It was just last night that I was reviewing "Room," a great movie about a woman who was abducted by a predator. Then on Saturday night, I review a documentary called "Call Me Lucky," about a comedian who was raped many times as a child and became a anti-molestation advocate because of it. I didn't mean to spring so much of the same awful subject into one week, specifically a holiday-oriented week. But when you are trying to cram as many movies as possible into one last week before the new year chimes in, sometimes it happens. I guess I had to keep the streak alive with "Spotlight."
"Spotlight" tells the true story of a 2001 a team of journalists for the Boston Globe are assigned to investigate the allegations against a priest named John Geoghan. Apparently, the priest molested more than 80 boys and plenty of people around the priest did nothing to stop him. The movie details the year-long investigative work of the journalist team, and the ups and downs they faced bringing this story to the surface.
That's the story in a nutshell, and what you see is what you get. We get a solid cast including Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Brian d'Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Billy Cudrup and Jamey Sheridan. That's a rock solid cast, one of the best casts of the year. Its the only cast of the year that I feel could easily rival "The Martian." I don't have to tell you how stellar of a cast that is, and you can bet that each actor brings their A-game to this movie. Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams jump out in front of the pack, and both deliver the high watermarks of the movie.
The cast is great, the story is engaging, but there is just something about it that is making me not rave about it, I am not jumping up and down for this one. Its not a bad movie or even a mediocre movie. I just think the movie lacks some forward momentum. If you don't like overly-talky movies, then I'd say skip this one altogether, because you may find yourself getting bored. Even though the movie is packed with livid drama. I just feel out every procedural in recent memory, this one lacks most of its excitement. I can't tell if its a screenplay issue or a pacing issue, but something is just a little off. I think "Zodiac" in 2007 covered somewhat similar territory, was a much longer movie and was a drama-filled, talky movie. I think "Zodiac" delivered on the task a bit better than "Spotlight" did. I read that critics are falling over themselves for this one, and while the movie is very good, I am not doing the same as the rest of them.
But hey, if you like seeing good actors engage in a story worth telling, then "Spotlight" is worth seeing. If you like investigative procedurals then "Spotlight" is definitely for you. Who knows, you just might like it better than I did.
FINAL GRADE: B+