The critics’ reactions to Hugh Jackman’s ‘The Greatest Showman’ are in

Not so great

The first critics’ reactions to new Hugh Jackman-starring musical The Greatest Showman are in, and they’re not so great.

The Greatest Showman follows circus icon Phineas T Barnum (Jackman) and the lives of his attractions at the infamous Barnum & Bailey circus in the 1800s.

Initial critics’ reactions aren’t overwhelmingly positive, with many criticising the film for being ‘bland’ and ‘middle-of-the-road’, and for re-writing the controversial PT Barnum as an overly positive character.


The Guardian praise Jackman’s casting, but note in a three-star review that “it’s not a film to break moulds or test boundaries.” Meanwhile, The Telegraph write that the “sanitised” film doesn’t do justice to its impressive cinematography.

Entertainment Weekly state that the “lavish candybox musical” is “shallow [and] shiny”, while Vox call the film “flashy, splashy, and fake.” USA Today praise the soundtrack, but note: “The actual movie? Send in the clowns.”

A more positive reaction comes from Radio Timeswho dub The Greatest Showman as “pure musical entertainment of a sumptuous vintage.”

Recently, Hugh Jackman revealed that he was approached for the role of James Bond, but turned it down.

The actor went on to say that he wanted freedom in his career to do different things – saying that always playing the hero felt “a little bit claustrophobic”.


Meanwhile, the long-awaited 25th film in the iconic spy film franchise has officially been announced by producers, which finally ended any lingering uncertainty over the project.

The new Bond film will be released in November 2019, with a confirmed theatrical release date of November 8 2019 in the US.