• Guy Jeffries

Spotlight *SPOILER ALERT* Review


Director: Tom McCarthy.

Starring: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci.

I knew this film was going to be good but didn't know it was going to be that good. The film is about the Spotlight journalists writing for the Boston Globe at the turn of the millennium, before, and after 9/11. A tight team of thorough investigators that chase controversy and when new editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) takes the helm, he politely, yet assertively tasks the team to do a follow up story on the Catholic child molestation scandal that seems to be swept under the rug.

It's a great portrayal of corruption and how it seeps into everywhere, especially where some can make a gain and how a whole population can turn a blind eye and pretend nothing is happening. It displays social responsibility, honesty, guilt and torment as you follow the paper trail spanning what I think is two years long.

Tom McCarthy directs and does an amazing job of recreating a quiet monster, a battle of office forces that reminded me of Michael Mann's The Insider (1999) and Alan J. Pakula's All The Presidents Men. (1976) I loved McCarthy's film, The Visitor (2007) with Richard Jenkins, who I think provides a voice for this film (uncredited), and McCarthy gives that same gracefulness, realism and subtly in his filmmaking.

It's an incredible cast with Michael Keaton at the lead, who, spent time with the real Walter Robinson and researched him prior to meeting him. Walter Robinson reporting on several occasions that Keaton does a true and scary account of himself; which is a shame for the general audience such as myself because most of us don't know how Walter 'Robby' Robinson behaves so it's difficult to judge Keaton's acting. It's good nonetheless.

You can see why Mark Ruffalo got Oscar nominated for his role as abrasive, passionate and frustrated Mike Rezendes, but I can now also understand why the Oscar went to Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies. That awkward moment when your first name is called at the awards but it's the other Mark. Still, Ruffalo gives a great performance and deserves all the credit, and pizza.

Not sure about Rachel McAdams; she's does great, don't get me wrong but I didn't think it was worthy of the Oscar nomination unlike Ruffalo's. Tony Stark's Dad, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci play great charismatic parts as does CSI's Paul Guilfoyle and Watchman, Dr. Manhattan Eric Crudup. Liev Schreiber has always been one of my favourite co-stars and he quietly makes his presence known even among all the drama and shouting. He almost sounds like Dustin Hoffman.

The film is a superb testament to good, honest reporting and shows us that truth and power is controlled by the people sitting on high and depends solely on how good and true those people are if something is to be done. The meek will inherit the Earth. I can see fans of Moneyball and The Big Short taking to this film greatly, films about people who take on the system and win, a true 'David and Goliath' of a story.

Running Time: 9

The Cast: 10

Performance: 10

Direction: 9

Story: 10

Script: 9

Creativity: 9

Soundtrack: 8

Job Description: 10

The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for a brilliant masterpiece, great storytelling and a superb cast performance.

94% 9/10

#TomMcCarthy #MichaelKeaton #MarkRuffalo #RachelMcAdams #LievSchreiber #JohnSlattery #StanleyTucci #PaulGuilfoyle #EricCrudup #HowardShore #RichardJenkins #BillyCrudup #BriandArcyJames