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

Heroines mob news telelvision Starz TV archives DGA reviews blockbuster streaming natural history GoT Family Masterpiece vs. children's TV Nat Geo foreign Country PBS slasher Bravo ABC Apple TV Plus Pirates Oscars Shudder olympics kids crime thriller Turner cinemax serial killer mcc young adult blockbusters ABC Family FX dc CNN cars TCM adventure 4/20 Walt Disney Pictures Apple TV+ war DC Comics New York Comic Con finale comics know your critic Cartoon Network Reality Competition MSNBC sequels Netflix target golden globe awards Classic Film social media Marvel women king kong Winter TV Opinion 2019 mockumentary toronto Rock E3 renewed TV shows Crunchyroll First Look sopranos Comedy dreamworks romantic comedy canceled TV shows Wes Anderson halloween tv toy story Best and Worst MCU period drama game of thrones Ghostbusters Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Crackle art house TCA Winter 2020 OWN marvel cinematic universe cartoon Esquire adaptation thriller boxing cancelled Rocky pirates of the caribbean scorecard halloween rom-coms 21st Century Fox genre Amazon Studios Spring TV remakes independent action-comedy Lucasfilm police drama The Walt Disney Company casting leaderboard Musical Television Critics Association royal family name the review VOD Mary poppins Kids & Family Schedule Music obituary Britbox Premiere Dates spanish Polls and Games superman FX on Hulu Marathons rt archives fresh debate popular unscripted Ovation Hear Us Out HBO Max football Film Hallmark Christmas movies disaster Amazon stop motion The Purge IMDb TV 99% strong female leads TLC stoner 007 Christmas Film Festival classics Rocketman dark screenings all-time YouTube Red animated San Diego Comic-Con Chernobyl critics TNT Teen The Arrangement joker comic book movies romance feel good cats NYCC talk show Lionsgate Spectrum Originals Action sitcom Holidays VICE best cops scene in color james bond Comic-Con@Home 2021 Podcast Quiz cancelled television Amazon Prime Video 90s universal monsters miniseries Mary Tyler Moore historical drama Netflix Christmas movies Drama fast and furious 2015 Black Mirror what to watch Tubi anime Turner Classic Movies award winner PlayStation ESPN CMT Marvel Studios composers CBS BET hispanic heritage month 1990s godzilla films posters trophy Countdown book adaptation Adult Swim television National Geographic tv talk Creative Arts Emmys Marvel Television richard e. Grant Comics on TV Logo Character Guide black comedy 45 prank Apple psycho dceu psychological thriller high school Star Trek child's play ghosts USA Network Freeform wonder woman Horror docuseries Rom-Com Fox News japanese book vampires SXSW travel Baby Yoda Sneak Peek Sci-Fi saw nfl Academy Awards zombie Toys critic resources Black History Month APB Disney+ Disney Plus FOX transformers kaiju indie satire witnail Holiday scary movies TCA 2017 History series spider-man YA Vudu french concert Sony Pictures revenge kong dogs HBO Go BBC One cancelled TV series Summer criterion Box Office franchise parents hist Trivia jamie lee curtis Dark Horse Comics japan Superheroe Mary Poppins Returns TV renewals ratings Comedy Central theme song hispanic heist movie Biopics singing competition BET Awards worst indiana jones anthology mutant jurassic park ITV facebook USA 2017 Anna Paquin Pixar justice league christmas movies festivals Tokyo Olympics worst movies Video Games harry potter rotten movies we love crime drama hidden camera Reality Acorn TV nbcuniversal DirecTV new star wars movies President streaming movies Avengers Universal aapi documentaries a nightmare on elm street Sundance TV Interview Photos TIFF suspense golden globes A&E live action werewolf docudrama politics spain twilight game show discovery green book PaleyFest BAFTA Certified Fresh YouTube Premium festival Mindy Kaling ViacomCBS IFC Films AMC Plus chucky new zealand Amazon Prime Extras Cannes FXX Ellie Kemper Tumblr Endgame batman Trophy Talk NBC CBS All Access Pet Sematary Disney Channel Paramount Plus comiccon LGBT The Academy 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards die hard trailers First Reviews WarnerMedia Travel Channel Valentine's Day versus quibi Broadway lord of the rings The Walking Dead Peacock international medical drama Lifetime The Witch TV One teaser 2020 gangster cooking RT21 Elton John rt labs spy thriller Cosplay marvel comics laika Disney comic SundanceTV Emmy Nominations Calendar Funimation crime documentary 71st Emmy Awards 72 Emmy Awards live event slashers Legendary SDCC Hulu zombies elevated horror Emmys canceled TCA Awards Neflix Watching Series GIFs new york Nominations political drama Mystery ID X-Men sag awards true crime 20th Century Fox 2018 Paramount deadpool technology emmy awards comedies Tarantino Syfy spanish language Epix Pride Month movies biopic Nickelodeon YouTube Sundance Paramount Network Columbia Pictures RT History Shondaland Set visit See It Skip It Grammys dramedy robots science fiction comic book movie Spike legend 24 frames cults Awards Tour Arrowverse Fox Searchlight Trailer Discovery Channel Musicals video Super Bowl Lifetime Christmas movies italian spinoff Disney streaming service BBC 2016 scary TV Land Warner Bros. Exclusive Video Alien superhero spider-verse crossover stand-up comedy king arthur zero dark thirty dragons Superheroes 2021 Disney Plus Fall TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt biography TBS Infographic screen actors guild free movies hollywood based on movie rotten Food Network LGBTQ Binge Guide Showtime The CW GLAAD Pop TV Mudbound Hallmark Fantasy boxoffice adenture nature Animation DC streaming service HBO Comic Book CW Seed monster movies Stephen King Thanksgiving breaking bad dexter Pop NBA australia diversity sequel sports Election AMC south america Brie Larson binge Winners asian-american Awards supernatural El Rey directors Song of Ice and Fire American Society of Cinematographers mission: impossible black reboot VH1 73rd Emmy Awards OneApp cancelled TV shows movie basketball aliens Universal Pictures doctor who Writers Guild of America Television Academy Women's History Month Martial Arts TV movies Western Image Comics Sundance Now rt labs critics edition comic books Pacific Islander Red Carpet Year in Review venice TCA WGN blaxploitation Instagram Live Fargo Captain marvel 93rd Oscars razzies latino BBC America TruTV MTV Tomatazos E! DC Universe IFC video on demand Star Wars space A24 ABC Signature