Les Miserables
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Bille August directed this Rafael Yglesias adaptation of the 1862 classic by Victor Hugo (1802-1885) about the quest of Inspector Javert to capture escaped convict Jean Valjean, originally an honest man who was jailed for stealing a single loaf of bread to feed the family of his starving sister. This new interpretation of Hugo's epic begins with Valjean (Liam Neeson), released after 20 years of cruelties and hard labor, reporting for parole in Dijon. Stopping at a bishop's house, he's treated with respect, but even so, he steals silverware, flees, and is captured. However, the… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Without a doubt the most emotionally powerful and handsomely mounted production of the story yet."
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"Towering over the entire film is Liam Neeson, the Irish actor who seems at home in any kind of picture, whether it transpires in contemporary America, World War II Germany, or centuries-ago Scotland."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Neeson's is an outstanding, memorable Jean Valjean who does a mighty job of anchoring this film and keeping its drama earthy and humane."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"A beautiful testament to the strength of the human spirit. This version of Les Miserables is a triumph for everyone involved."
‑ Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily
"With a group like this, and with Hugo's literature, who could lose?"
‑ John R. McEwen, Film Quips Online
"The movie's whole virtuous conception of Jean Valjean sticks in my craw. He's haunted and hunted, but he reeks of a reasoned, noble superiority that's a pretty sterile quality in the hero of an epic."
‑ Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"It never sinks, but it never really soars either, though here and there it hits a powerful moment."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"I feel like saying I hate this movie. I really don't. I was just bored out of my mind by its lack of anything real."
‑ David Poland, Movie City News
"The new version is a traditional telling of the story, and there is nothing wrong with tradition."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Victor Hugo's great novel Les Miserables has been translated to screen at least five times before. Leave it to Liam Neeson to make a sixth seem indispensable."
‑ Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
"With a first-rate cast and a venerable storytelling style, it fluently condenses Victor Hugo's epic novel and retrieves some of its suspenseful momentum."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"It contains the moments of high drama, clearly outlines all the motivations, is easy to follow and lacks only passion. A story filled with outrage and idealism becomes somehow merely picturesque."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"[An] attractive, solid rendering of this popular classic."
‑ Luisa F. Ribeiro, Boxoffice Magazine
"Somewhere, Victor Hugo must be rolling in his grave."
‑ Eugene Novikov, Film Blather
"August's film won't make you forget the musical or the many previous movie versions, but an entertaining, stirring version of Hugo's tale of social justice is always welcome."
‑ Gary Susman, Boston Phoenix
More reviews for Les Miserables (1998) on Rotten Tomatoes