The Greatest Showman

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.

57%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 261

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 26,082

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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
Jenny Bicks
Screenwriter
Bill Condon
Screenwriter
James Mangold
Executive Producer
Donald J. Lee Jr.
Executive Producer
Tonia Davis
Executive Producer
Seamus McGarvey
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for The Greatest Showman

Critic Reviews for The Greatest Showman

All Critics (261) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (148) | Rotten (113)

  • 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…

    Sam Adams

    Slate
    Top Critic
  • ... [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 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…
  • This isn't the story of Barnum's life, but a formulaic rags-to-riches story grafted onto the broad outlines of Barnum's career as a circus entrepreneur.

    December 23, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Historians now agree that Barnum wasn't the one who said "There's a sucker born every minute," but it's hard to escape the feeling that you're being sold a poptimist bill of goods here.

    December 22, 2017 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • For all its cheeriness, brio and strong cast, this is a phoney baloney film with heartstring-tweaking, soul-stirring ambitions it is, by a laughable margin, too transparently manipulative to realise.

    December 22, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | 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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