• Trust Weighted Great
  • 93 Trust Points

On Demand

Netflix On Demand

Amazon Instant Video On Demand

$2.99 Rental

iTunes On Demand

Buy from $9.99


Tag Tree


Wick's Review

Created Feb 11, 2012 07:07PM PST • Edited Feb 14, 2012 11:34PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Martin Scorsese does a kid’s movie, delivering a film history lesson wrapped in a Parisian postcard. Glorious visuals, affecting performances and deft filmmaking flourishes make it a treat for kids of all ages.

    The fable of Hugo Cabret imagines an orphan boy who lives in the walls of a storybook railway station, where he maintains the many fantastic clocks. A mechanical prodigy, he cleverly solves a great mystery, dodges capture by the authorities and ultimately resurrects a great man.

    This all makes for a great cinematic experience, even without kids in tow. Plus it works in 2D, though it would have been great to see in 3D. It’s not even necessary to know that the filmmaker at the movie’s center was real. Georges Méliès was, as covered in Reality below.

    The movie suffers a bit from having a bunch of Brits play French. Even the few Americans in the cast affect British accents for their French characters. Scorsese, like all of Hollywood, knows that Americans are easily taken by European accents, specific countries be damned. The other ding is that the preciousness of the dialog grates on adult sensibilities from time to time.

    Enduring such flaws is a small price to pay for enjoying this Scorsese treat. As Izzio declared in his review – “Don’t doubt the power of Scorsese!!!!!!!” Never again.

  3. Great 4.0

    Asa Butterfield is properly affecting as the orphaned boy at the movie’s center, his oh-so-blue eyes piercing the distance between screen and viewer.

    Sir Ben Kingsley brings his trademark dignity to the role of long-suffering artist/inventor Georges Méliès. Helen McCrory deftly conveys a mix of sternness and kindness as his wife, appearing both older and younger than herself.

    Chloë Grace Moretz – a rare American among the British cast – brings near the verve to her role as their goddaughter and Hugo’s sole friend that she brought to Kick-Ass’s Hit-Girl.

    Sacha Baron Cohen’s stilted comedy ideally suits a martinet law enforcement officer on the hunt for wayward children. Emily Mortimer charms as a flower shop proprietor who brings out his better nature.

    Quality character actors fill out the large cast.

    • Ray Winstone is suitably repellent as Hugo’s drunken Uncle.
    • Sir Christopher Lee – he of Dracula fame – is nicely officious as a haughty bookshop owner.
    • Michael Stuhlbarg is once and again A Serious Man, here a professor of film history.
    • Frances de la Tour & Richard Griffiths play a couple of characters who bond through their frou-frou dogs.
    • Jude Law handsomely plays Hugo’s Father.

    Watch for a cameo by Martin Scorsese as the photographer in front of Méliès’s movie studio.

  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Great 4.0

    Martin Scorsese employs an army of FX artists to create a nearly animated film populated by real actors. Within these glorious visuals, he teases a child’s fable into a satisfyingly complex film. Dreams within dreams, innocuous happenings that pay-off in subsequent reels, rich character development: the great director deploys his full complement of skills.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Very Good 3.5

    Those who treasured The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the graphic novel on which the film is based, will be in heaven.

    That said, War Horse – another kid’s movie from a top director – has been criticized for being too corny, yet was Shakespeare compared to Hugo. While Hugo is too precious for my taste, it does pay-off every setup, occasionally in satisfyingly surprising ways.

    One final criticism: Were adults really so cruel to orphans in early 20th Century Paris? It doesn’t ring true.

  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Highlights include huge clockworks, a near-magical automaton and the fantastic Gare Montparnasse train station. Oh yeah, the City of Light never looked better either.

  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.4

    A sweet boy endures disdain from adults after becoming an orphan. Were people really so callous?

  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Gentle 1.5
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.7
  18. Surreal 2.6

    Film buff Martin Scorsese’s movie introduces us to pioneering filmmaker Georges Méliès, “one of the first to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his work.”1 Méliès really did have his own glass-walled studio where he made the SciFi and other fantasy movies depicted in Hugo. Bravo!

    The fact that Scorsese’s movie about him is surreal would no doubt have pleased Méliès very much.

    1 Wikipedia on Méliès

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.9
  20. Biological Surreal 2.6
  21. Physical Surreal 2.3


Subscribe to Hugo 3 replies, 2 voices
  • 1 - 3 of 3
  • « First
  • Last »
  • NEXT ►
Jul 21, 2012 5:17PM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
“The filming and all its graphical enhancements were amazing.” Indeed.

Feb 12, 2012 5:46PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Glad to see you liked it!

Jan 22, 2012 10:01PM

Regarding izzio’s Review
“Don’t doubt the power of Scorsese!!!!!!!” I did but now see the error of my ways. Thanks for setting the record straight Iz.