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Les Misérables
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Reviews & Ratings for
Les Misérables More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A really stunning movie.

9/10
Author: cvakalis0521 from United States
28 December 2012

While I heard of Les Miserables, I never actually knew what it was about or had seen it in the movies or watched a play. After seeing previews and trailers for this movie, I became interested. Now I have to get my hands on the older movies.

I love plays and musicals, such as The Phantom of the Opera and Evita. I knew I would love this too and I did. 2 hrs was a perfect length of time to tell a complete story and trust me it doesn't feel as long once you get involved. You actually want to see what happens next. Like I said, I didn't know the story going into it, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I fell in love with it.

I also read what the cast had to go through to play convincing and genuine roles. That is a level of dedication that is so rarely done on film. It truly is an artwork and the actors/actresses are using their voices, talents and physical self to perform art. Its so rare to have a masterpiece put on screen.

Les Miserables was done so well that it seemed to flow seamlessly and for a second you forget that you're in a movie theater, or that you're seeing someone on screen that maybe played in another movie you know.

I definitely recommend you seeing it if you haven't already. Even if you aren't a big musical fan, you'll develop an appreciation of it after seeing this.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

great, director made mistakes but leads all did real well

9/10
Author: someofusarebrave from United States
26 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The women totally kicked ass in this movie. Anne Hathaway beat all my expectations to a bloody pulp; she is officially a rock star musically.

Samantha Barks was a revelation; I can't wait to see what she does next.

Whatever project is wise enough to cast her, I will be sure to see.

Amanda Seyfreid was infinitely better than I expected her to be; her inexperience vocally totally worked for her here, adding to her character's believability as an innocent, cloistered teenager.

I wanted more development for Eponine's character, because just as in the musical, I found her to be the most relatable of all of the characters-certainly of all the female characters. The lack of extreme anguish in her character, the primarily silence of her suffering in a loud musical made it all the more poignant.

I was tremendously disappointed the director cut the latter half of 'Turning', as well as his choice to include the incestuous-seeming, terribly-worded 'Suddenly.' The only real note I have on this film is that the director seemed too inexperienced, certainly too unaware of the layers behind the female perspectives this script presents, to do his job at a beyond merely 'satisfactory' level.

Thanks to him, what should have felt like a revelation instead at times felt jolting and unnecessarily grim. This is a story about hope, not despair, and he seemed to linger in the bleakness with a troubling glee.

The choice to cast Russell Crowe rather than an older, stiff-upper-lip, snarling and sneering at the "less moral" from his perspective individual was..not wise. That's been said already. Russell Crowe seems like a genuinely good guy, real down-to-Earth; his character is among the most difficult in the movie, and the actor clearly got little help either from the script which should have been edited to portray the layers of contempt behind Javer's interactions with Val Jean when Val Jean was still Mayor, for example, to make it more clear that Javer suspected Val Jean all along but could not speak up about it, due to Javer's station being so much lower than Val Jean's as mayor was.

This, again, the director should have caught, as well as the simple fact that you cannot cast a novitiate, as The Phantom of the Opera's casting Gerard Butler in the titular role to flop reviews clearly evidenced to play a role that has been consistently offered only to the greats-with good reason. Russell Crowe was clearly trying, but receiving no help with his performance--it's not his fault he was miscast.

That choice I blame sorely on the director.

The choice to demand the actors speak lines which were originally intended to be sung was also a grave mistake, in my opinion. These lines rhymed--they made no sense as spoken lines. It seemed the director was just trying to include more dialogue in the movie for those who don't like musicals, but-it is a freakin' musical! They sing! Get over it.

I mean that for the director as well.

The choice to include 'Suddenly' was unfortunate. The director I suppose was trying to make his mark on the story, but the song came out all wrong for the script--too long, indicative of a romantic relationship between Cosette and Val Jean-ew!..awkwardly worded even for the romantic song it darn well seemed to be. A song filled with language like that belongs on a Britney Spears record, not in a musical.

Did I mention that Hugh Jackman did his job here perfectly? Cuz he did.

I can't imagine any other male acting in Hollywood today who could have performed this role better. Hats off.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Better than my great expectations.

9/10
Author: glennrockconner from United States
26 December 2012

I saw "Les Miserable" at noon on Christmas Day with my wife & grown son in a movie theater where well-dressed waiters brought sparkling water to our seats to go along with our hummus and eggplant dip. It was a much better & pricier film venue than we usually patronize, but it seemed appropriate, given our extraordinarily high expectations for the film. And besides, it's near my brother's home, where we spent Christmas.

I did my homework preparing to see "Les Mis" critically, having spent dozens of hours singing along with various stage company soundtracks, and several thousand tickets at The Fabulous Fox over the last 20+ years. I downloaded the film's soundtrack a few days before Christmas, prompting a few snarky Facebook postings question Russell Crowe's contributions. I once even got a couple of hundred pages into an English translation of Victor Hugo's masterpiece (too many French names to keep up with, it turned out missed the music too much to read all the way through it). I read up a bit on France's June rebellion of 1832.

At the end of the day, several things about "Les Mis" exceeded my expectations. Hugh Jackman & Anne Hathaway were even better than I anticipated. Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne were especially outstanding. Colm Wilkinson was delightful as the Bishop of Dinge. Amanda Seyfried & Helen Bonham Carter were pleasant surprises. Sacha Baron Cohen surprised me by putting his own effective spin on Thenardier. Many, many others made their old familiar roles fresh & new.

My big shock was the success of Russell Crowe's performance. In the vacuum of the soundtrack, his voice seemed outclassed by his cast mates. On screen, however, his Javert was multidimensional & most satisfying. I've been a Russell Crowe fan since "Gladiator," & I was excited when his casting was announced, but after hearing the soundtrack I identified two big mistakes in this film's production: Hiring Russell Crowe, & not firing him after his first day on the set. He made it work with his screen presence, though.

Not all the changes worked for me. Creative makeup designs tried to evoke the disease & the squalor of 19th century France, but came out alarmingly close to 21st century zombie apocalypse.

All in all though, "Les Mis" is a winner. Les Mis devotees & musical theater aficionados have something new to love. If musical theater is your thing, this is your movie. If you are a musical theater neophyte & this film doesn't turn you on to the genre, don't waste any more money trying to catch the bug. This one's as good as it gets.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Agonizingly close

8/10
Author: David Pogue
25 December 2012

It's too bad not all of the leads are great singers. And somebody should buy the director a tripod; the hand-held ultra closeups become dizzying and pretentious after awhile. (So many times, this movie cries out for an occasional wide shot. You know the famous wagon-pinning-the-citizen scene? We never even get to see the wagon. We start right with the closeup of the victim!)

But there's also a lot right with this version: inspired casting, rich visuals, and of course a brilliant score. Fascinating how certain themes and moments give "Les Mis" a different meaning when you have closeups (in this case, almost nothing BUT closeups) at your disposal.

Really glad we went. Would be gladder if the camera-work hadn't drawn so much attention to itself.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Very well done

9/10
Author: Joe Blow from USA
25 December 2012

I saw Les Miserables on Broadway many years ago - it was a stunning musical. Saw this movie tonight and was very impressed. Clearly, a compromise was made between singing and acting and, for the most part, I was happy with it. The cinematography and visual effects are great. The sets and costumes are great. The acting is great. The directing is very good - I do think some minor mistakes were made (would love to be able to ask the director about some of them). The vocals ranged from very good to disappointing.

I believe Russell Crowe as Javert was a mistake. While visually he is an appealing Javert, the vocals were too weak to justify this casting decision. Javert's final number was a great disappointment for me - a powerful song that Crowe could not deliver.

Other vocal pieces were also muted, but they were justified by magnificent acting performances that could not be achieved without compromising the vocals. These are interpretations I can live with, although I think many of the vocals from Marius were too high in tone (I think I would have cast him differently).

I thought the performances by Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks were outstanding. Strangely, I also particularly liked Colm Wilkerson as the Bishop.

All things considered, this an excellent production, and I highly recommend it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Excellent - An honorable tribute to the musical

8/10
Author: vitocavallo from Boston, MA
25 December 2012

After years of waiting, Les Mis the movie is here. Excellent tribute to the musical. I have seen musical twice. I am not going to explain the plot, just commenting on the technicals.

Great Points: Movie is long, seems to have all songs and some I don't remember from the musical and the cast soundtrack. The twists and turns of the plot were easier to follow than the musical. ( I have ADD) Hugh Jackman is perfect for Jean ValJean. It looks like he starved himself to shoot the opening scenes, then gained weight for the rest of the movie. Voice is great. Film showed the gritty of France's poor during this historical era. I guess they did not have to spend a lot of the budget on makeup or soap or hair dressers. Scenery was great as well, gritty and clean when it needed to be. Cinematography was lots of head shot of the singers with blurry background. kind of like an antique camera. Since it is a musical, it worked. Sacha and Helen Bonham were very good as the innkeeper and wife, but I was expecting a little more comedy relief. Also, Sacha started with French accent at beginning but ended up with a Cockney accent at the end of the film. I liked Anne Hathaway's solo, lots of emotion and very good voice. I know she has received a lot of bad press on her performance.

Not so good points: I love Russell and he is a respected character in many movies, but I could not accept him singing. I kept seeing him as Gladiator or Capt. Aubrey. He did ride a horse like a pro.

Movie is long, so see with empty bladder.

Hope you enjoy it as well as I did.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Sing this review out loud.

1/10
Author: Jack Stars from United States
13 January 2014

I seriously cannot understand all of the good reviews for this movie and how in the world did this win Oscars? I am scratching my head. Everyone must admit that if they had never read the book or watched the Liam Neeson version of Les Miserables (1997)(which was a great movie) they would be totally lost on the plot. There are movies that are called musicals like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Singin' in the Rain, that have dialogue along with some songs thrown in the mix and these are great fun movies to watch. But C'Mon! Did they really have to incessantly sing every word in this long-winded spectacle? It was so overused and detracted from what is really a great story.

The Imax version was all that was available at the time so I spent the extra dollars, only to be wasted when I was so "miserable" that I left about half way through it was that bad. But my time is worth more than wasting it in that movie theater. I felt like I was being Punk'd while sitting there. I wish I could rate ZERO stars on this interminable disaster. It's too bad too, because it really is a great story.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A review to readdress the balance

1/10
Author: Nathanhazell_375 from United Kingdom
4 November 2013

My Mrs forced me to watch this. Seen it once and once alone. The very thought of another viewing of this film with smegma infested cum buckets singing throughout totally disgusts/horrors me, I'd rather watch a Bollywood romance with subtitles!! It really is a shocker! Now don't get me wrong, I'm partial to a good musical. Me and Mama used to have Mama- Mia on repeat on Sundays. This tho grates the skin like an acid hose down. I've almost filled my men's tena pants writing this as I feel so strongly about it. I'd sooner sign up for a diarrhoea eating competition than watch this again. I'd rather go back in time and be the milky bar kid and nephew of Jimmy Saville than have to sit through this one more time. I would genuinely rather sleep on a bed of used heroin needles than have to have this movie imposed on me once more. Not a massive fan of it.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful story by Vicor Hugo, fails in the musical format

1/10
Author: Sanjiv Agarwala from United States
13 May 2013

I have never reviewed a movie on IMDb before but after seeing all the positive reviews (I did see some other reviews that agreed with mine but they were in the minority), I needed to write one. This movie is awful. Do not make Hollywood actors sing when they cannot. A musical should be with good singers and good songs and good music. This great story has been ruined by the musical format using Hollywood actors. This is a story that requires dialog and there is no need to sing every single line - it makes no sense. I heard the Broadway show was good and I am sure it was, but this movie is pretentious, tedious and I could barely sit through it. Of note, the previous Les Miserable starring Lieam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush was awesome. If you have not seen that, rent it instead; if you have, see it again - avoid this version at all costs!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The best movie by many standards

10/10
Author: aperisic from Seattle
4 March 2013

Yesterday, Sunday, I went to the movies to see what's new. I watched probably 10 minutes of different clips of "Les Misérables" on Internet so I decided to see that one.

Half of the movie, half theater cried, another half all theater.

Gripping thunder of emotions, while one opens another, to the culmination that ends up in hugging the one near you in consolation.

It is a rare chance to witness an applause in theater around the globe, US is more frequent. In Norway, where I was, it was probably only me doing that at the end of the movie I liked.

This one was applauded immensely by all.

Acting, singing, cinematography, music. In essence definitely the best movie of the year worth watching many times. Paper tissue please, not to forget, men women regardless.

Last time I witnessed the sobbing of the entire theater was Emma's bliss, German movie, Toronto movie festival, but that was by the end of a movie.

This one does not let you go.

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