This fake-opulent Les Miz made me long for guillotines ...
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
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.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Victor Hugo's grim, but redemptive, classic novel is given resplendent new life on the big screen.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
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.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
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.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
The moist-eyed storybook romanticism of the source material proves resilient to [Hooper's] efforts.
Scott Foundas - Village Voice
Hooper has chosen to embrace the theatricality of his project - in which there is almost no spoken dialogue - with full enthusiasm.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
One of the most emotionally devastating and gratifying movies I've ever seen.
Joy Tipping - Dallas Morning News
Jackman is in his element here, mastering the space where acting and singing meet head on.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
... 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.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
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.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
I didn't like it.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
If you love Les Mis the stage musical, my guess is you will love what Hooper and his bustling company have done.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
The piercing sincerity of this stupendous, heart-wrenching epic would move even the most jaded cynic. See it and weep.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
If you like your musicals enormous, over the top and bang-on-the-head manipulative, "Les Miserables" is the movie for you.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
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.
Justin Chang - Variety
It's worth seeing the movie for Hathaway alone.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
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.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
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.
Stephanie Zacharek - Film.com
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.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
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.
Dana Stevens - Slate
While successfully "opening up" the musical far beyond the limitations of a theater-bound production, Hooper retains its heart and soul.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
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.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
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 ...
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
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.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
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.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
This is an unforgettable movie going experience, sure to garner multiple Oscar nominations.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
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.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Tom Hooper's direction is an aesthetic crime.
Everybody curse Tom Hooper! Everybody feel the gloom! Everybody give thumbs down to the Master of the Zoom!
Ultimately the film's choppy, camera-goes-anywhere approach works well in translating a play that was never all that interested in the movement of bodies anyway-only their martyrdom.
- Film Comment Magazine
[Director Tom Hooper's] old fashioned take is frequently exhilarating and adamant in its unwavering desire to not be dolled up and be given a hip makeover.
Glenn Dunks - Trespass
If the entire film were as good as the first 30 minutes, it would easily be one of the year's best pictures.
Eric D. Snider
This "Miz" ain't nothin' but a miss.
Al Alexander - The Patriot Ledger
standing as it does, nearly alone, one could certainly do worse than Hooper's brave and smart addition to the pantheon.
Chris Barsanti - Film Racket
Any heart, any familiarity in LES MISERABLES is due solely to the actors, and remains in spite of Hooper's best efforts.
The [film's] conclusion might be that tragedies deserve sympathy, not judgement...and I wish I could come to this conclusion myself but I saw a film directed by Tom Hooper.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Movies With Butter
Within the first six numbers (in a musical containing 666 of them)... Fantine... has lost her job, her teeth, her hair, her prostitute-trainee badge and her life, but not before she sings the weepiest, most maddeningly catchy Susan Boyle song in the world
Dave White - Movies.com
As Fantine, musical theater's favorite emo chick, Hathaway blows away whatever else is supposed to be going on.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
A guaranteed musical tear-jerker about a jerk who becomes a teary hero.
Tom Glasson - Concrete Playground
Imperfect, but stirring
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
Riveting and incredibly entertaining...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Beyond some pacing problems and a few questionable casting choices, the movie works as a towering, somewhat lumbering monolith of entertainment disbursement.
Tim Grierson - Deadspin
A gorgeous film if not quite a classic, "Les Miserables" is a beautiful interpretation of the stage production based on the Victor Hugo novel. Not surprisingly, it's a sight to see, and it's directed by Tom Hooper, who helmed 'The King's Speech.'
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Director Tom Hooper ('The King's Speech'), for the most part, balances Hugo's gritty, if romantic tale, with the larger-than-life demands of an adaptation of the 1985 stage musical.
Dan Lybarger - KC Active
A esperanca e que, depois de Os Miseraveis, alguem tome o megafone de Tom Hooper e o proiba de entrar em outro set de filmagem.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
So many close-ups, it seems better made for TV. Scene transitions are non-existent; the pace is relentless. All this over-the-top selling of emotion makes you look around before exiting-where's the gift shop, hawking more Hugo-not spinoffs and souvenirs?
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Even if you're no fan of the show and think the lyrics doggerel and the music dreary, it's hard not to be bowled over by the barnstorming gusto shown by director Tom Hooper and his cast.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Hugh Jackman is sensational as zero to hero Valjean. Few can sing, dance and act like him. Here, he combines all three to glorious effect. And perhaps his most underrated quality is his greatest, Jackman is just so darn likeable.
Brian Henry Martin - UTV
Les Miserables has enough genuinely emotive power in its tank to guarantee a lot of people enormous pleasure.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
Bombastic, overblown, overlong, needlessly convoluted and full of simplistic characters, some terrible performances and a constant, cochlea-cracking racket on the soundtrack ...
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
A work of unusual power and colour.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
This is a Sing-A-Long Review. Press play on the backing track to "I dreamed a dream" before reading.
Ed Whitfield - The Ooh Tray
It made me bad-tempered for two days, a personal record.
David Sexton - This is London
Those who get on with tunes will barely notice the hours flying past. Of course, if you hate the show, you'll hate the film.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
Starting at full-emotion and never wavering for a moment, this huge movie adaptation of the long-running stage musical wears us out with its relentlessly epic approach.
Rich Cline - Contactmusic.com
It's Jackman, with his background in musical theatre, who stands out - somehow managing to anchor the whole thing and stop it becoming the bloated monster it threatens to be.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
A bold filming of a theatrical classic, anyone with a fondness for the original production and a wee greet will lap this up.
Chris Fyvie - The Skinny
Like being trapped in Disney jail with the kids from Fame. For five consecutive life sentences.
David Jenkins - Little White Lies
Les Miserables? More like Meh Misery-blah-blah.
Ali Gray - TheShiznit.co.uk
The lavish, formidable production will delight fans but I doubt the uninitiated will be won over the barricade.
Frances Morton - Flicks.co.nz
This is a movie about suffering with no jagged edges.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
At the end of 158 minutes, you really have experienced something. What exactly, I'm still not sure.
Hugely enjoyable, powerfully emotional musical with superb songs, stunning set design and a series of brilliant performances from a note-perfect cast.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
There is a sense of danger in performances that are called upon to hit high musical and emotional notes simultaneously.
Amber Wilkinson - Eye for Film
It's great to have a film which touches and moves you. Just be prepared to leave the cinema feeling emotionally drained.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
Spectacular to look at and often poignantly beautiful to listen to, this won't disappoint the millions who have sighed at the stage play.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
By the time Amanda Sieyfried and Eddie Redmayne were warbling a love song at each other within seconds of meeting, I was ready to give in to my bladder.
Andy Lea - Daily Star
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.
Cath Clarke - Time Out
It could have worked if Hooper had taken a bold strimmer to the structure. Instead, this Les Mis feels as dogmatic as Javert, and as cheesy as old brie.
Siobhan Synnot - Scotsman
It's fun while it's on, and unless you're a die-hard musical hater, you'll head home humming.
Hannah McGill - The List
Rings with all the emotion and power of the source and provides a new model for the movie musical.
Helen OHara - Empire Magazine
A good example of a movie that contains a single scene of such unfathomable cinematic perfection that to dwell on its various failings seems cruel and unusual.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
"Les Miserables" will surely take its place among the greatest musical adaptations ever made.
Michael A. Smith - MediaMikes
Les Miserables is a frustrating, gorgeous, and even at times brilliant movie musical.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
The film features excellent singing, for the most part, but it also emphasizes fragility in a work that's largely defined by its grandiosity.
Jeremy Mathews - Paste Magazine
Those who don't know the story going in will be lucky if they know it going out.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
When Les Miserables is good, it is very, very good, and when it is bad, it's usually because Russell Crowe has opened his mouth.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway provide some winning musical moments, but overall Tom Hooper's film version is lumbering and drab.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Depending on whether you love or loathe such stuff, you're likely to either applaud with Lloyd Webber-esque glee, or plan to flee at the nearest opportunity.
Ed Gibbs - The National
A good but flawed adaptation of the smash Broadway musical
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
The issue with a motion picture reproduction of the musical is not whether the songs will be spectacular or whether nostalgia will play a role; the issue is whether director can capture the play's epic scope and whether the cast was up to the challenge.
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
Overstuffed, dreary and dripping with sickening sentimentality, what starts promisingly soon becomes a two-and-a-half hour struggle to stay awake.
Tom Clift - Moviedex
Bloated and overdone but entertaing if not enthralling.
Breaks a record for climbing to the apex of movie musicals. Unfortunately, it's done within the first hour of proceedings and the slide back to the bottom is a laborious walk through the famous stage musical's song book.
Cameron Williams - The Popcorn Junkie
It's ugly in the way that only films driven by fanatical vision, unfettered by checks, and galvanized by awards and money can be ugly
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Here it is, "Occupy Movement: The Musical," "Les Miserables" preaching economic revolution, the downtrodden rising up against the wealthy few and a police force hellbent on defending the status quo
This is a mixed bag of a musical. The story, and characters, are great, but the music is lacking. I think it would help a lot to have subtitles for the songs.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Les Miserables is hampered by Crowe's feat. Fortunately, Jackman is potent in the leading role, and it's nice to see Hollywood taking advantage of his versatility. Yet the showstopper is Hathaway, who's tremendous as Fantine.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
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.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
I have to admit that I was sometimes moved to the verge of contemplating the possibility of tears.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
While Anne Hathaway avoided food in preparing for this film, she compensated for her dietary restriction by chewing the scenery with uncontrolled gusto.
Phil Hall - Film Threat
The songs you expect Javert to knock out of the park end up - at best - bloop singles with Crowe's limited range.
Pete Vonder Haar - Houston Press
One of the best films of 2012.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
A brilliant adaptation of the long-running stage musical, it raises the goose bumps like no other theatrical presentation of its kind, film or stage.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Ironically, the grandly scaled Les Miserables may be the first epic-sized musical that leaves one feeling claustrophobic.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
Hathaway pitches her sweet voice to an octave she's sure that only Oscar voters can hear.
Corey Hall - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Epic yet intimate, Les Miserables is a standing-ovation triumph.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
As Fantine, a gaunt Anne Hathaway plunges into her character's suffering with such unseemly relish that she practically licks her chops with self-indulgent woe.
Dan Callahan - Reverse Shot
having the actors sing their parts while they were filming...gives the music a welcome organic quality and immediacy.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
The "misery" is there, all right. But so is the uplift.
Neil Pond - American Profile
The best movie musical I have ever seen.
Bob Grimm - Tucson Weekly
The good news: Les Miserables is a less miserable film experience than expected. The bad news: it's still miserable.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
The real diamond here is Russell Crowe. As the committed lawman Javert, he proves what a versatile and magnetic actor he is.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
works emotionally even when it stumbles aesthetically
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
"Les Miserables" is one of the few movie musicals you will ever see that matches (and in some cases surpasses) what you would experience on the stage.
Mathew DeKinder - Suburban Journals of St. Louis
Excellent film adaptation of gritty, heartbreaking musical.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
Let's accentuate the positive.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
A mixed bag of suitable and not-so-suitable choices. On balance, though, it's about as compelling a screen version of Les Mis as we have any right to expect...Pop a dramamine and you'll be fine.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
There are some moving scenes, and some of the songs are well realized. I was particularly impressed with Eddie Redmayne, whose acting and singing ... is, for me, the highlight of the film.
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
Good thing that "Les Miserables" wasn't filmed in 3D. Audience members in the first few rows might have requested a sneeze guard.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
The music is never as impressive as the filmmakers want you to think but the filmmaking itself is often very good - good enough to keep you watching and plugged in
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Spectacular, sweeping, and poignant. It covers nearly the entire emotional spectrum possible.
Mark R. Leeper - Mark Leeper's Reviews
This version of "Les Miserables" simply doesn't sing.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
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.
Christopher Orr - The Atlantic
Jackman's Valjean can't quite sing on key. / And Crowe's Javert deserves Razzies.
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out Chicago
A few hours watching this adaptation and you may be one of the miserable ones, too.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Fans of the franchise will greet "Les Miserables" as a feast for the senses, but the rest of us are left with crumbs.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Faulty third act can't dull Les Miserables' impact
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
The period production design is intricate and evocative. And although the screenplay, about characters linked by fate, likely owes a debt to the original production, it is structurally and dramatically sound.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The music and the magnetic performances make many of the directorial missteps fade into the background.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
Is Les Miserables perfect? No. Is it worthy of the word 'classic'? Perhaps in some circles. Still, it's a gorgeous, well-executed (but at times lukewarm) film.
Kofi Outlaw - ScreenRant
A swing and a miz.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
This is filmmaking of the most opulent order -- par excellence.
Erick Weber - NECN
I liked the film, but its various standout performances and production numbers end up overshadowing the overall offering. (Full Content Review for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
If you're not careful, it will sweep you right off your feet: leaving you drained, stunned and more than a little moved.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
accessible to the mainstream and expertly done from a technical level
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
It is unsubtle, but magnificently so.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
The film makes the most of the cinematic medium, particularly through the use of close ups, and is a worthy adaptation of this much beloved musical.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
Likely to evoke love it or hate it sentiments, and I loved it.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Review formatted to Smash Mouth's "All Star." SooomeBODY once TOLD me, the SOOONGS were gonna BORE me, I AIN'T a cultured DUDE just a GUUUUUEST/Anne was LOOKin kinda GLUM with her HAAAAIR up in a BUN, and some DIRT on her FACE, yeah she's POOR, now
Vincent Mancini - FilmDrunk
An engaging version of a sweeping epic, an enduring tale of romance, sacrifice and heroism.
Christine Dolen - Miami Herald
Jackman does indeed seem able to do it all in show business, and now he has perhaps his greatest triumph as Jean Valjean, the famous prisoner No. 24601 in the movie version of Les Miserables.
John Fleming - Tampa Bay Times
The gorgeous art direction and sweeping cinematography by Danny Cohen elevate the filmmaker's vision of Les Miserables as something greater than a rehash of the musical.
Kirk Baird - Toledo Blade
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.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
The actors - particularly Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne - carry the day, despite Hooper's often claustrophobic camera angles and occasional bursts of mincemeat editing.
Robert Trussell - Kansas City Star
Despite the shaky start, I found it to be an emotionally fulfilling, epic musical featuring outstanding performances from the ensemble cast.
Austin Kennedy - Film Geek Central
It may succeed commercially because of the already-existing fan base which has been eager for years to see it on the big screen. However, that doesn't make it a good movie.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
Just try and resist the urge to give it a standing ovation when the credits start.
Jeffrey Lyles - Lyles' Movie Files
Anne Hathaway as Fantine is absolutely 100% amazing. She's so good, I almost forgot that I hate her.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Enjoyment requires a determinedly half-full attitude: Take pleasure in what's good and don't worry about the rest. If you can't do that, this may be the longest almost-three-hours of your life.
Sarah Boslaugh - PopMatters
Musically romanticizing carnage and destruction
S. James Wegg - JWR
The result is not only one of the best musical adaptations to come along in the last few years, but also the best film of 2012.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
If it's not quite the movie version that fans have been longing for, it is good enough that they wouldn't want to miz it.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
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.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
The songs in "Les Miz" are big, emotional missiles, meant to carry their three-hanky payload to the very back row, to bend around the pillars offering obstructed views.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
And then there is Anne Hathaway. Yes, she is every bit as good as you've heard before. This is not only the best performance in the film, but one of the finest performances of the year.
JimmyO - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Raw, riveting and remarkable.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Judging from the title I expected Les Miserables to be in French - so imagine my delight when I realized that this was the corner of Paris where every peasant in Britain lives! Chez blimey!
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
A boldly conceived effort with stunning performances and a searing sense of despair, yet the world-famous music lives on, supporting a unique attempt to strip the theatrical behemoth down to its purest elements of stinging emotion.
Brian Orndorf - Blu-ray.com
Once the film acknowledges the exaggeration and two-dimensionality of the story's gleefully villainous characters, 'Les Mis' starts to resemble a party with great music.
Kirk Honeycutt - honeycuttshollywood.com
This is an underwhelming adaptation, but the film is executed with a unique, admirable approach and, ultimately, is a solid -- with reservations -- arrangement.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Like Joel Schumacher's...'The Phantom of the Opera,'...Tom Hooper's opulent but bloated version of another insipid pop opera proves a lump of coal in moviegoers' Christmas stockings.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Director Tom Hooper has traded the soaring voices of the stage presentation for a concept incorporating dramatic interpretations of the songs that, while not as vocally exhilarating as Broadway, makes this transition more cinematically palatable.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
While there's some value in making a slavish adaptation of a near-universally beloved stage musical, sticking to all the trappings of the play is a sure path to making the film feel like a translation rather than a similarly inspired production.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
Offers proof yet again that the Hollywood musical has become almost a lost art, like lye soap and cursive handwriting.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The first 45 minutes of Les Miserables is kind of a mess. It is choppy, the music kind of terrible and nothing makes much sense but once it clicks it becomes an emotional roller coaster. This movie is epic in every sense of the word.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
An ambitious but satisfying cinematic journey built upon a sense of grandeur -- albeit one coated with alternating layers of grime and tear-jerking emotion
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
A perfect film for a Pez dispenser set: A gallery of big famous faces that deliver fleeting bursts of energy ... but these moments dissolve, giving us nothing much to chew on.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Looking Closer
This isn't a great movie musical, but it's a good one, with a couple of truly transcendent performances.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
British director Tom Hooper could be heading back to the Oscars, along with his stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, with this remarkably affecting and resourceful screen adaptation of the popular pop opera.
Wendy Weinstein - Film Journal International
Likely to be this year's biggest inspiration for tears shed in movie theaters, Les Miserables is a suitably tender, sad and stirring adaptation of the beloved stage musical.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Beneath the moving acting, soaring music, and powerful images is a story. And what a story.
Rebecca Cusey - Patheos
Among the very best recent adaptations of great stage musicals.
Stephen Silver - EntertainmentTell
We expected more. A lot more.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
Hooper and the cast do get at the beating heart of the play and ultimately provide the kind of cathartic experience that continues to make the [musical] a favorite.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
Hooper bets heavily on his cast, and mostly wins.
Betsy Sherman - Boston Phoenix
While nothing will be as powerful as seeing it live on stage, Hooper directs the film with a straight forward brashness that shows a brave faith in his actors and the material.
Matthew Razak - Flixist.com
I found it humorless (yes, I know it's called Les Miserables, but did it have to include the audience?), unaffecting and absolutely interminable.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
A musical with overwhelming theatricality trusted to a cast at best sporadically capable of performing their parts on the multiple levels necessary to actually do their jobs right.
William Bibbiani - CraveOnline
Earnest enough to verge on parody, but so sumptuous most audiences won't care a jot.
Chris Laverty - Clothes on Film
There's an alchemy in [Hooper's] Les Miserables that brings together the best of screen and the best of stage...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Given the stage musical's immense popularity, there is a built-in audience for this that knows the story and won't care about narrative issues, such as a lack of focus and a running time that stretches beyond two-and-a-half hours.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
The best movie musical in over a decade; what a musical like this should be - unabashed, unashamed emotion painted in vibrant, broad colors across a massive screen.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
...framing that cuts off the top of young Cosette's head, close ups so insistent the focus puller must have ulcers and a camera that moves in to the underside of Hathaway's chin while Fantine lies dying.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
If you think a musical can't make you feel something, or if on-the-nose lyrics can never resonate, Les Miserables is the movie to change your mind.
Matt Pais - RedEye
A lush, engaging take on the tale, filled with strong performances of both the musical and the dramatic variety.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
...a Les Miserables inspired by Christina Aguilera's "Voice," for better and for worse.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
A punishing movie adaptation from director Tom Hooper that may very well prove to be the 'adult' equivalent of the Twilight series.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Hathaway is a lock to win the Supporting Actress Oscar. Bank on it.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Instead of cheering and wiping away tears at the end, it leaves one deflated as he or she ponders the ways this translation has gone wrong.
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.
'Les Miserables' delivers stunning moments, but there is more pomp and circumstance than needed heart and soul.
Clay Cane - BET.com
Having a cast of superb actors was more important to Hooper than casting a team of great singers; but make no mistake, there isn't a second grade singer among them
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Tony-award winning musical delivers everything at its creative peak - drama, performance, filmmaking and the language of music that delivers its message like no other. An emotional tour de force.
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Tom Hooper's adaptation of Les Miserables touches greatness more often than most of the movies released in the past calendar year, which is why it's so disappointing whenever the film returns to its more frequent state of being: pretty good.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
Anguished, unrestrained, relentlessly amplified, it's a uniquely overwhelming, even exhausting extravaganza.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Adeptly but unimaginatively directed by Tom Hooper.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
For all its grand, overblown designs, there are some genuinely engaging surprises. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen are a riot.
Ed Gibbs - The Sunday Age
I feel like one of those reality show judges, sadly grimacing as I deliver the news. Audience boos me. How could I not like this? After all, everybody's TRYING SO HARD!!!!
Joanna Langfield - The Movie Minute
Hooper has managed to suck the life out of a magnificent production, draining the blood of bread-pilfering Jean Valjean into a port-a-loo of tedium.
Luke Buckmaster - Crikey
Hooper gives us a one of a kind, immersive cinema experience that is a feast for the eyes, ears and the heart.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
While it may be a landmark for musical lovers, proves that this genre of film may be the hardest to cross over to the rest of us.
Mark Ellis - Schmoes Know
While it's only drawback may be it's lack of abiity to win over reluctant viewers, "Les Miserables" has so much to offer a fan of musical cinema that it easily is one of the best films of 2012.
Kristian Harloff - Schmoes Know
Major awards nominations, big box office bucks and well-pleased crowds are a certainty.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
It's hard to resist the movie's wrenching sense of intimacy.
Karen D'Souza - San Jose Mercury News
Because it's "Les Miz," and it's...AAAAAWEsome!
Luke Y. Thompson - Nerdist
As exhaustive and definitive as fans could ask for, this heavyweight musical will enrapture fans and prove impressive to the uninitiated, also.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
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.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
Les Misérables is as sodden as a tear-filled hankie. Director Hooper gets bogged down by the bulk of his movie.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
A sweeping, musical spectacle filled with wonderful performances and a keen political awareness.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Les Miserables is a beautiful work, but a highly flawed one, and despite many moments of sheer transcendence, the film as a whole falls short of greatness.
Jonathan Lack - We Got This Covered
After Hathaway's early high point, it starts to feel numbing ...
Alison Willmore - Movieline
Hooper's Les Miserables is a game changer. Cinematic musicals won't pass muster unless they're aiming for this new gold standard.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
The result is performances that are raw, real and devastating in their emotional punch.
Nicola Christie - Independent
This is a wonderful film, an all-time-great musical, guaranteed -- despite its title -- to raise your spirits, as well as make you cry.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
You cannot help but applaud Hooper for this brave attempt, which will probably please fans of Glee and Susan Boyle everywhere.
Kate Muir - Times [UK]
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.
Three cheers for a sentimental musical about forgiveness, freedom, and love that brings tears to our eyes in unison with others!
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
One would be hard-pressed to describe this, despite the wealth of beauty on display, as anything but an ugly film, shot and cut ineptly.
Calum Marsh - Slant Magazine
When it all comes down to the singing, the communication of these grand, sweeping passions in song, 'Les Miserables' connects and connects and connects again, and on that level, it has to be called a triumph.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
Audiences new to Boubil & Schoenberg's stage musical - based on Victor Hugo's novel of historical fiction - may be surprised to discover that the wooly narrative as compelling as they imagined it might be.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
By the end, you feel like a pinata on the dancefloor: empty, in bits, the victim of prolonged assault by killer pipes.
Broadway longevity notwithstanding, 'Les Miserables' is not a great musical. But the current screen version could have been so much better if real singers were used instead of box office draws like Jackman and Crowe.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Well, sorry, but if this stuff doesn't get you going, your heart must be pumping cold porridge.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
Les Mis is also uplifting and the opposite of a miserable experience. In fact it should be called Le Magnifique.
Grant Rollings - Sun Online
An epic story of love, death and disappointment set against a backdrop of French Revolution.
Sydnee Watlow - Daily Mirror [UK]
A five-star movie musical extravaganza that hums with the spirit of Victor Hugo's classic novel and the landmark stage show upon which it's based.
Baz Bamigboye - Daily Mail [UK]
a maudlin act of white-noise desperation, underscored by director Tom Hooper's inability to discern the difference between quiet and loud - not just musically, but as a storyteller and dramatist.
Todd Gilchrist - Celebuzz
Not only is Les Miserables a great film, but it is now the textbook example of how to adapt a musical for the screen, all the while maintaining an utterly straight face. Glorious.
Ross Jones-Morris - HeyUGuys
For fans, this is exactly how the story of Jean Valjean's transformation from thief to saint should be delivered: smothered in bombast
Mark Keizer - Boxoffice Magazine
If you are a fan of this show, you'll likely lose your mind at this film. If you merely like the story, there is an ineffable quality to Hugh Jackman's performance that just about makes suffering through the singing worth it.
Jordan Hoffman - ScreenCrush
Will send the devoted home happy and likely demonstrate to the few uninitiated what all the fuss is about.
Neil Smith - Total Film
This dramatic musical contains some powerful moments, hovering between politics and art, theater and cinema, but not really successful as a whole.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com