Movie Review: Open Roads Films' #SPOTLIGHT


RELEASE DATE: November 6, 2015
GENRE: Drama
MPAA RATING: R for some language including sexual references
DISTRIBUTOR: Open Road Films
CAST: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Live Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d’Arcy James, Billy Crudup
DIRECTOR: Tom McCarthy
WRITERS: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Pierre Omidyar, Michael Bederman, Bard Dorros, Tom Ortenberg, Peter Lawson, Xavier Marchand
PRODUCERS: Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagon Faust

SITES: Official Film Site | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schrieber, Brian D’Arcy James and Stanley Tucci, SPOTLIGHT tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delve into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Thomas McCarthy, SPOTLIGHT is a tense investigative thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest crime stories in modern times.

It was difficult to watch this week’s movie masterpiece, Spotlight. And I almost wish that I could leave the review at that. Tells you everything you need to know. It’s a great movie. It’s getting wonderful awards buzz. Also, thinking about it literally kept me up at night. But, maybe the lost sleep part is just me, and it is a great film, so let’s press on.

Spotlight is about the investigation of the child molestation cases in Boston as it relates to the Catholic Archdiocese, and, specifically, Cardinal Bernard Law’s handling of the offending clergy. And I knew that going in. It’s a difficult topic. I’m a parent. So, I knew what to expect. I was drawn in by the top notch cast. Can’t pass up Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci and Liev Schreiber all in the same film.

The cast was awesome. It’s one of the best ensembles I have seen on screen. No star shone brighter than any other, but all delivered very strong performances. My only critique of the cast was Ruffalo’s facial expressions. The audience might notice he’s trying to do something with his mouth. It’s sort of exaggerated, and a little distracting. Look beyond that.

I appreciated the methodical pace of the film. Given the topic, it was important to go slow. I was able to process all of the horrible allegations one at a time. I think this respects the audience and the victims of the story. It also gives the audience a realistic view of print reporting. Before everyone read everything online, newspapers could take months to delve into one newsworthy story.

It’s the best movies that leave some impression on the audience. Since watching Spotlight, I have had many conversations with friends about the subject of the film. The topic is mature, so be ready for that. I am putting Spotlight up there with the best movies of the year. See Spotlight when it opens at a theater near you.

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