Critic review roundup: Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Post’
It’s no accident that Steven Spielberg’s The Post feels timely. The whole thing came together in about eight months, making it one of the first studio pictures to directly respond to the Trump presidency.
With such a rushed schedule, you might expect The Post to suffer in quality. But that’s not the case at all, at least according to the reviews, which range from mildly positive to raving. Here’s what the critics are saying about The Post:
It’s more thrilling than you’d expect
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter:
An unofficial prequel to All the President’s Men 41 years after the fact, The Post stirringly dramatizes the tale of how The Washington Post and its equivocating owner rose to the occasion by publishing the Pentagon Papers in June of 1971. Punchy and quick-pulsed, it’s a fine example of that now-rare species, the big-city newspaper melodrama.
Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice:
Spielberg connects with the derring-do at the story’s heart. Beyond being one of our greatest filmmakers, he’s also one of our most self-aware, and understands that he’s crossing the streams a little: He shoots this political drama like a long-lost Indiana Jones movie.
It’s maybe a little heavy-handed – but it works
Kevin Fallon, The Daily Beast:
The script is chockful of the kinds of platitudes that would ordinarily arm critics with enough artillery to eviscerate a movie for being corny, heavy-handed, or unforgivably maudlin. But with towering, bonafide movie star performances by Streep and Hanks—respectively the best they’ve been in years—and an assured, almost dutiful directorial energy from Spielberg, The Post becomes less a movie than a mission.
Robbie Collin, The Telegraph:
Spielberg pushes these moments right to the brink of corniness, but you wouldn’t want it any other way, particularly as the ink-stained romance of the newspaper business plays up to his sentimental streak. There is a glorious sequence in which one of the key reporters, played with hangdog nobility by Bob Odenkirk, is tapping at his typewriter late at night when the printing presses rumble into action down below. He feels the building shudder and allows himself a satisfied smile: his words have literally caused the earth to shake.
It’s probably gonna win an Oscar
Kristy Puchko, Pajiba:
You’ll watch The Post and think of movies like All The President’s Men, The Paper and Network. And then maybe you’ll realize those movies are all decades old. And that maybe why you’re thinking of them is because this movie feels like it could be decades old. It’s a good, reliable drama. It’s also safe, predictable Oscar bait with nothing new to say.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair:
Spielberg’s film is rousing and cannily made. It’s a straight-down-the-middle Hollywood liberal picture that might drop a big studio bomb on the year’s smaller Oscar hopefuls. The Post just hits so many of the right buttons, so effectively, that it seems like something made in a lab to win big showbiz awards handed out by happily comforted and inspired Democrats.
The Post is in theaters December 22.