Spotlight

(2015)

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Title:
Spotlight
Release Date:
6th November 2015
Runtime:
128 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Tom McCarthy
Writers:
Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

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 delves 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 Tom McCarthy, SPOTLIGHT is a tense investigative dramatic-thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest cover-ups in modern times. (C) Open Road

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 96%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 93%
IMDb Rating 8.1

Casts

John Slattery as Ben Bradlee, Jr.
Liev Schreiber as Marty Baron
Mark Ruffalo as Mike Rezendes
Michael Keaton as Walter 'Robby' Robinson
Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Miriam Se 16th March, 2016

A movie that qualifies as strong meat a.k.a. be ready to digest a lot of reality and face the true face of a world unknown to people living in a happy bubble.

This movie undid something inside of me. It's that part of you that holds on to hope that people can be good, that there is hope for humanity. I knew the basics of it when I went to watch it: that it is about investigative reporters looking into a story of abuse in the catholic church. And it uncovered so much more than just that. Honestly, this movie should be seen by anyone who seeks the true face of the world. We don't live in a pink bubble of happiness. F*cked up things happen to people all the time; worst thing is when it happens to the innocent. The little ones who can't protect themselves. When they are robbed of their faith and their hope and their future. Sitting in the film theatre on the last row, I was brought to tears as in front of me a long list of places where victims spoke out was scrolling. I was both shocked and mad. I felt sorry that people can fail so miserably. "Mike Rezendes: They knew and they let it happen! It could've been you, it could've been me, it could've been any of us." Indeed. When we witness darkness and we shut up and we don't do anything about it, that's when we fail. A poet once wrote, "You can join the millions talking in the dark. Or you can stand up and scream light, out into the night." So choose to stand up. In your profession choose to eradicate the oblivion of evil. This movie is a masterpiece. From the dedication of the actors to their roles, to the script, the director and the cinematography. The score? Fantastic. Howard Shore did it again!

Reviewed by HealthyLove 14th February, 2016

Priests Secretly Committing Pederasty. An Award Winner Reality Movie.

Spotlight is a 2015 American biographical drama film directed by Tom McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Josh Singer. The film follows The Boston Globe's "Spotlight" team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative unit in the United States, and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. It is based on a series of stories by the real Spotlight Team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d'Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, and Billy Crudup. Spotlight was shown in the Out of Competition section of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. It was also shown at the Telluride Film Festival and the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was released on November 6, 2015, by Open Road Films. It won numerous guilds and critics' association awards, and was named one of the finest films of 2015 by various publications. It is nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo, Best Supporting Actress: Rachel McAdams, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture. In 2001, The Boston Globe hires a new editor, Marty Baron. Baron meets Walter "Robby" Robinson, the editor of the Spotlight team, a small group of journalists writing investigative articles that take months to research and publish. After Baron reads a Globe column about a lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, who says that Cardinal Law (the Archbishop of Boston) knew that the priest John Geoghan was sexually abusing children and did nothing to stop him, he urges the Spotlight team to investigate. Journalist Michael Rezendes contacts Garabedian, who initially declines interview. Though he is told not to, Rezendes reveals that he is on the Spotlight team, persuading Garabedian to talk. Initially believing that they are following the story of one priest who was moved around several times, the Spotlight team begin to uncover a pattern of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in Massachusetts, and an ongoing cover-up by the Boston Archdiocese. Through a man who heads a victim's rights organization, they widen their search to thirteen priests. They learn through an ex-priest who worked trying to rehabilitate pedophile priests that there should be approximately ninety abusive priests in Boston. Through their research, they develop a list of eighty-seven names, and begin to find their victims to back up their suspicions. When the September 11 attacks occur, the team is forced to deprioritize the story. They regain momentum when Rezendes learns from Garabedian that there are publicly available documents that confirm Cardinal Law was aware of the problem and ignored it. After The Boston Globe wins a case to have even more legal documents unsealed, the Spotlight Team finally begins to write the story, and plan to publish their findings in early 2002. As they are about to go to print, Robinson confesses to the team that he was sent a list of twenty pedophile priests in 1993 in a story he never followed up on. Baron, nevertheless, tells Robinson and the team that the work they are doing is important. The story goes to print with a link leading to the documents that expose Cardinal Law, and a phone number requesting victims of pedophile priests to come forward. The following morning, the Spotlight team is inundated with phone calls from victims coming forward to tell their stories. The film closes with a list of places in the United States and around the world where the Catholic Church has been involved in concealing abuse by priests.

Reviewed by A_Different_Drummer 23rd December, 2015

One of the greatest horror films of all time

... because by the time the credits roll and you start to breathe normally again, you will suddenly realize that this was not a horror film as such, this was a re-enactment of events that actually happened, with real victims and real perpetrators and real well-meaning third parties covering up the whole thing as fast as the body count kept piling up. And then you will once again have difficulty catching your breath. As a film it is superb. McCarthy who did double duty as writer and director deserves acknowledgement. The cast is universally excellent. Ruffalo gives the performance of his career, Keaton is solid as a rock, and McAdams reaps overdue dividends from her decision to broaden her career into non-glamorous roles at a time when the only scripts they were sending her were for Diva parts. Smart lady. A reviewer is not supposed to interject personal feelings in a review but I will say without apology that I miss films like these -- films that speak for the injustice in society and offer solutions -- and wish there were more of them. It seems that when I was younger there was a lot more interest in doing the right thing merely because it was the right thing. This no longer seems to be the societal meme, and that troubles me. A must-see.

Reviewed by lrbhsr 28th October, 2015

Wonderful drama about the importance of investigative journalism

Everything about this movie is outstanding -- the performances, the way the true events are handled, the cinematography. In this day of digital news, this movie makes us stand back and realize what we may lose in the way of investigative journalism as we slowly kill off print media. The lengths the directors go to to achieve a sense of authenticity is remarkable. We are there in Boston in 2001-2002. We get to know enough about each character to make him or her real, but not enough to create side dramas. The focus remains the child abuse scandal in the archdiocese in Boston. That reflects the conflict the characters face and deal with when events make them rethink the focus of their article. The movie is riveting, though we know the outcome.

Reviewed by Clayton Davis ([email protected]) 19th September, 2015

Flat Out Remarkable! Possibly the Year's Best!

Seconds after the credits for Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight" roll, an overwhelming feeling of changing your career takes over. Is film criticism really where I belong? What important, life-changing story am I not writing about? Truth is, quite a bit of classic films give off that same feeling. "Rocky" made a bunch of our fathers and older brothers go for a morning run and drink raw eggs. "Rudy" made us want to go out and play Notre Dame football. "Spotlight" makes you want to go down to your local courthouse and search the public records for clues. Then, get on the phone, with a pen and a pad, and start asking some really tough questions. Honestly speaking, "Spotlight" is the best investigative news drama this century. Matter of fact, behind "All the President's Men" and maybe "The Insider," it's among the best ever made. "Spotlight" tells the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. Where you must begin, with any praise for the film, is the audacious and fortifying script by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer. The two create cinematic magic in their articulation of words, characters, and narrative storytelling. Each person feels authentic. Each scene feels rich and equally important as the last. And most of all, its the tightest, most satisfying film from beginning to end, seen this year. From minute one, you're hooked, up until the last second, where they decide the last words spoken should be, "Spotlight" is astonishingly crafted. I'm still in shock and awe that Tom McCarthy is the one who made this. This is a writer/director who I've appreciated but didn't have the "love" factor surrounding any of his films. Paired with an outstanding cast, co-writer Josh Singer, editor Tom McArdle, cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi and composer Howard Shore, Tom McCarthy gets a chance to create his masterpiece…and succeeds. He makes brilliant artistic choices, such as letting a Mark Ruffalo letter reading play over a 2-minute taxi car ride back to the newspaper. McCarthy's direction is one of the best directorial efforts from any filmmaker this year thus far. All the players performing are top-notch but walking away, best-in- show, is the performance of Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo exhibits his best screen performance to date, and makes a stake in his claim for the Oscar this year. Weirdly reminiscent of Joaquin Phoenix's work in "The Master," Ruffalo builds his 'Mike' from the feet up, giving him his own characteristics that I'm not sure McCarthy and Singer set out to do. His expressions in words, mannerisms, all encapsulate the magnitude of his work, bookended by an explosive scene that brought tears to my eyes. Think back to Emma Stone's acclaimed work in "Birdman," and the scene that made everyone notice. I wanted to simply applaud. Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams, who play "Robbie" and "Sacha" respectively, are attune with their characters and destinations. Each bring strong sensibilities and sensitivity to their roles that desperately call for them. Hotly worked into the story is Liev Schreiber as a newly appointed Editor, that in the little screen time he's given, makes a long-lasting impression. Stanley Tucci is also afforded the same opportunity, and gives one of the film's best monologues. If there's a film this year that feels like an Oscar-winner, "Spotlight" sure does make a compelling case. Dramatic, heart- pounding, and necessarily made. It's one of the most important films this year and probably THE BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR. The Telluride tradition may continue.