News of the World Review

News of the World Brings Back Old Styled Western Dramas

There seems to be a certain demographic, and audience that loves the western movie genre. The films set before our current country was set in stone and when states were still being formed. And while this tumultuous time in our history seems to bring a lot of different movies, stories and books – the desired audience seems to be the same each time.

The News of the World, based on the book by Paulette Jiles fits that narrative to the letter. A few years after the Civil war is done Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels from city to city to read the news to town people who don’t have the time or ability to read it themselves. While he is on his travels he comes upon a carriage that has been attacked. And in it, a young girl who after being raised by Kiowa people, who is supposed to be delivered to her family.

While The News of the World brings a compelling story, it has all of the pit falls of old westerns. We’re not talking the old Spaghetti westerns with full gun battles in the city streets, but instead fights are taken on the trails and through the mountains. Sticking with the drab feeling of the time, the movie is often dark and barely lit. The story is interesting but seems to take a long time to a part that will grab your attention.

Like many westerns in the past, The News of the World will pull in the audience they made it for. But the slow place story will most likely make others turn away from the film. It does have a sweet story at the heart of it, but the older film style is a detractor for many audiences.

The News of the World is premiering in theaters on Christmas day, and will come to digital release in a couple of weeks later.

Overall Rating:

Three and a Half Stars Review

About News of the World:

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. 

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