Movie Review: Spotlight


The last movie review that I did was a bit tongue in cheek but, this week I have a real review. In an effort to earn my keep as the “Official Movie Reviewer” for the iKnowBadeaux podcast I am trying to do some more serious work. Here we go.

Last night I had the privilege of seeing Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight.

McCarthy wrote and directed an incredible film that is a must see.

Disclaimer: I am a lapsed Catholic.

The story follows the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team as they investigate accusations of abuse and molestation perpetrated by Catholic Priests in Boston since the mid-seventies.

Following a team of four journalists, the movie takes the audience into the depths of Boston to illustrate how powerful and long the reach of the Vatican actually is with their systematic disregard for the despicable behavior exhibited by their priests.

This movie was perfectly cast from top to bottom but, Mark Ruffalo steals the show. He plays Mike Rezendes a relentless, albeit socially inept, investigative journalist. Ruffalo’s performance is not only convincing, it is compelling. Rachel McAdams also turns in a stellar performance as the icy and tenacious Sacha Pfeiffer.

I could go on about the cast but, the real star of this movie is Tom McCarthy. The actual story presented so many opportunities for wrong turns.

He could have dove into graphic stories about abuse for, what could have been passed as, gravitas for the plot.

He didn’t.

He could have turned the movie into a smear campaign on the Catholic Church.

He didn’t.

Instead, he told the story that no one really knew. The story of four talented and relentless journalists that, despite social and professional pressure, took on an assignment to not only lift the veil off of the Catholic Church but to give a voice to so many victims that had none.

While the plot of the Catholic church’s efforts to cover up the predatory actions of their Priests is the highlight and what draws us to the film; what keeps us interested and on the edge of our seats is the look into what journalism is supposed to look like when it is done right. What it looks like when journalists take the time to get it right and fight through adversity to get the real story, not the easy story.

Something that has been lost as the internet has slowly taken over and everybody started getting their news from the same site that writes pieces like – “62 Thoughts Everyone Has In Target During The Holidays” (seriously, 62? Why 62?).

Go see this movie, you will not regret it.

Penance: I give it 10/10 Hail Marys and 5/5 Our Fathers.

Peace be with you.




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