The Greatest Showman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Greatest Showman Reviews

December 26, 2017
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 22, 2017
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 22, 2017
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
December 22, 2017
The closest it gets to a hummable toe-tapper is Come Alive, which, at the risk of damning with faint praise, sounds like a Miami Sound Machine D-side.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
December 21, 2017
The Greatest Showman is a perfunctory effort in story, music, dance, and direction that proffers empty messages about uniqueness, reaching not for the stars but for bland homogeneity.
December 21, 2017
An old-fashioned musical with a none-more-zeitgeisty songsheet, it may not be a flawless piece of storytelling, but it's a pretty decent show.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
December 21, 2017
To make room for all the boring songs, historic facts are all but eliminated, leaving only the bare bones of Barnum's life.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 21, 2017
Screenwriters Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon whitewash history at every turn, making Barnum a warm, paternal figure beloved by his sideshow performers, wife, and children.
December 21, 2017
It's a family film whose infectious, crowd-pleasing song-and-dance numbers justify a 105-minute running length when the pedestrian story can't.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 21, 2017
Amazingly, a virtuoso Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, spare-no-expense production values and a score by Oscar (La La Land) and Tony (Dear Evan Hansen) winners Ben Pasek and Justin Paul add up to a shrill blast of nothing
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 21, 2017
For sheer, go-for-broke nuttiness, The Greatest Showman stands alone in the landscape of this holiday season's crop of movies, and I urge you to give it a chance.
December 20, 2017
It often feels like a collection of slickly produced music videos, loosely tied together with a plot we're not supposed to care too much about.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 20, 2017
The joy the performers exhibit is practically contagious, and helps carry the movie over its drier patches.
December 20, 2017
An unabashed piece of pure entertainment, punctuated by 11 memorable songs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 20, 2017
By the end, I found myself exhausted by the idea of wonder, not to mention the film's notion that critics - those evil, fun-hating critics - are immune to it.
December 20, 2017
The film is best appreciated as a showcase for Jackman, who makes a dazzling Barnum and holds on to our sympathies even as the character proves to be something of a heel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 20, 2017
Like a Pyongyang history book, "Showman" director Michael Gracey has polished away real events, ignoring Barnum's dark past and the seediness of his 19th-century New York.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 20, 2017
It's got a great beat and you can dance to it (or Jackman, Efron and the rest can, anyway). And Barnum would have loved it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 20, 2017
The Greatest Showman's performances are of the blustery jazz hands variety. Not the musical type? Out of luck. The narrative is peanuts.
December 20, 2017
Hugh Jackman has proven himself as one of Hollywood's - and Broadway's - greatest showmen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 20, 2017
Strikes every false note possible along its meandering path.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 20, 2017
Send in the clowns.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 20, 2017
With all that corn and cheese and old-timey sentiment, "The Greatest Showman" ends up scoring some very timely social arguments. P.T. Barnum himself would have approved the dramatic sleight of hand.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 20, 2017
"The Greatest Showman" is all about the dizzy pleasure of letting yourself be hoodwinked, and it's a testament to the movie's idiosyncratic appeal that it never loses its power to lower your defenses and take your breath away.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
December 20, 2017
Jackman is a perfect fit to play the man who invented our notion of spectacle, but this is one unspectacular musical.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 20, 2017
The story is interesting and the beats are well-acted, but it's the musical numbers that make The Greatest Showman.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 20, 2017
You'll have to completely set aside any unsavory stories you may have heard about the real-life Barnum, because this one is played by the ever-charming Hugh Jackman. Resistance is futile.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 20, 2017
Jackman is so good at selling this material that he ends up making its weakness stand out in sharper relief. In that way, he almost makes it worse by fully realizing it.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
December 20, 2017
"The Greatest Showman" is the dumbest movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 20, 2017
Overproduced, possibly auto-tuned, hitting a carotid-popping emotional climax in the first 10 seconds and staying there, the tunes ... are sub-Andrew Lloyd Webber schlock made bearable only by the conviction of the cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 20, 2017
In a broader sense, the mishmash does recall the real Barnum, who once sewed half a fish to half an ape and called it a mermaid.
Full Review | Original Score: C
December 20, 2017
Movie musicals walk a tricky tightrope - all that singing can be magical, or it can just be silly - and "The Greatest Showman" teeters, all too often.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 20, 2017
The sawdust and sequins are laid on thick, the period flashbulbs pop and the champagne flows in The Greatest Showman, yet this ersatz portrait of American big-top tent impresario P.T. Barnum is all smoke and mirrors, no substance.
December 20, 2017
"The Greatest Showman," for all its celebratory razzle-dazzle, in the end feels curiously lacking in conviction.
December 20, 2017
A lavish candybox musical bursting with broad strokes, bright colors, and bearded ladies.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 20, 2017
"The Greatest Showman" wants to give you a splashy good time, and does, and it's got something that takes you by surprise: a genuine romantic spirit.
December 20, 2017
An amusement park version of P.T. Barnum is fine, as far as that goes, but if you are going to aim for family-friendly fun, you need to get the fun part right.
December 20, 2017
a profoundly confused and muddled film, with a story that's at once too thin and too busy, with everything pasted into place using a mixture of frantic pop music and Hugh Jackman's flop sweat.
December 20, 2017
It's a broken record of ersatz positivity and empowerment, practically shout-singing at you to be all you can be while it mostly just is what it is, plastic flash without any enduring oomph.