Yes, I have now watched this one as well as the musical (2012). I will warn you first that I much prefer the 2012 Les Mis, so this review may be a little biased :)
Since I sort of covered the story in my review of Les Mis 2012, so I'll be going over the characters and differences between the two.
Jean Valjean is overall, the main character.
Liam Neeson played him very well. He portrayed the change from the convict well.
The trial was good - I'm glad they put it in. I especially liked the way he got more and more uncomfortable as they went, then he leapt up a addressed the men he knew: "That scar on your shoulder, I gave it to you! Show them the scar!"
His care and love of Cosette is well shown.
Geoffrey Rush's Javert was much less 'like-able' than Russell Crowe's, which was accurate to the book. (His accent got on my nerves, though.)
Cosette was played by Claire Danes.
Now I liked Claire Danes in Little Women as Beth, but as Cosette, I don't really. She seemed too young to fall in love. She directly disobeyed her father after he told her not to leave the carriage. She assures him she won't, but as soon as he's gone, she leaves. She also gets mad at him when he questions her about Marius. "Why should I tell you the truth when you only ever tell me lies!" Rather over the top.
Fantine was well played too. Obviously we had to (like in the 2012 movie) skip some parts with Fantine, but what I saw was pretty good. I almost think I like Uma Thurman's Fantine as much as Anne Hathaway's, but then, I don't know how well she can sing ;)
I didn't really like how she and Valjean fall in love, but it's not as bad as I thought is would be.
Oh, and The Thenardiers (including Eponine and Azelma) basically weren't there - they appeared in one scene. Dissapointing.
Okay, and then there's Hans Matheson's Marius of sorts.
To start with, he needs a haircut.
He just wasn't Marius. Eddie Redmayne is far better. (My usual opinion here is : [2012 version] is way better).
And MARIUS IS NOT THE LEADER OF THE ABC!! (Grrr...)
Oh, and Enjolras? Who's Enjolras? Let me put it this way - google it, and all you can come up with is either 2012 Enjolras or Les Mis this/that, but not the person in this movie who's supposed to be Enjolras. If you weren't told, you wouldn't know from watching the movie! Plus the Enjolras that was there was very inaccurate.
AND EPONINE! Where's my Eponine? The Thenardiers don't appear in Paris.
In the book, the convicts would sometimes do quarry-sort of work, but all they do in this movie is work in the quarry. No galleys. And Fantine works in a brick-making factory - ????? Really?
Javert employs a guy to spy on Marius and Cosette, and then he writes a note to Jean Valjean, telling him about them falling in love. ? On the night of the barricades, Marius waits 'til every is ready, and then "just for one hour!", he sets off to see Cosette first. She creeps out to see him, and finds that Javert has caught and tied up Marius. He grabs Cosette, almost choking her, and holds a gun to her head. Then, he tells her about Fantine!! This scene really annoyed me. Really. Marius trips Javert up, and takes him as a prisoner back to the barricade, where Valjean then sets him free, etc.
I have to say, this was really a film ADAPTION. It followed mainly Jean Valjean's story.
The ending was disappointing, Marius is "seriously injured" (with seemingly just a bleeding knee, conscious through the sewer), and then Valjean goes with Javert. The police officer offers his gun to him, telling him to kill him. Valjean refuses, so Javert lowers himself into the river behind him, while a dumbfounded Valjean watches. Then Valjean walks off happily. The End. (Where's Marius? And Cosette?)?
Overall, I didn't like it very much, It was okay to watch, and filmed well enough, but there were too many flaws - it didn't measure up to the book properly.