The Post, director Steven Spielberg’s gripping and taut tackling of the Pentagon Papers scandal, takes place in 1971 but happens to be the most politically timely high-profile Hollywood tale of 2017.
Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep captain a deep bench of character actors in the thrilling drama (***½ out of four; rated PG-13; in New York, Los Angeles and Washington theaters Dec. 22, nationwide Jan. 12), a coffee-swilling joy about government corruption, newspaper rivalries and how a well-sourced story can save the day. While cinematic predecessors like All the President’s Men and more recently Spotlight focused on the dogged procedural aspect of reportage, The Post and its sleek depiction of how The Washington Post took on the White House pre-Watergate (and won) is much more about the bigger-picture championing of the First Amendment.
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The Post stars Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Bob Odenkirk, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sarah Paulson, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Alison Brie, Jessie Mueller, Jesse Plemons, David Cross, Carrie Coon, Zach Woods.