'The Post': First Reactions to Steven Spielberg's Timely Ode to Journalism
The period film, which recounts the Washington Post's attempts to publish the Pentagon Papers, stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.
The first critics' reactions to Steven Spielberg's The Post have started to trickle in and the consensus seems to be a thumbs- up for the timely tribute to investigative journalism.
Full reviews for The Post are under embargo until Dec. 6, but critics were allowed to give their opinions on social media Monday night.
In the age of "fake news" and with journalism under attack from The White House, the Fox newspaper drama couldn't have arrived at a better time. The film recounts how the Washington Post's publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) teamed up to catch up with The New York Times and publish the Pentagon Papers, risking court sanctions to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets related to the Vietnam War that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents.
Slashfilm's Peter Sciretta tweeted: "The Post is an important film, not just to history, but to the now." Awards Circuit's Clayton Davis said the film was a "crowdpleaser," The Guardian's Jordan Hoffman described it as "dynamite" and Mark Harris said it was "fantastic."
Many felt the film had awards potential. Vox critic Alissa Wilkinson said, "The Post is definitely not the best movie I have seen all year but it will probably win best picture and I won’t be mad." The Atlantic's David Sims also felt it would win a bunch of Oscars.
The reactions weren't all glowing, THR's Jon Frosch was a tad more lukewarm, describing the film as "elegant and efficient" before it turns "clumsy/corny" at the end.
Also starring Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Tracy Letts, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods, The Post hits limited theaters Dec. 22 before expanding wide Jan. 12, 2018.
Here are some of the early reactions to The Post on Twitter.
Elegant and efficient until it turns clumsy/corny at end. Streep fantastic (miraculously understated), Hanks very Hanksy and not particularly interesting. Wanted more Kay Graham, less familiar newspaper heroics.— Jon Frosch (@jon_frosch) November 28, 2017
The Post is an important film, not just to history, but to the now. Streep is amazing. My audience broke into applause at least 6 times during the movie itself. Spielberg’s best film since Munich.— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) November 28, 2017
And yes it’s the best Streep in ages— Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie) November 28, 2017
for serious: I yelped and shrieked aloud a handful of times. at one point I grabbed @jhoffman’s knee with my whole hand. it’s another entry in Spielberg’s worship of PROCESS and I adore it— David Sims (@davidlsims) November 28, 2017
Thing about THE POST: it's edge-of-your-seat excitement. Fun & upbeat. (So long as you don't dwell too much on the horror in Vietnam, I guess.)— Jordan Hoffman (@jhoffman) November 28, 2017
Steven Spielberg's "The Post" is a timely look at the importance of journalism. Hanks rips his role to shreds while Streep shows up with an angelic grace. Kaminski's camera work & Williams' score are standouts. First 30 mins drag but comes home by the end. A crowdpleaser #ThePost pic.twitter.com/xGP4fosvj7— Clayton Davis (@AwardsCircuit) November 28, 2017
I pretty much loved THE POST. Streep: Her best perf in years. Hanks: Delightfully irascible. The rest of the cast: Great. I expected its depiction of journalism to feel vital & sentimental. I did not expect Spielberg to make his first overtly feminist film since The Color Purple.— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) November 28, 2017
Also, whether I'm objective or not, I will say that what Meryl Streep does in this movie, building a narrative about her character with each line, move, and gesture, is, even by her standards, astounding.— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) November 28, 2017
#ThePost is excellent. Obvious but well worth saying - Streep and Hanks are fantastic. Takes some time to build but was *very* moved by Katharine Graham’s experience and how incredibly important it is to tell this story right now.— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) November 28, 2017
THE POST rules. the best Spielberg movie since MUNICH. more on this story as it develops.— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) November 28, 2017
The Post is a reminder that Spielberg is a pro like no other. Pentagon Papers changed everything. It was a time not unlike today - similar forces at work. Everyone at the top of their game here.— Sasha Stone (@AwardsDaily) November 28, 2017
#ThePost: "The press was to serve the governed, not the governors." This isn't quite the best film of the year, but it might be the most important. A stirring, far too relevant defense of a free press from Spielberg & co. Streep, Hanks and Bob Odenkirk knock it out of the park.— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) November 28, 2017
Oh, I can tweet about THE POST? Great!— Matt Goldberg (@MattGoldberg) November 28, 2017
It’s very good and incredibly timely. It probably won’t crack my Top 10, but only because 2017 has been jam-packed with great movies.
The Post benefits from a great, likable cast and a sadly timely reminder of the last time a president tried to villainize the press. However it’s super on the nose, incredibly slight and kind of a snooze overall. Felt to me like Spielberg was on autopilot.— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) November 28, 2017