March 17, 2018 | Rome, Italy | °C
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Here's a sweet tearjerker about animated vaudevillians trying to restore a theater.


I, Tonya

An engrossing docudrama covers the life and times of one-time Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding.



Denzel Washington performs spectacularly in the film version of August Wilson's play.

Toni Erdmann

Maren Ade's "Toni Erdmann" has some comic genes, but something far more serious is going on here.

Baby Driver

Writer-director Edgar Wright's musical caper has bright, shining moments, but they fade.

All the Money in the World

Ridley Scott's retelling of the Italian kidnapping of John Paul Getty II elicits superb work from patriarch Christopher Plummer.


Dee Rees' saga of white farmers eking out a living in the 1940s Mississippi Delta deserved greater acclaim.

Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman's portrayal of Winston Churchill is the bright, shining light in a film about England's time of woe.


The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Greek director Yorgis Lanthimos' psychological thriller borrows from both Greek tragedy and horror and emerges triumphant.

Science Fiction


Denis Villeneuve's alien landing movie tries hard to be hyper-intelligent, but ends up falling flat.

Date: 2017
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts

The Post

"The Post," directed by veteran Steven Spielberg and starring veteran actors Meryl Streep, as Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham, and Tom Hanks as Managing Editor Ben Bradlee, is solid, old-fashioned movie-making.

It's also movie-making that engages two hot topics. The first is the Trump Administration's effort to diminish the press. President Richard Nixon, with his Assistant Attorney General William Rehnquist (later chief justice of the Supreme Court), tries to prevent publication of the Pentagon Papers, documents spirited out of the RAND Corporation think tank by Daniel Ellsberg because they revealed the Nixon Administration was lying about the progress of the Vietnam War. Nixon is heard ordering Washington Post reporters and photographers banned from White House press briefings, a not so subtle reminder of the sitting president's banning of mainstream reporters and photographers from the White House press pool whenever he chooses.

The second hot topic and the film's main story line is the transformation of a woman, who took over as publisher when her husband committed suicide, and who even then saw herself mainly as a party-giving D.C. hostess. Graham moves in short fashion from a timid, voiceless presence in an all-white male boardroom, to an assertive CEO willing to take on her white male advisors and to risk her new career and the venerable Post itself by publishing the Pentagon Papers.

Despite touching on contemporary issues, everything about "The Post" is bathed in nostalgia. The plot never strays from its chronological arc, eschewing even flashbacks. After Graham makes her fateful decision, the presses literally roll, papers are bound in string and thrown off delivery trucks at dawn for vendors to pick up and start hawking, a classic montage designed to remind film-goers of mid-20th century movies and values.

This is an entertaining film, competently constructed. But unlike Graham and Bradlee, Spielberg takes no chances, content to remind us that freedom of the press may be a relic of a bygone era.

Reviewed by: William Graebner and Dianne Bennett
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