Spotlight (2015) Mini Review

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we spend most of our time stumbling around the dark. Suddenly, a light gets turned on and there’s a fair share of blame to go around. I can’t speak to what happened before I arrived, but all of you have done some very good reporting here. Reporting that I believe is going to have an immediate and considerable impact on our readers. For me, this kind of story is why we do this.”

Directed by: Tom McCarthy

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber

Synopsis: A group of journalists at the Boston Globe newspaper work to uncover years of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The extent of what they discover reaches beyond even their deepest fears.

Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton and John Slattery as The Boston Globe's "Spotlight" team.
Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton and John Slattery as The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team.

Here are just a few of the usually mundane things that Spotlight manages to make wholly compelling:

  • Sorting through newspaper clippings.
  • Excel spreadsheets.
  • Legal discussions.
  • Mark Ruffalo.

…OK, that last one’s unfair. Mark Ruffalo is always compelling, but here he’s even more compelling than usual as one part of the The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, a group of journalists tasked with uncovering the dark, terrible secrets of the Catholic Church. His performance is quite excellent, and impressively charged with emotion. He’s not on his own though in that respect; Liev Schreiber brings a calm, authoritative confidence to his role as the newspaper’s new editor, whilst Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and Brian d’Arcy James all express the strain that their work puts on them beautifully, with both subtlety and sensitivity.

Because it is undoubtedly a sensitive subject matter that the film tackles. An extraordinary story, and one which feels absolutely essential in its telling. That Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer’s script manages to tell the real life story with heft and weight, without becoming too grim to bear is remarkable. It’s shocking, gripping, tense, emotional, oftentimes uncomfortable viewing, yet bittersweet in the small victories it allows its characters. You’ll gasp, you’ll cry, you’ll question the world. That’s the power of cinema at its best, and Spotlight certainly deserves to be recognised in that category.

Rating (out of 5):

5 Stars

6 Comments Add yours

  1. I will check it out, thanks for the lovely review 😉

    Sabrina 🌸🍍🍒

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luke Kent says:

      Thank you, that’s very kind! The film’s great, well worth a watch! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Matt says:

    Wow, I really can’t say that I liked it nearly as much as you (and so many others) did. I thought it was a very serviceable journalism movie about an undoubtedly important subject matter. I was disappointed that Michael Keaton didn’t get an Oscar nomination for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luke Kent says:

      Keaton was excellent, the cast on the whole for me really nailed it, I found the whole film to be very compelling, though I have found there to be many who like yourself didn’t enjoy it quite as much 😄


  3. I just couldn’t get into this film despite being interested in the subject matter. Was it a good film? Absolutely. Was it an Oscar winner? Not to me. Good review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luke Kent says:

      Thank you! I think there are quite a few others who felt similarly to yourself from the discussions I’ve had with friends about it, it seems a little divisive. Personally I was really gripped, Ruffalo was so, so good!

      Liked by 1 person

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