Spotlight (Nik's Piks: Movie Review)

Based on the actual events and Pulitzer-prize winning investigative report that rocked a city and threatened to crumble a centuries-old institution, Spotlight is a gripping, must-see film. Nominated for multiple industry awards, including six Oscars, Spotlight was the 2016 Academy Award winner for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. 

"If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one." ~ Spotlight

Unless you live under a rock, you will recall the story that shook the city of  Boston, our nation, and the Catholic Church in 2002. Spotlight is based on the four investigative journalists from The Boston Globe that were determined enough to ask unthinkable questions and the brave survivors and advocates that helped them expose decades of cover-ups, secret settlements, and a system gone terribly wrong. 

In 2001, it took a Boston outsider, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) as the new editor for the Globe, to re-examine prior allegations against a couple of Boston priests.  What Baron did not realize is that Boston is a big-city with small-town fundamentals, with little to no separation between church and state. A city, in essence, being unofficially run by the Catholic Church.  What he and the others also didn't realize is how deep this scandal would go. 

However, with print readership already dropping thanks to the Internet, and with 53% of subscribers being Catholic, does the Globe have the courage to shake the foundation of the largest institution in the city and one of the most powerful in the world? And in so doing, what effect will that have on the paper and their community?  They can merely make noise, or they can make changes. 

Watch Official Trailer

Despite pressure to stay quiet, Baron assigns the story to his investigative team called Spotlight led by Walter "Robby" Robinson played by Michael Keaton.  Together with journalists Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James), the years of child molestation and abuse by Catholic priests was about to be revealed. More frightening was the extent to which the entire city and all its officials were involved. 

"Sometimes it's easy to forget that we spend most our time stumbling around in the dark. Suddenly a light gets turned on and there's a fair share of blame to go around."  ~ Spotlight

By the end of this film I was visibly shaken and numb at the same time. Spotlight is a chilling story and one that is often difficult to hear, but is one of the most important films of our time. McAdams' performance earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Ruffalo has never been better, also receiving a nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The film also stars John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, and Billy Crudup.  

Spolight is rated R for some language including sexual references. 


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