First of all ...
I wish to praise the motion picture "Les Miserables" for what it is. An incredibly good movie adaptation of an English Language Opera.
Now I absolutely have to damn the little critter for what it ain't. To put it simply, Les Miserables is not a musical.
Damn Yankees is a Musical.
The Sound Of Music is a musical.
1776 is a musical.
Chicago is a musical.
In each of these productions, the audience is treated to a finely honed balance of three qualities. Acting while using the spoken word. Interpretive singing. A multitude of Impressive dance routines.
In Les Miserables, the first quality is totally missing and the third is sorely anemic. Because you don't usually see finely choreographed dance numbers in an opera.
Please don't get me wrong. I like opera. Hand me a DVD of Leontyne Price performing in Aida and I'm very happy to kick back and enjoy the show.
I just don't want to see an English Language Opera passed off as Musical Theatre. It's like handing me a cucumber and trying to claim it's a watermelon. They might be from the same general family but they're miles apart in substance and style.
From the acting to the music to the camera work ... Everything in Les Miserables is quite good. It just isn't a musical. So why don't the people involved just call it an opera and be done with it?
The answer is quite simple. They're a bunch of cowards who fear that the general English speaking public can't be persuaded to attend an opera. So they put "This" on stage but they call it "That" instead. And then they get all huffy when people call them on it and they try to claim that we simply don't understand their brilliance.
If you want it to be judged fairly ... Advertise it fairly.
On the 4 Star Scale ...
I'd like to hand Les Miserables 3.5 stars but I really feel that I need to subtract a star and a half for being a Bold Face Liar. So, as a "Musical" ... I can hand it only 2.