For many years, it was a badly kept secret that there had been numerous incidents of child abuse by Catholic priests. When the Boston Globe, in 2001, decided to write a story about it, that was nothing new. What WAS new, was the revelation of the extent of the problem, that the abuse was systemic, and that the church had been covering it up for many years. The movie “Spotlight” tells the story of the Boston Globe’s investigation of the abuse, and how they managed to discover just how bad the problem was.

The title of the film refers to a small team of investigative reporters at the globe who would pick and choose stories of interest to them, and spend, sometimes as much as 2 years, digging into a specific story. The team was ably played by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Brian D’Arcy James. Also of note, in a fairly low-key role, was Liev Schreiber, as the new editor of the Globe, and John Slattery as the editor in charge of the Spotlight team.

Truth in advertising… while I really liked this movie, during the film there was this older gentleman sitting in my row to my right that kept laughing inappropriately during this quite serious movie. Normally, I enjoy watching movies with a crowd — I’ve found that seeing a movie at a theater — any movie, not just a blockbuster — can be the best way to experience a movie. But this inappropriate laughter, sometimes at people telling stories of abuse just drove me up the wall.  The problem is that a review has to reflect ones experience watching a film, and in my case, that experience was not what it might have been had that couple not been in the same theater as me.  You may say that I should try to be objective.  But really, there’s nothing objective about a movie review.

Enough about that. The acting, writing, and directing was all very good. But having seen other films this year that were much better overall, I don’t quite understand why this is considered one of the best movies of the year. It was good, and I definitely recommend it, and the story is fascinating. I just don’t get the hype. Maybe if my experience at the theater were better, and I was able to focus on the film better, instead of the disturbances to the right of me, I might understand it. I do not know. But go see it before it’s out of theaters (it won’t be there much longer). It’s a story that everyone should know about so that things like this can never happen again.

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