If you’re going to make a movie in which the audience knows the ending — for the love of God, make it a fun ride to the conclusion.
This story of the Washington Post’s fight to publish The Pentagon Papers and their battle for the freedom of the press is a pot-boiler that spends more time simmering than anything else.
Steven Spielberg, normally one of my top filmmakers, can’t manage to find the memorable in the mundane, and as a result, his film never quite catches on.
Meryl Streep is wonderful in her understated performance as publisher Kay Graham, and gives one of her more nuanced performances in the last decade.
Tom Hanks is on his game as editor Ben Bradlee, though he doesn’t quite hit the emotional depth to earn large praise. He’s good, not great, in another performance that solidifies his status as a wonderful screen presence.
But perhaps the problem is that he does nothing to redefine himself here, and thus didn’t earn himself an Oscar nod this year.
Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson and Jesse Plemons are all also fantastic here, but this is a rare occasion where I would have given in to less meticulous acting if I got a bit more on the edge of my seat.
The Post is by no means a failure, but this morality tale about freedom of the press and the fight for justice doesn’t hit all the right notes.