Rated: PG-13 for language and brief war violence. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: December 22, 2017 Released by: 20th Century Fox
Self-government is met with inhospitable media in Steven Spielberg's timely dramatic thriller with stalwarts in Tom Hanks (Bridge of Spies) and Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) leading the way.
The Post is set before Watergate and the era is captured quite well that Mad Men fans would admire from the clothes, styles, and, of course, smoky rooms. At a time when the Washington paper was less illustrious and monetarily deficient than the New York Times.
A procedural unfolds with immediacy to produce the Pentagon Papers with authenticity to influence that connects with our "fake news." Hanks is a charismatic rapscallion as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and the marvelous Streep its upper-crust publisher Katharine Graham.
The missive quality of the storytelling from scribes Josh Singer and Elizabeth Hannah has legs and proves quite inviting after Pres. Nixon put the kibosh on The Times leaking a collection of classified federal documents concerning thorny duplicity in the unpopular Vietnam War.
Bradlee and a group of ambitious journalists take it upon themselves to race with this till the end. But, the give-and-take between Ben and more soiree-minded Katharine is what Spielberg knows is his ace-in-the-hole and uses it shrewdly as the intensifying John Williams score takes hold.
An iconic wondrous filmmaker from Schindler's List to Munich to Saving Private Ryan charts critical points without tangling it all up in ways which dovetail freedom of speech with advocacy of women's rights embodied by Streep's swelling leadership.
With spry, distinguished backup from a cast that includes Alison Brie, Sarah Paulson, and Matthew Rhys (F/X's The Americans) and a disheveled Bob Odenkirk (AMC's Better Call Saul, who has a funny sequence at a payphone) a nearly irreproachable grandeur is achieved. It's without the intricate investigative mastery of the relatively recent Spotlight or the indelible mid-1970s All The President's Men.