Les Misérables

2020

Les Misérables

Critics Consensus

Les Misérables transcends its unwieldy story with compelling ideas and an infectious energy that boils over during a thrilling final act.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 139

88%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 26
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Movie Info

Stephane, only just arrived from Cherbourg, joins the anti-criminality brigade of Montfermeil in a sensitive district of the Paris suburbs. Paired up with Chris and Gwada whose methods are sometimes "special," he rapidly discovers the tensions between the various neighborhood groups. When an arrest starts to get out of hand, a drone is filming every move they make.

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Critic Reviews for Les Misérables

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (117) | Rotten (22)

  • Its merely plot-driven depictions of its residents converges with Ly's merely functional direction, to flatten "Les Misérables" into the undistinguished style of conventionally apolitical and socially indifferent conventional crime dramas.

    January 24, 2020 | Full Review…
  • When it reaches its boiling point, "Les Misérables" absolutely roils.

    January 23, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • It's an urgent portrait that captures a much different Paris than the original 1862 novel, but its themes remain. Victor Hugo would be proud.

    January 20, 2020 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • [Ladj Ly's] film is best when it immerses us in small moments and naturalistic performances, propelled by Pink Noise's electronic score.

    January 17, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • You might call these the slums, but the film is not slumming. The drone itself is a player in this work, and an overhead shot of a ragtag outdoor bazaar reveals the place's startling geometry.

    January 15, 2020 | Full Review…
  • With "Les Misérables," Ly delivers a passionate protest on behalf of an entire generation, whose future has largely been foreclosed.

    January 15, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Les Misérables

  • Jan 25, 2020
    I can't help but feel that France made a mistake when they selected their official entry for the 2019 Oscars. Les Miserables is a perfectly fine, if not good, cop thriller with a social urgency bubbling under the surface to provide added depth, but it's no Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was sumptuous and one of the best films of the year. Regardless, this movie follows a new officer on his first day transferred to his new unit in the ghettos of Paris where his experienced partners have harassed the mostly Muslim immigrants to the point of simmering community resentment. Then, in the middle of a pitched crowd of kids fighting the officers, an accident happens, the incident is recorded via a drone camera, and different factions are racing to get a hold of that footage and its inherent leverage. Les Miserables has a docu-drama cinema verite visual approach and plenty of authenticity in its details of beat cops, a minority community under surveillance and mistrust, and the corrupting influence of power. It's an efficiently made thriller with some potent drama. However, it takes way too long to get going. That drone incident doesn't happen until an hour into the running time, beyond the halfway point. Until then it's setting up the various characters and grievances and starting to test our new transfer with how comfortable he will be accepting the borderline behavior of his fellow officers. I really felt like once the drone incident hit the rest of the movie would be off like a shot, a race to the finish, and it's just not. It concludes too quickly and then introduces a revenge assault that made me yell loudly, and profanely, at my TV when it faded to black without any legitimate ending. I think writer/director Ladj Ly is going for the ambiguity of whether or not these characters are in their "corrupt" and "lost" boxes that society has forced them into, whether they will have their humanity stripped away to become another statistic in an ongoing struggle, but I don't think a non-ending helps his cause. It makes the movie, already feeling misshapen in structure, feel incomplete. Ending on a quote by Victor Hugo is not the same. Les Miserables is a finely made thriller but at least Hugo's version had an actual ending. Nate's Grade: B-
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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