As always, Spielberg brings us an all-star cast including Meryl Streep (August: Osage County, The Devil Wears Prada, Into the Woods), Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan), Bob Odenkirk (Nebraska), Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek), Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave, Carol), and countless other names. Streep and Hanks are perfect in every scene and the other actors also seem to fit in their respective roles at all times. Nothing seemed to stand out overwhelmingly, but it is hard to get a real standout performance from a lot of these actors because they are always great.
Throughout the first half of the film, everything flows and the script is clever. Unfortunately, the final portion of the film runs dry because of the built-in applaud pauses. When I saw the film, there were certain points where the audience applauded. Depending on the moment I am usually okay with some applauding during a film, but these moments felt too formulaic. They were preachy and at times I felt as though I was being converted into the Church of Spielberg. Clearly, the film wanted to connect the past events with present events. However, it is easy to make this connection without Spielberg choosing to spell it out in the last quarter of the film.
The Bottom Line: Spielberg brings another impactful past event to the big screen and capably connects it to current politics through an all-star cast.