Directed by Tom McCarthy
Written by Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber
The true story of the Boston Globe reporters who exposed the massive cover-up of decades of child molestation within the local Catholic Archdiocese.
This film was written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (The Fifth Estate), with McCarthy (Up) also directing. Spotlight features a large cast of talented actors. The stars include Mark Ruffalo (Zodiac), Michael Keaton (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)), Rachel McAdams (Midnight in Paris), Brian d’Arcy James (Ghost Town), and Liev Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate (2004)).
The screenplay for this film is a riveting account of true events. As far as “based on true events” films go, this one stays very close to the real story. The writing does a nice job highlighting certain events and periods of work in a story that spans more than a year. The writers were also able to find nice ways to introduce the many important figures in the film. The dialogue in the movie feels honest and believable throughout this one. Whenever possible, the film took actual dialogue from news reports and other sources to help keep the integrity of the story. With a very sensitive subject at hand, the writing also does a nice job treating the people and the subject matter sensitively. This doesn’t mean that anything was glossed over. Instead, the story gives honest details without over-dramatizing the delivery. Overall, this might be one of the better historical dramas in some time.
The acting in this movie does everything right in bringing this story to life. Like the writing, the performances needed to feel genuine since this is such a recent series of events. The actors all seemed to understand the significance of the story they were helping to tell. Mark Ruffalo leads the way with an impassioned role that really works. His emotion and energy helps to set the tone throughout the entire movie. Michael Keaton joins him with a more subdued but equally great performance. In many ways, Keaton’s performance helps to balance out the emotional highs and lows. Rachel McAdams also does a great job in this one. She was able to tap into a sense of empathy that this movie had to have. She was given the lead in some of the most intense moments of the movie, and she handled it wonderfully. Brian d’Arcy James and Liev Schreiber are just two of many more actors who brought great work to this one. Overall, the acting took advantage of a great script and made this a very memorable film.
This movie looks great thanks to the camera work, set design, and locations used. The solid visuals help to let the acting tell the story. The movie also has a great score written by Howard Shore. Like the visuals, the score doesn’t get in the way of the story. Instead, it simply finds the right moments to highlight the emotional roller coaster. Overall, there isn’t anything to complain about with this one. Fans of any of the stars should make sure to check this one out. I would caution people who might be sensitive to the material. This isn’t visually graphic, but the discussion doesn’t shy away from the horrible acts uncovered. This would also be a good choice for fans of films like The Insider. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.