Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Spotlight Movie Review

In 2001, the Boston Globe uncover over 80 child molestations that occurred within the Catholic Church, and evidence of faulty actions within the system as a whole. In the following year, the Globe released 600 additional accounts from victims forcing a response and change from the scandal that was uncovered.  

This section of investigative journalists within the Boston Globe were known as “Spotlight”.  

Directed by Academy Award-nominee Tom McCarthy, Spotlight released in theaters on November 6th, 2015 in the United States. Spotlight is an intense retelling of the actual events that occurred in 2001, uncovering the scandal of priests involved in child molestation and the cover-ups that occur through law, shaking the entire system of the Catholic Church.  

The strong, star-packed cast including Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, and Stanley Tucci do a phenomenal job in making this horrific story come into light.  

The layers that are uncovered by the passionate team of investigative journalists are immense working from the personal accounts through the entire manipulation of the system. Boston’s legal, religious, and governmental establishment work together to mask the ongoing, repetitive crimes committed by the papacy. 

Under the new editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), the Boston Globe’s investigative feature team, Spotlight, takes on a task to expose one of the most trusted systems. It took an outsider, a Jew, from outside of the community to see the extent of this problem and require exposure, and un-cloud the judgement for those that have grown up within the community. 

The team, led by Walter “Robby” Robinson, played by Michael Keaton, began its search by looking into the more than 130 reported abuses throughout the years from previous priest John J. Geoghan throughout multiple Boston parishes. However, information was presented that proved that Cardinal Bernard F. Law knew about these instances and repeated approved Geoghan’s transfer to different parishes. When word got out about several of Geoghan’s victims, he was re-stationed, first to St. Julia’s parish removed for abuse then put back in that same church, where he continued his abuse for another three years.  

Throughout the investigation, Spotlight found 87 priests with 1,000 victims within the Boston area alone that had been accused and guilty child molestation, but were never criminalized. The findings proved that when a priest was on “sick leave”, they had been removed from one church and placed into another due to sexual exploitation of children in that church.  

The church was able to continuously hide the acts of the priests as understood by Mitchell Garabedian, played by Stanley TucciGarabedian fought for the innocent and lead the Spotlight Team, to the victims of child molestation from the papacy that were recovering from years of alcohol and drug abuse. The governmental, legal, and religious systems all formed an alliance to cover-up the cases of abuse, and remove and seal what were public documents.  

The original article written by the globe was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. I wouldn’t be surprised is this movie is up for an award for this year’s best film, or if Mark Ruffalo, was nominated for best performance. A round-of applause for all of the actors within the film, embodying the character, and turning a drawn out story line into a riveting and heart-wrenching film.  

Spotlight is a must-see. It may not satisfy how to get rid of the problem, however, it leaves the viewers with the impact and significance of the issue at large, and coveys the true purpose of journalism at its finest. 

Check out the website for more details here: http://spotlightthefilm.com/

See the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwdCIpbTN5g

Hello world! I am Samantha, and I'm a junior Journalism major and Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design minor at Seattle Pacific University. I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and lived there for 16 years before moving to the PNW. I competed in figure skating for 16 years, and now teach students of all ages how to figure skate. I am is also greatly involved in the Seattle Dance community, performing on three different dance companies including Breed Seattle, Westlake Dance Theater/Twisted Elegance, and Ante-Up Performance Group. I am currently the President of an up-and-coming club at the University, Ante-Up Dance Club, that is greatly involved in on and off campus events. I love anything and everything fitness, fashion, and dance related.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️