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Spotlight (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 2 hours

Not for children.

If it werenít for Trumbo and Truth, this would be the most overrated movie of the year. But since all three films appeal to Hollywoodís left, they are all nominated for awards. Trumbo and Truth are just awful movies, full of Hollywood lies. Spotlight, on the other hand, tells the truth. The disappointment is that the truth it tells, the disgraceful handling of pedophile priests in Boston, is lost by truly horrible filmmaking.

To be specific, the directing and writing are dismal. Itís made without a thought of pace. The characters flounder, taking forever to not accomplishing very much, except to finally publish the story. I was expecting another All the Presidentís Men, but this misses the mark on all points.

The acting is also dismal. Iím a fan of Michael Keaton, but he is terribly miscast as the leader of Spotlight, the investigative unit of the Boston Globe. He speaks in a peculiar manner and is so low key as to be somnolent. On the other hand, Mark Ruffalo is so peripatetic that he is just, frankly, unbelievable.

Whatís truly sad is that this could have stood for an indictment of the abysmal conduct of the Roman Catholic Church, from the pedophile priests to Cardinal Law who covered the whole thing up, to the Vatican, who protected these scum.

As a Catholic, I am revolted by bad priests and by the hierarchy that protected them, especially these monsters, and not just in Boston but in Los Angeles and throughout the world. But what they did and the effect they had on their victims barely comes across in this film. I know itís supposed to be about journalism. As a writer I generally like films about journalism. But this is just so poorly made that it can put you to sleep if youíre not careful.

Itís unlike me, but I paid my way into this film because I somehow missed the screening and really wanted to see it. Big mistake.