A film about journalism that is powerful, shocking, affecting, and fittingly damning against the Catholic Church, Spotlight is one of the best films of 2015.
In fact, one of the subplots in the film revolves around the Globe being given much of the information needed years earlier, but buried it. For what reason? You'll have to watch the film to find out. The point is that even those on the right moral side of the fence here aren't perfect.
What we get with Spotlight is a compelling and informative movie about journalists who are really good at their job uncovering a scandal within the Church that is rooted far, far deeper than anyone could have thought or hoped. With every new piece of information we learn, it's hard not to be both disgusted and astonished. I was literally shaking my head at some of the things Spotlight presented toward us. Many audience members were laughing at both the absurdity of the situation and because of how uncomfortable it made them feel.
If there was a "Best Ensemble Cast" award given out at the Oscars - less publicized awards shows actually do have such an award - Spotlight would be the frontrunner. It has several supporting performances, but none that truly feel like a lead. Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo both deliver Oscar-worthy performances. Rachel McAdams is solid in the only primary female role. Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci both get solid moments to shine. The only one who really falls by the wayside is Brian d'Arcy James, as Spotlight's fourth member, and that's only because of the caliber of the other actors. He's fine, but you're not likely to notice him.
A film about journalism that is powerful, shocking, affecting, and fittingly damning against the Catholic Church, Spotlight is one of the best films of 2015, one of the best films ever made about journalism, and a tremendous viewing. It's entertaining from start to finish - this is how to perfectly pace a movie - offers tremendous insight and revelations into a corrupt system that protects child molesters, and does it all while giving us smart and interesting protagonists, played perfectly by their actors, who are heroic but not infallible heroes. Spotlight is must-watch cinema.
Bottom Line: One of the best films of 2015, Spotlight is an incredible movie.
Recommendation: If it's been released near you, go see Spotlight now.
If you want more of Matthew "Marter" Parkinson, you can follow him on the Twitter @Martertweet and check out his weekly movie podcast.