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spotlight portraitDirector: Tom McCarthy
Writers: Tom McCarthyJosh Singer
Genre(s):  Biography, Drama
Rating: R
Runtime: 128 min.
Starring: Mark RuffaloMichael KeatonRachel McAdams

CC Score:
Great! Why watch it?

Spotlight is a true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered an enormous scandal within the Catholic Church. Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams star as an investigative reporting team that attempts to expose the local Archdiocese suspected of hiding a history of systematic child molestation. Their year-long Pulitzer Prize Winning investigation revealed that the cover-up reached the highest levels of religious, legal and government establishments, spanning several decades.

On rare occasions you leave a theater knowing you just saw something exceptional. This is how I felt after seeing Spotlight. It isn’t just a great film, it’s an important one. For years, children all over the world were being sexually abused by people they thought they could trust. Some victims were too afraid to talk, while the brave individuals who came forward were silenced, overlooked or forgotten. I remember when the Boston Globe released this story. It was one of the largest culture shocks in recent history. However, it didn’t truly get the exposure it deserved. 9/11 was fresh in the minds of the public and media was in a limbo between print and digital. This film brings new light to a story that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Making a film about one of the most widespread atrocities comes with quite a bit of added pressure. Writer/Director Tom McCarthy accepts the challenge and constructs a masterpiece filled with captivating dialogue, blood pumping tension and heart wrenching testimonies. I always knew McCarthy was an extraordinary talent. He wrote and directed one of my favorite indie films, The Station Agent, but Spotlight is on a completely different level. Instead of a quirky drama, he tackles much heavier subject matter, with the help of an award winning cast.

A script this moving had no trouble attracting the right actors. There is an unbelievable amount of talent on screen, but Mark Ruffalo stands out the most as investigative reporter Mike Rezendes. Ruffalo doesn’t play this character, he becomes him. His speech patterns and mannerisms render him nearly unrecognizable. It’s clear he genuinely cared about this film on a personal level. People have become desensitized to words like “molestation” due to overexposure and misuse. However, the raw passion Ruffalo brings to the role quickly reminds the audience of the disgusting reality.

This year has produced some wonderful films, but I believe Spotlight is the most essential. The way we prevent history from repeating itself, is learning from past failures. People in power helped sweep systematic abuse under the rug for decades. Whether it was pure negligence or just plain fear, they chose to do nothing. As Edmond Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. We have an innate responsibility to each other has human beings and this film reminds us of that. Some of you may be thinking, a movie that takes place primarily in an office building sounds kind of boring, but Spotlight grabs your attention early and keeps you on the edge of your seat for it’s entirety. You won’t want to miss it. Spotlight is guaranteed to be nominated for multiple Academy Awards and may even completely sweep the Oscars.

Check out the trailer below and see it in select theaters today and everywhere November 20th!

Let us know what you think!

Spotlight reviewed on November 16, 2015 by rated 5.0 of 5

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