Critics' Reviews Are Humbug: “The Greatest Showman” Edition

If you are an avid movie fan you may have had the experience of watching a movie and loving it, only later to realize that it has one of the worst ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. Fans of the newly released musical, The Greatest Showman, will be sad and shocked to learn that the movie only has 56%. A shame, isn’t it?

The warm-hearted musical loosely follows the tale of P.T. Barnum and his journey to create his successful circus business. Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Zendaya are three well-known actors who star in the film and bring the musical to life. The soundtrack and musical numbers are amazing and the album is the second top album on iTunes.

For your reading pleasure, I have compiled a few of the worst and harshest reviews of The Greatest Showman and turned them around to prove that the musical is worth watching. You won’t regret it.

“The Greatest Showman is no such film. It's an empty, moronic, pandering and utterly forgettable, low-rent Moulin Rouge that pays curious tribute to Barnum by similarly hailing its audience as slack-jawed rubes, slobbering for whatever passes as entertainment. It's godawful… It's also unique among big-budget, big-screen musicals for lacking even a single memorable number.” – John Semley

This critic obviously did not enjoy the film; however, the musical was not unforgettable as indicated. It was instead a quite thrilling, show-stopping film with plenty of great musical numbers including the inspirational, “This is Me.” From an optimist’s point of view, the musical promoted self-confidence and equality, as well as acceptance. If the movie weren’t entertaining to viewers, I doubt it would have a customer rating of 5 stars on iTunes and an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes; just saying.

“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.” –Richard Brody

Yet another critic, this time attacking the movie’s lack of “historical substance.” The musical never claimed that it was going to be an accurate historical representation of Barnum’s life. If they had, I would see where these critics are coming from, but instead, people are assuming that because the musical supposedly follows the basic principles of the Barnum & Bailey circus, that it must have historical merit. Since when are musicals always historically accurate? Was Grease an accurate representation of the 50s? Was Annie Get Your Gun the true story of Annie Oakley? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Now that you have read some of the critic’s worst thoughts on The Greatest Showman, and my rebuttals… I suggest you watch the movie and make your own judgment. By no means am I a movie critic, nor am I trying to be. I am simply trying to make the point that sometimes critic’s reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.

Overall, the musical is a great movie filled with fun musical numbers and is a great film to watch with the family or with anyone for that matter, it is sure to be loved by all. Even some of the critics agreed that the music was catchy. ;)

Cover Photo Credit: IMDB


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