The Paper (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Paper (1994)



Critic Consensus: Fast and frenetic, The Paper captures the energy of the newsroom thanks to its cast and director on first-rate form.

The Paper Photos

Movie Info

Director Ron Howard's drama follows a beleaguered reporter during a hectic 24 hours at a New York City tabloid. Michael Keaton stars as Henry Hackett, a metro editor for the struggling New York Sun. Hackett is being wooed by the Sentinel, a more upscale paper, but he's addicted to the adrenaline-stimulating, breakneck pace of the Sun's newsroom, much to the consternation of his pregnant wife Martha (Marisa Tomei. Hackett is currently pursuing a story of two minority youths who have been arrested for the murders of two men. He learns that the police think that the killings may be a mob hit. In the court of public opinion, however, the innocent suspects are being judged as guilty, and the police may bow to the pressure. As Hackett and his staff desperately work all the story's angles to find the truth, several other dramas unfold. Top editor Bernie (Robert Duvall) learns that he has prostate cancer, and tough publisher Alicia (Glenn Close) wonders if her lack of popularity is due to her cost-cutting, her personality, or the fact that she's a woman. In their only collaboration, screenwriter David Koepp co-wrote the script with his brother Stephen Koepp, a senior editor at Time magazine.

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Michael Keaton
as Henry Hackett
Robert Duvall
as Bernie White
Glenn Close
as Alicia Clark
Marisa Tomei
as Martha Hackett
Randy Quaid
as McDougal
Jason Robards
as Graham Keighley
Jason Alexander
as Marion Sandusky
Spalding Gray
as Paul Bladden
Clint Howard
as Ray Blaisch
Jill Hennessy
as Deanne White
William Prince
as Henry's Father
Augusta Dabney
as Henry's Mother
Jack McGee
as Wilder
Ed Jupp Jr.
as Copy Editor
Christi Hatcher
as City Editor
Gary Dourdan
as Copy Guy
James Ritz
as Air Conditioner Repairman
Miles Watson
as Air Conditioner Repairman
Divina Cook
as Sobbing Woman
Aloysius R. Burke
as Parking Cop
Benny Benowitz
as Crazy Guy
Lee Kimball
as Security Guard
Louisa Marie
as Sentinel Receptionist
Jack A. O'Connell
as Press Operator
Stephen Koepp
as German Newsperson
Herb Krystall
as Pressroom Foreman
Victor Truro
as Bernie's Doctor
Cedric Young
as Martha's Paramedic
Paul Geier
as Doctor Porter
John Bentley
as Paste-Up Person
Rance Howard
as Alicia's Doctor
Jean Speegle Howard
as Hospital Volunteer
Joe Pentangelo
as Arresting Officer
Jane Hanson
as Herself
Harsh Nayyar
as Attendant
Bob Costas
as Himself
Hap Hairston
as Himself
Pete Hamill
as Himself
Kurt Loder
as Himself
Mike McAlary
as Himself
Jerry Rosa
as Himself
Linda Stasi
as Herself
John Miller
as Himself
Debbie Gross
as Herself
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News & Interviews for The Paper

Critic Reviews for The Paper

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (11)

The inside-baseball feel of the newsroom material (co-writer Stephen Koepp did time in the trenches) is what makes 'The Paper' sing.

May 3, 2016 | Full Review…

The picture starts to fall in love with its subject -- head- over-heels in love, until the acid drains from the wit and there's nothing left but sentimental ooze.

April 12, 2002 | Full Review…

It's all slick, fizzy fun. But the film's fighting spirit gets snatched.

June 6, 2001

Perfectly captures the hubbub of the nation's newsrooms.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Thanks to a caffeinated cast and hyperactive script, director Ron Howard delivers The Paper with a bang.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Watching The Paper got me in touch all over again with how good it feels to work at the top of your form, on a story you believe in, on deadline.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Paper


With this cast this should have been better.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Bernie: Well, you're in management now. If everybody loved you, you'd be doing something wrong. "A behind-the-line look at work, marriage, and other forms of combat." The Paper is a decent workplace, comedy/drama from Ron Howard that features a long and impressive cast. While this movie doesn't quite leap off the screen at you, it was still pretty good in it's own right. Normally Ron Howard tends to be pretty hit and miss, and with this one, it's right on the edge of being either hit or miss. It's not good enough to call it a clear success, but it is good enough to say that he didn't miss.  Henry is an editor at the New York Sun newspaper and he has a busy day ahead of him. He has an interview at the Sentinel, which is offering him a job that would pay more. He also is trying figure out how to put together a worthy cover story after missing on yesterday's. He has to fight time, a pregnant wife, a colleague, and still manage to get the paper out on time and make sure he's running the correct story. While The Paper may come off as just another dull and unexciting workplace movie, I somehow found just enough enjoyment from it. It had just enough funny and smart parts to make up for a lot of dull and boring parts. The movie kind of plays like a lesser and lighter form of Broadcast News.  I'm gonna give this one a mild recommendation. The movie is most worth it for the cast. Although no one is giving one of the best performances of their careers, this huge and star studded cast makes seeing this movie worth it. Michael Keaton, Robert Duvall, Marisa Tomei, Glenn Close, Randy Quaid, and many more faces you'll be sure to recognize. 

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer


The Paper ended up being much better than I thought. It takes a boring subject like news and made it interesting and also showed me the inside work of a newspaper, but its also at times very weird and does not realize what it is.

Bradley Wright
Bradley Wright

Super Reviewer

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