Spotlight respects its attention to detail and its understated approach to the subject matter in this journalist vs. Catholic Church drama. It’s one of the best films of the year.
Riveting and devastating, director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, Win Win, The Visitor) takes on the fact-based story of the Spotlight team for The Boston Globe when, in 2002, they published nearly 600 articles on child sex-abuse allegations against Catholic priests and the decades of church cover-ups. The team won a Pulitzer for its scalding exposé. It’s a heavy film to watch and take in due to the subject matter, but it’s an important film that will shake you to your spiritual core. Currently, Spotlight is one of the frontrunners predicated to win Best Picture this year and they for sure have my vote.
There’s no Hollywood B.S. in this script thanks to McCarthy and scriptwriter Josh Singer (The Fifth Estate), who throttle through this haunting true story. With an exceptional cast consisting of Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber, Brian d'Arcy James and John Slattery; Spotlight digs deep into dirty secrets and shattered lives. Blood, sweat and reporting; McCarthy shows us the dedication of these journalist and their perseverance to uncovering and exposing these pedifiles. Ruffalo soars as the reporter Michael Rezendes who is tough as nails while digging through old secrets.
Keaton performs to perfection, as Spotlight editor Walter "Robby" Robinson, just like he did last year in Birdman. McAdams excels as Sacha Pfeiffer along with researcher Matt Carroll (d'Arcy James). Robinson is skeptical that his Spotlight team can take down the Boston Archdiocese, while risking readership due to Boston being largely Irish-Catholic. The survivors from priest molestation and sex-abuse give the Spotlight team’s story a beating heart, as they deliver raw and numbing emotion about the corruption hidden inside the Catholic Church and the lives broken forever. In the end, Spotlight kicks ass and can hopefully win Best Picture this February. 5 out of 5 stars! It’s an eye opening film that will shake you to your spiritual core and shows us the fighting spirit of journalism.
Spotlight is rated R (Restricted). For some language including sexual references.
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