The Post, said Schrader, “feeds the myth that the system actually works. That the events of 1971 could be repeated today. I can hear Trump/Fox chuckling: yeah, let Hollywood and the media believe that myth if it keeps them pacified. We fixed that. It will never happen again.”
Ellis: The Hillary Clinton of prestige movies: lost in a bubble, smug, completely clueless, made by the establishment. [And conveying] a refusal to understand Trump’s appeal. This is the kind of lost and naive movie that unknowingly explains exactly why the mainstream media are where they are now — this story from 1971 has absolutely nothing to do with what is going on in 2017 (we are in a much more complicated moment) and yet it pushes a theory that is so flattering to journalists that despite the glaring weaknesses of the movie (and its thesis) they are going crazy over it. The Post is a myth only left-wing millionaires could buy.”
Village Voice critic Bilge Ebiri: “I disagree that The Post is all that convinced it can happen again. The hazy nostalgia with which it depicts bustling newsrooms is very pointed — it’s making a case that the kind of journalistic institutions that allowed for this kind of reporting are dinosaurs. It’s a very sad movie, in that sense.”
Excerpt from HE review, posted on 12.6: “A smartly written, well-performed tale of how and why Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) decided to man up and a grow a pair in the thick of the Pentagon Papers episode of June 1971, The Post is far and away my favorite Spielberg film since Saving Private Ryan. Call it Spielberg’s best, certainly his least problematic, in two decades.
“The critical verdict hasn’t been unanimous but I fell for it, and I mean all the way through and not just during the manipulative third act, which, if you have any stored-up sentiment about the glory days of 20th century dead-tree journalism, will definitely melt you down. I knew I was being sold a Spielbergian bill of goods but I bought it anyway. I gushed out some thoughts the day after, and a New York friend replied, ‘Calm down, Tonto…it’s very good but not great.'”
Another critic friend: “It never made me tingle the way Spotlight or All the President’s Men did. Plus it has too many Spielberg-y touches: the little girl selling lemonade (Jesus!), that [redacted] ending. It all felt forced rather than organic, despite strong performances from Streep and Hanks.”
“It was also two hours of people going ‘We can’t do that!’ and others saying ‘We have to do that!’