Hugo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hugo Reviews

Page 1 of 435
Super Reviewer
½ December 20, 2011
Let's be honest, it is disappointing to see a movie that wants to praise the magic of Cinema but doesn't understand so well how to use the 3D technology (though it does work in some scenes), and it feels like two different stories clumsily combined, with unnecessary subplots and a mediocre leading performance by Asa Butterfield.
Super Reviewer
June 22, 2011
There's a whole lot to love about "Hugo" but most of the time the beauty it strives to connect with a deep emotion, fails to do so. The main reason "Hugo" works is because its visuals are enchanting, it's based in the world of Melies, and it connects different elements of movie magic together to form a great story about magic in technology and film. Though the film is very beautiful and has colorful characters, including Ben Kingsley as Melies and Sacha Baron Cohen as a squeaky legged patrolman, there's no emotional response to the absolute magic. The lead character is played by Asa Butterfield, who gives little to no emotion when delivering his lines, while his backstory, and how he gets himself involved in working the clocks in the train station, is full of holes. The film is strangely paced and the plot is oddly structured. Though it's definitely the pinnacle of ooh and aah filmmaking (based on the greatness of Melies) it lacks the chemistry of the thing it is inspired by.
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 2011
Yes, a tip of the hat to the origins of filmic storytelling, and yes, made by one of the acknowledged best in the field, but lacking the essential heart connection it reaches for, misses it but only so much ... and that's unfortunate. Nonetheless a good work, with competent professionals all over the place, but when Sasha Baron Cohen steals your film, and as only a minor character, you should know you've got a communications mix up.
Super Reviewer
November 4, 2013
three stars
Super Reviewer
December 21, 2011
Slow and calculated as it is, as the film progresses, it begins to reveal layers of depth and wonder. Scorsese has created the best 3D film ever (because as good as Avatar looked, there was nothing special beyond the aesthetics), and all of the performers give strong, slightly self-aware performances, and you can tell they all had fun performing. The sluggish pace and abrupt change of subject matter means that a lot of people (especially kids) will either be bored of the movie or simply won't enjoy the sudden history lesson pushed upon them, but I think anybody should give it a try anyways.
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2011
A young orphan unlocks the secret to the life of a bitter old toy vendor when he tries to steal from his shop. Martin Scorsese tries his very best to ape Jean-Pierre Jeunet in this sickly-sweet homage to the life and work of cinema pioneer Georges Méliès which despite its creative use of 3D and CGI effects and potentially interesting subject matter, just did not work for me. The story centres virtually exclusively around stereotypical urchin Asa Butterfield and his Enid Blyton-esque, jolly hockey-sticks playmate Chloe Moretz and as such the tone of the film is aimed squarely at children. In fact the saccharine soaked, manipulative and oh-so predictable script is very much like that of an animated feature, as is the weakest of the weak slapstick provided by Sacha Baron Cohen whose performance seems to be channelling Peter Sellers and Peter Cook by way of 'Allo 'Allo, and he is AWFUL. Ben Kingsley does provide some quality support however and the section recreating Méliès' work is by far the best part of the film, but it is far too short-lived for my liking. Hugo basically left me very cold and rather bored, although I suspect that this is purely because at its core, it's just not my cup of tea.
Super Reviewer
June 10, 2012
Visually it's good, but even then (dare I say it) a little indulgent. The aggressively quaint story, acting, generically british accents and general schmaltz overwhelm the whole affair. I mean, yes, it is a 'love letter to the cinema' but in that case its sloppily, although earnestly, written. The Artist is an equally reverent and sincere homage but so much more successful, and entertaining.
Super Reviewer
October 3, 2012
Beautifull Movie.
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2011
Well done. Enjoyable. Imaginative. Enchanting. Some say that this movie is slow..well it is. This is a movie you have to invest yourself into. This is a movie for movie lovers, not for those who simply have a passing interest and enjoy a flick every now and then. The story is beautiful, and the cinematography was incredible. The two young leads were wonderful. Scorsese has great talent, and it shows here...
Movie Monster
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2012
Brian Selznick's award-winning novel becomes an award-winning film by award-winning director Martin Scorcese. Hugo is one of the best family movies in recent years and maybe one of the best family movies ever. It's beautifully crafted and full of eye candy. It's also a loyal adaptation of a wonderful novel.

The film follows Hugo Cabret, an orphaned boy who lives within the walls of a train station in Paris. Hugo possesses an automaton that his father found in a museum while he worked there. However, this automaton is full of secrets. Hugo befriends Isabella and the two set out to unravel its secrets and it will impact both of their lives.

The plot to Hugo is pretty simple and it's executed very well. Martin Scorcese knows how to draw you into the story. The film starts with a cold opening. The tile isn't revealed until fifteen minutes in. There is beautiful cinematography and camera work. I love how the camera swept through the train station. The dialogue doesn't kick until a few minutes. We are also introduced to the visual look of the film and I loved it. It was like something out of a dream. For a family film, it's rather long. But the film paces well. It takes it's time, the characters are well developed, and the story keeps you interested. Scorcese's direction is higly impressive. I love his camera work in the film and the cinematography in this film is beautiful. He sure knows how to direct a film. He's also very good with actors. If you can't act, then I guess you can't be in a Scorcese flick. John Logan's screenplay is well written. There is a lot of good dialogue in this film. It's stays true to Brian Selznick's novel but there are some changes. They are some side characters that weren't featured in the novel and they make bigger characters out of the Station Inspector and the librarian. Aside from that, the film was true to the source material.

Hugo has a lot of good performances. There is not one weak actor in the film. The title role is played by Asa Butterfield and he is one fine actor. For a young actor, he's very good. He totally got into his character and I could tell he was having a good time playing Hugo. I enjoy watching Chloe Moretz and I think she will have a long career. She is an impressive teen actress. And a cute one. Her performance as Isabella was very good but I did find her French accent to be a little cheesy. Other than that, the two young actors put on fine performances. I loved seeing them interact with the world around them. The world built in this film is a joy to watch. I hope the two go on to make more good movies. Ben Kingsley is great in his supporting role as Papa Georges. Kingsley always impresses and he did so in this film. I like how his character evolved over the film. I enjoyed Helen McCrory as Mama Jeanne and Jude Law did well in his small role. Sacha Baron Cohen is my favorite of the supporting cast. He plays the Station Inspector and he is very enjoyable and fun to watch. He's also very funny. Christopher Lee is awesome, right? He plays The Librarian. Lee has an awesome voice and is a great actor and he shines in his minor role. I liked the side characters they added like the lady who sells flowers, who's also the Station Inspector's love interest, the lady in the café as well as her love interest. I don't think they were in the book but they were nice touches.

Hugo pays tribute to silent films and that is one of the great things about this film. The history of cinema plays a big part in the film and you learn a lot about it. You also get to see how people perceived cinema back then. Also, the score was great. Howard Shore's score perfectly fit the film's atmosphere. There is also a bit of French music in there that is really good.

Hugo is a wonderful family film. The visual style is really cool, the writing and acting are impressive, and the story is great. This is a highly memorable film and I've watched it twice by now. I wish I could've seen it in 3D but it looks great on Blu-ray. Martin Scorcese has crafted a great family film that will entertain children, adults, and film buffs. It's also a great love letter to cinema. It made me thankful for the movies. What would the world be without them? If you love innocent family films, check out Hugo. You'll be glad you did. We need more movies like this.

"Come and dream with me."
paul o.
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2012
It was fun and charming but lacked that intensity that scorsese films have. As a kid's movie, the film has shined through as a different kind in the genre.
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2012
The beginning, though wonderful to look at, verges on bland. The ending, however is well done and quite charming.
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2012
It fell short of the hype!
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2012
About 1/2 way through, and I can already tell I'll absolutely never need to see this again...BOR-ING.
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2011
14/06/2012 (Blu-Ray 3D)
Super Reviewer
½ November 27, 2011
It took me months to come up with this review. Was it because I was speechless? Not exactly. But what Scorsese achieves with this family film is hard to put into words. Coming home from the theatre - where the 3D was worth the money, by the way - I told my girlfriend that I just felt incredibly warm inside... and I think that's what a great film does. There was a storyline that I didn't enjoy, about the lonely station inspector and Lisette - who you see eventually hooking up from the earliest part of the film - but otherwise, there are a lot of big themes here, orphans, inspiration and the nature and value of art and artists, for starters. Granted, it's adapted from a novel, so Scorsese can't take all the credit here... but riddle me this: how is it that a movie can have Oscar-winning (1) art direction, (2) cinematography, (3) sound editing, (4) sound mixing, and (5!) visual effects, plus nominated (6) editing, (7) adapted screenplay, and (8) costumes without winning (9) best director or (10) best picture!? I'll re-evaluate this statement once I've seen The Artist, but what Scorsese and his team - a team that has been working together toward becoming the best in Hollywood for decades now - have achieved here is nothing short of visionary, a love letter to the wonder of film itself, and to the eternal hope of all children to eventually feel complete, and loved. The train station love plot is a clunk in the machinery, I'll concede, but this film ought to be a classic for years to come. Sweet, beautiful, bloodless departure by an American master. Highly recommend.
Tired of Previews
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2011
Directed by Martin Scorsese, GK Films, 2011. Starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Lee, Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Kingsley.

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family.

Question: What gives you purpose and makes you feel like you fit into the world? Well, we all have something, at least we should. Think about it.

This is the message at the heart of Hugo and I think a pretty darn good one. It shouldn't matter if you are 12 or 72 years-old, we all need to feel like we belong, someplace where we know we serve a purpose or what's the meaning of it all, really? Yes, it's a pretty deep, philosophical thought for a movie that I thought was geared to kids primarily. However, my kids enjoyed the movie and I hope somewhere deep inside they understood what the movie was trying to convey.

The story begins with a boy, an orphan, who lives in a train station in Paris in the 1930's. You find out why he is there with a few flashbacks but really the story revolves around another story line which is revealed much later in the film. The boy's name is Hugo and his adventure is to find his purpose or to make sure his purpose is real, but how he goes about that will remain a mystery in this review.

There was a great surprise, well for me at least, as Hugo's story unfolded. I really want to say more but, as usual, don't want to spoil it for you. However, on the whole I found the storytelling to be a bit on the dull side. Not sure what happened with it but Hugo ran slow. Even with the part of the story line I really liked, it didn't suck me in as I think it could have.

The movie was in 3D and the beginning was absolutely stunning with its effects. When the adventure part of this story was front and center the 3D was awesome. However, the majority of the movie was more of a drama and the 3D lost its luster; and soon I found it annoying to have to wear the glasses. I am not a huge fan of 3D movies, by the way, so for you fans out there I am positive you will enjoy that part of the movie.

On a bright note: The boy who played Hugo was delightful, and he has the bluest eyes I have ever seen on a human being. I almost think they may have been digitally enhanced. Anyway, he did a great job on the whole, even though there were parts where the film-makers showed children behaving more like adults than children, and that happened here. I still think he did a good job as the lead character of a Scorsese film.

Most children should enjoy this film and I recommend you take them to see Hugo. For adults, sadly, this was not one of Scorsese greatest films.

My favorite part: The discovery of the message in the film. There is this great scene on a Paris bridge with Notre Dame in the background between the 2 children. A great line was spoken by Hugo. A great line!

My least favorite: Sacha Baron Cohen, I am afraid to say. His character was too much of a caricature for me.

Rating: PG
Length: 127 minutes

Review: 6 out of 10
Super Reviewer
½ November 21, 2011
This was not only Martin Scorsese's first PG rated film in about two decades, but also his first family film, and first time making a movie in 3D. It's an adaptation of a children's book, and this was an interesting project whe nit was first announced. Thankfully, the results are something truly magnificent, kinda like when David Lynch tried something new (The Straight Story) as opposed to being a failure like Francis Ford Coppola's change of pace disaster, Jack.

Set in 1920s Paris, Hugo tells the story of an orphan named Hugo Cabret who lives in a train station and makes sure all the clocks are running properly. He goes on a quest to uncover what he thinks is a special message from his late father, but instead finds himself helping an old man come to terms with his past, with the man happening to be film legend Georges Melies.

Since the film is ultimately a love letter to classic cinema, it makes this project not seem so odd or alien for Scorsese. Yeah, it shows him branching out, but at the same time still staying somewhat in his comfort zone, at least as far as some of the material is concerned. It's also a love letter to the handcrafted, and the days when "movie magic" was just that.

I loved this film. I didn't happen to see it in 3D, but I could just tell that it was probably used as it should be, and used very well at that. Scorsese isn't the type of guy to tinker with something just for the heck of it. If he does something, it's usually not for some sort of stupid ploy or gimmick.

This was all very charming, fun, and innocent, and, even though there is some substance, it did leave me feeling perhas somewhat slighted, and just a tad underwhelmed. Also, Sacha Baron Cohen really played up the comical side of his character. Not that that's completely a bad thing, but I was hoping that for once he would just play a character completely straight, and really go full on menacing and/or serious. That said, he still did a decent job, even if it was nothing new for him.

Those are really my only complaints here, and they're not even really big ones. This is a magical and wonderful film. It looks great, the cast (aside from Cohen) are all great, and it's nice seeing Marty change it up (and do it well).

If you love heartwarming stories, classic cinema (as in early 20th Century), and Martin Scorsese, then this should be a must see for you.
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2012
Although I didn't care much for the story, Hugo pays tribute to early filmmakers and cinema altogether, which is a very nice feature of this film. The biggest appeal, however, is the great directing by Scorsese and great cinematography. And not to be overshadowed: Cohen, Kingsley, Moretz and Butterfield turn in fine performances.
Super Reviewer
½ July 15, 2011
Fabulously directed and infused with great magic, Hugo certainly files under above-average fantasy fare. I can't say I fully concur with the overwhelming critical acclaim, but it's a pleasant journey to take with an amazingly rich visual pizazz. Martin Scorsese may be a stranger to this family-friendly genre, but he's certainly no weaker for it, as he plays his new instrument like he's never done anything else. Apart from the endearing leads played by Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz, I also took a great liking to the wonderful supporting cast. Sacha Baron Cohen is a little more downplayed than usual (no green mankinis this time around), but quite memorable nevertheless as the tenacious station inspector Gustav. As can be said for Sir Ben Kingsley, who brings a lot of passion to his character, as the old toy-maker Georges Méliès. Not to mention the brief, but excellent performances by Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, Emily Mortimer and Jude Law. Sadly, not everything runs like clockwork though. While the film is enjoyable all the way, the progression of the plot sometimes drags and loses momentum, which is one of the reasons why I can't allow myself to give it a higher rating than I have. It also feels a tad outstretched and would have done good in leaving out some of the less essential scenes. Another thing I wasn't too excited about is the blue & orange color palettes. It's become a common trend in Hollywood these days to apply these sort of "mood-setting" touches, but personally I think it just serves to diminish the visual impact. An enchanting and painstakingly crafted piece of film-making nevertheless though, that if anything shows that Scorsese haven't lost any of his flairs for heartfelt story-telling. My only regret is that I never saw it in the cinema, as I'm sure the neat 3D-elements would have added a lot to the experience.
Page 1 of 435