Spotlight is one of those pictures that some might find powerful, others might find dull, and others simply interesting. Its hard to say where you may fall, so its hard to recommend or not. Personally, I fall into the finding it interesting category. Spotlight tells the story of the Catholic abuse scandal being broken by the Boston Globe, and follows an approach blazed by All the President’s Men (one of my favorite movies) 40 years earlier. And as such, its a compelling journalistic drama that I quite enjoyed.
Spotlight is really an acting showcase, but not in that over-emoting sort of way that other Oscarbait films can be. What we get here are solid, dialogue-driven performances by great actors like Marf Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, etc. Just watching these people interact on screen is very satisfying.
The scandal itself isn’t delved into that deeply. There are some victim statements which are powerful, but it doesn’t really try to go for the hard-hitting graphic remembrance of what actually took place. This isn’t that kind of movie. Spotlight looks at the scandal in terms of the increasing scope of the cover-up and the truth coming to light, and as such it is a very strong film.