On rare occasions, a great writer (John Logan) teams with a great director (Martin Scorsese) to create something really quite… dull. Hugo is young boy living alone in the maintenance passages of a Parisian station in the 1930s, stealing food to survive. As long as he avoids the orphan-hunting station inspector and keeps the clocks wound, no-one has reason to come into his domain. Hugo wants to restore a sophisticated automaton that his clockmaker father rescued from a museum storeroom, and also discover why the old bloke (Ben Kingsley) who runs the station’s toyshop is such a misery-guts.
The pretty CGI and incessant musical score may distract you from the hammy acting, clunky dialogue, feeble humour, meandering story, superfluous minor characters and lack of tension – there’s no ‘ticking clock’ except for the ones that Hugo winds. Your kids, however, will be bored. 5/10
Released January 12, 2012.