Why trust us? We take expert advice, test, research and select products independently. If you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission read more.

Spotlight (2015) Movie Review & Summary

Spotlight follows the story of the 4-man investigative journalist team of the Boston Globe newspaper as they uncover the long-running global child molestation scandal of the Catholic Church in 2002.

Spotlight (2015)

Spotlight (2015)

Break the story. Break the silence.

  • Genres: Biography, crime & drama
  • Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton & Rachel McAdams
  • Director: Tom McCarthy


If you love true-to-life documentary series that expose horrible crimes, then Spotlight is a must-watch, especially if you’re a Catholic. This film clearly deserves the two Oscar awards it garnered in the 2016 Oscar Awards and should be in your top 5 must-watch movies.


  • One of the most important stories of the past half-century
  • Brilliant writing and direction
  • Fabulous cast of A-List actors, 2 of which were nominated for best supporting actors


  • Slow music score
  • Confusing dialect
Characters & Acting
Music & cinematography

The details


Spotlight, the Boston Globe’s special investigative journalist team comprised of Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton), Sasha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carrol (Brian d’ Arcy James), had just been assigned a new assignment by their new editor, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), a scandalous case of a priest who molested multiple children. But when the Spotlight team discovers the true depth and magnitude of the scandal, they will shake the foundation of the Catholic Church’s holy image.


The brilliance of this movie definitely justifies the coveted academy awards for best motion picture as well as the Oscar for best writing. This movie reminds the world of the titanic effort the Spotlight team had done to reveal the cover-up and corrupt systemic child abuse that the Catholic Church has allowed propagating probably since the conception of the institution.

Watching the story unfold before your very eyes will have chills of horror going through your vains or may make your blood blood boil in anger at how the Catholic Church has been targeting specific children and families to abuse. Hats off go to Director Tom McCarthy for doing a good job of portraying the corruption that leaked from the church and into the justice system, the government, and even society itself.

The story that the film is based on was beautifully brought to life with McCarthy’s exemplar script and the brilliant portrayal of the characters by the star-studded cast. The Spotlight story is one that the entire world needs to hear at least once. It’s the least we could do for the victims of sexual abuse.

We also appreciate the epilogue scene in the movie (which we won’t spoil), which just sent goosebumps in my skin, believe us, you’ll definitely be checking Google Maps when the movie is all said and done.

That’s why we are giving this masterpiece of a movie a super rare 10/10 rating.


As we said, this film won Best Writing, Original Screenplay, and for a myriad of good reasons. Director Tom McCarthy also wrote the screenplay for the film, and he did a marvellous job manufacturing a script that delivered hard-hitting lines that will make you feel the anguish and pain that the Spotlight team uncovered during their investigation of this scandal and from the interviews with the survivors of the scandal.

The most memorable line for us in the movie would be, “If it takes a village to raise a child, then it certainly takes a village to abuse one.” The line immediately sent chills to our bones, which was such a strange tone for the movie since it was really just a re-enactment of what already happened. And yet, the presence of imminent danger was always there.

However, because the script is so good and so damn authentic, some viewers may have difficulty catching up to the conversation between characters in the movie.

Characters and acting

Perfection. This was Michael Keaton’s next movie after his Oscar-winning “Birdman,” and he really displayed his acting chops in this movie. Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams showed exemplary performance, which easily snagged them Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor in the male and female category, respectively.

Notable mention was Stanley Tucci’s performance as the passionate lawyer Mitchell Garabedian. He was certainly our favorite character of the movie as he masterfully portrayed a man who spent most of his career defending sexually-abused children.

As if we need to repeat ourselves, we give this a 10/10 rating.

Music and cinematography

Sadly, the music or the cinematography does not really stand out in a film that’s main focus is in the storyline and its brilliant writing.

As mentioned earlier, this movie is a simple re-enactment of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight’s breakout story. The memorable moments that we could remember about the music was when the movie switched into a montage of the journalists researching and doing their work. Other than that, you can barely even notice that there’s even music playing in the background.

Which speaks to the strength of the amazing script. Director McCarthy’s script is just too good that you don’t need music to create tone in the scenes.

That being said; however, the music in the movie is simplistic but does not really stand out to us.

The cinematography is also not the most groundbreaking that we’ve ever seen. The shots are mostly designed for drama, as this movie is a heavy dramatic movie after all. The shots mostly focused on ensuring that the actors’ faces are covered well by the cameras, especially on heartfelt scenes.

But at the end of the day it all adds to the film; which is about the beautiful writing and the characters; rather than extravagant set pieces and designs.

Final verdict

All in all, Spotlight (2015) does not look nor hear like your typical Oscar winner for Best Motion Picture, especially when you consider that it went up against the likes of The Revenant, The Martian, and even the similarly-themed The Big Short. But Spotlight’s social message is a message that should be heard by everyone in the world so that we may have a chance of giving our own children a better future.

Become a member

Sign up for our newsletter to get exlusive new content and giveaways.

By continuing, you accept the privacy policy.
No spam. Unsubscribe any time!