In Brief: True or not, showman P.T. Barnum would love this one.
The Greatest Show casts Hugh Jackman as showman P.T. Barnum. Many people don’t know that Jackson is an all-purpose actor who can do more than play Wolverine in the X-Men. He is a great singer and an athletic dancer. Supporting Jackman are Zac Efron, Zendaya, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and others who also do their own singing and dancing. .
All spin, twirl and whirl through some terrific sets that plant you firmly in the late 1800s.
This flick is short, to the point and totally fun. Barnum was pretty good promoter promoter and a most excellent huckster. He’d likely approve of the liberties taken with this bio-pic of a big chunk of his life. Packed with much better music than they did with their Oscar and Golden Globe award-winning La La Land, Justin Paul and Benj Pasek pack first-time director Michael Gracey’s film with songs that demand dance.
Add the circus atmosphere of a circus such as the Greatest Show on Earth and The Greatest Showman gives you the not-so-surprising — sorry Pitch Perfect 3 — best musical of the year.
Director: Michael Gracey
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson
Rated PG. A wonderfully fun musical combination biopic that will have you smiling from beginning to end.
5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.
Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.
Got a movie suggestion or comment? Click here to email him.