Review: Spotlight (2015)


Spotlight, Tom McCarthy’s assured take on the Boston Globe’s expose of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church, is a thrilling procedural that celebrates thorough reporting. Based on real events, it avoids sensationalism and instead opts for low-key concentration as a team of four reporters – played by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian D’Arcy James – are tasked with investigating allegations against one priest, only to be stunned by what they discover as they dig deeper and deeper. Tom McCarthy directs with distance, the script unfurling at a slow-burn pace. It’s ultimately a paper case, but a fascinating one at that. Victims are sensitively questioned, reports scrutinised and many bridges burned by the diligent care and attention poured over the case. There’s no unnecessary dramatics because it’s potent enough as it is. The ensemble each bring something of their own to the table. McAdams is quietly probing and compassionate as Sacha Pfeiffer, while Ruffalo plays Mike Rezendes as anxiously volatile, erupting when outside circumstances delay the stories’ publication. Spotlight is an uncluttered and methodical tight-knit study that pulls back only to reveal that is fully aware of the scope to which the issue extends. It powerfully etches itself inside the mind, from where it haunts for days afterwards.

1 thought on “Review: Spotlight (2015)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s