These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.
Due to FALLOUT 4 entering my life, I had gotten pretty behind on my movie-watching. That and financial issues galore, but December is going to turn into me going at movies full-force. Two days after seeing CREED, I have now added SPOTLIGHT to this month’s list. Now, I have to be honest, I didn’t know a thing about this movie. Yes, I knew who starred in it and the star power alone made me curious, but I didn’t know what the movie was about or anything. I didn’t see a single trailer, nothing of that sort. At least, not until Cinepolis was showing the movie and THAT’S when I got a sense of the story, as well as some intense acting by Mark Ruffalo. In any case, I wanted to see this and did.
Starring: Michael Keaton (AMERICAN ASSASSIN , MINIONS , and upcoming films DUMBO  and SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME ), Mark Ruffalo (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR , THOR: RAGNAROK , NOW YOU SEE ME 2 , AVENGERS: ULTRON , BEGIN AGAIN , and upcoming films NEWSFLASH  and AVENGERS: ENDGAME ), Rachel McAdams (DISOBEDIENCE , DOCTOR STRANGE , SOUTHPAW , MIDNIGHT IN PARIS , and possibly the upcoming SHERLOCK HOLMES 3 )
Support: Liev Schreiber (ISLE OF DOGS , MY LITTLE PONY , 5TH WAVE , PAWN SACRIFICE , and upcoming films SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE  and A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK ), John Slattery (CHURCHILL , CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR , and ANT-MAN ), Brian d’Arcy James (MOLLY’S GAME , SISTERS , and upcoming films FIRST MAN  and THE KITCHEN ), Stanley Tucci (SHOW DOGS , BEAUTY AND THE BEAST , HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY 2 , and upcoming films THE SILENCE  and A PRIVATE WAR ), and Billy Crudup (ALIEN: COVENANT , JACKIE , and upcoming films WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE  and The Flash )
Director: Tom McCarthy (stuff I’ve never seen)
Writers: Tom McCarthy (stuff I’ve never seen) and Josh Singer (THE POST , and the upcoming FIRST MAN)
Composer: Howard Shore (DENIAL , HUGO , and the upcoming THE CATCHER WAS A SPY )
Cinematographer: Masanobu Takayangi (HOSTILES  and BLACK MASS )
Editor: Tom McArdle (MARSHALL )
This is my honest opinion of: SPOTLIGHT
Based on a true story. The story follows a small group of newspaper reporters from Spotlight, based in Boston, and uncover a series of disturbing cases involving priests molesting young children. But as the team investigates, they start to unravel a much larger conspiracy.
This movie is great. One of the best all year.
I do kind of want to put my two cents on the acting. This is not a powerhouse of performances. Every actor, Ruffalo, Keaton, McAdams, they’ve all belted out better roles in the past and everyone’s performance takes a back seat, maybe with the exception of Ruffalo and Keaton. Let me be clear, maybe no one is a standout GREAT or anything, but no one’s straight bad or even boring… again, maybe with the exception of Schreiber, but I think all of this is done on purpose. The point of the whole movie is about the story that Spotlight unraveled, and the movie knows that’s where the focus needs to be. The actors that have great performances are those that portrayed the molested victims of the priests. Through them, we get a firm grasp of the stakes and what a huge issue this is, not just for the city, but for the entire religious community. I love movies that do this where every little thing, from the length of a movie, like THE MARTIAN, to the casual acting here, it’s all surgically incorporated in such a way that makes a truly unique film.
Honestly, I’m not sure what else to say. The atmosphere, the constantly raised stakes, everything about this movie is pitch perfect. Ruffalo and Keaton have a few great moments, but the actors aren’t acting so much as being. They’re playing their roles straight, not catering to any Oscar bait (though this should get nominated for best screenplay or something), just telling the story as it should be. I felt like I was watching the lives of these people trying to find justice for those that were harmed, instead of characters in a movie doing stuff. That’s a great accomplishment for a movie and this is one that comes highly recommended.
It’s definitely not for the faint of heart though. Frankly, it shouldn’t be. The subject matter shouldn’t be sugarcoated. Being an aspiring writer myself, I relish the idea of writing that one story that makes you feel something, that gets you to think, anything that makes you leave the theater not only thankful that you didn’t waste your money, but lights a fire under your ass and makes you more aware of a serious issue that takes place out there in the real world. This is one of those movies for me. It got me frustrated to see how influential certain factions can be for the wrong reasons. It got me excited to know that those who have done harm have gotten theirs and this small group of people made a serious difference out there. That’s great storytelling and as a writer, I hope I can have the same impact on someone in the future.
But for now, I leave it to the professionals and my contribution will be to make the general masses aware of this great movie.
My honest rating for SPOTLIGHT: 5/5