Les Misérables 2012

Critics score:
70 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Tom Hooper's problem is soiling good projects with bad direction. Even if his Les Miserables wins as many Oscars as The King's Speech did, it's a habit he really needs to correct. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: We're all familiar with the experience of seeing movies that cram ideas and themes down our throats. Les Miserables may represent the first movie to do so while also cramming us down the throats of its actors. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: ... Jackman, who should get a Nobel Prize for the way he carries pretty much the whole undertaking on his shoulders, so protean and virile is his singing and acting throughout. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: By the grand finale, when tout le monde is waving the French tricolor in victory, you may instead be raising the white flag in exhausted defeat. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Victor Hugo's grim, but redemptive, classic novel is given resplendent new life on the big screen. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: This isn't a great movie musical, but it's a good one, with a couple of truly transcendent performances. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Jackman is performing in a drama, Crowe on his concert stage, and Hathaway alone in her room. It's a collection of performances rather than a story. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: If you like your musicals enormous, over the top and bang-on-the-head manipulative, "Les Miserables" is the movie for you. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: After 2 1/2 hours, the movie's become a bowl of trail mix - you're picking out the nuts you don't like and hoping the next bite doesn't contain any craisins. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: I didn't like it. Read more

Joy Tipping, Dallas Morning News: One of the most emotionally devastating and gratifying movies I've ever seen. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Jackman is in his element here, mastering the space where acting and singing meet head on. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: This fake-opulent Les Miz made me long for guillotines ... Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Film.com: Les Miserables is ... shellacked with appropriate levels of grimy grandeur. It's designed to make us feel every emotion fortissimo - because pianissimo is so 1862. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: As the enduring success of this property has shown, there are large, emotionally susceptible segments of the population ready to swallow this sort of thing, but that doesn't mean it's good. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Despite its pitfalls, this movie musical is a clutch player that delivers an emotional wallop when it counts. You can walk into the theater as an agnostic, but you may just leave singing with the choir. Read more

Karen D'Souza, San Jose Mercury News: It's hard to resist the movie's wrenching sense of intimacy. Read more

Christine Dolen, Miami Herald: An engaging version of a sweeping epic, an enduring tale of romance, sacrifice and heroism. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: This is a big story, with big themes, based on Victor Hugo's really big novel about love, law and revolution in 19th-century France. Yet somehow, "Les Miserables" isn't the major movie event it should be. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Fans of the original production, no doubt, will eat the movie up, and good luck to them. I screamed a scream as time went by. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: A few hours watching this adaptation and you may be one of the miserable ones, too. Read more

Ian Buckwalter, NPR: The music and the magnetic performances make many of the directorial missteps fade into the background. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Hooper has chosen to embrace the theatricality of his project - in which there is almost no spoken dialogue - with full enthusiasm. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: It's worth seeing the movie for Hathaway alone. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: If you love Les Mis the stage musical, my guess is you will love what Hooper and his bustling company have done. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: While successfully "opening up" the musical far beyond the limitations of a theater-bound production, Hooper retains its heart and soul. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com: This is an unforgettable movie going experience, sure to garner multiple Oscar nominations. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: No one expects gutsy filmmaking in a musical. But that's just what King's Speech Oscar winner Tom Hooper delivers in Les Miserables. Damn the imperfections, it's perfectly marvelous. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: At the heart of the "Les Miserables" movie was a good idea that just didn't work out this time. The idea was that the actors should sing their songs live on camera. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: It is enormous and sprawling and not the slightest bit subtle. But at the same time it's hard not to admire the ambition that drives such an approach ... Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The piercing sincerity of this stupendous, heart-wrenching epic would move even the most jaded cynic. See it and weep. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Fans of the franchise will greet "Les Miserables" as a feast for the senses, but the rest of us are left with crumbs. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: Committed fans of the musical are likely to have their affections reaffirmed. The less devout, however, may conclude that in this case more is less, and fidelity not always a virtue. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: A productive experiment, an epic-scaled weepie, an exercise in sincere kitsch, and, perhaps too easily dismissed, a rare modern movie about the wretched poor, a traditional subject of interest at this time of year. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Les Miserables sings so desperately for its Oscar supper, it makes you want to scoop it up in your arms like Jean Valjean cradling the wretched Fantine. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Director Tom Hooper piles one terrible decision upon another, with the result being a movie so overbearingly maudlin and distorted that it's one of 2012's most excruciating film experiences. Read more

Cath Clarke, Time Out: Tom Hooper gets a bit carried away with swoopy shots, and the close-ups are unrelenting, but crucially he lets the filth and the squalor in. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Overall, you might just be wrecked and need a hug. Be generous with any naysayers and spread your arms wide; they'll be weeping too. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: The squalor and upheaval of early 19th-century France are conveyed with a vividness that would have made Victor Hugo proud, heightened by the raw, hungry intensity of the actors' live oncamera vocals. Read more

Scott Foundas, Village Voice: The moist-eyed storybook romanticism of the source material proves resilient to [Hooper's] efforts. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The tasteless bombardment that is Les Miserables would, under most circumstances, send audiences screaming from the theater, but the film is going to be a monster hit and award winner, and not entirely unjustly. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: It lives in that kinda-sorta, okay-not-great, this-worked-that-didn't in-between for which words like "better" and "worse" fall woefully short. Read more