影片的设定是1931年的巴黎。开片便是一组目不暇接的巴黎镜头，接着，人们的视线随镜头猛地落到一个繁忙的火车站上，游走于两辆蒸汽火车间狭窄的站台，掠过拥挤的大厅，最终停在雨果身上。巨大的时钟后面，12岁的少年正透过钟面上的4字窥视着外面的世界。从过世的父亲身上，雨果（亚撒.巴特菲尔德饰）继承了修补机械的爱好，不久前，他刚刚从酒鬼叔叔那里接手了一份工作——维修车站的所有大钟。他住在车站不为人知的通道里，每天修着一个19世纪的机器人。他是一个聪明的“狄更斯式”孤儿，一缕善意的“歌剧魅影”，似卡西莫多般孤独，与希区柯克（Hitchcock）的《后窗》（“Rear Window”）里的摄影师一样，偷偷注视着这个世界。命运把他带到这里，又把他推进了一个坏脾气老人的世界。乔治斯（Georges）（本.金斯利Ben Kingsley饰）老人在车站开着一家老店，卖玩具修机械，他12岁的教女伊莎贝拉（Isabelle）在店里帮忙。有一天，雨果被乔治斯喊做小偷并没收了他珍贵的画册，两人的生命有了交集。随后，雨果在伊莎贝拉的帮助下拿回了画册，而且，他发现伊莎贝拉被禁止看电影，作为回报，雨果带着伊莎贝拉开始了一次“冒险”。一系列老电影正在上映，他们去看了一系列无声电影。伊莎贝拉被震撼了。 好学的伊莎贝拉崇拜着狄更斯，而接踵而来的一系列错综复杂的剧情，与狄更斯的小说有着异曲同工之妙，两个孩子开始涉足一段神秘的往事。他们发现了电影的起源：19世纪后期，卢米埃尔（Lumière）兄弟开创了这个行业，1895年，他们在巴黎放映了第一部电影。而乔治斯.梅里埃（Georges Méliès）那时是一个魔术师，他深深地被这个新的事物吸引了。卢米埃尔兄弟只单单拍摄下了真实的世界，他们并不相信电影院会有未来。梅里埃则将自己的剧院改造成了一个电影院，建造了自己的摄影棚，成为了一位多产的电影制片人，他的幻想电影融合了现实和梦境。然而，最后，他的事业却悲剧性地结束了，他也堙没在茫茫人海之中。
Hugo is a 2011 3D family mystery film based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret about a boy who lives alone in a Paris railway station and the enigmatic owner of a toy shop there. It is directed by Martin Scorsese and written by John Logan. It is a co-production of Graham King's GK Films and Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil. The film stars Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law and Christopher Lee.
Hugo is Scorsese's first film shot in 3D, of which the filmmaker remarked: "I found 3D to be really interesting, because the actors were more upfront emotionally. Their slightest move, their slightest intention is picked up much more precisely." The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and released in the U.S. on 23 November 2011. The film has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards, making it the most nominated film of 2011, which include a Best Picture nomination and a Best Director nomination for Martin Scorsese. The film also won two BAFTAs and was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, earning Scorsese his third Golden Globe Award for Best Director.
In 1931, Hugo Cabret, a 12-year-old boy, lives with his widowed father, a kind and devoted master clockmaker in Paris. Hugo's father takes him to see films and loves the films of Georges Méliès best of all. Hugo's father is burned alive in a museum fire, and Hugo is taken away by his uncle, an alcoholic watchmaker who is responsible for maintaining the clocks in the railway station Gare Montparnasse. His uncle teaches him to take care of the clocks, then disappears.
Hugo lives between the walls of the station, maintaining the clocks, stealing food and working on his father's most ambitious project: repairing a broken automaton – a mechanical man who is supposed to write with a pen. Convinced that the automaton contains a message from his father, Hugo goes to desperate lengths to fix it. Hugo steals mechanical parts in the station to repair the automaton, but he is caught by a toy store owner named Georges Melies who takes Hugo's notebook from him, with notes and drawings for fixing the automaton.
To recover the notebook, Hugo follows Melies to his house and meets Isabelle, a girl close to his age and Georges' goddaughter. She convinces him to go home and promises to help. The next day, Melies gives some ashes to Hugo, referring to them as the notebook's remains, but Isabelle informs him that the notebook was not burnt. Finally Melies agrees that Hugo may earn the notebook back by working for him until he pays for all the things he stole from the shop.
Hugo works in the toy shop, and in his time off manages to fix the automaton, but it is still missing one part – a heart–shaped key.
Hugo introduces Isabelle to the movies, which her godfather has never let her see (they sneak in a silent movie projection without buying a ticket), while she introduces Hugo to a bookstore where its owner first mistrusts Hugo. At first, Hugo is not trusting of Isabelle and tries to leave her, but Isabelle turns out to have the key to the automaton. When they use the key to activate the automaton, it produces a drawing of a film scene. Hugo remembers it is the film his father always talked about as the first film he ever saw (Voyage to the Moon). They discover that the drawing made by the automaton is signed with the name of Isabelle's godfather and take it to her home for an explanation.
In the Melies home Hugo shows Georges's wife Jeanne the drawing made by the automaton, but she will not tell them anything and makes them hide in a room when Georges comes home. While hiding from him, Isabelle and Hugo finds a secret cabinet and accidentally release pictures and screen boards of Georges' creations just as Georges and Jeanne enter the room. Georges feels depressed and betrayed.
However, Hugo gets the book store owner's friendship and he helps Hugo and Isabelle search a for a book on the history of film. They find the book and are surprised that the author, Rene Tabard, refers to Georges Melies as having died in the Great War (World War I). When they try to understand the reason for this error, Monsieur Tabard himself appears and the children tell him that Melies is alive. Tabard reveals himself as a devotee of Melies's films who still owns a copy of "Voyage to the Moon".
Hugo, Isabelle and Tabard go to Georges's home, and at first Jeanne does not welcome them, telling them to go before her husband wakes. However Jeanne accepts their offer to show "Voyage to the Moon" when it is revealed that she was one of the actresses in Georges's films. While they are watching the film, Georges appears and explains how he came to make movies, invented the special effects, and how he lost faith in films when the World War I began, being forced to sell his films in order to get money, and getting the toy shop in order to survive. He also believes the automaton he created was lost in the museum fire, and that there is nothing left of his life's work.
Hugo decides to go back to the station to get the automaton, but on arrival he is cornered by the station inspector and his dog. He escapes and runs to the top of the clock tower and hides by climbing out onto the hands of the clock. Once the inspector is gone he grabs the automaton and runs for the exit with it, but he is trapped by the inspector and the automaton is thrown to the railway tracks. Hugo tries to save it but there is a train coming. Climbing onto the tracks anyway, he is almost run over when the officer saves him and the automaton and proceeds to detain him. Hugo pleads with the officer, but then Georges arrives and claims that Hugo is in his care.
Finally Georges gets a tribute ceremony to his movies, Tabard announcing that some 80 films of his have been recovered and restored. Georges thanks Hugo for his actions, and then invites the audience to "follow his dreams". Hugo becomes an apprentice of Georges and Isabelle decides to be a writer.