Les Misérables

2012, Musical/History, 2h 38m

259 Reviews 250,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Impeccably mounted but occasionally bombastic, Les Misérables largely succeeds thanks to bravura performances from its distinguished cast. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After 19 years as a prisoner, Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is freed by Javert (Russell Crowe), the officer in charge of the prison workforce. Valjean promptly breaks parole but later uses money from stolen silver to reinvent himself as a mayor and factory owner. Javert vows to bring Valjean back to prison. Eight years later, Valjean becomes the guardian of a child named Cosette after her mother's (Anne Hathaway) death, but Javert's relentless pursuit means that peace will be a long time coming.

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Critic Reviews for Les Misérables

Audience Reviews for Les Misérables

  • Mar 12, 2021
    I love the story of Les Misérables. I've seen the musical performed, a few different adaptations, and I really feel like this big budget musical could have been the definitive version. However, it just doesn't reach that point. There is a lot to love in this adaptation. The costumes, the sets, and (most of) the performances are excellent. Interestingly, while I was most looking forward to the big budget take on things like battle sequences, it's the more intimate moments that the film does best. When it's just one person singing, usually the sad songs, and usually in one take, the movie knocks it out of the park. That being said though, when the movie goes for grander songs like revolution scenes and party scenes, it is both too big and not big enough. The direction is frenetic and hard to handle, but the performances too often don't go big enough. In Master of the House, the camera is all of the place and there's tons of crazy stuff happening, but none of it is that good. On the other hand the star of the show in this scene, Sacha Baron Cohen singing, is surprisingly low key. Then there's Russell Crowe. That was a bad choice. He has the strength and power for the roll, but when he has to sing it's painful. However much of the cast still does great. Eddie Redmayne is surprisingly good, Hugh Jackman was a singer before he was an actor so he's great, Anne Hathaway earned her Oscar, and most of the supporting cast are good. This could have been the definitive version, but ultimately it is just another version. It's a good version though, but a flawed version whose ambition far outweighs its ability. When it stays small it's incredible, but when it tries to be epic it shoots a little too far. It's an odd dichotomy there, but it's still worth seeing for when it is amazing. It's still Les Miz, and I really like Les Miz. It's not the definitive version I would have liked, but it's got enough great moments to make the parts where it falters forgivable.
    Michael M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2016
    Okay, don't expect West-End-quality singing, but I think the acting and cinematography do justice to the full spectrum of emotions spanned by this beloved story. I was pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous singing of Marius, Eponine, Gavroche, and Anne Hathaway was mesmerising. I forgot how much I loved Les Miserables so this gets an extra star for bringing it back to me. Keep a tall glass of water nearby, you'll need it to replenish what you lose in tears and joy.
    Letitia L Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2016
    This adaptation is grand in scale and performances but Les Misà (C)rables seemingly falls flat with its overwhelming use of musical dialogue. The film based on the acclaimed novel-turned-musical is catchy and beautiful at times with its tunes but the lengthy portrayal and character development (or lack thereof) doesn't help reach whatever high notes it could've potentially hit. 3/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 11, 2016
    With brilliant performances from the entire cast and a dark and gritty visual design, Les Miserables is both emotionally haunting and uplifting mainly thanks to it's amazing soundtrack.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer

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