The Greatest Show on Earth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Greatest Show on Earth Reviews

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Tracy Moore
Common Sense Media
October 7, 2014
Sprawling circus tale is a visual feast with heavy themes.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Tom Hutchinson
Radio Times
February 22, 2013
As usual, DeMille megaphones his direction to let us know where we've been, where we are and where we're going, but this is marvellous entertainment, nevertheless.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Herb Golden
January 28, 2008
This is the circus with more entertainment, more thrills, more spangles and as much Big Top atmosphere as RB-B&B itself can offer. It's a smash certainty for high-wire grosses.

TV Guide
December 12, 2006
It's big, it's garish, it's loud, and most of all, it's wonderful.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Steve Crum
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers
July 21, 2006
Fun DeMille full of spectacle and flashy stars...and a great train wreck.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Paul Taylor
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Characteristically elephantine Big Top epic from DeMille, thumped across with a winning brashness and garnering the veteran showman his first Best Picture Oscar.
David Cornelius
March 4, 2005
Clumsy, innocent, awkward, to be sure, but it's never skimpy on the fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 8, 2004
It's an entertaining film, but it's certainly no masterpieceand doesn't really stand up to the year's other offerings.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kate Cameron
New York Daily News
April 23, 2004
The great showman of the movies has packed everything into this one picture. It has comedy, drama, thrills, melodrama, tragedy and great heart appeal.
John Urbancich
Your Movies (
November 5, 2003
A shoddy Best Picture.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Bosley Crowther
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Two American institutions have combined to put out a piece of entertainment that will delight movie audiences for years.
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
October 23, 2002
It's so deliciously retro.

Total Film
February 15, 2013
Roll up, roll up! Get your pompous overblown spectacle here!
Top Critic

TIME Magazine
February 18, 2009
The movie's plot does not quite hold all this pageantry together, but De Mille's scripters and actors enter into the thing in the proper flamboyant spirit.
Witney Seibold
May 8, 2007
It's not hideous or unwatchable or anything. It's just not very good.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 24, 2007
Middling circus backstage drama.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Pat Graham
Chicago Reader
December 12, 2006
It won best-picture Oscar for 1952, but God (De Mille's favorite walk-on, strangely absent here) only knows why.
Wesley Lovell
Cinema Sight
October 31, 2006
A Soap Opera under the big top, The Greatest Show on Earth features little in the way of a plot and more in the line of a hollow spectacle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Emanuel Levy
December 22, 2005
One of the worst films to ever win the Best Picture Oscar, Cecil B. DeMille's melodramatic circus adventure starring Jimmy Stewart and Charlton Heston inexplicably won the writing award (the called Motion Picture Story).
Full Review | Original Score: C
Jesse Hassenger
November 19, 2004
The Academy Award for Best Picture has been bestowed on any number of unworthy candidates over the years, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one less deserving than The Greatest Show on Earth.
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