NON HORROR REVIEW- Bravo, Tom McCarthy. Followed by a request for an encore. I thoroughly enjoyed your underrated work in ‘The Cobbler’ but ‘Spotlight’ is your finest work to date and hopefully a sign of what you can offer the film industry from now on.
McCarthy, whom is best known for acting roles (The Wire, Boston Public) along with his co-writing efforts of the Disney Pixar hit, ‘Up,’ has knocked one out of Fenway park with a grand slam directing and co-writing the Boston centered, super solid ‘Spotlight’.
If isolated, the story of ‘Spotlight’, which is based highly off real and factual documents is independently captivating. However, viewers get cinematic dynamite when mixed with the amazing leading cast quartet of Mark Ruffalo (Avengers, Shutter Island), Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Sherlock Holmes), Brian d’Arcy James (Game Change, Shrek: The Musical) & Michael Keaton (Batman, Jackie Brown) who has come off his critically acclaimed career highlighted performance in last years ‘Birdman’.
Ruffalo is the gem of the film, in every way, as he continues to define himself in another career boosting role, playing Mike Rezendes. His dedication to this character is nearly flawless, as is his execution and delivery throughout the entire film.
Keaton clearly excels as Walter V Robinson, yet still has many of the same quirks that we have come to expect and love about this actor. Robinson even commended the actor, stating in a recent twitter post, “Michael Keaton stole my voice, facial expressions, even my Umms and ahhs.”
Lesser known D’arcy James is the secret weapon of ‘Spotlight’, who could have easily been the weak link of the quartet, but instead he strengthened the core group of actors while McAdams delivers the same intimately heartfelt performance she is known for but not in the usual love story or romance film.
Aside from the core four, ‘Spotlight’ also houses a killer supporting cast in Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games, The Terminal), John Slattery (Mad Men, Flags Of Our Fathers) & Liev Schreiber (Defiance, Pawn Sacrifice).
Enough of the cast. On to the script and story, which is substantial and solid. In a November 16, 2015 article, Newsweek.com simply stated about what ‘Spotlight’ got right, “Just about everything.” Based around the “scandal” of the Catholic Church knowingly sweeping child molestation charges and victims under the rug which included nearly 90 priests over 30 years, as I mentioned before, captivating in it’s own right.
All in all, I highly recommend ‘Spotlight’ as it effectively dives into the life of investigative journalism and one of the world’s most respected publications during one of the biggest stories of the past century. Bravo, Tom McCarthy.