News of the World Poster

News of the World (2020)

Action | Drama 
Rayting:   6.8/10 45957 votes
Country: USA | China
Language: English

A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

bastille-852-731547 28 December 2020

I'm a big fan of Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks, so I was looking forward to this 19th-century Western. Based on the book of the same name, it tells the story of a Civil War veteran, Capt. Kidd (Hanks) who now serves as a news-teller in Texas. He must bring a young girl, Johanna, to her aunt and uncle. The film is skillfully well-made and leisurely paced, as its tone feels almost lyrical. Its western setting is depicted as harsh and realistic, but still unique and powerful. The film's cinematography of 19th-century north Texas is absolutely impeccable. After "Nomadland," it's the best cinematography of the year. From gorgeous wide shots of prairies and canyons and mountains to detailed sets of important towns at the time such as Wichita Falls, the shots look sublime throughout the film.

While the film's pacing is slow, it never feels too slow by any means. In fact, such leisurely pacing feels appropriate to the more lyrical tone of the film--almost like a more gritty version of a ballad. Even though the film is obviously very tonally different from Greengrass' other films, such as the original Bourne trilogy and "Captain Phillips," Greengrass is still able to build up lots of suspense at appropriate times over the course of the film--such as a scene when Capt. Kidd and Johanna must out-maneuver a gang of outlaws, a bumpy and dangerous stagecoach ride, and a desert storm. The emotional core between Kidd and Johanna is very well done, and the performances are very strong. Hanks does a great job showing a range of both charisma and grit in the role, and the young actress who plays Johanna is superb. My only criticism of the film was that the film could have developed Kidd and Johanna better as characters, although the limited dialogue between the two of them (as Johanna does not speak English) may be one of the reasons why character development within the scenes they are both together in can sometimes be a bit limited. Otherwise, this is a gritty yet gorgeous Western made with passion and talent. Gladly recommended. 8/10

ferguson-6 25 December 2020

Greetings again from the darkness. Even in the midst of a pandemic, December is Oscar-qualifying time. And that means we get Tom Hanks' latest movie. This time out, the two-time Oscar winner reunites with his CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (2013) director Paul Greengrass (three "Bourne" movies, and Oscar nominated for UNITED 93, 2006) for Hanks' first ride into the western genre. Luke Davies (Oscar nominated for LION, 2016) adapted the screenplay from Paulette Jiles' 2016 novel.

The beloved Mr. Hanks stars as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd. We know his full name because he proudly announces it at each stop of his news-reading route. That's right, even in 1870, which is before television and radio and internet, a person could earn a living reading the news. OK, so it wasn't the millions that national anchors make these days, as he was dependent on the audience dropping a coin or two in the tin cup. For this they were treated to Captain Kidd's robust presentation of news and events (and some gossip) from around the nation ... straight from the news clippings he collected during his travels.

On the trail one day, Captain Kidd comes across a horrific scene of violence, and a 10 year old girl with a shock of blonde hair. She only speaks Kiowa, but the found paperwork lists her name as Johanna (the first American film for Helena Zengel). It turns out, tragic events in her family's home many years earlier left Johanna being raised by the Kiowa Indians. Captain Kidd is now on a mission to return her to her surviving relatives (an aunt and uncle), but there are at least three obstacles to his plan: it's a rigorous trip of about 400 miles, the girl doesn't want to go, and there remains much tension in the split among the post-war citizenry. So what we have here is a western road trip (trail ride) that's a blend of TRUE GRIT (minus the witty banter) and THE SEARCHERS.

It should be noted that Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd has served in three wars, including the recently concluded Civil War. He may make his living wearing bifocals and reading newspapers, but Kidd is no nerd. He handles pressure quite naturally, as we witness in chase scene up a rocky hill. The resulting shootout not only creates the first bond between Kidd and Johanna, but also flashes the Captain's calming influence. This is a soulful and principled Tom Hanks (as usual), but this time he's riding a horse and his furrowed brow is working overtime.

The trip to Johanna's home coincidentally takes Kidd very close to where he once lived - a place that holds his best and worst memories. As viewers we see what Captain Kidd and Johanna don't. They are both headed back to a past they no longer belong to. Along the way, the two travelers cross paths with characters played by Elizabeth Marvel, Ray McKinnon, Mare Winningham, and the always great Bill Camp. There is nothing rushed about the story or these people. Fans of director Greengrass will be surprised to find an absence of his trademark rapid-cut action sequences, but he has delivered a sweeping epic with superb cinematography (Dariusz Wolski, "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise), expert editing (Oscar winner William Goldenberg, ARGO), and a terrific score (8-time Oscar nominee James Newton Howard). Mr. Hanks delivers yet another stellar performance (of course), and young Ms. Zengel's assured performance likely means we will be treated to her work for years to come. It's a quasi-western period piece that is plenty interesting to watch,

goodrichodyssey 20 January 2021

Tom Hanks is so unbelievable in each role he plays. No, this is not his best, but enjoyable. A slow burn of a movie worth your time for certain in these long days of the pandemic 😷.

vader1948 21 January 2021

This film was truly fantastic. A dynamic story do well orchestrated I was glued to it. Hanks a magnificent actor shines out as usual portraying a most unique character in a tumultuous time in history. What I can say about Helena is that she is a marvel. Many young actresses cannot meet up to her as far as I can see. This duo of characters was superbly performed. Best film I have seen in a long long time.

smaimes91 15 January 2021

You need to like westerns to really appreciate this movie. Good acting. Good story. Good ending. This movie is better than 90% of new movies. High quality.

txflybyknight 19 January 2021

Having read the book made the movie easier to follow. The movie fixed some of the historical flaws in the book.

If you are a fan of westerns and the virtues that used to be integral to the genre, this movie will appeal to you.

This is like the classic "Unforgiven" - a movie that relies on subtle facial changes as the characters grow and evolve.

It is a story, not a show.

It is about a decent man in a time of turmoil in a land of chaos whose moral compass remains true north.

The Captain and Johanna are polar opposites in every conceivable way.

Old v young, civilized and urbane v uncivilized and illiterate, wisdom v intuition -

It is a journey, like Lonesome Dove. They learn from each other along the way

The young girl "Johanna" was outstanding. I'm hoping for an academy award nomination for her.

PotassiumMan 28 December 2020

Tom Hanks is a 19th century newsman who reads newspaper stories to townsfolk in Texas. On his route of numerous locations, he comes across a young German-born girl who has been living under the care of native Americans who have been slaughtered. He takes it upon himself as her new guardian to escort her across the countryside to safety in the hope of finding her a new home. Along the way, they achieve an expected bond as two lonely souls in a treacherous world of danger of adversity.

Hanks is great as always, as the film is told from his weary, anguished eyes. But newcomer Helena Zengel steals the film from right underneath him with a mesmerizing performance as a young girl traumatized by personal tragedy, untrusting of the world around her and just beginning to learn her communication. Together, they bring this rugged journey to life. Director Paul Greengrass makes a vivid recreation of 19th century American wilderness, a land of difficult terrain and occasionally bitter climate. Through it all, it becomes a battle for survival for both the old man and the child he is protecting. An old school tale of American grit, this one is expertly crafted and highly recommended.

dmitri_faleev 30 December 2020

It's hard to recommend this film because the beginning is so great. But as the story progresses, the story and the world both seem shallow and ridiculous.

With that said, cinematography, acting and directing were excellent throughout.

Bullwinkle 16 January 2021

Even Castaway had two characters (Wilson), but the lack of dialogue from the girl gave us almost no insight as to what was going on for her. We only see the Captain's story, and that is a shame. Even The Captain's story isn't really revealed until the very end. It's a good enough Western, but won't move people much.

jaredpahl 7 January 2021

It wasn't unreasonable for me to be properly excited for News of the World. The newest Hollywood western, and the first new theatrical release in about five months that felt worth taking a trip to the cinema to see, News of the World had two big talents on board: star Tom Hanks and director Paul Greengrass. If there were anyone to put a little blind faith in, it would be two men behind some of the great films of the last three decades. The Greengrass-Hanks pairing, so fruitful in Captain Phillips, is, however, pretty barren in their second outing. News of the World is a considerable disappointment from these two great artists.

Based on the novel by Paulette Jiles, News of the World is simplistic to a fault. Tom Hanks is Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a Civil War veteran who currently makes a living reading newspapers to busy townspeople in a sort of theatrical storytime across the country. Kidd stumbles one day upon an orphaned German girl named Johanna (Helena Zengel). Johanna was taken in by Kiowa Indians as a youngin' and has completely assimilated to their ways. Kidd figures out that she needs to be transported to her surviving German relatives, and Kidd... takes her there. That's the story for ya. Cross country road trips are not new to the Western genre, but Jiles' story strikes me as unusually thin. The attempts to create tension along the way are woeful. At two separate points along the trail, two separate groups of men show up out of nowhere just to announce to Kidd, in so many words, that they will be the bad guys for the next bit. Obviously, these characters aren't the important ones. Kidd and Johanna are.

Their relationship is the centerpiece, and I can't really fault it. Hanks, the ever-reliable professional, rolls up his sleeves and says his lines with conviction as he always does. Zengel has an appropriate look; she isn't an annoying little cutie or smug growler as so many movie kids are these days, and she gives a good performance. I might even call it impressive. A scene or two or three of their growing bond hits home. These are the moments when you can see that director Greengrass kind of knows what he's doing.

Elsewhere, things aren't as pretty. Greengrass' reputation is with visceral shaky cameras and documentary-style filmmaking. That's not what News of the World needs, and it's not exactly what the movie is. But Greengrass is no hack. He's also one of the preeminent masters of immediacy and excitement. Those qualities are what I miss. That is what is glaringly lacking with the approach he brings to News of the World. This isn't a United 93-esque docudrama, brimming with that sort of intensity. News of the World is a traditional story and it is shot like a traditional "movie". Just not as painterly or carefully composed as some. However, the only thing that directorial restraint creates is a limp, boring visual look. I think I would have respected a full lean into documentary authenticity here, or conversely, a full lean into John Ford-ian grandeur, but what we get instead is a hesitant attempt to be a little (but not too much) different from Greengrass' other works. For the most part, it's soft-focused, claustrophobic and close-up heavy, with only the occasional drone shot to highlight some dull Texan exteriors. Weaksauce. There's a way to envelope an audience in verisimilitude that Greengrass has perfected in his oeuvre (make it tight, immediate, suspenseful), and there's a way to do it on a giant canvas (l

Tron79 15 January 2021

I did enjoy watching this film on Amazon Prime's early release because Tom Hanks was excellent. But it's hard to watch how horrible the people were depicted in the post Civil War Texas. You have a lynching. You have greedy capitalists who destroy the buffalo and abuse their workers. You have evil men at every turn down the road. You have a little girl who just wants to go back to her Indian kidnappers because she likes being an Indian. Several times, I felt like the best thing for her would be to grant her wish to return to them instead of subjecting her to the American settlers. The little girl describes how everything is connected in nature in a big circle of life, while Tom Hanks says that Americans just go in a straight line and look ahead. The movie infers that there is no time to appreciate nature for the settlers. One character even says that there is no time for stories. He needs to focus on working the fields.

This is not a Clint Eastwood film like Unforgiven where I found myself rooting for the most evil man in the West to kill Little Bill. The film hints that Tom Hanks' character may not be a great guy, but I never saw proof of this. I just saw someone who did his duty during the war. This is more of a story of how horrid people of Texas treated each other and the native population. It shows the resentment of the townsfolk for the Northern soldiers and the Northern President after the war ended. It was interesting how the army took away the Texans' guns and only allowed them buck shot weapons. It's a story of how the natural resources were abused with an awful scene showing an endless field of skinned buffalos.

Tom Hanks is very believable as an aging man just scraping out a simple living reading the news. I thought the film was shot with a gritty reality in mind. The gun fight scenes did remind me a bit of Unforgiven in the way that it's not like Hollywood depicts when it's real people fighting for their lives. It showed us a dangerous road and an unforgiving terrain. It was worth watching, but it's a very tough message to stomach even if that's the reality of those times.

Vatsugladnar 13 January 2021

As Tom Hanks' movies go, this is a solid continuation of his work. The pace was a bit slow in some parts but I like that this was the kind of movie that had multiple sub-stories going at once that all were started and completed during the course of 15 to 20 minutes. I kept waiting for something 'devastating" to happen but that never really came about. A bit predictable at the end but hey, when I compare it to the movie I watched on HBO Max a couple of days earlier (WW1984) this movie belongs up there with Gone with the Wind (tongue in cheek and sarcastic).

But all in all, a good, decent, entertaining move but not one I would ever seek out to watch again.

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