News of the World

Director: Paul Greengrass
Year Released: 2020
Rating: 2.0

After the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kidd (Tom Hanks) travels around the South reading the news to people (for only a dime!) but his journey is interrupted when he finds little German girl Johanna (Helena Zengel) - whose parents are dead and was being 'raised' by the Kiowa Indians - and has to take her to safety.  You could make the argument that everything Hanks is in is worth watching simply for him alone, but this is kind of plain and formulaic: the first half brought back unfortunate memories of System Crasher (in which Zengel also plays an unhinged child) and the rest is a Journey Through Ignorant and Ugly America: he has to get around pedophiles, poachers and racists, and in one particular instance refuses to read "Fake News" printed up by a tyrant named Mr. Farley (Thomas Francis Murphy), a clear shot at a certain crackpot dictator wannabe.  It at least ends on a sweet note: the benevolent patriarch mourns his wife's passing ... but inherits a granddaughter.