the post movie true
Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star in “The Post,” which is based on a true story. Niko Tavernise/Twentieth Century Fox

“The Post” opened in limited theaters across the country last month and is readying its wide release for Friday, but it’s already received a lot of praise for its portrayal of the very true story about the revelation of a long-spanning United States government cover-up.

The drama tells the story of Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), The Washington Post publisher, and the paper’s editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), as they work to print the Pentagon Papers, having to go through countless obstacles along the way.

The Washington Post‘s publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 has long been a debated decision because of all of the top-secret information that these documents contained, but this film explores that decision and brings it to life for the viewer to see and dissect.

Graham played a vital role in history, not just because she was the first female publisher in the country, but because of making this difficult decision to publish the papers and the information they contained about the Vietnam War, despite government officials and lawyers trying to deter her from doing so.

She had to make a quick, but informed decision, though, as The Washington Post only had a small amount of time to share the scoop. The New York Times was the first outlet to report on the papers, after RAND Corporation military analyst Daniel Ellsberg (played by Matthew Rhys in the film) leaked the documents to them, but after The Times was temporarily banned from printing its details, The Post moved in on the story and shared all about how the government was lying to the public about the Vietnam War and the progress that was being made.

All of this is depicted in the Steven Spielberg-directed political thriller, which aside from Streep and Hanks, also stars Sarah Paulson (“Antoinette ‘Tony’ Pinchot Bradlee”), Bob Odenkirk (“Ben Bagdikian”), Alison Brie (“Lally Graham”) and Carrie Coon (“Meg Greenfield”).

After receiving Golden Globes nominations in six categories, including best motion picture drama and best screenplay, viewers all over the U.S. will finally get to see the film on Friday.