Certificate: 15

Director: Tom McCarthy

Running Time: 2hr 8mins

Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Billy Crudup 

Rating: ***1/2

Spotlight is a powerful, tense and thrilling biographical film, which highlights a heartbreaking topic, reminding us of the horrendous actions that evil people can do. Tom McCarthy directs the story in a well crafted and thoughtful journalistic way with powerful performances; bringing this tight knit, low key film to life with a strong impact for the audience to walk away and remember this story.

The film follows The Boston Globes's Spotlight team, who are the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative unit in America, and their investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests and the cover up of this case.

The storyline is one that needs to be handled sensitively, especially as it is based true events, but McCarthy does well to create a dramatic pace and keep the audience on edge especially when Rachel McAdams (as reporter Sacha Pfeiffer) eagerly interviews a retired priest on his doorstep about the abuse. However with the dramatic pace there is a subplot of the terror of challenging the church’s authority and the startling repercussions for the Globe and their reporters. Yet there is no challenge from the church that we see onscreen, therefore this plot creates paranoia within the Spotlight group which adds to the intensity of the film but the lack of resulting consequences is slight letdown.

Every member of the cast; Ruffalo, Keaton, McAdams, Tucci and the rest provide incredible performances, but Ruffalo is especially amazing. In one scene his emotions gets the best of him and it truly impacts on the audience as you understand the upset and anger he feels.

Spotlight is a grown-up film about serious people and in some way it is more thrilling than most action movies. With a great cast who provide such power to a heart-breaking issue, Spotlight is a very important film that you should go and see.

(Written by Harley Gower)

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