When P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) loses his office job, he has a difficult time supporting his loving wife Charity (Michelle Williams) and their young children. Discouraged by how his life has turned out, he manages to turn things around when he gets an idea.
Barnum gathers unique and talented people together, including singer Jenny Lind, known as the so-called Swedish Nightingale (Rebecca Ferguson), in order to create a show like nothing that's ever been seen before. He creates the traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a.k.a. "The Greatest Show on Earth." The dazzling spectacle and celebration of his vivid imagination intrigues audiences around the world.