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Parent reviews for The Greatest Showman

Common Sense says

Jackman and Zendaya entertain in musical Barnum biopic.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 147 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 178 reviews
Parent of a 6, 10, and 13 year old Written byChristy C. December 21, 2017

Mostly clean, just above little kid's interest level

We've been looking forward to this movie since we saw the preview. We downloaded the soundtrack and have been listening to it nonstop and we absolutely love the music. I went to see this with my three girls, ages 13, 10, and 6. It was very clean. I didn't hear any language except the "d" word in a song. There is some drinking but they are downing shots while singing a song, so no drunkenness is shown. The only questionable part to me was a scene where a man was tricked into kissing a woman that wasn't his wife. He actually didn't kiss her so I'm glad that it showed that it was not an appropriate thing to do. We very much enjoyed this movie. My 6 year old got a little wiggly. This is coming from a *very* conservative movie viewer.
Parent of a 9, 12, and 15 year old Written byJulie W. December 20, 2017

Good message but some questionable themes

This movie has a good message of acceptance and valuing ones family but there’s lots of drinking to excess (though no drunkenness), but what disturbed me the most was a marriage almost destroyed by lust. There’s no sex and just brief kissing but the idea of an affair isn’t something I wanted my child to think about. The song and dance routines are highly entertaining.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byJudi O. December 26, 2017

The Greatest

Finally a movie you can take the family to and no worry about covering their ears or eyes. Felt like I was at a Broadway musical / Play. Great music. Great Acting. Heart felt. Will be going back to see this one again. WE NEED MORE GREAT MORE MOVIES LIKE THIS ONE!!! This movie will pull on your heart strings.
Adult Written byLaurieToupin December 24, 2017

The Greatest Showman is the Greatest Movie!

What an amazing show! It was a snow day, so we decided to go to the movies. We needed a good "family" show, as everyone from my 10-year-old son to my 93-year-old mother was going. We all LOVED it! Even my son, who is more the Marvel superhero type, kept saying what a good movie it was. My daughter came right home and bought the soundtrack. Not only was it entertaining and fun, but we were amazed at the musical talent of "Wolverine"! The message of how every person is special and should shoot for their dreams is inspiring. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen. A story the whole family wlll love.

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Positive Messages
Adult Written byjenee'r January 31, 2018

Took my conservative 7 year old home schooler

We are a conservative christian, homeschool family. We do not do Disney, superheroes or movies that have villains in them.... which really eliminates the majority of movies, especially designated for "kids". We do watch historical movies that have real life 'villains' in them such as learning about the Civil War and how slaves were treated, WW2 etc. So he is not completely in a bubble, with what is 'negative' is historical (hopefully to learn to break down barriers and assumptions). Our movie background: He has ONLY been to the theater to watch 2 other movies than this one: "Dunkirk" and "Only the Brave". To give you an idea of where we come from/level of conservativeness. I rely heavily on this website and the reviews from parents before making a decision to take my 7 year old to a movie or not that I have not pre-screened. We absolutely LOVED this movie! Not only was the music and story above and beyond well done, but it was fairly clean. Here are the few 'iffy' parts: - A couple scenes are in the bar, they're poured multiple drinks, but are still acting 100% sober, and the focus is on their conversation between the 2 men. The whisky glasses play a part in the beat and dance of the scene and plays into it very well and in a clean way. I did explain to my son that where the scene was, was a bar though. The 2nd bar scene that I remember is near the end with the large group from the 'circus' and have tavern like mugs and it seems a bit more wild/loud/celebrative where they're clinking their mugs together and drink is more obvious, but again, it's a dance scene, just not as sharp & clean as the earlier one. I was slightly uncomfortable with it, but it's still more conservative than an average football halftime show, not that that says much. I did feel more comfortable watching these 'bar scenes' than I did the cartoon bar scene in movie "Leap!" (I screened it, but wasn't comfortable with my son watching that movie entirely, although it was a cleaner kids movie than has released in awhile). - There is an almost affair going on, it's obvious and uncomfortable enough and confusing for kids I would imagine when the dad/husband goes off on tour with this stunning musical singer, abandoning his girls who cry after him and run behind his carriage.... it's heartbreaking and too many children have endured this personally in their own lives. Although there isn't anything more than a kiss that takes place between them, there is a lot more sexual tension and attraction going on beneath everything that kids may or may not pick up on. Fortunately, the husband goes home, but not before the damage and hurt has been done to his wife. This wasn't something I ever want my son to be exposed to, or to think it's ever okay. Yet at the same time, he will be exposed to it at some point in the world we live in today, may it be a friend or family member, etc. everyone has someone they know who's lives have been shattered or family broken up because of an unfaithful spouse. In this situation, the husband stopped it and left. So it's a tricky situation he got himself into without really realizing it, and left once he realized what position he was in, and he did the right thing - so you can take what message you want from it and talk to your children about it if you feel you're ready to have that conversation. Or how when they're older, to be careful not to put themselves or their spouse in a situation like that to begin with. - The tension between relationships of opposite race is seen. For us, this was a good thing that it was not withheld, but gave some truth, the empathy and emotion behind how it was back then and how absurd that people were so opinionated and hateful towards anyone who was 'different' or 'beneath' them just because of their race. It was horrible and heart wrenching to watch and how accepted that way of thinking was. But I am glad it showed it instead of covering over it.... it put emotion for my son to see how unfair and hurtful and wrong that was to judge anyone. Or to keep opposite race from being together. Because we had studied the civil war and slavery, were getting into Martin Luther King etc. this was something that didn't confuse my son, and gave us a chance to talk more about it (he's also seen Hidden Figures). - There were 2 individuals in the circus that were in almost all white with long white hair in what looked like dreadlocks .... I am not sure, but they looked in the movie that it could be men dressed up in dresses. Again, not sure if they were men or not, but that may or may not be noticeable to some families and if you have or haven't had a discussion about that topic in this day and age. Something to be aware of incase it is noticed and if you haven't had that discussion, it could bring up some questions. I personally think so much dancing is going on and is so well presented, that it may be easily overlooked by kids or they're desensitized from the singers and actors/hollywood of this day and age and it not be anything at all to some. Just something some families might want to be aware of. Those are the main points of concern for us coming from a pretty conservative perspective.... and of course there's a lot of 'modern dancing' and clothing is obviously revealing, but if you've watched the previews, you've seen the dancers already and that's what it is. It was so very well done over-all. The music was clean, catchy, and stays in your head for days! I am a huge fan of La La Land (although my son has not watched it), I think I like this movie even better, it is cleaner in language compared to La La Land and emotion. Very tasteful and can certainly be the most ideal "Family Movie" that is entertaining for ALL ages.... children, parents, and even grandparents (although I don't think I can get my ultra conservative grandparents just getting into their 90s to watch it, my parents in their 60s, might watch it). My husband isn't conservative and will watch pretty much anything, including things I cannot even stomach the previews of, yet he enjoyed this as well and found it entertaining and not at all 'slow or boring'. It truly seems to be ideal for all ages! For movies out now days, it's one of the few and far between that I can honestly feel comfortable with letting a younger child watch.

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Positive Messages
Parent Written byBecky G. December 21, 2017

Bring back the musicals

Took all 4 of my kids - two teens a tween and a 9 year old along with one of the grandparents and we all loved it. The audience clapped at the end. The dance numbers and music were great! This was a pretty clean movie that our whole family was able to enjoy together. It really opens up the conversation with kids about treating people as people and not mistreating someone simply bc of what they look like.

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Positive Messages
Parent of a 9 year old Written byLiz D. December 27, 2017

Great for the family

A multilayered movie with heavy story lines that will make the parents think and cry...and in a way to keep everything appropriate for children. Yes the movie does have some drinking and scantily dressed actors but only because it’s the circus storyline. My kids have seen the same outfits at the actual circus so this didn’t bother me. The storyline about the romance was well done and in a way that shows him being strong and choosing his family. Again it’s a great message and was ok with my children seeing a man making a difficult choice (kids are 8 and 9). A powerful message and really inspiring movie!

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Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bystevew6 December 26, 2017

Fantasy take on PT Barnum

Weird rock "musical" about PT Barnum. Disappointing, did not enjoy it. The music did not fit the genre. Very revealing clothing, also not relevant for the time period. The story seemed to have potential. Waste of time to see this movie.
Adult Written byPaula G. December 31, 2017

An entertaining "feel good" kind of movie

In my country, this movie is rated unsuitable for children under 12 years old. So, I wasn't sure it would be suitable for my 9 year old son (who turns 10 in March). I read the reviews on Commonsense Media before heading to the movie theater, and decided to give it a try. We loved it! The singing and dancing in the movie are wonderful. My son wasn't able to follow everything in the storyline, so I did a a lot of explaining while we were watching, for example, "sometimes children weren't treated well in the past, it's not nice to kiss another woman when you're married, you should stand by your friends and people who helped you when you needed, he was going after people for money, it used to be hard that a rich white man and a poor black woman to be together, he's just doing it to be accepted by people with money, etc". Honestly, I think he would have enjoyed the movie even if he hadn't had these parts explained. The drinking probably just went over his head because he's not used to seeing people drinking alcohol on a regular basis. IMHP, the movie is full of positive messages if you explain it to younger children who might not understand everything on their own. When the movie was over, the audience clapped!

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Adult Written byMartin G. December 27, 2017

Amazing

This movie is truly amazing and I suggest everyone of all ages to go see the movie.

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Positive Messages
Parent of a 11 and 13 year old Written byhpitts December 30, 2017

Great feel good show!

My 6 year old daughter and I both enjoyed the movie. The soundtrack is so well done, and the family message is prominent. I appreciate that while Barnum makes many poor choices, he stops short of infidelity and learns to pursue the important things in life: his family relationships. I was disturbed by the preview right before the feature started which showed two teen boys kissing.

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Positive Messages
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byhadassa y. December 24, 2017

Such a good break from reality

A delightful, optimistic movie-- truly hopeful and great dancing and singing. With all the news so heavy and intense in the world it wonderful to be whisked away. Went as a family with our kids-- 8 and 11.
Adult Written byVi K. December 28, 2017

Great music, message, and acting!

We took our 13, 8, and 6yo to see The Greatest Showman. My 13 yo was genuinely interested in seeing it, while my 8yo just wanted to see it because Zendaya was in it, and the 6yo was just a long for the ride. The 6yo probably wasn’t as in to it as the other two, but she sat mostly quiet and enjoyed the movie. They loved the music and they were able to take away the message that we should never give up on our dreams, remember the importance of friends and family, and to treat everyone as an equal, and for that, I loved it! There is a little bit of drinking in the film, but I don’t see it being anything outside of what’s on TV or in our music on a regular basis, so I did not find it offensive.

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Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 10 and 11 year old Written byClaudette Z. December 30, 2017

We all loved the movie

It's a Broadway musical on the big screen. Classy, with a few bar scenes (though no one is drunk). Fun, good message. My kids loved it. My only concern going in were the previews -- it's always the previews that do us in. While not scary previews (those are the ones we typically have trouble with), the first two previews were mature message themed, the third was action/adventure (murder/mystery, showing the dramatic almost, but not quite scary parts), the remaining previews were fine for my kids. If you can get your seats and skip the first three previews, it's perfect. Even with the previews, it's a good show!

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Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byJim M. December 28, 2017

Amazing!

Wonderfully talented cast. Amazing music and performances! You will smile for 2 hours and will leave with a sense of hope and good will. Great message, movie and cast. A must see!

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Positive role models
Adult Written bybelab January 6, 2018

Must see! Inspiring fantastic musical!!

After reading the reviews I agreed to take my children to see this movie (ages 12, 10, 7). We loved it! If you’re not into musicals don’t bother (not for my husband) but it is upbeat, romantic and inspiring! PG it is- no language but some dance and drinking going on (shots, champagne) but no intoxication. The family values, the concept of “doing life together” is amazing. The only scene that could have been an opportunity for infidelity was handled well and consequences are also present in this movie (teachable moment for older children and teens). Good mix of “humanity” - we are all different yet loved and accepted. Just wonderfully made - perfect for the BIG screen!!!!

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Positive role models
Adult Written byErin W. January 2, 2018

Outstanding for the whole family!

My 6 year old and I went to this today and we both loved it! The entire theatre erupted in applause at the end. It had a wonderful message of acceptance and not giving up on your dreams. The only con is the (thankfully momentarily) intimacy between a married man and another woman. Could’ve done without that and my daughter even questioned it. It was very, very brief and I would still recommend this movie. It was truly enjoyable.

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Adult Written byJessicaB 30 December 26, 2017
Adult Written bymaxm 2 December 28, 2017

Just bland

Don't watch this expecting a revolutionary musical or a return to the genres roots. If you like generic poppy soundtracks with no originality in the music, and don't mind watching a movie where you won't remember more than one characters name, then you should enjoy The Greatest Showman. This movie is soulless, with none of the passion and flair you would expect from a movie about the literal origins of the actual circus. The plot is boring and you can see where it is going to go by minute two. It felt more like it just wanted to check in the "family movie plot point" boxes than tell an interesting story. I was sorely disappointed. The bottom line is this movie has nothing to offer, and you would be better off watching almost anything else.
Parent of a 10, 13, and 16 year old Written byHolly C. December 29, 2017

Best movie of 2017

A 7 of us (ages 59-10) LOVED it from start to finish. We left the theater excited to see it again. Bought the soundtrack and have listened to it every day since. There was some alcohol, Zendaya’s short acrobatic attire, mild profanity, and an almost extramarital situation. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed this rare gem of a film in our very “un-family-friendly” culture. Such a “feel-good” movie. You won’t be disappointed!

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Positive role models

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