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The Post (2017)

PG-13   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


The Post (2017) Poster

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.

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7.2/10
102,522

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  • Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at an event for The Post (2017)
  • Meryl Streep in The Post (2017)
  • Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw at an event for The Post (2017)
  • Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep at an event for The Post (2017)
  • Steven Spielberg in IMDb Originals (2015)
  • Meryl Streep in The Post (2017)

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25 January 2018 | Jared_Andrews
7
| Solid, Important Historical Drama
Is it cliché to call this movie an Oscar cliché?

Even if the answer is yes, that's The Post, in a nutshell. It hits all the right beats. Serious historical drama (it covers a newspaper contemplating printing government lies about the Vietnam War), mega-famous director (Spielberg), and beloved, award-winning stars (Streep and Hanks). To top it all off, this movie is timely. A movie about newspaper courage at a time when our nation's free press is under attack, it's almost too perfect. Delicately arrange all these ingredients nicely on a fancy dish, and we should have a five-star meal. But we do not. Instead, the result is something that is just fine. It's a lower-middle class version of Spotlight.

That likely reads harsher than I intend it. Spotlight is incredible. Mentioning any movie in the same breath is an honor. The Post is a perfectly adequate, important movie, not a Best Picture winner. There's no shame in that.

There's very little blatantly wrong with the movie. Grading via a high school-style rubric would result in an A for following all the instructions and including all the required criteria. Yet, it does not quite reach the level of "WOW."

Figuring out why it doesn't "WOW" is tricky. Maybe shooting and editing a movie that quickly (reportedly completed in only a few months) is too tall a task even for a master like Spielberg.

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep play the leading roles and do so fantastically. Streep is especially strong in capturing the hesitancy of a woman in charge who doesn't act like she's in charge. This is the other element that's important for 2018. Women can lead effectively and bravely. She slowly learns that she is fully capable of seizing control and making the tough decisions, just like any successful leader.

The supporting actors all likewise play their roles well, without exception. Everyone feels a bit underutilized, which I suppose they understood when they accepted the parts. The inclusion of so many famous faces could be viewed as a statement emphasizing the importance of the film.

While I mentioned that there is very little blatantly wrong with the movie, I did personally find certain parts troublesome. Specifically, I call attention to the beginning and ending. Without spoiling anything, they felt oddly out of place, or at the very least, they felt unnecessary.

Perhaps Spielberg included them to make clearer the message of the movie. He wanted to establish the stakes. I didn't think we needed that. Movie viewers are smart enough to understand what makes this movie important. Thankfully, the movie avoided becoming overly preachy, aside from a couple sigh-worthy instances.

If you're down for a textbook "important history lesson" movie, The Post is for you. Just don't expect to leave the theater in stunned silence, like you did after seeing Spotlight.

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Genres

Biography | Drama | History | Thriller

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