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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 11 May 2012
I had never heard of this film as we rarely go to the cinema but we'd just bought a 3D TV and Blu-ray player and wanted something to try. I was swayed by the awards the film had won and bought it in faith. What a surprise! The 3D was superb (we had seen Avatar and Harry Potter at the cinema in 3D and didn't think the TV 3D would be as good but it was. The story was the surprise as we didn't realise it was woven around a real person, Georges Melies, the early film-maker. Excellent, star-studded casting and an engrossing movie. My husband isn't normally much a film watcher but he was praising it for days afterwards. The bonus features are very good too, especially the background of Melies himself. We loved it!
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on 31 May 2012
Heavily enhanced with such magnificent CGI that you could initially mistake it for a gorgeous animated feature, Hugo introduces us to a typical children's tale (child has idyllic relationship, tragedy happens, everybody gives him an unfair deal, he eventually redeems himself) but told with the panache and confidence of a master.
Martin Scorsese sets the majority of the tale in a magically intricate and gorgeous looking train station people with interesting characters as orphan Hugo secretly keeps the clocks working and tries to fix a mysterious automaton. During his adventures he befriends a young girl (the ubiquitous Chloe Grace Moretz) and her crotchety Uncle (Ben Kingsley) while trying to avoid being caught and sent to an orphanage by the the station-master, played with humour (and a surprisingly delicate degree of pathos) by Sacha Baron Cohen.
The visuals are a treat, and much of the film is dedicated to a discovery of the origins of cinema. In framing a history lesson within a magical children's tale, the film really helps you to feel the nostalgia and wonder that Scorsese is hoping to evoke. The film's tale about Hugo himself also has adventures, chases, and an emotionally satisfying finale that make it well worth seeing in its own right. Maybe a little too cerebral and interested in the past for younger viewers (anyone under 8 might get bored) but a gorgeous and interesting tale.
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on 2 July 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this film - it's a visual feast for the eyes (especially in 3D), and the storyline is well-crafted and engendered a real sense of empathy for all of the characters (even the villain of the piece, the station inspector). Asa Butterfield is excellent as Hugo Cabret, and Ben Kingsley must have had a whale of a time playing Georges Melies - fantastic to watch, too. Helen McCrory, as Mama Jeanne, brought some real warmth to her role. And Sacha Baron Cohen managed to put aside his somewhat-acquired-taste characters of Borat et al, and played the part of the evil (initially) station inspector very well indeed. Also look out for nice little cameo appearances from Christopher Lee, Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths, amongst others - even Martin Scorcese appears briefly (as a photographer). The mechanical man is also a star - very well executed, and you also start feeling sympathy for him as well, which is really strange; I think it just shows how good Scorcese is at his art.

And, last but not least, it highlights the amazing work of Georges Melies, who will be unknown to many people before viewing this film. As a follow-up action I'd recommend watching the excellent Melies The Magician [1997] [DVD] [NTSC] as this gives an excellent insight into his career. Wonderful!
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HUGO is based on the beautiful book, THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET. I eager to see HUGO but didn't get around to seeing it at the cinema - this is such a shame, as I am sure that it would have been fantastic in 3D.

The story follows Hugo, an orphan who lives within a railway station in Paris. Having been taught how to fix clocks by his late father, Hugo is sure that if he is able to mend an automaton which was being lovingly restored by his father, that he will discover a message from him. But he also has to make sure that he is not discovered living within the station - if he is, he would be sent off to the orphanage.

That is a very basic synopsis. The film is about so much more than just a young boy trying to find a message from his deceased dad. It is also a homage to silent films, whilst also being a very clever examination of grief, loneliness, love and the power that the past has for us. There is also the exploration of finding your place in the world. There is a beautiful section in the film in which Hugo takes his new-found friend up to the top of the clock tower, to look out over Paris. He describes how every instrument comes with just the right amount of parts for it to make it work; he then compares the world to a mechanical instrument, with every person in it having their own part to play.

Viewers of all ages should enjoy this film. It is incredibly stunning visually. The message at its heart is also very poignant. The characters and the acting is top-notch; I was truly sucked into the world of Hugo. If you have read the book, I am almost certain that you would enjoy this film. Likewise, if you see this film and enjoy it, I would urge you to seek out the book - it is heavily illustrated throughout and in its own right is a very beautiful thing.

Highly recommended.
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on 13 August 2013
Great film. Watched with my Lord of the Rings loving 10 yr old son, who really enjoyed it. Found the clockwork model and 'tense' scenes just sad and scary enough, and got very involved in the boy's story. The links to the 'real world' were interesting and we thought all the characters were well played - some stereotypical but well done.
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on 18 December 2011
I read THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET before I saw this film. I absolutely loved the book (written by Brian Selznick) and I immediately wanted to see this film, directed by Martin Scorsese. So I went to see HUGO starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen. The critics loved it, so I had high hopes.

It was perhaps the best 3D I have ever seen! It wasn't just chucking stuff out of the screen, it was really useful to the film. It enhanced the setting (paris) brilliantly. It was even used in the end credits sequence.

The acting was amazing. Asa Butterfield (MERLIN, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS) and Chloe Grace Moretz (KICK-ASS) were fantastic, and the rest of the cast were great too. They were seriously convincing.

The storyline was spectacular. It was very true to the book but it also made up some stuff of its own. These parts really added some comic relief to the film. It was also quite sad and it was very, very, very deep. There were some very intense, breathtaking scenes as well.

Overall, the critics were right! HUGO is an instant classic with an amazing storyline, some absolutely brilliant acting and lots of great 3D effects. I desperately didn't want it to end. This film is excellent for the whole family. It might be a bit too long (126 minutes) for some people, but if you truly like the film, you wont mind at all. In fact, you'll be thankful for it. I highly recommend HUGO to everyone. AN INSTANT CLASSIC! 10/10!
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on 11 February 2013
A brilliant film loved every minute of it , charming the sets are brilliant , cannot praise it enough , different out of the ordinary .
A young boy's parents are dead he lives in a clock tower in a railway station with his uncle who also dies leaving the boy to tend to the station Clock he has a fasination with clocks his father played by Jude Law leaves a mystery Mechanical man . fantastic parts played by Christopher lee ( the librarian ) and sacha Baron Cohen ( the station master ) who try's to clear the station of orphans regularly , This was winner of 2 baftas & 5 oscars We found it magical unexpected twists & turns and Ben Kingsley was amazing , don't hesitate just buy this you'll love it .
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on 30 April 2012
This film is a difficult one for me to rate. I thought it was undoubtedly beautiful but.....something just wasn't right. It seemed to drag somewhat at times and I honestly thought that the child actors were amateurish in the early parts of the film. (I don't know if this was just me and I hate to sound negative as I do believe as the film got going they improved massively). My main concern is that as this film is for the younger generation, they will find it difficult to watch, it isn't like your typical 'disney' story which I felt the trailer made out it would be. However, as I said, there were some big positives. The scenery was quite beautiful, the 3D (the girlfriend and I's first 3D movie on the new TV) was an amazing experience - the start just blows you away! Typically strong performance from Ben Kingsley who is just an awesome actor. So pros and cons hence why I give it a middle rating. Some will love, others not so.
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VINE VOICEon 14 January 2012
Scorsese's first foray into the world of 3D is an exquisitely crafted moving piece of filmmaking that works both as a surprisingly mature study of loss and as a heartfelt love letter to the wonder of cinema itself. At its core it's a very human piece concerned with how one responds to grief - either through shutting down emotionally and resembling the mere robotic mechanics and functions of the film's abundant clockwork creations, or by finding a source of creative expression that becomes something akin to catharsis.

It's a brilliant shot film filled with Scorsese's usual staple of dizzyingly beautiful cocktails of colour and superbly frenetic energetic camera work that sweep you into the film's wonderfully-realised 1920s setting. Giving it that child-like sense of discovery the 3D working both as a visual trick and thematic concept. It's evidently Scorsese's most personal film for a long time, as he clearly sees something of himself in Melies. The scenes recreating the behind the scenes work of his sets being nothing short of stunning. By also being infused with a perfectly judged elegiac undercurrent that lends it a mournful edge. The film's ending and indeed, eventual message comes to be one bearing a great degree of hope. The performances are nothing short of outstanding, Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz having a real sense of chemistry and connection which forms the story's emotional centre (Moretz is fast becoming one of the best one of the finest child actors around). Perhaps it's greatest achievement however is that it's one of the few films of recent years that's came closest to capturing the the genuinely transformative power of the magic that is film. Definitely one of the best film's of last year.
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on 31 January 2013
Saw this in the cinema on its release and had to have for my growing blu-ray collection. Big fan of Scorsese films and have others. Both versions are on this blu-ray (3D and 2D) and as I'm not a big fan of 3D (Avatar excepted!), quite happy with this purchase. The extras are worth the money alone e.g. staging the train crash - based on a real accident at Montparnasse Station in the early days of steam.
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