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The Post

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PG-13
2018

The Post is a 2017 historical drama film, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Sarah Paulson. The movie is centered around the events that took place in 1971 when The Washington Post's brave publishers Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep), and editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) dared to breach the government's secrecy clause to publish, what became known as the Pentagon Papers, an exposé of the United States government's involvement in the Vietnam War.

The Pentagon Papers were a classified report on the involvement of the US military in Vietnam, detailing an unwinnable war, and how the government had been misleading the public for years about it. The papers were originally leaked to The New York Times but the Nixon administration had obtained a court order to halt the publication of any classified information. Meanwhile, The Washington Post was trying to stay afloat and expand their business by going public, so publishing the Pentagon Papers would be a risky move that could potentially ruin their reputation.

The film opens on Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys), a former employee of the RAND Corporation who leaked the Papers to the press, copying them and sending them to The New York Times. After the publication of the documents by The New York Times was halted, Ellsberg contacted Bradlee, and later, Graham, and gave them copies of the papers to publish. The rest of the film revolves around the struggle at The Washington Post as they try to figure out how to publish the papers while avoiding legal repercussions, saving their paper, and making sure to protect their reporters at the same time.

The relationship between Graham and Bradlee is a significant part of the movie. Bradlee is passionate about his work and is determined to get the story out, regardless of the potential consequences. Graham, on the other hand, is initially reluctant to risk the paper and her decision could result in a massive number of legal issues, fines and even jail time for those involved. Additionally, she is a woman trying to succeed in a male-dominated world, so she's hesitant to overstep boundaries with the government.

The tension in the movie comes from both the legal shadow that looms over Graham, Bradlee, and the reporters who could be arrested for essentially publishing state secrets, and from the almost palpable desire for them to make the right decision. Both Streep and Hanks are outstanding in their roles, and Streep's performance in particular is nuanced and powerful.

The supporting cast includes a fair number of talented actors, including Sarah Paulson as Bradlee's wife, Tony Bradlee, who provides a needed counterpoint to the publisher's headstrong determination, Bob Odenkirk (Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul) as the paper's down on his luck investigative reporter, Ben Bagdikian, and Bradley Whitford as Arthur Parsons, the Washington Post board member, who's preoccupied with the paper's imminent stock launch.

The Post is a history lesson disguised as a thriller, with speckles of humor and smartly written dialogue. The cinematography and costuming of the film perfectly evoke the ‘70s, with a fantastic soundtrack featuring classic songs from the era, allowing the audience to be immersed in an era in which the country was deeply divided about the war with no signs of reconciliation.

In summary, The Post is a gripping and emotional retelling of events, brought to life by a star-studded cast, that showcases the bravery of journalists and their efforts to shine a light on government secrets. It's a poignant reminder of the power of the press and the importance of freedom of the press, especially in times of conflict. Despite it being a period piece, The Post is incredibly timely, given the current administration's uneasy relationship with the press.

The Post is a Drama, History movie released in 2018. It has a runtime of 115 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 83.

How to Watch The Post

Where can I stream The Post movie online? The Post is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Post for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.2/10
83/100
Director
Steven Spielberg
Stars
Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys
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