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critics consensus

The Greatest Showman tries hard to dazzle the audience with a Barnum-style sense of wonder -- but at the expense of its complex subject's far more intriguing real-life story. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Growing up in the early 1800s, P.T. Barnum displays a natural talent for publicity and promotion, selling lottery tickets by age 12. After trying his hands at various jobs, P.T. turns to show business to indulge his limitless imagination, rising from nothing to create the Barnum & Bailey circus. Featuring catchy musical numbers, exotic performers and daring acrobatic feats, Barnum's mesmerizing spectacle soon takes the world by storm to become the greatest show on Earth.

Cast & Crew

Hugh Jackman
P.T. Barnum
Zac Efron
Phillip Carlyle
Michelle Williams
Charity Barnum
Zendaya
Anne Wheeler
Keala Settle
Lettie Lutz, The Bearded Lady
Paul Sparks
James Gordon Bennett
Austyn Johnson
Caroline Barnum
Cameron Seely
Helen Barnum
Ellis Rubin
Young Barnum
Skylar Dunn
Young Charity
Jenny Bicks
Screenwriter
Bill Condon
Screenwriter
James Mangold
Executive Producer
Donald J. Lee Jr.
Executive Producer
Tonia Davis
Executive Producer
Seamus McGarvey
Cinematographer
Tom Cross
Film Editor
Robert Duffy
Film Editor
Joe Hutshing
Film Editor
Jon Poll
Film Editor
John Debney
Original Music
Joseph Trapanese
Original Music
Nathan Crowley
Production Design
Ellen Mirojnick
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for The Greatest Showman

Critic Reviews for The Greatest Showman

All Critics (263) | Top Critics (63) | Fresh (149) | Rotten (114)

  • Like Barnum himself, it's an elegant fraud, nice enough to look at as long as you don't look too close.

    December 4, 2018 | Full Review…
  • [This] kind of insanity is really fun to watch. The Greatest Showman is a lot of things, but it's not boring.

    January 12, 2018 | Full Review…
  • As I've noted, a lot of capital-N names helped make this film. But the director, the bloke who wore a beanie to the red carpet premiere in Sydney, deserves our admiration. He is the showman who, like Barnum, has his name above the door.

    December 29, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • ... [Hugh Jackman's] feel-good new film, The Greatest Showman, is where he truly gets to unleash his inner trouper, and he barely stops singing, dancing and flicking around a top hat from beginning to end.

    December 28, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The film's insistence that Barnum's freakshow is born from warm, fuzzy humanity and very contemporary notions of inclusivity is not just historically inaccurate, it's at odds with The Greatest Showman's extremely pretty idea of freakery. Pink hair?

    December 28, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The director, Michael Gracey, delivers quick doses of excitement in splashy scenes but has little feel for the choreographic action, offers scant historical substance, and displays slender dramatic insight.

    December 26, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Greatest Showman

  • Oct 02, 2019
    I thought that this was a terrible idea way before I ever saw the movie itself, and I thought this was a terrible movie way before I ever found out what P.T. Barnham was actually like. What a toilet fire in every sense, this is one of those rare examples where I just can't understand what everyone is loving here.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 03, 2019
    A original take on the story of genius showman P.T. Barnum led by the very mesmerizing Hugh Jackman. The visual effects are stunning and the music is moving and vibrant. It does not contain much detail into the the story but you are satisfied by the end. Zac Efron also holds his own and I begin to like him more and more! 12-31-2018
    Christopher O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 25, 2018
    The Greatest Showman's infectious dance numbers, musicality and showmanship from Hugh Jackman is enough to hold the tent up for a film that is undoubtedly about the visually dazzling spectacle than the obviously simplistic narrative. 3.81/5
    Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2018
    A fun, albeit shallow time for the family. Skip the story, stay for the songs.
    Super Reviewer

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