REVIEW: Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight poster
Theatrical Release Poster – Open Road Films

The following is a quick review of Spotlight, a Tom McCarthy film.

In late 2015, I made the decision to publish my top ten films of the year on New Year’s Eve. Sadly, that meant a number of films, which hadn’t been released in Denmark yet, were deemed ineligible for my top ten films of 2015-list. One of those films were Spotlight. By now, I’ve seen Spotlight three times, and it has made me reconsider its status as ineligible. Spotlight is an exceptional film, and one of the best of the year.  

Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight follows a team of journalists with The Boston Globe. In the early 2000s, after having hired a new editor (played by Liev Schreiber), the Globe’s Spotlight-team, led by Walter Robinson (played by Michael Keaton) and Michael Rezendes (played by Mark Ruffalo), starts to investigate the Catholic Church and a series of sexual abuse cases.

One of the greatest things about this film is the ensemble cast. All of the performances are solid. Rachel McAdams and John Slattery are really good. Stanley Tucci and Liev Schreiber are absolutely great. But Mark Ruffalo and, especially, Michael Keaton were exceptional. Birdman was a great film, but I didn’t love it as much as most reviewers did. Michael Keaton is great in Birdman, but I thought he was better in Spotlight.

Spotlight is, obviously, based on a true story, but not all ‘true story’ films work. Spotlight, though, is phenomenal. The story is enthralling and spine-tingling, and is just as good, if not better, than classics in the biographical/historical drama genre: like Alan J. Pakula’s All the President’s Men and Robert Redford’s Quiz Show.

Spotlight is a must-watch film that highlights a huge problem. It is incredibly well-shot. The dialogue is excellent. It is detailed, without being boring. It respects its audience, and handles a tough topic with a lot of respect. Spotlight is a near-masterpiece, it is a very real, and very scary. I strongly urge you to see it.

9.5 out of 10

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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