**** out of ****
In Spotlight, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Billy Crudup and Stanley Tucci all star in a journalism procedural recounting the Boston Globe’s 2001 investigation that exposed widespread child molestation committed by priests and the Catholic Church’s role in covering it up.
The film has a vibe similar to All the President’s Men, for its no-nonsense approach to heavy content and thankfully resists showing uncomfortable flashbacks. This movie tastefully tells the stories of its victims through words, not imagery. The acting is as solid as the screenplay, which I’m sure is the product of thorough research.
Spotlight is directed by Tom McCarthy and it puts his shaky career back on track, even if this relatively low-budget movie, which is driven by dialogue, requires the support of multiple studios. I wouldn’t be quick to say that this is a movie that begs to be seen on a big screen, but it’s a rare thing now, when a major theatrical release is perfectly compelling on the simplest of levels.