Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (17)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (16)
| Rotten (1)
Mostly, though, this is a solid tribute to one of the most commanding forces an old-school newsroom has ever seen.
Warm, genial portrait of a great editor, but not much else.
Chronicling its subject's life and career in fascinating detail, The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee will prove catnip to journalism and political buffs, not to mention anyone who cares about the free press and its role in our democracy.
At the risk of burying the lead, anyone who cares about journalism -- then and now -- won't have any regrets about watching "The Newspaperman" either.
What's not so expected, what comes as something bordering on shock, of a gratifying kind, is how much else the film takes on in this buoyant and mercilessly frank look at Bradlee's life and career.
Fortunately, though they may not be titanic, there are real journalists still fighting the good fight in the business, in TV, social and digital media, and in newspapers. All of them to one extent or another embody the legacy of Ben Bradlee.
For a 90-minute documentary, The Newspaper Man does fine work in a short time frame.
If anything, The Newspaperman is a reminder that we all might benefit from boasting the same determination to expose lies that Bradlee did.
This film perfectly covers the editor's personal life, public life and iconic status as the most admired journalist of his day.
For a documentary that mostly reflects on events of decades past, The Newspaperman feels remarkably timely when it recounts the Post's battles with the Nixon administration.
...fascinating but zero warts homage to Bradlee...would have been more admirable had it dealt in detail with the moral chiaroscuros that were apparent in the man instead of basically ignoring them to produce a simplistic paean to a complex man.
It's a fully rendered portrait of a man who loved journalism and became one of the most influential newsmakers of the 20th century.
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