“News of the World” (2020): No Bulletin here, Hanks still among Best on Planet

Five years after the end of the Civil War, Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd crosses paths with a 10-year-old girl taken by the Kiowa people. Forced to return to her aunt and uncle, Kidd agrees to escort the child across the harsh and unforgiving plains of Texas. However, the long journey soon turns into a fight for survival as the traveling companions encounter danger at every turn — both human and natural.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Based on: “News of the World” by Paulette Jiles
Production company: Playtone
Screenplay: Paul Greengrass, Luke Davies
Tom Hanks as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd
Helena Zengel as Johanna Leonberger
Available streaming and on DVD at amazon Prime Video


Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel sharing a scene and a wagon seat in “News of the World”
John Smistad’s Review:


Tom Hanks is an acting treasure. He’s damn near a monument. And though a long way from making his first big splash in the 1984 rom-com “Splash”, he still brings it with the best ever in the new Old West drama “News of the World”.

This go-round Hanks inhabits the character of a former Confederate army officer with a heavy heart, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd. Kidd travels from town to town across post-Civil War Texas reading from the latest newspapers to hard working class folk eagerly huddled together to hear the latest from places they can only imagine by way of the cap’n’s dramatic descriptions.

Along his solitary trek through remote woodlands Kidd comes upon a young girl, Johanna (Helena Zengel in a stunning major film debut. Watch for her. This girl’s goin’ places). All alone and scared, we come to learn that she has known nothing but repeated and unspeakable tragedy for all of her tender years. Circumstances follow that find Kidd escorting, and growing ever closer with, his child companion through brutal and unforgiving territory, all the while fighting and fending off wicked assaults, both human and natural.

This is a particularly challenging role for Hanks. While peerless as per usual in the dramatic scenes here, the actor, now in his 60s, shows us that the acrobatics demanded of tumultuous action sequences still find this Academy Award winner remarkably rough and tumble.

Yeah! Let’s hear it for old guys! Take that, all you ripped young hunks of man candy!

I invite you to enjoy all of my film reviews as “The Quick Flick Critic”, continually updated at https://thequickflickcritic.blogspot.com/2020/10/new-short-story-collection-now-on.html

"News of the World" (2020): No Bulletin here, Hanks still among Best on Planet
  • Acting - 9/10
  • Cinematography - 9/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 8.5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 9/10
User Review
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"News of the World" (2020): No Bulletin here, Hanks still among Best on Planet

Tom Hanks is an acting treasure. He’s damn near a monument.

About John Smistad

I am a voracious writer of Movie Reviews. Check 'em out at my Blog, "The Quick Flick Critic", @: The Quick Flick Critic Thanks guys! John

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