This slick adaptation of the beloved stage musical (itself an adaptation of the Victor Hugo classic) offers plenty of old-school craftsmanship, with director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) doing a serviceable David Lean impression in his handling of crowds and large-scale mise-en-scene. He also takes a couple of interesting risks in transforming the theatrical spectacle into a cinematic one: most of the singing was recorded on location, and the cast includes both accomplished vocalists (Hugh Jackman, Samantha Barks) and actors with little singing experience (Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen). This friction between Broadway-style showboating and unvarnished realism provides the movie with a lot of energy; it becomes a slog only in the final half-hour, when Hooper allows his crowd-pleasing instincts to overwhelm his better ideas and delivers one bombastic climax after another.