Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Spotlight is based on the true publication made by one of America’s oldest local newspapers on child sexual assault.
The notorious Boston Globe newspaper faces further possible staff cuts as a new editor, Marty Baron (Live Schreiber), joins the team. Rumors have made everyone on edge, and even Robby (Micheal Keaton) can’t get a good read on his new boss. When called in to meet Baron, Robby as editor of the Spotlight – a specialized investigative division of the Boston Globe – he prepares himself for the worst. To his surprise, Baron wants Spotlight to stop their current case and revisit an old one regarding allegations of child molestation by a local priest, John Geoghan. Befuddled as to why, Baron is adamant that there is a major story in this and sees it as the papers duty to follow up.
Hereafter follows a jaw-dropping discovery that Geoghan was not the only offender, but as many as 13 priests known for this crime revealed by one of the victims Phil Saviano (Neal Huff), head of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest). What makes this even more shocking is that these allegations were in full knowledge of Cardinal Law, but was made silent by the Boston Archdiocese.
Worried about the implications this story may have, it’s natural that doubts arise, but Baron makes it clear that they aren’t attacking the Catholic church or belittling the faith, they are out to exposed a corrupt system that condones and covers-up such behavior.
Micheal Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo) seeks out Garabedian’s (Stanley Tucci) assistance in any information he may legally give regarding the numerous victims he represented regarding this case. At first he refuses, but evidently becomes a major help in finding proof and legal insight. Providing Spotlight with the list of victims was the first step. Naturally, not all were willing to talk. Thus follows interviews of painfully detailed remembrance of the horrific acts done to them as children.
A pattern is revealed; impoverished broken homes and deeply religious families. Being given special attention by a priest was welcomed and encouraged. They are easy targets for a sick practice that no one dares to talk about due to immense scandal.
Spotlight by no means seeks to entertain or accuse, instead it does an excellent job at effective reporting. This well cast Academy Award winning film is nothing short of gripping.
Bonus Features on the DVD include Uncovering the Truth: A Spotlight Team Roundtable, Spotlight A Look Inside, and The State of Journalism.