Check Out What Critics Think About 'The Greatest Showman'

Posted 2017/12/22 0 0

The first critics’ reactions to new Hugh Jackman-starring musical The Greatest Showman are in, and the feature appears to be a decidedly mixed experience.


Directed by Michael Gracey, written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon and starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya. The film is inspired by the story of how P. T. Barnum started the Barnum & Bailey Circus and the lives of its attractions. According to critics, the film received mixed reviews, with praise for the cast, production and general spectacle, however was criticized for the artistic license taken and some critics calling it "faux-inspiring and shallow". Here are the reviews we collected, check them out!

Starting off, we have CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell, who awarded The Greatest Showman three out of five stars and noted how the movie is at its strongest when, appropriately, the songs are blasting. As he put it:

The Greatest Showman is better off when it's bombastically belting out memorable tunes and begging the audience to bop along in their seats. And that happens often.

Expressing similar views, Helen O'Hara from Empire gave The Greatest Showman the same star rating, saying that while the story stumbles at certain points, Hugh Jackman's performance and the songs are what will hook audiences.

It may not be quite the greatest show on Earth, but Gracey, Jackman and the entire cast are deeply committed to entertaining and leave you feeling an old-school musical thrill.

However, some reviewers felt more negatively about The Greatest Showman. For instance, Peter Travers from Rolling Stone felt that although there was a good movie buried within, it failed to surface in the final product.

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.

Next we have Richard Lawson from Vanity Fair, who declared that The Greatest Showman isn't a total flop, and while he's still "reluctantly" rooting for the movie, there were a lot of elements he didn't care for.

All my general affection for a musical trying to make it in the world can't quite cover up the stink of what I think is lying at the heart of this film.

Back to a more positive note, Time's Stephanie Zacharek appreciated The Greatest Showman's craziness and how "riotous" it was with color and song.

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.

Finally, The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney said in his review that The Greatest Showman tries too hard to get moviegoers to get excited and appreciate the "magic."

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.