Theatrical Release: November 23, 2011
DVD Release: March 13, 2012


Twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy.

Dove Review

2011 Crystal Dove Seal Award Winner for Best Adventure – Families will enjoy loving this movie together! Martin Scorsese’s love for George Melies and the silent picture age is clearly and lovingly demonstrated in this film. This is a quality production in every sense of the word. First rate acting is combined with Howard Shore’s lustrous score and the film’s main set, the Paris Montparnasse train station during 1931. Ben Kingsley finds many facets of Melies including a temper, a creative side, a discipline in his work, and finally an imagination and compassion. In the film’s plot he runs a shop in the train station and performs magic tricks. He encounters young Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) who frequently looks at his notebook and works with his father on fixing an automaton. His father (Jude Law) meets a cruel fate and Hugo finds solace in his relationship with Isabel (Chloe Grace Moretz), the shopkeeper’s goddaughter who loves to read and shares a love for movies with Hugo. In fact they are having the time of their lives after sneaking into one when they are discovered.

The characters are delightful such as Sacha Baron Cohen’s Station Inspector, who in a nuanced performance plays a range of traits from that of a dutiful and mean officer to an understanding and compassionate romantic. He injured his leg in the war and wears a creaky brace until Hugo fixes it for him, making it quieter as he bends and walks. The inspector finds a soul mate in the film and the movie features more of these magical moments which make watching the film such a joy. We learn a few things about Melies in this picture, including the fact that some eighty of his lost films were eventually discovered. In one delightful scene several snippets of old silent films are screened and the imagination of George Melies is clearly seen. It should be noted that the 3D version is spectacular with falling snow brushing up against the viewer’s face and a dog eyeing viewers face to face. These are just a few of the “wow” moments.

We are more than pleased to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this film. See “Hugo” with your family this holiday season and you will find magic in the movies once more!

Content Description

Sex: None
Language: None
Violence: A dog chases a boy on a few occasions; a man falls during a chase; a man's leg is caught on a train and he is pulled for a distance; an out-of-control fire rushes at a character; a dog nips a man's ankle; a guard catches a boy's foot with a strap and takes him to an orphanage; a boy in frustration throws things; a few archive film shorts of World War ll; a man chases a boy and boy steps outside of tall building and holds onto a clock at a great height; a chair breaks with a character standing on it but no one is hurt; a train is seen crashing into a building.
Drugs: A few scenes of characters smoking including a cigar and what looked like a cigarette; smoking in a club and wine is seen in a club; drinking; a character asks, "Are you drunk?"
Nudity: A few women seen in tight clothing and shorts.
Other: A boy who is hungry steals bread; a character dies and his son grieves; some papers seem to magically fly out of a box.


Company: Paramount
Writer: John Logan & Brian Selznick
Director: Martin Scorsese
Producer: Johnny Depp
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 125 min.
Industry Rating: PG
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloƫ Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter