‘SCOOP’ Netflix Movie Review

The buzzy political journalism film, Scoop, is now streaming, but should you give it a watch?

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Scoop Netflix Movie Review Should You Watch

SCOOP – Picture: Netflix

Based on the account provided by producer Sam McAlister and her memoir “Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews,” Scoop is the much-anticipated film adaptation of the setup & execution of the infamous BBC Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew in November 2019 by veteran journalist Emily Maitlis.

Directed by Primetime Emmy winner Philip Martin (Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act, The Crown) on a script from Geoff Russell & Peter Moffat, the film chooses to focus on the two remaining questions after the interview that ruined Prince Andrew’s life & career live on TV: how did Newsnight manage to secure this interview? And why on Earth had the Prince agreed to do it? Many of the answers to those questions lie with show producer Sam McAlister, a single mother who was pressured to deliver a big-ticket story in the face of layoffs and increased competition in the news space. McAlister seems to be one step ahead in working the angles from the paparazzi photographers to the private secretary for Prince Andrew himself, always knowing how to convince one side or another why they need this interview to happen.

To portray some larger-than-life figures in this modern journalistic tale, the cast features some prominent names of their own. “X-Files” legend Gillian Anderson (The Crown) brings her stately gravitas to the role of Emily Maitlis, Doctor Who & Penny Dreadful star Billie Piper goes big & bold as producer Sam McAlister, & Critic’s Choice & Primetime Emmy nominated actor Rufus Sewell (The Diplomat, The Man in the High Castle) takes on the quirky, charming, yet self-sabotaging Prince Andrew.

Rounding out the cast, the film enlisted Bodyguard actress Keeley Hawes to play Prince Andrew’s Private Secretary Amanda Thrisk and BAFTA nominee Romola Garai as Esme Wren; two key women in the collaboration & production of the interview at the center of the film.

Scoop feels like the modern, streaming version of a film like Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon, a story about a famous TV interview of a high-profile figure who seemingly didn’t need to take the interview in the first place; a story of access, all-on-the-line journalism, & the approach to getting the unthinkable to happen.

While Scoop may have thematic similarities to Frost/Nixon, the film never seems as high stakes or as intimate as its predecessor. While the film does create a procedural thriller type atmosphere for much of its runtime, the result doesn’t seem to fully match up; maybe because the film focuses on the creators of the interview and feels more akin to a companion piece to the production rather than scratching at an uncovering or digging further into the monsters at the center of all of all this.

While it’s not a major value add to the real-life interview and its career fallout for Prince Andrew, the film does entertain with strong performances from Anderson, Sewell, & Piper and shines a spotlight on the methodical patience of real journalism in the clickbait/24-hour news network cycle that we live in most of the time. While many watched the interview in real-time and know it was well, Scoop still impresses with its subtle chess match construction of the event and bringing in the art of how to extract information from a guarded, high-profile subject.

Overall, Scoop is a taut journalistic drama with the pace & energy of a thriller. Focused on the women who brought the infamous interview to the screen & their motives for making it a success, the film mostly succeeds in making the story expand to more than the recent, well-known trainwreck in which the world is mostly familiar. However, much like the interview itself, it will not interrogate nor dig too deep past what we know and feels satisfied with its surface level accomplishment. The intense atmosphere & talent in front of and behind the camera will keep you riveted, but it won’t keep you buzzing after the film is done.

Scoop Netflix Orginals Coming To Netflix In April 2024

Picture: Netflix

Watch SCOOP If You Like

  • Frost/Nixon
  • Spotlight
  • The Crown
  • The Diplomat
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • She Said


Gillian Anderson as Emily Maitlis

With all due respect to the journalists & producers who made the interview possible (and, of course, the people who played them), the film landed Gillian Anderson to completely transform into a role again, and she steals every scene she’s in.

While the credit for much of Emily Maitlis’s approach to interviewing Prince Andrew goes to, at least in this script, producer Sam McAlister, Anderson’s Maitlis takes the notes and makes it her own. She has a legacy to cement, a reputation to bolster, & a high profile figure to play chess with. If you’ve seen the interview, it’s uncanny how detailed Anderson’s portrayal seems to be. From the head tilts and the icy demeanor, she brings us back to that day with ease with all the tension of the live moment. With her unassailable performances as Margaret Thatcher & Eleanor Roosevelt already in her toolbelt, Anderson gets to astound us once more with her take on Maitlis here.


Like the interview itself, Scoop gets the job done with impressive women behind a lot of the work. Just don’t look for too much more than what you may already know about the story.

Written by

Andrew Morgan is a film critic & podcaster with 20 years of experience on the sets & offices of film & television. Current podcast host of the entertainment review show, Recent Activity. He lives in the Northeast of the United States.

 Poster Rating: TV-MA
Language: English
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director: Philip Martin
Cast: Gillian Anderson, Rufus Sewell, Keeley Hawes
Added to Netflix: April 5th, 2024

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