The Post

December 16, 2017

Review, Theatrical, This Week 3 Comments

Imagine The West Wing minus all the wit...

The Post

Mark Demetrius
Year: 2017
Rating: M
Director: Steven Spielberg

Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson

Distributor: Entertainment One
Released: January 11, 2018
Running Time: 116 minutes
Worth: $8.00

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Imagine The West Wing minus all the wit …

The titular post here is The Washington Post, one of America’s better newspapers. The main setting is of course Washington D.C., and the time is 1971. Following in the very fresh footsteps of the beleaguered New York Times, the Post’s editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and publisher Katharine Grahame (Meryl Streep) are thinking of risking imprisonment by publishing extracts from the so-called Pentagon Papers. And that, essentially, is all this movie is about. The revelatory documents themselves show a pattern of lying by the government, particularly on the part of presidents and Secretaries of Defence and about the Vietnam War, which stretches back for decades. That level of mendacity is a big topic, but how people sought to reveal it is an appreciably smaller one, and the level of tedium is magnified by Steven Spielberg’s use of every cliche in the “publish and be damned” storybook.

The performances are OK here, and Meryl Streep is very good, but fine acting doesn’t take us very far when it’s in the service of a lamentably feeble script.

The Post is excruciatingly banal, trite, pompous and dull. Its dialogue is wooden and its style sentimental. Given that the (true) story is rather slight and its ending is – to anyone who knows their American history – predictable, it’s also too long. Imagine The West Wing minus all the wit and you’ve got something of the tone. Perhaps the whole thing is intended as a nostalgic sop to progressive and liberal-minded audiences in a time when, to use a line from Leonard Cohen, “Everybody knows that the good guys lost”. But judged solely as a film it’s abysmal.

Click here for nationwide movie times for The Post



  1. Garry Williams

    Couldn’t agree less. Saw The Post with a group of people with wildly different tastes in film and we all loved the film. Initially wondered why the focus was on the Washington Post and not Dan Ellsberg and the New York Times who broke the story. But then it becomes apparent that without the events of this film, Watergate never happens. Nixon serves out his term as a great American President. It’s a perfect prequel to All The President’s Men. If you see it in that light you’ll enjoy it.

  2. Joachim Staats

    Completely agree with Garry Williams. This is a drama film ( not a CGI all action extravaganza ) telling the true and important story of The Pentagon Papers. It was a brave decision on the part of Katharine Grahame and watching the pivotal scene (of her decision to print )telling her Executives, those suited Men in Power, to blow off was worth the price alone of of watching the movie. The issue of The Free Press is just as important today .

Leave a Comment