some really good performances. I love how the film makers were not afraid to take some liberatities in what happens when and how. I especially love how the story gets expanded with songs and scenes that were not in the original story. Again I would have liked it if the film had done certain things in regards to cinematography and casting but a lot of things are done right some I am not going to be picky. If you are fan of Les Miserables I would recommend this one it Expand
  87. 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?) 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
  88. 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-
  89. Jan 11, 2013
    10
    Fans of the musical will adore this (I am one and I did) but the real test this film will face is to a neutral audience. It may be far too heavy for some and over the top for others but for me and others this is an epic tale of romance, faith and love that has several tear jerker moments. The cast is outstanding, granted the vocals are not always as good but the acting throughout is extraordinary, particularly Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. I cannot recommend this enough. Expand
  90. 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 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
  91. 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.
  92. Jan 12, 2013
    7
    I confess this movie is my first encounter with Les Miz. I rated it higher than I would have due to what I understand and assume has been the theme of the Les Miserables' story: the relative value of compassion and love vs. duty. Sasha Baron Cohen's effectiveness at very broad comedy amused a relatively sophisticated audience and me. The CGI art direction gave a sound stage look to this film. The solo vocal performances were generally poor. Except for the interesting tension between the different values involved, I would have given this movie a "4." Expand
  93. Dec 26, 2012
    9
    I had never seen anything of Les Miserables before this movie. Not even a single song. It turns out I had a great time and was impressed by all the actor's singing abilities. The effects and sets were very impressive also, which was nice to see in a musical adaptation. I did not really feel the length, as the movie introduces characters deep into the running time, which keeps things fresh. You will probably hear many people talk of how depressing and sad this movie is. I will not deny that, but I found the movie's message to be invigorating, rather than deflating. Expand
  94. Jan 21, 2013
    8
    As a huge fan of musical movies, I had been waiting for thiz. It
  95. Jan 15, 2013
    7
    Whether you are interested in musicals or not, Les Miserables is something you should see. That's not to say you should see this movie specifically, but it's a story and series of songs you should treat yourself to knowing. Let's get this out of the way - the musical pieces are incredible, and the initial draw to this film for me, like with so many others, was due to the fact that the singing is comprised of live performances as they're acting and are not pre-recorded/lip-synced. The musical's flagship song, "I Dreamed a Dream", performed by Anne Hathaway, is the chilling centerpiece for the movie, and will quite literally send shivers down your spine with the absolute intensity of her voice. This is true with many of the songs in the movie, and I recommend that if you aren't familiar with them that you listen to the soundtrack of the movie again after watching. There are problems with the movie, however. Russell Crowe's singing is just not that amazing. He's on key, for sure, but his voice isn't strong enough for the part nor does it contain the proper bass needed for the part. On top of this, many of the scenes themselves are a bore, especially in the French Revolution sections. Overall, I feel that the movie drags as a whole near the end, which unfortunately draws away from the alluring music. It really does become a bit of a crawl to reach the end unless you're absolutely engaged in the soundtrack. So in the end, it's not perfect, nor is it the best movie of the year by any means, but it still contains some amazing musical performances and is sure to please your ears. Expand
  96. 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
  97. Dec 26, 2012
    8
    I feel that there is an obvious difference in singing ability between the theatre/opera singers and the regular hollywood actors/actresses. For example, Hugh Jackman's acting was excellent, but I feel that his singing voice is only an ok fit for the role of Jean Valjean. And Russell Crowe is not a great singer, but again his acting was great. This probably describes both the good and bad sides of doing a live recording of their singing. Their emotions are expressed much better compared to regular musicals where the actors/actresses are only lip-syncing, but at the same time, the weaknesses are also more obvious because it cannot be tweaked and polished in the recording studio. I also feel that they had too many close ups in the earlier parts of the movie. I understand that they wanted to show the character's faces and emotion, but when the close up is too long, it becomes a bit awkward. What I did love was that despite those minor complaints, I found the overall experience very enjoyable, I cared for the characters and was greatly moved by parts of it. Overall this was a great movie and I will watch again. Expand
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    Jan 7, 2013
    80
    Occasionally, like its characters, ragged around the edges, this nevertheless rings with all the emotion and power of the source and provides a new model for the movie musical.
  2. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 1, 2013
    50
    We're all familiar with the experience of seeing movies that cram ideas and themes down our throats. Les Misérables may represent the first movie to do so while also cramming us down the throats of its actors.
  3. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Dec 31, 2012
    50
    It's a relief to see Sacha Baron Cohen, in the role of a seamy innkeeper, bid goodbye to Cosette with the wistful words "Farewell, Courgette." One burst of farce, however, is not enough to redress the basic, inflationary bombast that defines Les Misérables. Fans of the original production, no doubt, will eat the movie up, and good luck to them. I screamed a scream as time went by.