First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
-Pastor Martin Niemöller
Spotlight tells the story of a team of journalists at The Boston Globe that break the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The film is helmed by up-and-coming director Thomas McCarthy, and is lead by an ensemble cast that includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slatterly, and Stanley Tucci.
Despite the sensational story that it covers, Spotlight never feels sensationalized, overly dramatic, or heavy handed. The characters feel like real genuine people, with flaws of their own, trying to figure out how to do the right thing. The acting and writing really shines through in this film, and you can expect multiple Oscar nominees from these outstanding performances. This is one of the best ensembles I’ve seen in a movie in a long time, and everyone is fantastic, even the lesser known actors deliver their lines with such genuine emotion that you’ll end up tearing up multiple times throughout the film. The notable standouts are Mark Ruffalo as an energetic reporter, Michael Keaton as the lead editor, and Stanley Tucci as an eccentric attorney.
This is a drama, but at times it plays out much like a thriller. This film uses momentum to great affect. As the investigation grows and grows and the importance of the case begins to weigh heavy on the characters and, in turn, the audience. All the twists and turns come very naturally, and you never once feel as if the movie has cut any corners in its storytelling, and it doesn’t pull any of its punches either.
This is probably the most important movie you will see this year, and it deserves to be seen. Whether you’re Catholic, Jewish, atheist, Presbyterian, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. This is a film for everyone that not only shows the danger of the “greater good” mentality, but also that no one is above abuse and looking the other way should not be the norm in society.
If there was one film you should see with your parents and family this holiday season, it’s not Star Wars, it’s Spotlight. I’ve seen it twice; you should take the time to see it at least once. You’ll be all the better for it.
Overall Score: 5/5 Stars
Hopefully this film will open your eyes. We shouldn’t turn our backs on those abused, and we should speak out against negligence. After all, it could’ve been any of us.