Spotlight: A Heavy Topic With A Powerful Message

Film: Spotlight
2015 – Drama/History – 2h 9m
Directed By: Tom McCarthy
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery, and Billy Crudup

Key Details: Be aware Spotlight is a film that covers the heavy topic of Child abuse by people in positions of power. This film starts out with a scenario in the 1970’s that is hushed up leading to the continued abuse of minors by individuals of power up until the time the film takes place in the early 200’s. This film eventually leads to the  unveiling of sealed court documents in the early 2000’s that expose over 200 individuals in power as child molesters.  Once more this is a film that covers a heavy topic so be mindful who you watch this with but you should see this film at least once. 

Ratings: 8.1/10 IMDB: 97% Rotten Tomatoes: 97% Metacritic: 93% Google Users: 90%
My Rating: 4.5 / 5, This film was heavy and showed how valuable the press is to helping the public to learn about the truth. Free speech is important and is shown in this film. 

Summary in a Tweet: Boston Globe Team exposes abusers of power and children for what they are terrible humans. 

Simple Overview: When a new editor arrives at the Boston Globe the team is invited to do a deep dive into the charges against John Geoghan to see if the Catholic Church knew about his misdeeds and abuse against children. This leads the team on an extended search into the proceedings of the church behind closed doors to cover up the sexual abuse by their priests. As the team digs deeper into their investigation for the truth they turn the community around Boston upside down when they release a story that shook the world in early 2002.

Have I watched this before?:  No, I just heard about this film today, and watched it. I was timely for the current political environment and had a strong message that we need investigative journalists who expose the truth that is too often covered up by those in power. 


What Could Have Been Better:
It’s hard to say what could have been bette in this film. I felt the storytelling was smart, each shot felt well thought out, and the story was engaging enough I had a hard time seeing any improvements needed. I will review it again and follow up.

What I loved and Final Thoughts: Each actor played their part strongly showing that exposing these pedophiles and the pain it brings to their lives and the lives of those they care about. I say this because each of these individuals were at one time a part of the catholic faith and had many family members deeply involved in the church while they were doing research. This was not an easy investigation and each actor showed emotions of struggle in their portrayal of the journalists who really did this. 

The politics and push back felt real and problematic. We too often hear the phrase “A few bad apples” and too often those who throw this phrase around forget the last half of the statement “Spoil the bunch.” meaning it shouldn’t matter if there are a few bad ones the rest are guilty too, for not standing up and reporting those who are rotten and hide behind their power. Not only does this film highlight the parent organizations leadership willingly covering up sexual abuse and pedophile acts it shows strong and powerful members of the community trying to do the same. It’s amazing to me the journalists were able to push through with their mission to expose the truth to readers of The Boston Globe and beyond. 

I applaud each of the actors for their ability to show urgency in their portrayals of each character in this film. I can only imagine how challenging this film was to capture and share due to the heavy tone of the film.

Watch the trailer:

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