Film Review: SPOTLIGHT

Directed by Thomas McCarthy
Written by Thomas McCarthy and Josh Singer
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery

I hate to resort to the work “workmanlike” when I talk about a well-acted, well-told film like SPOTLIGHT, but four of us saw it and all of us used that term to describe it. If you’ve never heard about the Boston Globe’s investigation of pedophilia among priests in Boston before, perhaps some excitement might have been yours. But if you followed the many, many stories the newspaper filed over the last decade and a half, there were few surprises to be had. Not that there has to be surprises. But if there is no character development, little attention to place, not much attention paid to the victims of the abuse, the film begins to take on the air of a documentary, which this did for us. It became a chronological account that seems more intent getting the time table right than telling an engrossing story.  An apt comparison would be ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN. What brought unbearable excitement to that film and so little to this one? Perhaps the Catholic church is not as threatening as the possible toppling of a democracy. I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t advise you not to see this film but I was disappointed.

Patti Abbott
In addition to being the Crimespree Senior Film Critic, Patti has penned numerous short stories and her debut novel, CONCRETE ANGEL, is in stores now. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in.