8.1/10
303,210
467 user 499 critic

Spotlight (2015)

Trailer
1:02 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
210 ( 50)
Top Rated Movies #205 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 119 wins & 138 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A washed-up actor, who once played an iconic superhero, attempts to revive his career by writing and starring in his very own Broadway play.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender
The Big Short (2015)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 2006-7 a group of investors bet against the US mortgage market. In their research they discover how flawed and corrupt the market is.

Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Argo (2012)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck
Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Director: Barry Jenkins
Stars: Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson
Room I (2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young boy is raised within the confines of a small shed.

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Stars: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman
Whiplash (2014)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in postapocalyptic Australia in search for her home-land with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshipper, and a drifter named Max.

Director: George Miller
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
Gone Girl (2014)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Barbara
...
Steve Kurkjian
...
...
Helen Donovan
...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

When the Boston Globe's tenacious "Spotlight" team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Written by Open Road

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story behind the scandal that shook the world. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language including sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En primera plana  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$295,009, 8 November 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$45,055,776

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$91,191,352
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Joe Crowley died in April 2017 from chronic respiratory and heart ailments. He was 58. Upon his death, Sacha Pfeiffer wrote a tribute to Crowley for the Boston Globe titled, "It was an honor to know you, Joe Crowley." Pfeiffer said that she and Crowley had stayed in touch over the years since they first met in 2001. She also said Crowley and Michael Cyril Creighton, who played him, became friends after filming, and kept in touch afterward. Pfeiffer said Crowley's nickname for Creighton was "JC2". See more »

Goofs

When Sacha and Joe Crowley are walking, they pass a Synagogue with a Star of David window pane. Later, Crowley says they are in front of a church and the tree covers the Star of David. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Cop: How's that going?
Court Clerk Mark: Mother's ballin' and the uncle is pissed off.
Young Cop: She's not married?
Court Clerk Mark: Divorced, with 4 kids. I guess the Father was helping out.
Young Cop: Helping out?
Court Clerk Mark: ...Hey, Mr. Burke, they're in the back talking to the Bishop.
Paul Burke: [entering] And Father?
Court Clerk Mark: We put him in the break room.
Paul Burke: Any press?
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Myself in You
Written by Jon Robert
Courtesy of Rumblefish and The Talent House
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
All the Vatican's Men in Outstanding Investigative Journalism Film Revealing the Skeletons in the Boston Archdiocese's Closet
28 February 2016 | by See all my reviews

In "All the President's Men", young reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered a national political scandal when they, through their investigative journalism, revealed the White House under then President Richard Nixon was using campaign funding to finance dirty tricks of political enemies, nicknamed Watergate. In "Spotlight", a similar team of investigative reporters reveal a scandal of epic proportions which makes much of the Watergate scandal seem tame by comparison. They uncovered widespread sexual abuse of minors committed by priests of the Roman Catholic Church who, in turn, hid the crimes. Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Walter V. Robinson (Michael Keaton), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), Martin "Marty" Baron (Leiv Schreiber), Ben Bradlee Jr. (John Slattery), and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James) work for a group of investigative reporters within the Boston Globe called "Spotlight" who succeed in finding the skeletons in the Boston Diocese proverbial closet. For many years prior to the sexual abuse scandal, Spotlight had investigated and reported on many other ground-breaking stories.

The story begins with a quick flash-back to 1976 when a priest is jailed for sexual abusing a minor. The film then cuts to 2001. Marty Baron (Schreiber), a Jewish Floridian, becomes the main editor for the Boston Globe. He meets the different editors and journalists, and learns of work by Spotlight. A Globe column reveals a lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, claims Cardinal Law, then Archbishop of Boston, knew Father John Geoghan, a priest within Law's diocese, was sexually abusing children, and the bishop did not bring him to the attention of authorities. Baron urges the Spotlight team to investigate further to see whether the claim is true and an isolated incident, or if there is more to the story. The "seed" is similar to the break-in of the democratic headquarters at the Watergate Complex which eventually revealed the Nixon White House had been engaging in multiple plots against perceived political enemies.

The Spotlight team is headed by Walter "Robby" Robinson (Keaton), a no-nonsense fair but tough reporter/editor. They agree to Baron's wishes and begin researching deeper to see if there is a larger story. Their first lead is the attorney mentioned in the article, Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci). Rezendes (Ruffalo) peruses Garabedian who acted as negotiator between the Boston Archdiocese and victims of Father Geoghan. The reporter wishes the attorney to reveal names of the victims, but at first Garabedian declines. Eventually, Garabedian agrees to contact victims, who are now much older, and ask them if they are willing to speak with Rezendes without revealing their names. Eventually, interviews are set up at the attorney's offices. The question then becomes whether there were other priests who engaged in similar criminal behavior against minors.

On another front, other members of the team, including Sacha Pfeiffer (McAdams), begin discovering the unspeakable reality of other victims possibly at the hands of more priests, aside from Geoghan. Then a tip from a former rehabilitation counselor for priests informs the team that, based on statistics, there may be as many as 90 priests involved with sexual abuse of children in the Boston Area alone. The team then appropriates volumes of an American guide book of Roman Catholic priests, published once a year, which lists the whereabouts of every clergyman in the church in terms of dioceses and parishes. The investigators make a startling discovery. Certain names in the book over several years are listed as "on leave due to illness", "on administrative leave", or other designations of inactivity after only one to three years at a particular parish, leading the team to consider these may be priests who engaged in sexual misconduct with minors. If true, it would place blame not only on Cardinal Law as possibly covering up the church's indiscretions but the entire Roman Catholic Church, all the way to the Vatican.

This is a stunning film about the power of a small group of urban reporters to uncover wrongdoing by one of the oldest and far-reaching institutions in the world: The Roman Catholic Church. In particular high marks for Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes, Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer, and Michael Keaton as Robbie Robinson. So much of the story parallels the Watergate Scandal of several decades earlier. As horrible as the actual victimization of minors by the priests, often boys because they were less likely to "squeal" because of the shame, the cover-up by Law was nearly as criminal. Instead of taking the priests to justice, as he should have done, he tried to cover it up by offering settlements to the families, often when the victims were minors. Law and probably other church officials moved the priests to other parishes where they engaged in similar behavior, thus allowing widespread sexual abuse to continue. It was eventually revealed that not only did these sexual predators victimize children in other parts of the country, it was happening internationally.


44 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 467 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page