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

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