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HUGO – Movie Review

Martin Scorsese, filmmaker behind such classics as Taxi Driver and Goodfellas, is the least likely person to take on a children’s movie in 3D.  However, leave it to Scorsese to give us one of the year’s most creative, visually stunning, and heart-driven films. Hugo is set in Paris in the 1930s, and it follows a young boy named Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), who secretly lives alone in a train station and helps fix and run the station’s clocks.  He befriends a young girl named Isabelle (Chloe Moretz), whose grouchy, old caretaker (Ben Kingsley) works in the station’s toy store.  Without divulging into the plot much further, the film follows the growing friendship between Hugo and Isabelle, as well as their explorations in the worlds of filmmaking and mechanics.

While the 3D was off and on for me, the overall visuals in this film are superb, due hugely to the film’s art direction.  The way the station, city, and other landscapes look, provide for imagery that is truly meant to be shown cinematically.

The film also has a great sense of friendship, wonder, and imagination, similar to this year’s Super 8.  There is a strong bond between the two kids at the center of the story, elevating the film’s emotional core and overall importance.

Also, cinefiles, like myself, will have an instant connection to the world of filmmaking presented in the movie.  Hugo and Isabelle learn about early cinema and technology that paved the way for future films, something I greatly admire as a film buff, movie reviewer, and aspiring filmmaker.

The only flaws in the film stem from a few moments where the emotion feels a bit forced and spoon-fed to the audience.  Aside from that, Hugo is charming, sweet, and greatly captures the film’s underlying message: the magic and wonder of going to the movies.


  1. badgrammarreviews
    November 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Great review, I plan on seeing this very soon.

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