THE POST Review — A Masterpiece From a Distance

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by Staci Layne Wilson

The Post ReviewSome movies grab you with a hook, then peter out. Others may start slow, but burn bright at the end. The Post is one of those very rare movies that has a great middle. It drags like a dull dissertation for the first half hour, then devolves into schmaltz at the climax. But oh, that midpoint! It’s really quite remarkable.

The Post is a Vietnam era period piece following the Washington Post’s first-ever female publisher, Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), and the newspaper’s editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) as they cope with the legal consequences and government backlash associated with printing the Pentagon Papers. What followed was a landmark Supreme Court case pitting the government vs. journalists (sound familiar?) as the boundaries and the rights of the free press took center stage.

As you might expect when you see the names Streep and Hanks – and throw Steven Spielberg in there as director for good measure – you are in for A-game everything. In fact, it’s a cinematic holy trinity, and the first collaboration between the three. The acting is aces and Spielberg surprises with a bona fide feminist film. It’s a reverent and accomplished movie definitely aimed at mature audiences who either remember the era or have a keen interest in today’s politics.

A journalism drama in the age of Trump is bound to strike a chord, but will The Post stand the test of time? I’m not convinced it’s an instant classic, but fans of Streep and Hanks will enjoy; watching these two titans go toe-to-toe is indeed a treat. It’s amazing to think they’ve not shared the screen before now. (They were talking heads in a documentary about Nora Ephron, but that doesn’t count.)

While The Post does hit all the right topical beats, showing that “the more things change the more they stay the same” (quoth Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr), it feels cold and distant. We see the events, but don’t feel like we’re a part of them. It’s a movie I admire more than I like. Still, cinephiles will want to catch The Post on the big screen because it’s bound to be a strong Oscar contender.

1 Hour 55 Minutes

Rated PG-13

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by Staci Layne Wilson


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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on

1 Comment

  1. Arthur Passic on January 4, 2018 at 9:08 am

    I believe your review is really a recomendation for your typical reader to see the film. I get why you as a reviewer would not give it a four star review but to not award three stars to motivate the average person to see it is a disservice to them!

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