When you have names like Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Meryl Streep coming together for a movie, you expect something out of this world. That’s not really the case with this talented trio in their new film called ‘The Post‘. Don’t get me wrong, ‘The Post‘ is a good film, but like Spielberg’s recent movies in ‘Lincoln‘ and ‘War Horse‘, there is something magical missing. While the performances are all very good and the movie looks visually pleasing at all times, the script and delivery is a bit on the nose with emotion or lack thereof. Still, this is an important movie to watch in our current political climate as I imagine the true story it was based on back in the early 1970s, which paved the way and kept our “freedom of press” in tact.
Spielberg has in so many ways, basically re-made ‘All the President’s Men‘ here that weaves the true story of political corruption and journalism back in 1971. In that time, the New York Times and Washington Post published detailed stories from the Pentagon Papers, which were top secret details on the Vietnam War. What was so secret about them was that all of the US politicians lied to the American public about the war, mostly being that the war leaders an politicians were still sending our soldiers to die, knowing that it would still be a loss for us. So this film follows editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), who both work at the Washington Post, trying to break this story.
Well, they do break the story at the beginning of the film, but what transpires is that President Richard Nixon tries to shut down the press and the story. Of course, this is happening still today with the current administration. Spielberg captures the polar opposite personalities with Hanks and Streep on camera and it makes for some entertaining dialogue. Other moments can be suspenseful, where young interns are tasked with very sensitive documents in transporting them from one place to another. There is a noir aspect to this too that plays out nicely in the 1970’s timeline as the Washington Post and the NY Post try and figure out what to do with all of the information and the aspect of possibly being shut down.
Tom Hanks turns in a solid performance that is subtle, but not his best work. He’s still fun to watch on screen for sure. Streep is dynamite though, showing her strong and delicate side all in the same scene in this tense situation. Other co-stars are solid as well, including Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. Spielberg adds his magic to the camera in certain scenes and ends on a great conclusion that you’ll see coming, but is none-the-less fun to watch. John Williams adds his lovely score the film that always adds a layer of wonder and suspense, but isn’t memorable after the movie ends.
‘The Post‘ is from the writers of the award winning movie ‘Spotlight‘, which makes sense, because both movies involve a major scandal and the press. There was much more at stake I feel like in ‘Spotlight‘, but Spielberg still manages to perfectly craft a good story, no matter how mundane it might seem while sitting in the theater. ‘The Post‘ is by no means the best movie of the year, but it’s worth seeing.
Written By: Bryan Kluger