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The Paper (1994)


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: Fast and frenetic, The Paper captures the energy of the newsroom thanks to its cast and director on first-rate form.

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: Fast and frenetic, The Paper captures the energy of the newsroom thanks to its cast and director on first-rate form.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 7,056



Movie Info

Director Ron Howard's drama follows a beleaguered reporter during a hectic 24 hours at a New York City tabloid. Michael Keaton stars as Henry Hackett, a metro editor for the struggling New York Sun. Hackett is being wooed by the Sentinel, a more upscale paper, but he's addicted to the adrenaline-stimulating, breakneck pace of the Sun's newsroom, much to the consternation of his pregnant wife Martha (Marisa Tomei. Hackett is currently pursuing a story of two minority youths who have been arrested … More

Documentary , Drama , Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Nov 1, 1998
MCA Universal Home Video



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Critic Reviews for The Paper

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (4)

The picture starts to fall in love with its subject -- head- over-heels in love, until the acid drains from the wit and there's nothing left but sentimental ooze.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

It's all slick, fizzy fun. But the film's fighting spirit gets snatched.

June 6, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Watching The Paper got me in touch all over again with how good it feels to work at the top of your form, on a story you believe in, on deadline.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Perfectly captures the hubbub of the nation's newsrooms.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Thanks to a caffeinated cast and hyperactive script, director Ron Howard delivers The Paper with a bang.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

A crowd pleaser, and, regardless of any viewer's experience (or lack thereof) with the behind-the-scenes wrangling that goes on in newspaper offices, the story is affable and entertaining.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

It's clear right away that The Paper benefits substantially from Keaton's typically stellar turn as the central character...

Full Review… | December 9, 2013
Reel Film Reviews

An overwrought, hysterical drama about the newspaper business that doesn't begin to compare to Hollywood's classics of the genre (The Front Page). The film has an absurdly frantic pace but it's so romantically naive and unsubtle that nothing registers

Full Review… | October 6, 2006

One of Ron Howard's most underrated films.

September 28, 2005
Fantastica Daily

A great ensemble cast

March 23, 2005

Not a bad view of the inner-workings at a daily

July 28, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

Does it show how newspapers really work? Not really, but who cares? It is great fun, even if it is overdone.

Full Review… | March 23, 2003
Laramie Movie Scope

Enjoyable, if utterly unrealistic look at journalism

December 21, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Incisively depicts the ways in which busyness, speed and constant pressure violate our souls in the workplace.

Full Review… | August 20, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

A film that should be recommended as skillfully done example of almost forgotten dramatic subgenre.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

It's a bit too busy and precocious for its own good, but still has enough of a charming throwback quality that I was willing to forgive many of its flaws.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Entertaining, extremely informative, rapidly-paced film that literally puts you on the front lines with the cast and crew who fabricate the news stories which we read in our newspapers every day.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

The characterizations, the eccentricities, the feverish sense of pursuing a deadline story and an awful lot of other particulars that show just how defiantly dedicated and frenetically frenzied the members of the fourth estate can be, are dead on.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

I think the movie ultimately is not a comedy -- although it is extremely funny. This is a first rate drama.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Internet Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Paper

Bernie: Well, you're in management now. If everybody loved you, you'd be doing something wrong.

"A behind-the-line look at work, marriage, and other forms of combat."

The Paper is a decent workplace, comedy/drama from Ron Howard that features a long and impressive cast. While this movie doesn't quite leap off the screen at you, it was still pretty good in it's own right. Normally Ron Howard tends to be pretty hit and miss, and with this one, it's right on the edge of being either hit or miss. It's not good enough to call it a clear success, but it is good enough to say that he didn't miss. 

Henry is an editor at the New York Sun newspaper and he has a busy day ahead of him. He has an interview at the Sentinel, which is offering him a job that would pay more. He also is trying figure out how to put together a worthy cover story after missing on yesterday's. He has to fight time, a pregnant wife, a colleague, and still manage to get the paper out on time and make sure he's running the correct story.

While The Paper may come off as just another dull and unexciting workplace movie, I somehow found just enough enjoyment from it. It had just enough funny and smart parts to make up for a lot of dull and boring parts. The movie kind of plays like a lesser and lighter form of Broadcast News. 

I'm gonna give this one a mild recommendation. The movie is most worth it for the cast. Although no one is giving one of the best performances of their careers, this huge and star studded cast makes seeing this movie worth it. Michael Keaton, Robert Duvall, Marisa Tomei, Glenn Close, Randy Quaid, and many more faces you'll be sure to recognize. 

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Great ensemble comedy-drama about a New York Daily tabloid newspaper with Michael Keaton as an editor who has a few hours to get the scoop on a murder and stop cost-conscious managing editor Glenn Close from printing a sensationalistic cover that implies two innocent youngsters are guilty.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


With this cast this should have been better.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


The Paper ended up being much better than I thought. It takes a boring subject like news and made it interesting and also showed me the inside work of a newspaper, but its also at times very weird and does not realize what it is.

Bradley Wright
Bradley Wright

Super Reviewer

The Paper Quotes

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