News Of The World Review: 7 Ups & 3 Downs

Not an all-timer for Tom Hanks, but a solid revisionist western.

News of the World Tom Hanks

There's no denying that a Tom Hanks-starring western directed by Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips) will immediately get film fans and awards analysts licking their chops, because on paper a film like News of the World has Oscar glory written all over it.

And while this surprisingly unassuming western will ultimately be unlikely to score much awards love outside of technical categories, it is nevertheless an appealingly laid-back entry into the genre that isn't ever trying too hard to be the next grandiose Epic.

That may disappoint those hoping that the film would offer up some top-tier genre thrills in a period largely bereft of them, but outside of awards buzz and towering expectations, News of the World is nevertheless an enjoyable romp that's just familiar enough.

If nothing else, Hanks fans will get their fill of the actor's distinct brand of dignified humanity, as he plays Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a Civil War veteran tasked with returning a traumatised young girl, Johanna (Helena Zengel), back to her last surviving family members.

It's nowhere near career-best work for either star or filmmaker, but delivers reliable, undemanding entertainment all the same...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.