Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams

Reel Reviews: The sins of the fathers

Film sheds Spotlight on the abuse of children by Catholic priests in the Boston area

  • Feb. 7, 2016 6:00 p.m.

The Spotlight team is a group of investigative journalists working for The Boston Globe newspaper. While seeking out their next in-depth exposé they come across a number of victims in the area who have been sexually abused by Catholic priests.

When the Spotlight team delves deeper, they discover that the church and the local authorities had known about this problem for at least 30 years and efforts to cover it up went all the way to the highest positions.

We say, “It’s a Spotlight on another true tale to madden.”

TAYLOR: Sometimes movies can be uncomfortable to watch. I wasn’t looking forward to a film about abusive priests. Such stories can be depressing and I presumed there would be some bureaucracy to contend with, which usually angers. I was right. However the film follows most closely the Spotlight team and their work. The awful details of the dirty deeds are kept to a minimum and the journalism is enough to keep us entertained, although sometimes there seemed to be a lot of facts to contend with. This is not a film you can watch casually.

HOWE: I agree, it can’t be watched casually. Yet saying that, Spotlight is a fantastically fascinating movie that I enjoyed immensely. The actors give credible performances to go hand in hand with such a fine film. The story is set in the ‘90s and the film itself gives the look and feel of a movie made then.

TAYLOR: That is interesting, I didn’t notice that. I did notice great performances by the key players, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams. Especially Mark Ruffalo, he is a real actor, a man who can transform, my new pick for Best Supporting Actor. But this cast runs deep, you will recognize almost everyone and no one is unbelievable.

HOWE: There have been some great films out just recently — Trumbo, The Big Short and The Revenant just to name a few — and if you enjoyed them, then Spotlight is just up your street. The film is also up for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams are up for best supporting role. I know we always say it each year at this time, but this year’s Oscars are just too hard to call.

— Taylor gives Spotlight 4.5 blind eyes out of 5.

— Howe gives it 4.5 interviews out of 5.