RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... The Greatest Showman

Look out, 'cos here it comes: An epic debate about the high notes and the low notes in the biggest musical of our time.

by | December 31, 2020 | Comments

The Greatest Showman
(Photo by TM & copyright ©Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved/courtesy Everett Collection)

It’s the mega musical your mom can’t stop re-watching with the songs you can’t stop belting out in the shower – but, for critics, 2017’s The Greatest Showman hit some off notes.

The story of P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), his circus, and its stars sat uncomfortably for many of those tasked with reviewing it; they took issue not just with all the on-screen cheese, but with film’s glorification of a man who used and abused the performers who made him money. (Google it: the guy had flaws). Audiences, on the other hand, fell hard for a movie jam-packed with spine-tingling moments, good old-fashioned romance, and a trove of earwormy bangers courtesy of La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

So it is that Showman’s Audience Score sits Fresh at 86%, while its Tomatometer score is Rotten at 57% – a divide wide enough for an elephant to dance through. But who got it right?

Joining hosts Jacqueline Coley and Mark Ellis for the last episode of our podcast Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong for 2020 is John Rocha, creator and host of The Outlaw Nation, Schmoedown legend, and Showman obsessive. Will he be able to convince Coley that this Rotten film is more than simply “the musical McDonald’s”? Tune in and find out.

Listen Now:  Spotify |  Apple Podcasts  |  Stitcher  |  TuneIn  |  Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Deezer | iHeart | Art19

Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”

If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.

Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

crime elevated horror japanese Spike Superheroes Academy Awards werewolf First Reviews Marvel Television NBC Animation superhero TV Ghostbusters RT21 A&E TV Land cops robots harry potter Paramount Plus directors Food Network cancelled TV series Action based on movie Emmys WGN child's play laika Countdown police drama 007 SundanceTV Awards Tour hollywood biography game show Mudbound TV renewals blockbuster Walt Disney Pictures jurassic park The Witch Marvel ghosts parents YouTube Dark Horse Comics TruTV Shudder dramedy The Academy period drama nature screenings Ellie Kemper Biopics romantic comedy jamie lee curtis DirecTV Creative Arts Emmys sports Funimation OWN fast and furious true crime Pixar El Rey Tumblr Masterpiece Comics on TV Pop all-time comic books name the review indie Hallmark Christmas movies chucky toy story historical drama tv talk zombie miniseries book YouTube Premium Television Critics Association natural history FXX Film Bravo The Arrangement Sundance Now movie trailers Super Bowl anime TIFF Spring TV OneApp Women's History Month justice league game of thrones french television Stephen King italian History spanish language ITV fresh Amazon Prime DC Comics zero dark thirty Valentine's Day BBC One free movies streaming video MCU CBS DGA supernatural mutant versus binge Comedy Rock Chilling Adventures of Sabrina green book Crackle The Walking Dead revenge spider-man discovery independent Britbox Disney Channel Tubi black 4/20 Disney streaming service 2017 Lionsgate 2020 mission: impossible Mary poppins joker TLC ABC TCA Winter 2020 ABC Signature Christmas children's TV Shondaland stand-up comedy reboot The CW Sci-Fi GIFs SXSW Pirates Calendar CMT comic FX on Hulu Disney Country sitcom docudrama Lucasfilm BBC America 24 frames cancelled television X-Men SDCC Cosplay Year in Review anthology cults Turner Classic Movies movies Paramount cats New York Comic Con YA asian-american Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Avengers thriller Mary Poppins Returns Kids & Family GLAAD diversity golden globes archives Horror 2019 Western Acorn TV james bond Writers Guild of America LGBTQ witnail australia Sony Pictures VICE singing competition what to watch richard e. Grant AMC canceled TV shows cooking Classic Film Schedule Best and Worst spinoff Sundance TV Premiere Dates medical drama aliens 99% christmas movies Toys PlayStation Television Academy dogs rt archives remakes science fiction worst critics Star Wars scary movies Pride Month composers news Black Mirror blaxploitation award winner deadpool MTV documentaries theme song cancelled TV shows Mystery scorecard Holidays Amazon Studios comedies Thanksgiving Hulu ViacomCBS doctor who Travel Channel Trivia Captain marvel Tarantino Reality Competition Adult Swim festival spain TNT BET halloween comics worst movies finale Infographic a nightmare on elm street Reality Awards ratings Election Discovery Channel Pet Sematary 21st Century Fox 20th Century Fox Rocketman politics Fall TV BAFTA stop motion FX serial killer war Vudu Musicals Holiday CNN Endgame venice Trailer 2015 Turner foreign renewed TV shows TCM festivals talk show BBC space E! Arrowverse IFC Films emmy awards ABC Family Red Carpet Cannes Marathons psycho FOX A24 Esquire Comedy Central Chernobyl TV One cancelled IFC Apple concert batman disaster Family screen actors guild Martial Arts animated Spectrum Originals comiccon Black History Month crime thriller President Anna Paquin YouTube Red universal monsters First Look Elton John series PaleyFest Character Guide San Diego Comic-Con National Geographic WarnerMedia boxoffice video on demand dark VOD travel cinemax Emmy Nominations rom-coms Music Warner Bros. Peacock USA Summer franchise boxing CBS All Access American Society of Cinematographers TCA 2017 psychological thriller Rocky zombies Fox News Marvel Studios reviews HBO Max Drama adventure Tomatazos NYCC quibi Paramount Network Superheroe teaser Oscars E3 See It Skip It Sneak Peek crossover best Freeform cars dc slashers Brie Larson Opinion nbcuniversal Podcast Netflix Christmas movies documentary latino films technology 45 casting Teen Epix romance social media Heroines cartoon football Extras Apple TV+ APB Winter TV 71st Emmy Awards Mary Tyler Moore Crunchyroll TCA BET Awards 2018 nfl Grammys twilight Song of Ice and Fire pirates of the caribbean Musical 2016 Fantasy The Purge spy thriller USA Network DC Universe HBO Go Amazon criterion breaking bad Hallmark RT History Certified Fresh classics Quiz spanish golden globe awards sag awards kids DC streaming service Universal PBS Lifetime mockumentary Mindy Kaling HBO Hear Us Out 72 Emmy Awards sequels Fox Searchlight Star Trek canceled CW Seed Alien toronto TBS adaptation indiana jones Baby Yoda women political drama strong female leads satire TCA Awards Netflix Disney+ Disney Plus Photos Nominations Amazon Prime Video Film Festival GoT transformers Binge Guide Interview Video Games LGBT Sundance rotten Set visit Pop TV Box Office Nat Geo The Walt Disney Company MSNBC Nickelodeon south america rotten movies we love Lifetime Christmas movies Winners Ovation Starz die hard dragons obituary Comic Book sequel Watching Series 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards stoner unscripted Disney Plus Polls and Games Rom-Com facebook Trophy Talk vampires dceu crime drama Columbia Pictures halloween tv Apple TV Plus hispanic Showtime Logo ID hist Syfy VH1 ESPN Cartoon Network