FREEZE FRAME: “The Post” (PG-13), “The Commuter” (PG-13)

One of the year’s most acclaimed movies has finally gotten its Kansas City release. It’s hard to imagine a timelier movie about freedom of the press than “The Post.” Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep star in Steven Spielberg’s riveting drama about the Washington Post’s behind the scenes struggles leading up to the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

Streep once again shows why she’s our greatest actress playing The Post’s troubled publisher, Katherine Graham. Tom Hanks adds another notch on his belt as the paper’s grizzled editor, Ben Bradlee.

One of the most difficult things for a filmmaker to accomplish is to build tension and suspense in a story where most of the audience already knows the outcome. Spielberg and company pull it off in “The Post,” and that’s no small feat.

It’s nice to see guys in their 60s who are still able to kick some backside. Liam Neeson’s latest action thriller is “The Commuter,” the tale of an insurance agent/former policeman who is blackmailed into hunting for a murder witness on a commuter train. Neeson teams up for the fourth time with action director Jaume Collet-Sera and while there are plenty of eye-rolling coincidences and ridiculous plot holes, there’s enough action to please fans of the genre.

Also opening this week, “Paddington 2” is the sequel to the popular mixed live action and CGI kid’s comedy from 2015. “Proud Mary” is a throwback action flick about a hit woman with a conscience. Taraji P. Henson stars.

Downright Creepy’s annual Panic Fest takes place January 26th through the 28th at the Screenland Armour. Over 20 horror, thriller and sci-fi films will be featured. More information is available at

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