Have you ever been so excited about a movie that you wanted to grab everyone you saw as you left the theater and scream, “GO SEE THAT MOVIE?!!!”
Well, that’s exactly how I felt as I left Spotlight.
It stars Michael Keaton as Walter “Robby” Robinson, who was in charge of the special projects “Spotlight” division of The Boston Globe. Robinson and his team of reporters (played by Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian d’Arcy James) launched an investigation into predatory Catholic priests and how they were being protected by the church. We all know what this eventually leads to but watching it unfold is incredible, especially when you see how many times it almost wasn’t reported. It’s also shocking how many high-level people insisted that the problem of abuse in the church wasn’t even worth talking about.
Spotlight is bolstered by exceptional performances, namely by Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. Some might say that Ruffalo overdoes it but he meticulously studied real-life reporter Michael Rezendes for the role. Even Rezendes’ friends were surprised to see how well Ruffalo captured his mannerisms. There’s a large and talented cast here and everyone makes the most of their screen-time. I also feel the need to give special props to Rachel McAdams, who does solid work as the ONLY female lead cast-member.
You will get angry while watching Spotlight, when you hear about the abuse and how it was concealed for so long. You will walk out of the theater with an upset stomach, filled with anxiety about child predators and the people who protect them. A great film tells a story that you can’t ignore and in the best cases, it affects how you see the world and live your life. Spotlight forces us to take a closer look at ALL of our major institutions. It reminds us that those who are presumed to guide and protect us can sometimes do the exact opposite. That’s why I’m giving Spotlight an A+. This just might be the best movie of 2015.