Spotlight (2015) Review


Based on the true story of how the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team uncovered a massive scandal of child abuse and the cover up from the church, shaking the whole city to the core with the revelations.

A lot of buzz has surrounded this film and we eventually have it’s release in the UK. Obviously with the subject matter it was always going to be quite a difficult watch especially when hearing stories from the victims, which had to be done considering it is based on a true story. Showing how important it is to know what actually happened to many people when they were still children. It’s sick to see how long the priests managed to get away with it for and how the church just moved them about to continue awful behaviour from parish to parish.

The film shows the story in a very interesting way as we find out different things as the reports get deeper into the investigation, also helping to show just how long it actually took to really get all of the information together and be able to really put in a lot of facts. It was pretty risky in terms of ensuring that the story did not get buried, so they had to have plenty of information to back everything up. Plenty of statements from the victims, lawyers and even some priests who knew what was going on.

It was actually quite scary to know why different people did not actually speak out against it and knowing the church made sure they kept different stories under wraps with moving the priest around and going to peoples houses. Faith was a big thing and as we are told many times no one says no to the church or a priest as it is pretty much God. I thought that was an interesting way to see it as people really do take religion very seriously.

The performances from the cast were fantastic which they had to be in all honesty or it would not have worked very well as a film. It’s great to see Michael Keaton back in such a great role (Birdman brought his career back) and really leading the team with some fantastic scenes. The same can be said for the rest of the cast as well, with a couple of Oscar nominations McAdams and Ruffalo the two to be up for the awards.

I thought the film was going to end up being frustrating in terms of them trying to put all of the facts and information together but that was not actually the case. It was truly engaging and shocking as we discover the scale of the abuse and level of corruption in the church. I had no idea about this happening in Boston so it was something completely new for me to watch and take in.

With films based on a true story I think that is sometimes a really good thing as you are then watching it with no background knowledge or anything like that. At times it reminded me of All The Presidents Men in terms of the reporters, a film I very much enjoyed so that is a good comparison. It is a perfect choice for an Oscar worthy Best Picture film and when watching you can understand all of the critical acclaim that has been placed around this one.

I think it also helps to show that sometimes it takes someone from the outside to come in and change everything, it was all started with the new editor for the Globe coming from Florida to really push getting the facts for this truly awful story. But even at that point they had no idea on the massive scale they would end up with. Truly shocking what could go on in your community without you having any idea at all, that is certainly what makes this so powerful.

21 thoughts on “Spotlight (2015) Review

  1. Great review. Like yourself, I was also shocked to find out how open those who practise the Catholic faith were to welcoming these priests into their homes/lives and the level of respect and power these men commanded. I was raised an atheist so it is a whole other lifestyle I really have no experience of. Since watching Spotlight, I’ve viewed a few documentaries which also investigate sex abuse within the Catholic church. One particularly heartbreaking but superbly produced one was ‘deliver us from evil’ which I cannot recommend enough if you want the explore this topic further.


  2. Excellent film, totally engrossing from start to finish. The ensemble cast are all superb with solid direction from Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor – both award winning movies). The strength of the film is it’s script and narrative giving it pace and a truly realistic feel. For me, this would be my choice for Best Picture at the forthcoming Oscars (just ahead of my other favourites Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies).

    Liked by 1 person

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