SPOTLIGHT | Movie Review

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SPOTLIGHT | © 2015 Open Road Films

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop

If there were ever an organization to take the world by scandal storm it’d have to be the Catholic Church. Seriously, did any of us see that coming? Of course we did. If you’re in the minority of those who didn’t, you need to crawl from underneath the rock you’ve been living in all your life. Listen, I’m not going to sit here and say ALL within the organization (or others) are flawed, because that’s not necessarily true. However, one does need to keep in mind that as humans we’re not perfect. And when power and trust and influence reigns supreme, best believe abuse and corruption will be a big part of its hidden day-to-day functions.

SPOTLIGHT tells that petrifying story of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Spotlight” team of investigative journalists, who in 2002 shocked the city and the world by exposing the Catholic Church’s systematic cover-up of widespread pedophilia perpetuated by more than 80 local priests.

SPOTLIGHT is a flawless display of what perfect execution looks like! From the start, the flick gives the broad scope of the issue it’s tackling and from there we take a deep dive into Boston, 2001 to meet all the players in the game – providing no second guesses and nothing in the narrative to swipe away from the main structure.

Beautifully exposed, its emotional kick starts when truth of isolated cases of sex abuse had been reported by the Globe prior to Spotlight’s investigation. Pretty much where its cast starts to shine, the team spearheaded by Keaton and Ruffalo present tactical work as they start their in-depth fact-checking, revealing the scope of clergy-perpetrated crimes – and the Church’s involvement in protecting their clergy from the criminal justice system with never before seen precision.

Driven by lots of emotion and passion, there isn’t one character, especially Mark Ruffalo who slips through “artistic cracks.” Losing his shit during an intense seen, I couldn’t help but think about him morphing into The Hulk to get his point across.

Co-written and directed by Tom McCarthy (WIN WIN ’11), this ferocious, fearless, and intelligent bio-thriller makes it clear there is something more to be said for the process of movie-making when seeking a solid stance. Raised Catholic, I can tell you stuff like this was always mentioned, but kept a secret. As I grew up, my interests and respect for organizations like this faded more and more as man’s corruption became a lot more apparent. SPOTLIGHT, like other films exposing the Catholic Church (mainly documentaries), have done these monsters an applauding disservice.

Causing a cringe, the Church’s sex abuse scandal gave birth to the cause for people everywhere (religious or not) to reassess one of our most respected and trusted global organizations. Playing it straight-forward, with zero time for subplots or unnecessary doubt, not one character and/or setting is presented an unfairly fashion, making SPOTLIGHT one of the best, informative films of 2015!


Grade: A+ / Genre: Mystery-Thriller, Suspense, Drama / Rated: R / Run Time: 2:07

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup

Directed by: Tom McCarthy



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