The Post Review
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Every day, news outlets around the globe work to uncover—and publish—the truth to keep their readers informed, often facing one obstacle after another from those who would prefer to keep the facts concealed. And Steven Spielberg’s latest drama, The Post, tells the true story of a battle between press and politicians.

The Post stars Meryl Streep as Kay Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post, who finds herself faced with a number of difficult decisions that no one really thinks she’s capable of making. As she prepares to take the paper public, the New York Times publishes a series of articles exposing decades of government lies and cover-ups related to the war in Vietnam. While the White House files an injunction to keep the Times from publishing any additional reports, Graham and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) are forced to decide whether to take a stand or keep quiet.

The Post is a timely drama—one that draws frequent comparisons to today’s ongoing struggling between news outlets and government officials. It’s about more than just a government cover-up; it’s about the freedoms of the press and also its responsibility to be objective and informative—to regard its role as far more important than personal feelings and relationships.

Admittedly, the story gets off to a slow start. There’s a lot going on here—from the papers’ ongoing competition to business decisions to Kay’s professional struggles—and, as the pieces are introduced, it’s unclear how they’re all supposed to fit together. Once they begin fitting into place, however, the film builds in both drama and suspense, taking advantage of the fast pace of the news cycle to increase the tension.

Kay faces pressure from her board and her advisors—not to mention some of her oldest friends—as her team works on stories that could have serious legal and professional repercussions. The character starts out as timid and sometimes painfully wishy-washy, so it’s fun to watch Streep when she finally gets to do what she does best: take a weak and insecure character and build her up to someone who’s strong and confident and ready to take control.

Still, it’s Hanks who steals each scene as the ruthless newsman—the kind who will do whatever it takes to get the next big scoop. He’s a force in the newsroom, offering up all of the best lines as he calls out orders to his team. And he helps to bring the sense of urgency to the story.

Tense and thoughtful, with a strong all-star cast, The Post is the kind of smart, layered film that will tell you something new with each new viewing. You just have to be willing to give it some time to get started.

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