Les Miserables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

Common Sense Media says

Tragic, intense film songs delivered with passion.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Like the Victor Hugo novel on which this musical is based, the film and soundtrack make a strong statement about the ravages of war, the destructiveness of poverty, and the evils of abusing power.

Positive role models

Valjean is a model of good, selfless behavior. Though he was forced by circumstances to steal, he is loyal to Fantine and devotes himself to caring for Cosette. He also spares the life of his pursuer, Javert, when he has the chance to kill him. The women in the film and soundtrack are somewhat helpless in the world of the movie, but they have sweet, loving hearts.

Violence

In addition to lyrics about blood, death, knives, and guns, the soundtrack includes the sound of gunfire and explosions, particularly in "Final Battle." Track 18 is called "Javert's Suicide"; the character sings about how he can't bear to live in a world in which Valjean has the upper hand, and he must take his own life.

Sex

Women in the story are accused of being whores, and one is forced to turn to prostitution when she becomes poor and homeless. Lewd language is used in several songs, including "At the End of the Day," which includes lines like "Take a look at his trousers, you'll see where he stands." Sexual words and phrases include: "prostitute," "pimp," "wandering hands," "slut," "whores."

Language

In addition to rude sexual language ("whore," "prostitute," "pimp," "slut"), lyrics include one "s--t," one "pissed," and a few mentions of "hell."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

People in the songs drink wine, gin, and brandy. The song "Drink With Me" is one long toast.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that like Victor Hugo's immortal novel, the musical version of Les Miserables tells a heartbreaking story in which people are forced into dire circumstances by poverty. Characters suffer from starvation, cold, imprisonment, and cruelty; some women must turn to prostitution to survive. Because the film is operatic, these situations are revealed in detail in the soundtrack. Songs also mention drinking wine, gin, and brandy; women are called prostitutes and whores, and other suggestive language is used. There are also a few curse words ("s--t," "pissed," "hell"). But most distressing are the complex, agonizing problems caused by wretched poverty in a society where citizens have no choice but to resort to crime, yet the rule of law is unflinchingly enforced.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In the operatic musical version of Victor Hugo's epic novel LES MISERABLES, the songs tell the story of Valjean, the good-hearted convict/fugitive; poor abused Fantine, who must leave her illegitimate baby girl in the hands of charlatans; rigid, dogmatic Javert; and sweet young lovers, Marius and Cosette. Listeners will not get all of the plot from listening to these songs, but they will get a feeling for the characters and their plights, as well as a sense of the complex problems caused by extreme poverty in a society where citizens have no choice but to resort to crime, yet the rule of law is unflinchingly enforced.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Les Miserables  music is extremely affecting -- alternately heartbreaking, shocking, uplifting, and occasionally funny. It's true that not all of the performers in the film are brilliant singers. Russell Crowe could not have a career in opera. However, he and his co-stars are all good enough singers, and great enough actors, to carry these songs off extremely well. Anne Hathaway in particular sings with deep feeling that takes songs far beyond where just her lovely voice can go. Anyone who loves the film will definitely treasure this album.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about soundtracks. How do they enhance the movie viewing experience? Would you buy this soundtrack if you weren't a fan of the movie?

  • Does it engage you more or less that the story is told in song? How does the experience compare to reading the novel?

  • What message do these songs offer regarding the effects of poverty?

Music details

Artist:Various Artists
Release date:December 25, 2012
Type:Album
Label:Universal Republic
Genre:Soundtrack
Topics:Friendship
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Les Miserables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bymovie_lover7 April 29, 2014
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

LOVE Les Miserables

Beautiful yet sad story, gorgeous score. Loved every second.
Teen, 17 years old Written byJames N. O November 14, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

A Great Soundtrack (As Long As Kids Aren't Listening)

The soundtrack for the motion picture hit is, like its movie counterpart, uplifting and immensely entertaining. Now, down to the bad news. As it is only a Highlights soundtrack, the most salicious song ("Lovely Ladies") is not featured. However, there is still enough suggestive content and language to make this soundtrack not exactly a winner for playing aloud. For someone who is mature enough and has seen the film, this soundtrack is a great addition to their musical collection. However, depending on who's around, it should not be played aloud. The music is sweeping, and every song is a winner. Just make sure that little kids can't hear when you play it.
Kid, 10 years old July 1, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Here's my review

Violence: low. Gunshots are heard in a song. Sex: low. Sexual references are heard in songs. Language: Moderate. "Sh*t" "b*tch" "a*s" "p*ssed" "b*atard" and "hell" are heard. Product inplacements: none. Drinking, drugs and smoking: low. Some lyrics mention drinks ("watering the wine, makeing up the weight").

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