Tom McCarthy (The Visitor) takes a searing look at the dogged journalistic pursuit undertaken by the cracker-jack team at The Boston Globe, which exposed a widespread molestation scandal in the Boston Archdiocese that included a cover-up extending to cities all over the United States and ultimately to the Vatican. Spotlight is also a relic of sorts, in that it stands on the backs of one of the strongest ensembles assembled. In terms of the core team, it starts at the top with Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton), the man in charge of the “Spotlight” section, an investigative group that can spend months working leads before ever putting a story in print.
The focus is not “breaking news.” Instead, the goal is to pen news stories that definitively break open the truth for readers. Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo) lives and breathes for the research and the interviews, where the kernels of information await. Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) tries to squeeze in time with family, half-heartedly experiencing life in the light, surrounded by others, but she, like Rezendes, loves the job more than the time spent away from it. This close-knit trio benefits the presence of a new publisher in Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), a Jewish outsider willing to confront a religious institution and hierarchy that dominates the moral landscape. There is no “I” in team, but we need to start spotlighting the reality that, more often than not, it requires coordinated effort to achieve massive aims. Now that’s the whole truth and nothing but. (R) Grade: A