Poor Reviews Surprising

It's somewhat shocking that Les Miz is not getting the rave reviews that many predicted. Though most of the criticism is being targeted at Tom Hooper's unsubtle, graceless direction, which, I must say, I felt was the same problem with The King Speech. It was not particularly artful or tactful either. I think the guy makes crowd-pleasers, which causes me to believe that this will be one audiences will love, and critics will find disappointingly insubstantial.
Danny Taylor
12-17-2012 07:19 AM

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Peter Salzer

Peter Salzer

Rave reviews - maybe a turkey would be too good!

Jan 29 - 03:33 PM

Grant Havis

Grant Havis

Loved it - sorry.

Jan 25 - 11:41 AM

Rick Desper

Rick Desper

Perhaps I was fortunate to see this film having neither seen the stage musical read the book. Les Mis is much better than the typical musical, and any critic who raved over Chicago but dismisses Les Mis is baffling to me. And I say this as a person who thought The King's Speech was badly overrated!
I don't know what critics are looking for. It seems to me that they are sneering at Fantine's story, which is the center of the film.
I don't think this film is supposed to be exactly like the stage musical. In a stage production, it is necessary for the singers to project loudly and be larger than life. In a film, they can take a different direction. And that's what happens here.

Jan 22 - 11:53 AM

Frank B.

Frank Baum

I've not seen critics bemoaning the fact that the film is not like the novel. It was never meant to be; but it was supposed to be based very much on the stage production, which in turn was based (in part) on the novel. And as someone who has seen the stage version many, many times, I think it missed the target by a mile, on many levels.

Just one example: In the 10th Anniversary Concert, watch Lea Salonga and Michael Ball perform 'A Little Fall of Rain', in front of a live audience, with no opportunity of 'retakes', and compare it with the appallingly lightweight offering in the film.

For a 'musical' to be successful worldwide for 27 years, it has to have a certain something about it. I don't know quite what that something is - but I do know that this film doesn't have it.

Jan 21 - 09:58 AM

Selena Smith

Selena Smith

i'm most surprised with the critics who bemoan the movie's difference from the novel. it's a musical, people! did you not know that going in?

Jan 21 - 07:57 AM

Frances Hugg

Frances Hugg

I loved this movie, and was pleasantly surprised, because the staged versions I've seen, I really did not care for very much. What makes the difference with the movie is that you can see the actors emotive faces up close while hearing the songs, which you don't get on stage. Hugh Jackman was magnificent and Anee Hathaway was darn good, too, in my humble opinion.

Jan 19 - 12:49 PM

Sally Dehner

Sally Dehner

I have no rave review either. I give it a 6/10. I was disappointed in the casting and therefore didn't have high expectations. That's a good thing as I found the first part of the movie boring. I am definitely in the minority regarding Anne Hathaway's performance as I did not care for it at all. Her voice was just okay and I felt she overacted every scene. I like Hugh Jackman but not as Valjean. His performance of "Bring Him Home" was a major disappointment. The only thing that surprised me about Russell Crowe as Javert was that his singing was actually better than his acting. His voice lacks power and intensity and in a few scenes was actually painful but his acting was low key and boring and how dare he ruin "Stars". The movie picked up considerably once reaching Paris and the barricades. Marius and Eponine were very good, Cosette okay (she's never a favorite onstage either). The actor playing Enroljas got gypped as that is usually a much more exciting part. If someone offers you a choice between seeing the movie or going to the theatre by all means run to the nearest live performance. You may also want to skip the soundtrack of the movie; I heard a little of it today and the singing actually seems worse without the visuals.

Jan 18 - 01:35 PM

Matt Rowek

Matt Rowek

I really enjoyed the movie. Applause to Hugh Jackman for a great performance as Valjean. Same goes to Anne Hathaway for her ability to convey the broken mother Fantine so passionately. As for Russell Crowe, I do think he struggled with the power and range that Javert's voice should live up to, but he did look and speak the part. Although the movie was on the longer side, I was drawn in to the familiar songs and actors' portrayals.

Jan 4 - 05:19 PM

Dana Pankuch

Dana Pankuch

I went into the movie with such high expectations...it's my favorite musical of all time...I was disappointed.

Dec 26 - 10:07 AM

James Lee

James Lee

IMHO, movies are to inspire as well as to entertain. In this regards, Les Miserables is one of the best movies of the year in addition to Lincoln. Sadly some of the critics dont seem to get this.

Dec 26 - 09:44 AM

Katie Militello

Katie Militello

I enjoyed all the little nods to the book. The songs they removed were always my least favorite, so at least I didn't mind the changes too much.

Dec 26 - 07:27 AM

Dave Birkenfeld

Dave Birkenfeld

I throughly enjoyed the movie and the audience loved it

Dec 26 - 06:40 AM

Tim Larson

Tim Larson

I am surprised that alot of people were surprised it was not "like the stage version". If that were the case they should have just filmed the stage version. I thought it was a beautiful movie and I have seen the stage version 6 times. For me it did not fail to provide the same emotion I got when seeing it on stage and in some cases evem more due to the closeups and being able to see the raw emotions of the characters. Crowe's singing voice was not great but he character I thought was the way it should be every thing well contemplated and reserved. I have to agree some of Tom Hoopers camera choices were odd but that was his vision and in the end he was able to put me right in the action. I went to this fims NOT to see another stage version of Les Mis, but a version that was raw, emotional with the music I adore....I was one person very impressed!

Dec 26 - 06:38 AM

Sally Dehner

Sally Dehner

"If that were the case they should have just filmed the stage version" That would be wonderful. Since they didn't I will stick with the 10th and 25th anniversary versions.

Jan 18 - 01:38 PM

Rick Desper

Rick Desper

" If that were the case they should have just filmed the stage version." Exactly. It's a movie, not a stage production. In a movie you can do things like drag a ship into drydock or crawl through the sewers. You can act using subtle facial expressions! Singing doesn't have to be loud. After seeing the film yesterday I looked up a couple performances of "I Dreamed a Dream" by way of comparison. And yes, Susan Boyle can do a better _song_ but for the total emotional impact of singing _and_ acting, Anne Hathaway is way ahead. That goes also for the professional Broadway singers. And Jackman was even better.

Jan 22 - 11:57 AM

Raven Young

Raven Young

Not really; a lot of the fans of the stage play were disappointed, based on the several negative reviews I read through. I personally am such a fan, and was extremely disappointed at the way they did this. Sure, the acting, singing, and casting was excellent. But the fact that they not only CHANGED some of the lyrics, but REMOVED some, made me upset. And, not to mention, the removal of two of my favorite songs! Plus, quite a bit of Master of the House was removed, too, and that's another one of my favorite songs. Certainly wasn't as epic as I expected. I would NOT see this movie again.

Dec 25 - 11:21 PM

Ceris Anne

Ceris Anne

I AM a musical lover, but I am VERY disappointed in this production and I place ALL the blame squarely at the director's feet. The script is filled with poetry that was completely ignored. The filming was horrific.

Dec 25 - 10:33 PM

Scott England

Scott England

My son bought tickets for the whole family for Christmas. My wife, my two sons and myself went to see Le Miz tonight. Halfway through the movie I turned to my son and said "I don't know how yet, but I'm going to get you for this" He just nodded and laughed.

Dec 25 - 07:33 PM

Jamie White

Jamie White

Broadway World review: http://broadwayworld.com/article/SOUND-OFF-LES-MISERABLES-On-Film-On-Its-Own-20121223#

Dec 23 - 04:31 PM

Jaime Lannister

Jaime Lannister

so only bad reviews because they just don't "get it". haven't heard that defense for mediocre films before have we?

Dec 23 - 11:03 AM

Clint Skinner

Clint Skinner

The biggest complaint so far has been that there's too much singing. Hello! It's a musical! There's supposed to be singing! These critics would never survive a night at the opera.

Dec 22 - 05:19 PM

Beaugard Stevens

Beaugard Stevens

There is a reason it's not getting rave reviews, it's not that great a movie. I still recommend it, because I think there is more positive than negative in it, but it's not a great movie- and Russell Crowe is terrible!

Dec 22 - 03:19 PM

Jamie White

Jamie White

Julie Fisk CBS B+ http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/12/19/julie-fisk-reviews-les-miserables-django-unchained/

Dec 19 - 08:04 AM

ChrisMichaelSmith851

Chris Michael Smith

It's also jarring that positive reviews for the film are extremely positive; many calling it one of the best films of the year, if not THE best. The negative reviews are complaining that it's "too loud", or come from people who don't seem to know anything about... well, anything. One reviewer compared Les Mis to Twilight (clearly doing so to draw reaction from Les Mis fans). Another one claimed that Hugh Jackman wasn't a real singer (that's Tony-Award winning Musical legend Hugh Jackman, for those of you keeping score), or how Tom Hooper is a bad director (who directed the King's Speech so poorly he won an Oscar for it - because the Academy is all about recognizing bad directors, right?). So I view these reviews wondering how these people are allowed to affect the Tomatometer. Is this Rotten Tomatoes or Cinemascore?

Dec 19 - 01:14 AM

J K.

J Killian

J Killian
1) Keep in mind all reviewers are not true critics and that goes for the positive reviewers too. As somebody else pointed out there are at least two fresh reviews here that should be rotten. 2) You don't have to be a "real singer" to do Broadway....a lot are not but this particular musical might prove too difficult without one. If you listen to a clip from the stage production you'll hear the difference. It's huge. 3) And making lame Award decisions is nothing new.

Dec 19 - 01:26 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

The fact that Hooper won a Best Director Oscar over vets Nolan and Fincer is a fucking joke. THE KING'S SPEECH's direction felt like it was on the level of television.

Dec 24 - 09:44 AM

Jamie White

Jamie White

Absolutely beautiful fan review from someone totally familiar with the source material and able to see an early screener. Notice ... Lots of spoilers read at your own risk http://dizzyspell.net/pop-culture/an-experience-with-les-miserables

Dec 18 - 10:58 AM

Cole Jaeger

Cole Jaeger

Musical lovers love this movie, but a 75% proves it's not for everyone.

Dec 18 - 08:07 AM

Jamie White

Jamie White

Fine, but leave the criticism of the genre to those who understand it. I don't know how to build a car so getting a review from me about what makes a well run automobile is perfectly useless. At best I can tell you whether I like to ride in it. Some of these reviewers just sound plain ignorant and it is affecting the average person's knowledge of what to expect.

Dec 19 - 06:53 AM

Katie Militello

Katie Militello

I see where you are coming from. Another point is people shouldn't review something they know they will hate. I generally detest musicals of all kinds (Les Miserables is the one of the few I like) and I really don't like horror movies, or deep dramas. So I don't review those types of films, because anything I wrote would be biased.

Dec 20 - 04:26 PM

Rick Desper

Rick Desper

"leave the criticism of the genre to those who understand it." Sorry, but that's not how film criticism works. If it's supposed to be art, it opens itself to criticism from all viewers. It's not engineering, where there are definitive right and wrong answers.

Jan 22 - 12:00 PM

Katie Militello

Katie Militello

Critics hated Les Miserables during it's first run in London, so I wasn't surprised by the reviews.

Dec 18 - 06:55 AM

Pat Devlin

Pat Devlin

They also posted several negative reviews as fresh tomatoes & some aren't posted so it's weird.

Dec 17 - 12:49 PM

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