Michael Rezendes (Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (McAdams) and Matt Carroll (d’Arcy James), together with their editor, Walter Robinson (Keaton), form the spotlight team, a small investigative group of journalists of The Boston Globe that handles complicate and intricate cases. When the newspaper hires a new general editor, Marty Baron (Schreiber), he demands the spotlight team to investigate a disturbing case of child molestation committed by a catholic priest. Soon, they uncover the fact that sexual abuses are occurring regularly, being widespread inside the church. Apparently, the headmaster of the catholic archdiocese of Boston is aware of those crimes, but is doing his best to protect the predatory clergy and cover up the sexual offenses, moving the pedophile priests to other archdioceses throughout the country. When accused priests are indicted, the church always manages to have them released. Successfully avoiding the law and criminal prosecution, the pedophile priests never faces trial or pay for the crimes they have committed. Since the story is being poorly covered by the media, The Boston Globe editors Baron and Robinson are eager to discover what is really going on behind the scenes, and the spotlight team employs their best efforts to uncover the entire story.
Eventually, the truth comes out, and the church can’t avoid a nationwide scandal. Nevertheless, the abusive behavior can be seen as a worldwide phenomenon, and what happened in the United States is only a small fragment of the problem, in its entirety.
With A list stars doing their best performances to date, Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer and Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes are remarkably great as two journalists deeply committed to find the truth, involving themselves personally into the story, working hard to push back the boundaries and obstacles that constantly stands against them, all the way through, without ever giving up. Michael Keaton and Liev Schreiber, as senior editor Walter Robinson, and general editor Marty Baron, respectively, also gives solid and astounding performances as two men decidedly committed to reveal the truth, although each one on their own terms and merits. Actor Stanley Tucci also gives a minor, but relentlessly outstanding performance as Armenian-American attorney Mitchell Garabedian, a cynical, but very competent law professional who already knew what was really going on behind the curtains, doing his best to protect the interests of the pedophile victims, knowing beforehand that fighting against the church was no small task.
With great timing, incisive performances, a solid and well written storyline, impressive dialogues, a great outline of journalistic objectivity and passion, and a great outlook of the wrongdoings of religion on society and its implications on a personal and social level, Spotlight manages to be a great movie, that will make your eyes stick into the screen for two hours, without blinking a single moment. A remarkable and very interesting movie in all aspects, technical to personal, Spotlight deserves a five stars rating. A great movie, with a perfect cast, a dramatic and well driven story, an amazing respect for the audience, and an incisive manner to drastically reveal a sordid truth, Spotlight will certainly make the lines for years to come.