Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On THE POST
Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep co-star in the Steven Spielberg-helmed drama THE POST, which centers on the Washington Post's 1971's publication of the Pentagon Papers. Amy Pascal produced the film along with Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger. Rachel O'Connor will be executive producer along with Star Thrower Entertainment's Tim and Trevor White, and Adam Somner.
Hanks will portrays Post editor Ben Bradlee while Streep takes on the role of publisher Kay Graham, who together challenged the federal government over their right to publish the infamous Pentagon Papers.
Streep recently garnered her 20th Oscar nomination for her performance in "Florence Foster Jenkins," while Hanks took on the role of Captain Chesley Sullenberger in "Sully." Spielberg's latest work, "Ready Player One" is currently in post-production. He will also helm "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara," starring Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac.
THE POST hit theaters nationwide on 1/5. Lets see what the critics had to say:
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times: "Like many movies that turn the past into entertainment, "The Post" gently traces the arc of history, while also bending it for dramatic punch and narrative expediency. The filmmakers fold in atmospheric true-to-life details, like the poster for the western film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (a favorite of the real Mr. Ellsberg) that Daniel and some longhair pals sweep past on their way to illegally copying the Pentagon Papers. And while it's no surprise that the movie omits and elides important players and crucial episodes, its honed focus jibes with the view of the former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis, who wrote that the "public disclosure of the Pentagon Papers challenged the core of a president's power: his role in foreign and national security affairs."
Owen Gleiberman, Variety: "The gold standard for this sort of true-life journalistic muckraker is, of course, "All the President's Men," a movie that took place in the '70s, was made in the '70s, and tapped the alternating current of corruption and idealism that helped define the '70s. "The Post," by contrast, seems to be set in some fetishistic museum-piece re-creation of the '70s, with every drag on a cigarette calling too much attention to itself (yes, a lot of people smoked - but where's the smoky air hanging in the rooms?), too many "casually" signposted references to dinner-party mainstays like "Scotty" Reston and Lawrence Durrell, and too many actors wearing wigs that are visibly wigs (prime culprit: Michael Stuhlbarg, in a way too shiny mop, as the New York Times executive editor Abe Rosenthal). And why does Bruce Greenwood, generally an actor of supreme subtlety, blare his lines and pop his eyes as Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, the secretly doubting hawk who commissioned the Pentagon study and then made the strategic mistake of letting someone like Daniel Ellsberg read it?"
Brian Lowry, CNN: "The Post" was made for this moment, in more ways than one. Not only does Steven Spielberg's crisp retelling of the Pentagon Papers story call attention to journalism's highest calling, but Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham's heroic stand -- having been thrust into that position -- is a stirring portrait of courage during feminism's pre-Roe v. Wade era. With Meryl Streep at her best (which is saying something) as Graham, and Tom Hanks cast as the Post's colorful editor Ben Bradlee (described as a "pirate" by one board member), "The Post" certainly doesn't lack for star power. But its assets, and significance, go well beyond the showier roles, capturing a newspaper -- still on the cusp of greatness -- that stood up to a corrupt administration, which included putting journalism ahead of its business interests, as quaint as that sounds."
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: "Written by young first-timer Liz Hannah, with emendations by Josh Singer (Spotlight), the sharply detailed script deftly balances the public and private aspects of the story as it charts both the physical machinations involved in getting the documents themselves and the vacillations of the Post leadership - specifically publisher Katharine Graham (Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) - over whether to step into the void left by their New York competitor and begin publication themselves."
Brian Truitt, USA Today: "And it's a role that's built for Streep to slay - she has a few rousing speeches that'll definitely make Oscar voters take note. Hanks is just as enjoyable as a hard-charging and immensely likable leader who sends interns on recon missions and tells in-house lawyers to buzz off when there's an important expose to be had."
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: "The beauty of Streep's performance (and it's one of her best in years) is how she lets you see her grow into the responsibility of her position. She elevates The Post from being a First Amendment story to a feminist one, too. Spielberg makes these crucial days in American history easy to follow."
Mara Reinstein, Us Weekly: "Spielberg tries valiantly to squeeze urgency out the will-they-or-won't-they publish drama. It doesn't quite happen. From a logical (and admittedly cynical) perspective, he wouldn't take the time to helm the movie and rush it out for Oscar season if this ended with money concerns prevailing over journalistic integrity."