Tom Hanks Comes to Castroville

Reviewing News of the World

Tom Hanks Comes to Castroville

Gabriel Donaghy, Staff Writer

News of the World is a movie set in 1870 that came out in December of 2020, so you might be wondering why we are doing a review of this movie in May of 2021. Well, the simple answer actually has two parts: it is a really good movie and revolves around the two main characters going to none other than Castroville. 

Spoiler-Free Summary

“News of the World” follows the character Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks), a former Confederate soldier in the Third Texas Infantry who has since then, traveled all around Texas reading newspapers to people for a dime a person. On his travels, he happens upon a crashed carriage and a dead Union soldier but he also finds a girl named Johanna Leonberger, a German girl who prefers to go by the name “Cicada” ever since she was captured and raised by the Kiowa Tribe four years prior. 

After coming across the girl, Kidd goes through a series of mishaps and ends up having to take the girl to her only family in Castroville, Texas. Throughout the journey across Texas, the two come across all types of people, both good and bad. With the line between knowing who are allies and enemies extremely thin, Kidd and Johanna fight to survive out in 1800s Texas on their journey to Castroville, Texas. 

(PC: Bruce Talamon/Universal Pictures)


Tom Hanks Goes West in 'News of the World' — First Look | Vanity Fair
(PC: Vanity Fair)

The movie is polished and well-coordinated, it strives at immersing the audience in the time period and establishing the threats early on; like the tension between Native Americans, Confederate Soldiers/Southerners, and the occupying Union Soldiers which was all shown within the first 20 minutes. They also introduce the reason why Johanna is difficult to handle in this timeframe.

The only gripes I personally had were with the beginning when Kidd was figuring out just who could take Johanna all the way up to them arriving in the next town, only then did the action begin. And the part right before the ending of the movie seemed a bit scrambled but that may have just been me being tired. The middle part of the movie is good too, with interest being constantly held throughout the film with action or meaningful dialogue and the absolutely stunning visuals the movie has 

Final Words

In summary, the movie is very good. The tie to Castroville only makes it that much more interesting to the viewer. With great characters and a well-managed plot (aside from a few slow parts at the beginning, middle, and end), both actors did a great job which all the more helps in immersing you into the movie. If you are looking for a good story that does not depend on using being dark and saddening the entire time, then this movie is for you. Even if you are just interested in a movie that will display Castroville in it, this movie is for you!