Stirring and striking, Hooper's epic musical won't be wanting for awards and plaudits. Danny Cohen's cinematography is stunning and Hathaway's Oscar is guaranteed.
—Neil Smith Total Film
Yet for all its expected highs, the adaptation has been managed with more gusto than grace; at the end of the day, this impassioned epic too often topples beneath the weight of its own grandiosity.
—Justin Chang Variety
Even at a generous running time that matches this season's other giant award candidates, Les Misérables seems like it's in a hurry, skittering from one number to the next without interlude. After Hathaway's early high point, it starts to feel numbing, an unending barrage of musical emoting carrying us through Valjean's adopting of Cosette, the latter's first encounter with Marius, the battle at the barricade and a last hour that can feel like it's a non-stop series of death arias.
—Alison Willmore Movieline
This steam-driven military weapon of an enterprise is a sobering reminder of just how tinny a musical Les Misérables was in the first place.
—Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly
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