Spotlight Review

Photo provided by the Athena Cinema

Premise

Spotlight follows the efforts of the “Spotlight” investigative team at The Boston Globe to uncover the story of various priests in the Boston area sexually abusing children. As the team dives deeper into its investigation, it begins to realize that higher authorities in the church have covered up the scandals for years. Faced with pressure from the church, the community and its deadline, the Spotlight team works against the clock to reveal the shocking secret to the public.

Reasons to See Spotlight

The importance of the story Spotlight tells cannot be understated. While it is certainly not easy to accept that something like that scandal could have ever happened, it is vital to understand how it did. Spotlight not only shines light on the struggles the team at The Boston Globe faced in publishing this story, but it also elaborates how a scandal that outrageous could remain hidden for so long.

What is most laudable about the film and what separates it from similar movies is that it shows the ugly side of everyone, including its protagonists. The heroes of the story are not without guilt, and Spotlight does not shy away from focusing on their faults like many other historical pieces tend to do. Nothing is sugarcoated in Spotlight, which is essential when dealing with a subject that serious.

The characters and their personalities could not be brought to life without the incredible cast that was assembled for the film. Every key player conveys powerful emotion during his or her role. With that said, no actor does a more incredible job than Mark Ruffalo as reporter Michael Rezendes. Ruffalo captures the emotional and, sometimes, spiritual pain the reporter went through while working on the investigation.

Reasons to Skip Spotlight

Due to the complicated story the film is based upon, it can be easy for viewers to become confused or lost at certain points while watching Spotlight. The film expects audience members to keep track of various names and obscure sources of information, much in the same way the team of reporters had to.

While certainly more reserved and subtle than most other movies, the symbolism in Spotlight can be a little heavy-handed at times. There is a sequence where children are shown singing “Silent Night” in a church as the case is wrapping up. The subject matter should be powerful enough to carry the story without the use of a few over-the-top sequences in an otherwise restrained film.

Verdict

Chronicling the tale of the determined team of Spotlight reporters and the scandal they uncovered, Spotlight is a restrained and significant motion picture that everyone, journalist or otherwise, should see.

Rating: 5/5

Spotlight is playing at the Athena Cinema on Court Street with daily showings at 7:10 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. This week, there will be no 7:10 p.m. showing on Wednesday or Thursday.

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