Movie Review: News of the World


Hallie Wolfe

An illustration of Captain Kidd and Johanna in a wagon.

Levi Bettinger, Staffer

News of the World is a 2020 western film starring Tom Hanks as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, and Helena Zengel as Johanna. Captain Kidd, who fought in the Civil War, is now a news reader who travels from town to town in central Texas. On his travels, he finds a girl who had been kidnapped by the local natives when she was very young. Captain Kidd has to get to Johanna’s Aunt and Uncle who live hundreds of miles away.  

One of the greatest things about the movie is the concept. Seeing a movie set in the 1870s is very interesting to see, esspecally because the story wasn’t following a criminal, as a lot of western movies do. Westerns were very popular in the 1950s and 1960s and it’s been a very long time since a good western has been released. My favorite scenes are whenever Captain Kidd is reading the news. In the 1800s, most people couldn’t read or write, so hearing the news was often a privilege. 

News of the World is in the historical fiction genre, as the events did not happen in real life. However, news readers were a real thing in this time period. Although the movie is fictional, it is based on a 2016 novel with the same title. The “Wild West”, as it’s commonly referred to, was a very interesting point in American History. In the post-Civil War America, more and more Americans were moving westward. In this time, cities like Dallas, Texas, which Captain Kidd passed though in the movie, were becoming more heavily populated. All of this combined makes for an excellent film, and I personally give News of the World 5 out of 5 stars.