Spotlight (2015)

spotlightWhat did I like?

Spotlight uses an amazing cast of brilliant and talented actors/actresses to bring a very dark story to light. You would think at first glance that a movie about a bunch of journalists doing research isn’t entertaining or worth sharing on the big screen, but Spotlight is the perfect example of what movies are all about: storytelling. These characters have discovered a secret that will shock the world yet have to bite their tongue because the more in-depth the research, the more troubling facts they find, which means their original story has the only scratch of the problem’s surface. One other aspect I loved about this story, which won awards for journalism, is I don’t remember it. Despite living in the Boston area in 2002, I didn’t know anything about this story, making the building up to the ending much more intense.

What didn’t I like?

Thinking back to this movie, there wasn’t anything that stuck out to me that wasn’t really out-of-place. Of course, in the major shocking news stories, there are always the outsiders, who could be convicted, that will go to great lengths to sweep everything under the rug. Those kinds of people tick me off, and I’m glad Spotlight didn’t focus on every attempt to shut the team up but decided to showcase enough roadblocks from stopping such a dark story from hitting the press.

Was Spotlight a good story?

Spotlight should be nominated for an Academy Award in numerous categories. Like I mentioned in my opening paragraph, this story is brilliant work of art. This movie won’t make you laugh much, cry, or feel anything else but sympathy for the victims and our hard journalists who have put their lives on hold to do the right thing. These writers are not looking for fame or fortune; instead, they are shocked that people they know and live next door to are involved in such a scandal that the only way to truly end it is but printing it.

Notable Performances?

I don’t mean any offence to the all-star lineup of respected actors/actresses, but there are really two major characters that shined bright were Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schreiber. You just read that sentence and said, “what?? Liev Schreiber??” Yeah, I’m sticking up for this minor background character because he is the straw that stirs the drink. Schreiber plays the new Jewish Editor of the Boston Globe who is not afraid to deep dig into this story and then publishes it. As an outsider to Boston and the deeply rooted Catholic community, Schreiber’s character will put his name on the line to expose the evil happening around him.

Ruffalo shows characteristics from his Doctor Banner/Hulk personalities from the Marvel Universe. One of the Boston Globe’s best research members, Ruffalo’s character will pursue every lead even when no one wants to talk to him. His persistent attitude to get the answers he needs is actually worth watching. Sadly in the middle of this story, the attacks of September 11th happen, which forces the paper to focus its reports on other events. The news doesn’t hit Ruffalo well, and his outburst may be one of the best scenes of the entire movie. His passion for seeing this story is very admirable, and his determination is a characteristic that makes for one of the best characters in the story.

Would I recommend it?

Spotlight’s subject matter will be challenging for some people to sit through, whether they are victims of a similar situation or find the topic gross. Some people will cry during some interviews or get upset when our heroic journalists hit many roadblocks on the road to the truth, but Spotlight is a great movie that should be watched at some point. For those of you who think this story will be too slow and you are afraid to fall asleep, I assure you that this story moves along at a great pace and will keep you engaged throughout.

my star rating: 9 out 10

imdb: 8.3 out 10 metascore: 93/100 / rottentomatoes: 97% out 100%

roger ebert: 3.5 out 4 / richard crouse: 4 out 5


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