Steven Spielberg has done it again: The lauded director has made an “important” and “expertly crafted film” with “The Post,” starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
With a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 71 percent, “The Post” is being praised by critics for its timeliness, as well as Streep’s performance, which some are calling her “best in years.”
Streep stars as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, the first woman to publish a major American newspaper. Hanks plays editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), and the pair race to uncover a web of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents.
“In less than a year, Spielberg has put together an expertly crafted film. Even more than that: he’s made what might just be the most important film of 2017,” wrote SlashFilm’s Chris Evangelista.
“Spielberg has crafted a solid piece of work that skillfully juggles both suspense and Big Ideas, and his team of collaborators delivers, from John Williams’ horn-heavy score (creating either tension or heroic awe, as needed) to Janusz Kaminski’s camera sliding its way through newsrooms and dinner parties, all lit with that particular brand of early 1970s drabness,” wrote TheWrap’s film critic Alonso Duralde.
This is the first time Streep and Hanks have appeared together in a film with director Spielberg, who is also a producer with Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Kriege. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer.
The ensemble cast includes Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods.
See seven of the best reviews below.
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. But if you look at ‘The Post’ next to something like ‘All the President’s Men,’ you see the difference between having a story passively explained to you and actively helping to untangle it. That’s a small quibble with an urgent and impeccably acted film. But it’s also the difference between a very good movie and a great one.”
Brian Truitt, USA Today:
“Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep captain a deep bench of character actors in the thrilling drama, a coffee-swilling joy about government corruption, newspaper rivalries and how a well-sourced story can save the day. While cinematic predecessors like ‘All the President’s Men’ and more recently ‘Spotlight’ focused on the dogged procedural aspect of reportage, ‘The Post’ and its sleek depiction of how The Washington Post took on the White House pre-Watergate (and won) is much more about the bigger-picture championing of the First Amendment.”
Matt Goldberg, Collider:
“‘The Post’ is a movie that is IMPORTANT, but it never feels self-satisfied or smug thanks to the talent of everyone involved. We all know why the people making this movie are doing it, and that the press for it will certainly revolve around current events. But what makes ‘The Post’ more than topical is that Spielberg never loses sight of telling the best story. Yes, ‘The Post’ speaks to the moment, but it’s through Spielberg’s voice that it speaks clearly and forcefully.”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian:
“Steven Spielberg’s handsome new picture has a big, beating heart on its classically tailored sleeve. It’s a rousingly watchable film from first-time screenwriter Liz Hannah about the Washington Post, its editor Ben Bradlee, proprietor Kay Graham and what is supposedly their platonic office romance while publishing the Pentagon Papers in 1971…. The film is a pointed celebration of liberal decency in the past and implied present. Its stars’ unadorned surnames have been put up on the poster over the title with granite simplicity: ‘Streep Hanks The Post.'”
Chris Evangelista, SlashFilm:
“Steven Spielberg’s latest film, ‘The Post,’ once again proves that the acclaimed filmmaker hasn’t lost his touch. In less than a year, Spielberg has put together an expertly crafted film. Even more than that: he’s made what might just be the most important film of 2017. In tackling an historical story focused on the importance of a free press, Spielberg is holding a mirror up to today, reminding us what’s past is prologue.”
David Ehrlich, IndieWire:
“Nobody needs to be reminded that history tends to go in circles, but ‘The Post’ is so vital because it captures the ecstasy of trying to break the chain and bend things towards justice; defending the fundamental tenets of the Constitution hasn’t been this much fun since ‘Hamilton.’ If we’re lucky, the film will feel like a relic in 10 years; if we’re not, it might be relevant again in 20. Today, when it matters most, ‘The Post’ is essential because it stares down cynicism with a smile, because it enshrines the fact that governments only see journalists as a threat when they have something to hide. And, of course, because it separates the value of journalists from the horrors they uncover, allowing us an unalloyed appreciation for how their work can change the world. It’s all there in the film’s other all-time Spielberg moment, as Bagdikian sits down at his typewriter right as the printing press groans to life in the basement and the whole building starts to heave. He can feel the earth moving under his feet, and so can we.”
William Bibbiani, IGN:
“Steven Spielberg tells an intimate story through extravagant storytelling, giving audiences an intensely relevant historical drama, and giving Meryl Streep one of her most nuanced roles in years.”