News of the World Movie Review

This Christmas, Universal Pictures is proud to present Tom Hanks starring in News of the World, a moving story written and directed by Paul Greengrass, reuniting for the first time with his star from their 2013 Best Picture nominee Captain Phillips.

Five years after the end of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Hanks), a veteran of three wars, now moves from town to town as a non-fiction storyteller, sharing the news of presidents and queens, glorious feuds, devastating catastrophes, and gripping adventures from the far reaches of the globe.

In the plains of Texas, he crosses paths with Johanna (Helena Zengel, System Crasher), a 10-year-old taken in by the Kiowa people six years earlier and raised as one of their own. Johanna, hostile to a world she’s never experienced, is being returned to her biological aunt and uncle against her will.

Kidd agrees to deliver the child where the law says she belongs. As they travel hundreds of miles into the unforgiving wilderness, the two will face tremendous challenges of both human and natural forces as they search for a place that either can call home.

News of the World is directed by Greengrass (the Bourne films, United 93) from his screenplay with Luke Davies (Lion), based on the National Book Award finalist and best-selling novel by Paulette Jiles. The film is produced by Gary Goetzman (Mamma Mia! franchise, Greyhound), Gail Mutrux (The Danish Girl, Donnie Brasco) and Gregory Goodman (22 July, 8 Mile). The executive producers are Steven Shareshian and Tore Schmidt. The film’s music is by eight-time Academy Award® nominee James Newton Howard.

News of the World – Our Review

News of the World is a historical Western drama based on Paulette Jiles’ bestselling 2016 novel.  If you have been following me for quite some time then you know I am a sucker for books that have been turned into movies. After all, I am a teacher.

From the moment I saw the trailer, I was moved. Imagine living in a world where you get your news via word of mouth. This movie gives audiences a glimpse into how the news of the world made its way across a post Civil War country.

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Tom Hanks as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd in “News of the World,” co-written and directed by Paul Greengrass.

As a storyteller, Captain Kidd (Tom Hanks) delivers a show worth paying a dime for. Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd combs through the pages of newspapers for stories to tell and engaged the audience. “Something to take us away from our troubles,” he tells his audiences.

His storytelling begins by capturing their attention with some type of disaster to captivate his audience and ends with a feel-good story. That is exactly what Paul Greengrass did with this film.

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd stumbles across Johanna Leonberger played by Helena Zengel and a beautiful relationship develops. Johanna, born to German immigrants, knows nothing about her family. After the Army drives the Kiowa off their land, Johanna is raised by them. She speaks no English and only knows the ways of the Kiowa tribe. Along comes a noble figure (Captain Kidd) to help right the wrongs.

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(from left) Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) and Johanna Leonberger (Helena Zengel) in “News of the World,” co-written and directed by Paul Greengrass.

My husband and I enjoyed the film. We enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between Hanks and Zengel. Rough at first, the two begin to understand that they need each other. In a world where the news of the world travels faster than what seems like the speed of light, it was nice to see this film end as one would expect it to.

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