HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
55 Days at Peking
Alive
Man from Snowy River, The
Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo
Girl with the Bracelet, The
Monster from a Prehistoric Planet
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  Spotlight Holy Shit
Year: 2015
Director: Tom McCarthy
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d'Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Elena Wohl, Gene Amoroso, Doug Murray, Sharon MacFarlane, Jamey Sheridan, Neal Huff, Billy Crudup, Robert B. Kennedy, Paul Guilfoyle
Genre: BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Boston, June 2001 and the staff of the Boston Globe are bidding farewell to their much-appreciated boss, who is bowing out after many years of service. They give him a cake and a send-off, but life at the newspaper goes on, and they start to wonder what their new boss will be like, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), who has just moved from a Miami paper to take the reins on this one. Their proudest section is the four-person Spotlight team, the investigative reporters who are given room to chase down stories for months on end if necessary, but when he meets them, Baron is not convinced they are pulling their weight. Their chief, Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton) protests, but the new head man has ideas about what they should be covering: a scandal of epic proportions nobody talks about.

The state of journalism was under much scrutiny around the time this Oscar-winning film was made, as public faith in the institutions was not at an all-time high given how many cases of the members of the press resorting to criminal activities to feed the never-ending appetite for news, in the process ruining lives and making ruined lives even worse. Therefore when Spotlight happened along, it could have been widely ignored or dismissed seeing as how journalists were being regarded as little better than the criminals they often reported on, but what this subject matter contained was a story so abominable that it placed all that spying, lying and victimisation into the shade: the systematic cover ups of child abuse in the Catholic Church.

According to this, it had been an open secret for decades that nobody had paid much attention to, allowing the Church to take care of the issue itself rather than hauling the guilty priests through the courts where the public would have in many cases been forced to face up to the extent of these rapes and molestations. The film starts quietly, as if reluctant to wade in straight away with fists flying, and for a while it appeared director and co-writer Tom McCarthy was being too subtle for his own good, basically making a modest drama out of the crisis because no television company would have been willing to fund it, so as a last resort it landed on the big screen where it would have been looking very out of place if it had not been for a clutch of big stars taking the roles of the crusading journalists.

But just as you are ready to dismiss it, a curious effect takes place, for the gradual accumulation of detail, of outrage, at what had happened makes it inexorably more riveting, and just as in All the President's Men, a film this owed a large debt to, you begin willing the reporters on to get justice for the victims and see those bastards responsible brought to court. It was a very emotive subject, as any cursory examination of any internet comments section on it will make clear, but McCarthy was not simply going to let his heart rule his head, as he took a very deliberate approach to delivering the facts, such awful information that six percent of Catholic priests were paedophiles and that was not only thousands of predatory holy men, it was even more thousands of victims, a state of affairs reaching back possibly centuries.

There was an undoubtedly fine ensemble cast which made you take a look at a set of circumstances and indeed crimes that hardly anyone would be in any way comfortable thinking about, and in a manner that selection of familiar faces informing us of the atrocities made it far easier to contemplate, if not easier to accept. We are made certain that the effects of child abuse in often disadvantaged homes by men who were not simply respected but held up as paragons of virtue in their communities did not end at childhood, they lasted into very broken adulthood, with alcoholism and drug abuse just two of the damaging aspects to living with these events. But by the end there was a sense that society had allowed it to happen, which was a little unfair in that nobody outside the Church would have wanted this situation to continue with the priests getting a slap on the wrist and moved about to more communities to begin their abuses afresh, which made the acknowledgement at the close of the film that finally someone was listening all the more moving. A humane, no-nonsense work that presented its case with clarity and compassion. Music by Howard Shore.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1304 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: