Spotlight (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama
Director: Tom McCarthy
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 124 minutes

Spotlight (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Strong storytelling, Acting performances
Bad: Nothing worth mentioning
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

At the beginning of the twenty-first century the catholic church received a hard blow when one scandal after the other about sexual abuse of young children finally saw the light of day. The extent of what happened all those years ago is still not known to many people , but how did it all start? What made all those victims suddenly come forward? It was an article in the Boston Globe that got the ball rolling, and the film Spotlight will tell you exactly how.

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Sacha (Rachel McAdams), Mike (Mark Ruffalo), Robby (Michael Keaton) and Matt (Brian d’Arcy James) all work for the notorious newspaper called the Boston Globe. They make up the team for Spotlight, which is known for its investigative journalism. They are a somewhat independent unit within the newsroom, who get to choose their own subjects and usually get several months’ time to work on an investigation. When the new editor-in-chief, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), arrives, he asks his team to dig deeper into a story about a catholic priest abusing a minor. It seems the case was covered up by Cardinal Law (Len Cariou), and thus Robby decides to go to court against the catholic church, to get the documents unsealed. It’s not an easy task, but in the meantime the team go talk to victims and lawyers who have been involved in sex abuse cases against clergy. After talking to Phil Saviano (Neal Huff), head of a group of so called ‘survivors’, and Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci), a lawyer, it becomes clear that the problem is much bigger that it originally seemed. Nonetheless, it is difficult to get proof, as the church is such a powerful institution with power not only over the victims, who didn’t dare to come forward or just accepted a settlement, but also over people within the legal system.

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Marty insists to wait before publishing, as he believes that they have to have proof of the failure and the cover-up of the whole institution, rather than one or a few individuals. That way, there is no denying, and no covering up, and the victims might finally see some justice. It’s a difficult task for the Spotlight team, as they have to get solid evidence of the sickening things they uncover, yet can’t talk to anyone about it until the publication, which in turn raises the ethical question whether they are obliged to warn people straight away of what’s going on, even though they know that the impact on the church will be larger when they keep their mouth shut for now.

Story wise we can honestly say that it’s a lot to handle. The story progresses quite fast and with a solid tempo. There are no real peaks of action or excitement, but instead you get one long line which doesn’t slack one minute. Everything is told in a calm way, luckily with the right dose of humor, and you find out about the extent of the child abuse together with the characters, and together with the characters you get more and more astonished as to how this could ever have happened. That is also the strength of this film: as a viewer you are almost part of the team, making sure you are sucked in right from the start.

With names as Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and Liev Schreiber, you can hardly expect mediocre acting performances, and truth be told, they are far from it. Every single one of them puts down a terrific performance that will not disappoint at all.

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This release doesn’t come with any extras and even though we are usually hoping for some, with this film it feels completely unnecessary and it might even have taken away from the story. After the two hour long film, we felt a bit overwhelmed, as it is suddenly quite clear how enormous the extent of the abuse is. Thus we just weren’t in the mood for any extras anyway and we didn’t mind at all that there weren’t any available.


Spotlight tells the story of how the child abuse in the catholic church came to light in the early two thousands. It’s a very impressive film that is an absolute eye-opener. Just knowing that these things actually happened makes it a bit of a bitter pill to swallow, yet it is a must-see for everyone as sadly, these kinds of things happened not only in the United States, but all over the world.

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Spotlight (DVD) - Movie Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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  1. […] is, just like the film Spotlight, which we also recently reviewed, an eye-opening film, yet this one isn’t as shocking as it could […]

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