Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Liz Hannah, Josh Singer
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Bradley Whitford, David Cross
A decades old government cover-up is uncovered by a group of persistent reporters at the Washington Post. Now their publisher (Streep) must decide whether or not to risk her business to publish their findings.
This film a unique look at the true story of the Washington Post and their attempt to publish information obtained from the Pentagon Papers. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) and written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer (Spotlight). This one was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. The film features a great cast that includes Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks), Meryl Streep (Marvin’s Room), Bob Odenkirk (Nebraska), Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave), Bradley Whitford (The Cabin in the Woods), and David Cross (Pitch Perfect 2).
This is an interesting story that weaves in and out of fact and fiction in equal amounts. The writers do a nice job of building the tension in the movie early. The characters are interesting and the dialogue has some great moments throughout the movie. The characters are also somewhat simplistic and often fit the type of characters you’ve seen in dozens of similar movies. The writing also seems to state the obvious far too often. The writing does a lot of good, but also has some weaknesses that can’t be ignored. Like Bridge of Spies, this one just feels too safe.
The actors took the uneven material in this one and elevated it as much as possible. Meryl Streep delivers another solid performance as the conflicted publisher with everything at stake. Her performance is strong, but also suffers from the weak dialogue. Her connection with Hanks is good, providing some solid moments throughout the film. Hanks is also his typical solid self in this one. Odenkirk, Paulson, Whitford, and Cross all do solid work as well. The performances are strong and, when given a chance, really powerful. Overall, a solid collection of performances from a large and talented cast. Streep earned yet another nomination for Best Actress for this film.
A good period piece can help you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. This is a great example of how that can be done. The sets, locations, and costuming all bring authenticity to the era the film is trying to create. The camera work is simple and always on point. The sound work and editing also do everything right. One additional highlight in this film is the score composed by John Williams (Minority Report). Despite a safe script, this is still a solid movie. Fans of the stars should make sure to check this one out. I would also suggest this to anyone who likes political dramas. I give this one 3.4 out of 5 stars.