The Greatest Showman (2017) Poster

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Critics are Wrong
lilylou-8574526 December 2017
I have never written a movie review but I couldn't let this jewel of a movie be slammed by the cynical critics without saying how much I loved it. This was the perfect movie for our family on Christmas Day. Don't pay attention to the "professional" reviews; judge by the moviegoers who are praising the movie. It was moving, upbeat, and romantic. Can't say enough good things about it. Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya are all so talented. Go see it in the theater to really appreciate how magical this movie is.
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Forget the critics - Just enjoy the movie
laconsulting-8822824 December 2017
As usual, the critics fail to grasp the obvious. Does the movie entertain? Yes, it does. Absolutely. Sure, it may not match the real story, and many things are not based in reality, but that's the point! It's a movie! It is a fun musical, very well done and enjoyable.If it was a made up story about John G. Pigglestack, then the critics would have nothing to complain about. I actually likes this much better than La La Land. Guess it's more upbeat. Musicals are a rare breed. Enjoy them while you can.
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As Soon As It Was Over, I Wanted to See It Again
hertl1 January 2018
I love the circus. I love quality cinema. Not since Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962) has a motion picture so successfully combined these two elements. I wouldn't be surprised if it won the same awards as Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). Michael Gracey skillfully brought together the best music, choreography, cast, cinematography, visual effects, costumes, and set decoration I have seen in recent years, all fresh and original, and integrated them into nothing short of a masterpiece.
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Surpassed My Expectations
jecal27 December 2017
This is possibly one of the best films I have ever seen in this genre. From the start to finish, I felt that there was some inaudible and invisible metronome setting the overall pace of the film, a consistent rhythm within many rhythms, if that makes sense. Everything about this film had perfect timing. Editing was seamless. Attention to detail was mind blowing, costumes outstanding. Special effects... whoa. Acting was flawless. I really can't find anything to criticize. To summarize in a sentence, first class family entertainment.
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Sorry, critics, you got it wrong...
autumnbeam-2665125 December 2017
Ok, so I'm not a movie critic, and I'm sure they look at things differently than I do. I almost hesitated to see this movie because of the critic reviews, but I'm glad I went anyway. This movie is insanely good. The acting, original music, singing, and imagination is fantastic. Bravo to the cast, crew and Michael Gracey for putting together a phenomenally entertaining and captivating film. Don't listen to the critics, see this movie. This soundtrack will be on repeat in my car for MONTHS.
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danyell72327 December 2017
It has been SO long since a movie/musical made me feel so...HAPPY! This movie is absolutely FANTASTIC! Everything from the incredible, toe-tapping, music to the heartfelt, dream-filled, story-line! I was so immersed in the movie that at some point I totally forgot I was sitting in a packed theater on Christmas Night! I'll even admit that I broke the cardinal rule and actually turned on my cell phone to download the the ENTIRE soundtrack while still in the theater...and I was only two songs in!! I will also admit that I am a 42yr old who left that theater feeling like a little kid again, wishing that I can twirl my way to the car without being looked at as crazy! LOL!! I've already seen it twice in as many days, and I plan on seeing it TONS more until I can own it for myself! It is DEFINITELY a movie that you have to experience in a theater though, so PLEASE ignore the snub-nosed critics and go see this magical film! You won't regret it!
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Simply Astounding
mile-7235024 December 2017
I didn't really read much about the movie before I went...just expecting something entertaining.

What I saw was pure well done...and in my top 10 movies I have ever seen. The performances and talents displayed were excellent and the music and dancing seemed to never let up...but it did at the right times so the story could be told.

Hugh Jackman and Zack Efron were amazing...the showmanship fantastic...the movie grabbed me immediately and never let go. I can already tell that this is one of the very few movies that I could watch repeatedly for the journey it takes me on, and for movie musicals...that this movie deserves to be considered an instant classic.
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A Wonderful Holiday Present
bullyfx25 December 2017
As is evidenced on this site, critical reviews of "The Greatest Showman" have been lackluster - at best. Sadly, it seems that unless a film features mind-numbing special effects, anguished characters and/or "a real thinker" of an ending, the critical community doesn't feel the film is worth your time. This time, they got it wrong...

"The Greatest Showman" is an uplifting, joyous experience that we all need, now more than ever. The musical numbers are glorious and the plot, while not historically accurate (if you want a history lesson, rent "Dunkirk",) is heartfelt and engrossing. It is a film that families can enjoy together, devoid of the sappiness and goofy grownups that infest most family fare. And, the greatest present of all: you feel wonderful at the end!

Within the film, an entertainment critic who describes Mr. Barnum's offerings as "a circus of humbug" asks whether it bothers him that all he offers is fake. Barnum, referring to his customers, replies, "Do their smiles look fake?" No, they don't - nor do the ones in the theater. And those smiles are reaffirmed through the round of applause that many audiences bestow upon the film at its conclusion.

Gather the family, enjoy the music and leave the theater feeling better than when you came in. Happy Holidays.
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A Birthday Surprise
excalibur10710 September 2018
Sunday was my niece's birthday. 16. I invited her and two of her friends to do whatever they wanted. They chose to stay home, eat cake and watch The Greatest Showman on HBO and I thought Oh no. But, I had cake with them and sat to watch this Michael Gracy, who? Michael Gracy to see the story of PT Barnum with Hugh Jackman. Sentimental and pretty, yes but also, engrossing, moving, beautiful and structured in such a way that doesn't fall into the usual biopic traps. It moves at a breathless pace with smart and unexpected transitions. Hugh Jackman is great and Michelle Williams truthful to a fault. She's never less than that. What a wonderful actress. Zac Effron gives, what it may very well be, his most convincing performance and the Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson was a revelation to me. The script by Jenny Bicks and the remarkable Bill Condon tells a classic tale with contemporary rhythms and contemporary pace. Needless to say, I enjoyed it much more that I could possibly had imagine. So, thank you Lilli, happy 16!
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See this movie, do not listen to the critics.
chjeme27 December 2017
I loved this movie. I have already pre-ordered the blue ray and I am planning to see the movie again in the theatre. I am writing a review mainly because I am so annoyed by all of the negative reviews by the critics. One point was that it is not completely accurate to how P. T. Barnum was. Well it is a musical, not a documentary. It still was a well written story. One critic complained that the movie turned Barnum into a saint. Not true! He was flawed in the movie, at times uncaring or selfish. The scenes of the circus were just amazing. The choreography was very well done. The songs also are excellent and performed by very talented singers. Listen to the songs on youtube. Try "Never Enough" and "The Greatest Showman." The movie also shows the importance of having compassion for those who are different, and the effects of racism, and standing up to racism. The songs are very catchy, and will stay in your head, and the movie is uplifting. This movie was Hugh Jackman's dream, it took 7.5 years to make. Each actor held their own and fit well into their role. This movie has so much talent and effort put into it and deserves to become a classic.
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One of the best movies I've ever seen
kajsa2563 January 2019
Absolutely beautiful movie. Visually stunning, fantastic acting, songs you'll keep singing for months after. And the songs are catchy without being cheesy. Love the choreography as well. You can't sit still while watching this movie! The story is very interesting and moving, and the issues they face are still relevant today which makes it very relatable. I've watched it three times and it makes me well up every time, my husband as well. If you haven't seen it yet, go see it! Even if you're not normally into musicals, I'd still give it a chance :)
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Move over 'la la land', this is how you musical.
sunchick116-872-58338327 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Now THIS is how you do a film! What an epic masterpiece! I don't understand the critics criticism of the lack of a story. There was A very clear cut journey of barnum's desire to be accepted and then learning what is really important in life. All the songs were so catchy, and more our importantly, inspirational. They had something to say. Makes me sad to see so many missed the message of this very important movie, just because it was wrapped up in a fun experience. Can't say enough good things about this film. It's just fantastic. Our audience clapped at the end.
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Another Musical Classic: Don't Mind the Critics!
harrisonlundy25 December 2017
I think critics are missing the whole premise of the film. I never really saw this as a biography to begin with, but a fun, upbeat historical fiction musical. Each musical number had a fitting mood for the scene, especially the opening number where it was especially satisfying to see the visual aspects of the film. I saw this film as a mixture of the pop-style mood of Hamilton, mixed with the visual joyride that was Pippin. It works for me perfectly. I never really felt the runtime at all because the musical parts of the show were enough to keep me satisfied. Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman definitely brought my favorite performances, with Waitress actress Keala Settle delivering some satisfying vocal delivery. You can definitely feel the La La Land levels of genius lyrics here. As for story, I found myself telling the characters "NO DON'T DO THAT" or "YESSS" very softly in the theater. There were even a few moments where I smiled and laughed out loud. In the words of Rachel Bloom, "the modern musical is an American invention, and it is still alive and well." It's rare that we get to see wonderfully crafted theatrical musicals such as this and La La Land. This is also something I think many critics fail to see. This is definitely one of my favorite films of all time.
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Created IMDB account so I can write FIRST review ever....
wise-403115 January 2018
I'm sorry folks but the critics are brain dead, The system is rigged by movie studios paying off these worthless critics to only favor certain movies, they should be ashamed of themselves, hope you can sleep at nights knowing users outnumber your worthless rigged pay off reviews. I'm not a musical type person at all but this movie touched me in every aspect of the movie, I had tingles running down my body and couldn't hold back my tears. If this movie doesn't touch you, then you don't have a heart, period and that's coming from a right wing conservative.This is by far the Greatest movie of 2017....plan on going to see it again. Also, bought the Soundtrack too. Two Thumbs Up.
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mcsinteriors12 November 2018
I'm so mad at myself for not watching this movie sooner!!! I could've been enjoying it for the past six months!!!

We watched it as a family; two 40-somethings, a 4 year old, and a 3 year. We ALL loved it!!! The kids were singing along and dancing. My husband, who hates musicals, LOVED it! We watched it six times in three days!!!

This is the epitome of a feel-good movie!!!

Don't waste another day not having seen this gem!!!!
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Hugh Jackman Singing and Dancing. Need I say more?
Her-Excellency7 April 2018
I have watched this film approximately twenty or more times. That is in no way an exaggeration and I may be low-calling it. Sometimes, I just have it on in the background while I work out or in the morning or while getting ready for work or I play it while cooking in the evening.

On a couple of occasions, I've even caught my boyfriend humming the tunes. To say the songs stick with you, is an understatement.

In fact, we've listened and watched it so much, that on every 20th Century Fox Movie "opening" sequence on any and all other subsequent 20th Century Fox movies we've watched, I automatically think of this one, and I am half expecting to see and hear the "Ah, ah, ahhh, ahh ..." and Hugh Jackman with his low "Ladies and Gents . . . ". Besides having a catchy and moving soundtrack, the film itself is a wonder to look at. The cinematography is beautiful, the costumes are well-done, and again, come on: HUGH JACKMAN singing and dancing. What could be better?

Well, for one, not better, but almost as great, is Rebecca Ferguson as Jenny Lind. The lady is gorgeous, and while she actually doesn't sing her rendition of "Never Enough" (Loren Allred does), the passion and zeal she brings to her onstage performance, is one for the books. I could literally (and have) replay that one scene over and over. Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman also have a duet which is fun and witty and very creatively done.

The only reason I did not give it a "10", is probably an unpopular view, and I know I will amass a hugh (not a typo :)) number of thumbs down, but oh well: I did not care for Zendaya AT ALL. I think she was so very miscast. I do not think she looked pretty in the film (although after filming, I saw her giving a couple of interviews and she looked beautiful); I thought she had absolutely zero chemistry with Zac Efron; and lastly, both her acting and her voice are like chalk grating on a blackboard to me. I think Logan Browning would have been cuter in the role. That's just me though, although it did affect my thoughts on the film and my score.

All in all, WATCH IT if you have not yet done so. It is beautiful to look at and a (modern) masterpiece to the ears.
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2 hours after the movie and I still can't stop thinking about it
tanne-3563926 December 2017
I just made an IMDB account in order to write this review. This movie was absolutely fantastic. The last time I watched a movie I was this excited about was Batman: Dark Knight (mind you, a very different movie) and it feels great to be so excited.

Off the bat this movie has a stunning cast and soundtrack. The acting is great and the singing is better. There wasn't a single song in the entire movie that I didn't find myself truly enjoying listening to and I am really excited to listen to the soundtrack again and again in the future. These songs should all be classics! The casting was perfect (even Zac Efron fit his role perfectly).

This was a fun, emotional, and exciting rollercoaster of a movie and I left the theater wanting much much more of this movie. 10/10 would recommend to anyone. My wife and I couldn't be more excited about this movie. Also, it reminded us both of the animated film Sing: lot's of interesting parallels.
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One of the best movies I have seen
alex_grant-418577 January 2018
What an incredible movie. It isn't often I go rewatch a movie at the cinema but I did with The Greatest Showman. Best musical I have seen. The acting is brilliant, the storyline is fantastic & the music is utterly superb. Feel like I could rewatch it 20 more times & not get bored. Hugh Jackman is at his very best as are Zac Efron & Zendaya. True masterpiece. Must see!
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Greatest Show Tunes
bostanci-5176925 December 2017
This is a movie about P.T. Barnum. He is a great entertainers. He knew what would keep people coming, keep people talking, and keep them entertained. He was a master of marketing. He was able to market his entertainment ranging from Feejee Mermaid to opera singer Jenny Lind to various classes of society.

Movie has great tunes by Pasek & Paul. My favorite is "Never Enough".

It's a movie you can take the whole family and have good laugh, cry, stand up & clap.
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Amazing soundtrack, great story
herberkids21 December 2017
I absolutely loved this movie. The soundtrack is amazing, the songs are gripping and beautifully performed. The actors were all well chosen for their rolls. The dance numbers were very well choreographed.

I am absolutely going to see this again. I think this movie would have done much better in the box office if it were released before Star Wars, or a few weeks after. It's a shame that it's likely going to be lost in a shadow due to the timing of it's release date.
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Perception of the Different
ILoveCNF13 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
In society today, those who are different are tossed aside and immediately labeled as so. Those people who are labeled as different are treated like objects as opposed to people. It is because of that difference that they are shunned from society and kept out of the public eye. No matter how much they try to fit in to society's culture, it is very tough to do so. In Michael Gracey's "The Greatest Showman," P.T. Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman, sees the oddities not as people who are different but rather as people with unique qualities and talents. He rallies them together in order to showcase their unique qualities and talents to put on a show. However, as Barnum's show gains popularity and eventually becomes famous, he becomes caught up in the glory and the fame. Thus, his perception of his fellow showman changes. Therefore, Michael Gracey's "The Greatest Showman" combats society's fear of people who are different through the change in Barnum's perception of the oddities throughout the movie. Barnum's initial perception of the oddities combats society's fear of people who are different. Being labeled as an oddity due to his financial situation, as a child, his perceptions of oddities were different from everyone else's. Barnum's perception of oddities were shaped from his first encounter with an oddity after attempting to steal food and from his treatment by Mr. Hallett. Despite living in the shadows to avoid ridicule from the public, the oddity appeared in public in order to help Barnum by giving him an apple. Even as the oddity left, people stared at him/her. When society saw Barnum, they only saw him as poor trash and treated him like so. Not only did the bread owner do so, but also Mr. Hallett after Barnum made Charity laugh and spit out her tea. Barnum made Charity laugh and even admitted to doing so. Barnum had done nothing to deserve his punishment. Yet, because Barnum was poor, contrasting sharply with the Hallett's riches, from society's eyes he was trash and got punished by Mr. Hallett. On the other hand, when the oddities saw Barnum, they saw him not as the poor but as a person. While Barnum initially accepted the oddities as people, he began to change as he became more famous, however, the faltering in his view of oddities strengthens the message of the movie. As Barnum got caught up in the fame, he began to view the oddities as things just as society did. When Barnum denies the oddities from joining a party due to his newborn fame and ego, the oddities do not let that bother them as they join the party singing "This is Me." Despite Barnum's arrogance towards the oddities, after his theater is burnt down and his family leaves him, the oddities find Barnum in the bar and comfort him. The oddities remind Barnum that he was the one who saw them as people instead of judging them based on their unique qualities. While Barnum, who embodied the message of respecting those who are different, may have faltered in his views of the oddities, his mistake only strengthened the message of the story because his faltering makes the message of combating society's fear against those who are different more realistic. Although this movie excels at combating society's fear of those who are different, what makes this movie amazing is the way that they approach the message. While other movies may take straight-forward approach in addressing their message, Michael Gracey's "The Greatest Showman" takes an unique approach. While it could have been easy to have P.T. Barnum view the oddities in a positive way throughout the entire movie, Barnum's change in view of the oddities due to fame built a stronger message because it shows that it's not easy for one to maintain an opinion that differs from the rest of society. Because Barnum eventually realizes his mistake and reverts his opinions, the message of the movie is changed slightly and becomes realistic, but is still strengthened. Thus, due to the realisticness and strength of the message created by P.T. Barnum's change in view of the oddities, Michael Gracey's "The Greatest Showman" effectively combats society's fear of people who are different. Therefore, while it may be difficult, one must view those who are different as people despite their unique qualities.
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Magnetic Hugh
blanche-26 October 2018
Hugh Jackman is one of the most charismatic performers in existence, and he proves it again as P.T. Barnum in "The Greatest Showman." The film also stars Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Zendaya, and Rebecca Ferguson.

The film is a 98 percent fictionalized story of the rise of P.T. Barnum. Barnum was a fascinating and somewhat controversial character. He was part of the government of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and made many improvements there. The film touches on few of his accomplishments, concentrating on his circus.

I've heard the music described as having "High School Musical" type tunes. Were they awful? No. Pleasant and well-sung? Definitely. The film is a huge spectacle and intended to be seen on the big screen. The choreography is wonderful, too.

My only gripe in this otherwise enjoyable film is that Jenny Lind sang pop songs. I realize that was done because it would have been too jarring with the other music in the film, but at the very least, she should have sung something in a soprano voice, even if it was Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.

I've seen Hugh Jackman on stage three times - he's always sensational. Zac Efron sang and danced well and exhibits a new maturity.

Anyone interested should read about the fascinating and varied accomplishments of P.T. Barnum. This is no biopic. But it is fun.
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temerariacerte20 December 2017
After coming out of the theater I knew I had to do Two things: -Buy the soundtrack -See the movie again This cast was amazing and the story and songs are wonderful.
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A sugar rush
ccamp8926 February 2018
Quite a frustrating film. The musical numbers are far and away its strongest attribute, which is obviously what any good musical should strive for. Although they aren't all showstoppers, there are some genuinely excellent sequences with tight, kinetic editing, great rhythmic camera movements, and vibrant choreography. The first proper musical number that acts as a prologue to Barnum's life was quite impressive with its fluid execution and ability to convey a large amount of information in a short period of time (which ironically is a quality that ends up being to the film's detriment when viewed as a whole... more on that later). Jackman's and Efron's bar duet is another fun and energetic sequence with a lot of cool camerawork and infectious energy. Essentially all of the songs are pleasant, catchy, and memorable as well, if a bit vanilla.

The strength of these musical sequences is enough to save the film from being bad, and is even almost enough to outweigh the many, many flaws... but not quite. Firstly, the film is attractive to look at to be sure, but it is at times so incredibly glossy that it feels like you're watching a shampoo or jewelry commercial. Sure, it's going for that fairy tale feel, but at times the sheen and shimmer is a little too blinding. And that high-gloss polish is a symptom of a much deeper problem: the incredibly superficial quality of the story and its characters. It's disappointing because this story is genuinely interesting and has the potential for a lot of moral exploration that is completely passed over. Again, I get that this is a musical and a family film, but that doesn't mean it has to be vapid and stupid (see: La La Land). I found it extremely troubling that the film completely ignored the moral quandary of whether Barnum was helping these "unique" people, or exploiting them for his own fame and fortune. These characters never even question his intent, viewing the situation as Barnum helping to "put them out there", gain them social acceptance, and create a "family", where in reality they're quite clearly being taken advantage of in a way that is arguably more reprehensible morally than the protesters who mock them. It's a truly glaring omission from the film that saps so much potential substance from the story.

Contributing to the superficial feeling of the film is another all-to common problem that modern American family films suffer from: the pacing is way too fast. It's like the studios are afraid people will be bored by their films, and thus they design them to speed through plot points and character development in a way that ends up suffocating the life from it. Sure this approach makes the film feel lively and exciting, but it also robs it of actual, meaningful character interactions and development. The result is a film that feels like all dessert and no main course - a bowl of chocolate ice cream sure tastes great but it's no substitute for a satiating meal.

Another nitpick that bothered me enough that I have to mention it: why is a renowned 19th Century opera singer belting out a Celine Dion-esque pop tune for an adoring "high brow" audience in a classic theater? That scene was almost laughable in its absurdity. And although it was by far the worst offender, I would say in general the music in the film, while catchy, did clash somewhat with the period.

Honestly, I really should be giving this film a lower score. Somehow I enjoyed it quite a bit even in the face of the many fundamental issues, which is a testament to the strength of the best sequences. Still this is a deeply flawed film that, for all its visual splendor and admittedly intoxicating energy, amounts to little more than a sugar rush.

Strong 2.5/5
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Good Choreography but Sloppy Story
bkrauser-81-31106424 December 2017
A musical movie about P.T. Barnum told with all great reverence to P.T. Barnum, featuring P.T. Barnum's Museum of why not just make "Barnum" the stage musical? The answer to that question seems to be because then they couldn't get the guys from La La Land to do the music; fair enough. But if director Michael Gracey and screenwriter Jenny Bicks were set on custom making this celebration of glitz, chicanery and humbug they could have at least opted for a little more connective tissue.

The Greatest Showman is a movie in moments, many of them great many more of them flaccid and empty. We're whisked through P.T.'s (Jackman) impoverished childhood in a single bound before settling on his happy marriage with wife Charity (Williams), and his two daughters (Johnson and Seely) who have grown to see their father as a hero. Tired of working to scrounge up a meager living, Barnum embarks on a risky entertainment venture and in due time, recruits his circus of curiosities and freaks.

From that point on, the film's narrative relies heavily on its skin-deep celebration of acceptance and diversity. This is while it chugs along through Barnum's life from his start as a full-time huckster, to his falling out with Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind (Ferguson). And while it would have been nice to say that the movie does a good job of linking theme with plot, I'm sorry to say none of it becomes a cohesive whole.

This is not entirely the fault of the filmmakers. I mean turning P.T. Barnum's life into a celebration of kindness and humanity is like using William 'Boss' Tweed as a symbol for New York pride. This film being a musical, I was not expecting something exacting, but I was expecting at the very least a keen acknowledgement that the legacy of P.T. Barnum isn't all razzle-dazzle. Yet this film makes him out to look like a saint; a man of untold potential who uses "truthful hyperbole" to provide for his loving family - A man of conviction, of love and of just wanting to put a smile on your face.

Framed in virtually any other way, Barnum would be the villain - enticing his young protégé Phillip (Efron) to "live a little," and abandon his family to come join the circus. Belittling a theater critic with insults masquerading as flaccid, fortune cookie, self-help wisdom and enticing circus "freaks" to stand out and express themselves while closing the door on them the moment he's among the rich and famous. The film's show-stopping tune "This is Me" takes place at this moment but because the film is too scared to make its hero anything more complicated than a fancily folded cocktail napkin, the moment feels like the side characters are just letting off steam.

What ultimately saves this movie from being a complete waste of a Saturday night is the choreography. Every poppy show tune and love ballad brings with it entire body shots of twirling, leaping perfection, conjuring memories of the physical feats of the cast of West Side Story (1961). Not satisfied with the traditional, the film continues to build its momentum with incredibly fancy footwork and some truly death defying trapeze choreography on the part of Zendaya and Zac Efron.

There's imagination in the frame and a lot of it, but largely due to the film's complete inability to marry subject with tone, The Greatest Showman is far from great. Rather than being a worthy successor to Moulin Rouge! (2001) this picture winds up feeling like Newsies (1992) without a Crutchy. And let's face it; the only thing we really remember about that movie was there was a character named Crutchy.
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