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Review of Steven Spielberg’s Movie ‘The Post’ – Free Essay Example

‘The Post’ was premiered on December 22, 2017. The movie is a historical political thriller film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. This movie was critically acclaimed throughout the world. The movie is based on a genuine story, set in the 1970s, it shows the various endeavors made by the writers at The Washington Post who wanted to publish the Pentagon Papers. The Pentagon Papers were highly classified documents containing information about the involvement of the U.S government in the Vietnam War. The movie got nominated for Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards and received six nominations at the 75th Golden Globe awards. The film did so well not only because of the topic it was based on but mainly because of the strong cast, including big names like Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in the lead roles.

Steven Spielberg is one of the most renowned and famous Hollywood directors of all time. His first movie came out in 1974 and since then every movie he made has turned out to be exceptional. The films like ‘The Sugarland Express’ and ‘Jaws’ were the films that made him a rising star in the film industry. He is one of the wealthiest movie producers.

In the movie, Tom Hanks is doing the main lead role. He is also a filmmaker so his marvelous acting extraordinarily amused the audience. Tom Hanks performed the role of the executive director of the famous newspaper. The movie ‘Big’ established Tom as a major talent in the Hollywood industry. For his performance in this film, he received his first Academy Award for Best Screen Actor. At the start, his acting was not good enough but eventually with the time he improved. ‘The Post’ was the fifth film being directed by Steven Spielberg and having Tom as a lead actor. Another leading actress in the film is the incomparable Meryl Streep. She has been designated for multiple times for the Academy Award and had won it multiple times. In the film, she is acting as the first female publisher of a major American newspaper. She is acting as the first female publisher of a major American newspaper. Sarah Paulson is another actress in ‘The Post’, and she did an amazing performance. She had completed her studies from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts that’s also the main reason for this film to become a blockbuster.


This movie tells the story of the Pentagon Papers. This is a major event that happened in history right before the Watergate broke. It was a scandal that involved government’s knowledge of things that they were not revealing to the public and when The Washington Post got the proof Nixon decided that the press was going to get sued if they reveal any classified information so they were going to shut down all of the newspapers and restrict every one of not talking about this matter. So, the reporters struggle to work around this information in a loop where they are caught up in whether they publish this information or whether they have enough time to go through all of the information to publish it the next day.

Katharine Graham (played by Streep) is the first female publisher of The Washington Post, along with the executive editor Ben Bradlee (played by Hanks). These Pentagon Papers had useful information about how the US Officials lied to the citizens of America about certain aspects of the Vietnam War. The information included how the US officials knew all along that they couldn’t win the war but carried on with it anyway and four US presidents had to cover it all up. As the movie progresses, we learn that Katherine and Ben both also risk going to prison because the attorney general accuses the newspaper of violating the Espionage Act. Both of them strived for a great newspaper, something better than being called a ‘local newspaper’ and like any other media system, you need to produce groundbreaking headlines that the world remembers throughout history.

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The Post and Times both want the news to be published first but with the ongoing suppression and threat by the government both the media systems are restricted. The movie also points out Graham’s beliefs in various scenes — idealistic but also prophetic. The quality of the newspapers, their influence is what drives a newspaper to success and foster. The movie is a tale of journalistic triumph, with Graham being unsure of herself since she is the only women standing in a boardroom of men to how she comes to a realization that she is not the one who is taking care of her husband’s company but it is her company so she must decide what is best for it and publishes the papers. The press, the media, all join in and become a greater force because that is what it always has been. The Pentagon Papers resulted in an iconic moment that rejoiced the press claiming its freedom to call out the ones with excess power.


‘The Post’ is a very relevant movie for today’s world. This movie portrays the difficulties of running a paper and how hard it was back then. It shows how much labor went into getting a paper printed in time which I thought was pretty interesting and something that made the movie have a realistic tone. But sometimes the more dramatic elements of the story, ‘Do we publish this?’, ‘What are the ramifications of publishing this?’, ‘Will we end up in jail?’, these riveting elements are pushed to the background, making the first half of the film drag because it is not till the last half that these Pentagon Papers get in the hands of these reporters, and from that moment I felt that the film drastically improved and became very exciting. It is the first half that feels a little unfocused because they are setting up a conflict with the owner Streep, who is the owner of The Washington Post. She is thinking about going public with papers, and there are men behind the scenes trying to abuse their power against her because they think they can. So that is also very relevant for today. But once they get the papers in their hands, the movie becomes that riveting journalism drama. Standouts here for myself is that it is extremely timely and very relevant to today’s conversation. The performances across the board are all uniformly great. The last is extremely riveting. It will get the audience hooked throughout the 1 hour and 55-minute movie because of the tensions between Streep and Hank’s characters and the struggles and obstacles that they must overcome to make their newspaper standout.

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