‘Spotlight’ Review

Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Keaton star in 'Spotlight,' a film questioning perspectives on a sensitive and very controversial topic.

‘Spotlight’ leaves you pondering from start to finish.

Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

Every once in awhile, a film comes along that questions our perspective on things. Sometimes, the topic itself can be sensitive or even controversial. And then again, on the extremely rare occasion, a film discusses sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. And that’s where Spotlight picks up momentum.

Interestingly enough, it’s not just the Catholic Church. According to this new film by acclaimed director/screenwriter Thomas McCarthy, it’s a worldwide phenomenon that tackles the whole Catholic empire, all the way up to the Vatican. Spotlight draws our attention to the smallest fraction of the crisis: Boston, Mass.

In 2001, the “Spotlight Unit” of the prominent Boston Globe newspaper took up what appeared to be a light case against a local pastor’s molestation charges. However, as a pattern of such charges opened itself up, this team of hard-hitting reporters began to realize that they have uncovered something bigger than themselves.

Despite much of Spotlight being conquered by dialogue-driven sequences, it creates enough suspense to leave you pondering the massiveness of this whole scandal from start to finish. The film grabs you by your morals and drags them throughout the 129-minute running-time. Additionally, such a distinctively-compelling storyline cannot be told at all without the help of such incredible acting, thanks to an ensemble cast worth watching for.

The main unit has the likes of Mark Ruffalo as the passionately-driven Michael Rezendes, Rachel McAdams as the strongly-determined Sasha Pfieffer and even Michael Keaton as head-honcho Walter “Robby” Robinson. And, just to name-drop a few more: Liv Shreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup and even Richard Jenkins all make an appearance, only giving more depth and climatic catharsis to the powerful narrative at hand.

“I found the movie to be shockingly fascinating in how it portrays these astonishing accusations, with help from great acting and great storytelling,” said local film enthusiast Julia Zang. “It most certainly made me think about how the Catholic Church is run, even today.”

Overall, Spotlight leaves a mark. It questions how we put such glorified figures as priests on pedestals, connecting them directly to our faith in God.  However, it simultaneously blends both the insight into such a neglected issue with a captivating story to talk about at the water-cooler the following day. And, if you should take anything from this venture to the movie theater, it’s that everything is not always what it seems. All you have to do is shed a little light on the subject.

Spotlight is playing locally in and around Montclair! Some theaters include AMC Clifton Commons 16 and even AMC Garden State 16 in Paramus! For a list of even more movie theaters and showtimes, visit fandango.com today!

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