Open Road Films (II) | Release Date: November 6, 2015
8.1
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 915 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
811
Mixed:
54
Negative:
50
Watch Now
Buy On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
6
PrimeProjectorsJan 17, 2016
Interesting tid bit, I was a young Catholic boy when these events were taking place (Kind of). Started to fade out a bit when this overarching, all-power, deity can't decide whether gay marriage is a burden on the sanctity of marriage or allInteresting tid bit, I was a young Catholic boy when these events were taking place (Kind of). Started to fade out a bit when this overarching, all-power, deity can't decide whether gay marriage is a burden on the sanctity of marriage or all his children get his love equally. Or if murdering people grants me 15 infinity years on fire, or if I can come to his party bus if I just wish upon a star. Enough about questioning the Catholic religion let's talk about Spotlight. Going in I heard that this movie treated both sides, Catholic and reporters, equally. Also that it doesn't actually make you question the logistics of religion. Either that person was deliberately lying so I'd have a bigger reaction, or he accidentally walked into Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip, without noticing. This film knows how to set up the sensitive subject, it attempts to "fairly" represent the Church's side in the beginning. We start with one incident of sexual assault, or rather the aftermath. It's a short scene and it doesn't show a mother weeping over her victimized child praying for the blood of the Pope, while a priest twists his handle bar mustache. It's just one of the head whatevers, talking to the kids saying the priest will be moved and never seen again. This scene cleverly, and decietfully, shows this as a one-time incident that the church regrets happened. Then we arrive with our main reporters Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton), Sacha Pfieffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James) they all work for a reporting group called Spotlight. They are known at covering large stories and getting to the bottom of them. This movie spends a lot of time with these characters, but it's really hard to remember their actual names. Honestly it wouldn't be that ill advised to say these characters mean very little, at least as their personalities are concerned. But that's kind of the point; as they get deeper in they find themselves being completely, and unintentionally surrounded by the disgusting reality of what the church is doing. They are simply representations of the actual spotlight crew that found the truth as been around every person. This films likes doing reveals, appropriately. There are several instances where camera and editing choices reveal the true damage or gravity of this situation. Sometimes a character will just blurt out commentary over the imagery either right away, or late. Spotlight members relationships with other people can also be spelled out too much. Specifically with someone's (trying not to spoil) blood relative.Also when a Cardinal does something dastardly, the film just kind of shrugs it off. Those things hurt the film in my opinion. But this film does certainly do a good job of not saying some things, for example the emotional state of the reporters is tracked very fluently. When a character feels panicked, rushed, angry, or scared you feel the weight because what the film is saying is dramatic, and you've been following the characters emotions the whole time. Those are all the things in the actual writing and directing I really liked, but there is another reason to watch this film. It's subject. Films like these are important things to watch, we can really take away a lot from it. This film could very well piss you off, if you are a devote follower of God. It tells you that the Church is corrupt, has too much power, and is blindly followed. Or at least at this time it was. It's hard to deny the credibility of the film when you see the final statistics on display in the film. It reminds me of two things. One, Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. I don't think this movie quite utilizes it's full potential like Do the Right Thing, but they both say something that is tough to swallow. They choose to show the world the state it is certainly in. We aren't perfect but we can at least try to do something. The second thing I am reminded of is a quote from Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Alex is watching brutal violence, rape, and the Nazi regime and he says "its funny how the colors of the real world, only feel really real when you vivid them on a screen". I think he mean we can only learn from what is in front of us. Well that's it God Bless you. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
All this user's reviews
6
21gramsJan 11, 2016
The material for the movie was great - a story worth telling, but it was so disappointing.. It felt almost like documentary movie in some sense, but it lacked facts and evidence material. Most actors were flat, Keaton seems back to his ownThe material for the movie was great - a story worth telling, but it was so disappointing.. It felt almost like documentary movie in some sense, but it lacked facts and evidence material. Most actors were flat, Keaton seems back to his own routine after good performance in Birdman last year, McAdams was like always the same and not convincing at all. Only Ruffalo put some good effort into his role. Overall very shallow and boring movie, it doesn't give any value to the viewer from cinematic perspective. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
5
Thejudge21Mar 2, 2016
A decent film with a powerfull subject matter, but it should never have been given best film at the oscars. Its no "All the presidents men". So many film critics gave this 100/100.. 90/100. Why? Its got a higher score on here than schindlersA decent film with a powerfull subject matter, but it should never have been given best film at the oscars. Its no "All the presidents men". So many film critics gave this 100/100.. 90/100. Why? Its got a higher score on here than schindlers list, lord of the rings, and many other classic films. It goes to prove one thing. Most of the so called film critics today and the panel at the oscars aint got a clue. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
5
elitefourJan 10, 2016
Spotlight has a very attractive plot but it´s not a gripping portrayed of a controversial story. Many people say this film will be a classic,it´s not. The film doesn´t generate a sensation of fear or danger,there is not threat or a momentSpotlight has a very attractive plot but it´s not a gripping portrayed of a controversial story. Many people say this film will be a classic,it´s not. The film doesn´t generate a sensation of fear or danger,there is not threat or a moment when we can remember,there are no memorable dialogue or enough character development.
I think this film recieve too much praise because it´s simplicity of storytelling and controversial aspect. Tom Mccarthy was very brave,but he didn´t direct a memorable or enjoyable film. It´s very Dry and Joyless.
Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
5
misadventurerJan 1, 2016
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Spotlight isn't as good as every seems to make it out to be. it's a feature length episode of Law & Order: SVU, what it does capture well, is the casual racism of Boston. If a character isn't Irish and Catholic by default at least one person per scene, in the case of Stanley Tucci, its himself, will mention the character's race or religion, for no other reason than to question why they care about why the Catholic Church does what it does, and it's a very "outsiders cause trouble" mentality. The performances are uneven, you get solid Keaton and Slattery, but there are no real characters for them, they're the straight men. Ruffalo's accent slips in and out of every scene, but he manages to keep it together for a big scene, standing up to Keaton, but you can't give an award for once scene when the rest of the performance is shoddy (unless its Anne Hathaway singing in a close up). I wanted to like Rachel McAdams more in this, she has a "Your Girl Friday" attitude, but its also because she's effectively the only female character in the entire film. The most interesting performance in the film is from Brian d'Arcy James, you know, that one guy in the movie you probably have no idea who is, with the eyebrows and the mustache, that's in more of the film than Liev Schreiber, who plays the new EIC of the Boston Globe who puts the Spotlight investigative team on the Catholic Molestation case in the first place. The film has a downer ending, and endings for Bio-Pics or based on true events films, are hard, because if you follow the news, generally you know how they're going to end, going in. With this, the article is front page of the Sunday Edition, and the film ends with post script cards telling how more than 1000 victims came forward after the article was written and then lists all the cities around the world where molestation involving the Catholic Church have taken place. The film was produced by Participant Media, which, their mission statement is to make films that matter, and most of their films are quite good, Spotlight came off as a hollow procedural and was almost more montage than narrative. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
6
Trev29Dec 27, 2015
It is not surprising that critics are going gaga over a movie that 1) bashes the church and 2) is about how important journalists are. The movie is fine, but that is all it is. It is absurd to think that this forgettable, anticlimactic movieIt is not surprising that critics are going gaga over a movie that 1) bashes the church and 2) is about how important journalists are. The movie is fine, but that is all it is. It is absurd to think that this forgettable, anticlimactic movie is a masterpiece. Script, acting, and directing are nothing special. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
5
foxgroveFeb 10, 2016
Slow, surprisingly muted and almost overwhelmingly disappointing. This year’s Oscar front runner for best picture deals with The Boston Globe newspaper’s expose of the dirty dealings and hypocrisies of the Catholic Church. More specificallySlow, surprisingly muted and almost overwhelmingly disappointing. This year’s Oscar front runner for best picture deals with The Boston Globe newspaper’s expose of the dirty dealings and hypocrisies of the Catholic Church. More specifically it hones in on the sexual molestation of young boys by Catholic priests. However, despite this controversial hot potato of a subject the film seriously lacks any raw power or urgency. Instead it is content to have its leading investigators amble from meeting to meeting obtaining information rather too easily. Things aren’t helped by the lack of an emotional hook. The victims interviewed are all adults and come across as basic stock characters shouldering all the worst lines of dialogue like ‘Who can say no to god’. Lines like this are so phony that one winces with embarrassment. Anyone who has seen ‘All the President’s Men’ or Netflix’s current ‘Making a Murderer’ will know that films exposing evil or corruption can be nerve jinglingly tense and emotively powerful, but Mark Ruffalo’s annoying depiction of righteous anger just doesn’t cut it. Where the film does succeed is in keeping viewer interest in a subplot as to who in Spotlight’s department was responsible, and therefore complicit, in burying the story years earlier. Performance wise the Oscar nominated turns of both Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams seem quite conventional and uninteresting, whereas the actors in smaller parts; Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup and John Slattery all fare much better. The ‘Spotlight’, however, does shine on one person; Michael Keaton. For an actor who is often guilty of being way over the top he is here at his most understated. It is more than fair to say that he single handedly elevates ‘Spotlight’ to a level way above the mediocrity of the rest of the film. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
5
AxeTFeb 18, 2016
Straightforward no frills, well acted, investigative journalistic procedural based on true story; heavy on dialogue as you'd expect but short on vigor, suspense, emotional payoffs, and an overall sense of urgency. Sorry but a tough subjectStraightforward no frills, well acted, investigative journalistic procedural based on true story; heavy on dialogue as you'd expect but short on vigor, suspense, emotional payoffs, and an overall sense of urgency. Sorry but a tough subject alone does not grant a pass for great movie. The craftsmanship is solid, though no flair for moviemaking is evident in this only mildly involving story. This same movie aesthetically could have come out in 2001 or in 1970, whether that's a problem or not is not the issue, but the low key to the point of nearly emotionless arch is. It is there however subtle making it more realistic but also less satisfying as movie artifice. It does not deserve Best Picture and is a prime example of serious content alone trumping form. Ruffalo does not deserve the nom any more than every other member of the ensemble, that is besides Rachel McAdams who is a good actress but any of literally hundreds of others could easily play this part to the same effect.
The basic problem with this movie and what most of the worthless dopey critics next door ignore because of their bias and incompetence is it's underwhelming!
Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
6
AxgrinderNov 28, 2015
Warning! Professional reviewers are gushing over Spotlight. This is often a “tell” that a movie isn’t very appealing to large swaths of the general movie-going public, and such is the case here. Despite a good cast, decent acting andWarning! Professional reviewers are gushing over Spotlight. This is often a “tell” that a movie isn’t very appealing to large swaths of the general movie-going public, and such is the case here. Despite a good cast, decent acting and intelligent dialogue, the movie is just plain boring.

Spotlight explains how a small team of investigative reporters at a “local” newspaper (The Boston Globe) uncovered, and eventually reported on, Catholic Priests molesting children in the Boston area. If you’ve read a newspaper in the last 10 years you already know the basic story: Church hierarchy was not only aware of the problem, but had been covering it up for decades. The breaking of the story led to subsequent revelations that the abuse inflicted by these Catholic priests on their parishioners wasn’t an isolated incident limited to the Boston area. It’s a world-wide plague.

It’s almost impossible to be oppugnant of a movie whose subject matter is so poignant. The problem is that Spotlight just isn’t that interesting, unless you are Catholic, a newspaper writer, or from the Boston area. Most of us would expect a movie about such atrocities to answer the basic question, who is responsible? We might also expect a movie in which Good ultimately triumphs over Evil, and the Bad are brought to justice. Spotlight painstakingly avoids the later and the typical Hollywood happy ending.

Instead, the movie is an introspection which attempts to focus on identifying how something so disgusting and so widespread could have gone on for so long. The movie answers this question in an unexpected manner that is the ultimate indictment of Catholic orthodoxy, which seeks to imbue the faithful with a belief that the church is both inherently good and infallible in its decision making (and thus is not to be questioned) and that man, who is born sinful, should feel guilty about everything that he does (or in this case, doesn’t do).

The only real tension in the movie comes when the audience learns that information about priests molesting children was previously sent to the newspaper many years ago, but the newspaper failed to act on it, and that someone may have deliberately buried it. We continually wait for this play out, only to discover in highly anticlimactic fashion that the inaction was probably inadvertent (or maybe subconsciously suppressed and ignored).

We are left with the idea that the catholic community of Boston (which is portrayed as a fiercely prideful and tightknit community) knew or should have known what was going on for all those years and thus, the community bears significant responsible for the decades of delay in stopping the abuse.

While I appreciate the irony that a Catholic community is made up of individuals who, as a result of church teachings, are permeated with a sense of guilt, and thus might blame themselves for not outing their own child molesting priests on a more-timely basis, I didn’t view this movie as involving some grand revelation, I saw it more as a movie about mental self-flagellation.
Expand
2 of 7 users found this helpful25
All this user's reviews
6
jrodfilmsNov 18, 2015
the movie is good, but i think you can wait for HBO On Demand, since it has a 'movie of the week' feeling. Good performances, but i didnt think anything was groundbreaking.
3 of 11 users found this helpful38
All this user's reviews
5
zaninifDec 4, 2015
A movie to watch at home if there's nothing else on. You are gonna need multiple breaks while watching it at home - it's kind of boring. The only thing going for this movie is the acting, which is good but unremarkable. Don't waste $13 on this.
1 of 8 users found this helpful17
All this user's reviews
5
SierpinaJan 24, 2016
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sus trailers prometen demasiado, la verdad es que la trama es buena pero pesada, a ratos la película es lenta y las actuaciones brillante no las vi en ningún lado. No debería ganar como mejor película. Discreta Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
All this user's reviews
6
nicholasbertMar 4, 2016
During a few moments you get the feeling of the tension actually building up, which then resolves in the same vaguely plain sense of fascination you had before. I would have much rather preferred they focused on the journalism part of itDuring a few moments you get the feeling of the tension actually building up, which then resolves in the same vaguely plain sense of fascination you had before. I would have much rather preferred they focused on the journalism part of it rather than the paedophilia part of it.

A particularly brilliant Mark Ruffalo.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
5
AliceofXMar 11, 2016
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The problem is that Spotlight is just not that good a film. If you take away the importance of its subject matter there is nothing noteworthy in this. Just a dull, boring movie that made me appreciate The Big Short a lot more.

The Silent Night song part was the worst scene in the film. After the entire movie failed to stir any emotion the film makers go for the old „play a sad song" as if that is a good substitute for a compelling plot.

The actors are good and each plays their part well. But since the plot doesn't really flesh them out they don't have much to do to make their characters more memorable. They come in, do their part and you don't really find out more about them as humans.

Now maybe if I had the opportunity to see this movie before the Oscars, or even the nominations, I could judge this movie more soberly but I can't. With such high achievements you naturally come into the movie theatre expecting something grand but the film just doesn't deliver. Overall Spotlight isn't bad by any means, but the best film of the year?
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews