The Post

The Post

“We have to be the check on their power. We don’t hold them accountable, my God, who will?” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” rushed into production on a turnaround time that only Ridley Scott could possibly match, may be the story of a challenge to the free press in 1971 but lines like that solidify how much it’s intended to also be read as a mirror of 2017. As the President of the United States challenges different journalistic institutions, mostly through his Twitter feed, and “truth” seems to have become a looser term than ever before, “The Post” is designed to be viewed as a commentary on today as much as yesterday, maybe even more. It’s fascinating to consider a film this well-constructed and packed with talented performers that would have played completely differently just two years ago. However, I wonder if hurrying the movie to strike a moment was the right decision. It's a film that often calls attention to its own self-importance and falters when compared to Spielberg’s best historical dramas like “Munich” and “Lincoln,” movies that earn their messages instead of just stating them. One can almost see the weight on its shoulders to “say something important,” and it sometimes drags down the entire venture. However, there’s more than enough to like here, including a great ensemble, the best performance from a living legend in years, and, again, a message that feels depressingly timely.