Director: Tom McCarthy
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams
Release Date: Available on Blu-Ray & DVD February 23, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Michael Keaton (Birdman), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) in his Academy Award® nominated role and Rachel McAdams (Southpaw) in her Academy Award® nominated role lead a critically acclaimed cast in this gripping story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that uncovered a scandal that rocked one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. Delving into allegations of child abuse within the local Catholic Archdiocese, a tenacious team of Boston Globe reporters exposes a decades-long cover-up that reaches the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishments.
Inspired by actual events, ‘Spotlight’ follows the four team members of the Boston Globe’s confidentially operating Spotlight team headed by Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson (Keaton) as they investigate the scandal revolving around child molestation within the Catholic church, a story that rocked the world to its core. Refused, tormented and told to forget and drop the story at every turn, the four-person Spotlight team refused to relent and leave the terrifying events in the dark, unaware that the scope of what they would eventually begin to uncover would prove to be far more shocking than anything they had initially imagined.
Directed by Tom McCarthy (The Visitor, The Cobbler) from a script he also co-wrote along with Josh Singer (The Fifth Estate), McCarthy does a flawless job at the helm of ‘Spotlight’ guiding this powerful true story with obvious care. The film also owes a great deal of its credit to the wonderful and incredibly talented cast comprised here including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and more, all of whom are fantastic in each of their respective roles, although Mark Ruffalo easily steals the show with his magnificent performance; well deserving of an Oscar.
‘Spotlight’ is absolutely magnificent and one of those rare films that shines in every aspect, from the script, the powerhouse cast without a single weak link in the chain (even if some are more phenomenal than others, namely Ruffalo who is magnificent) and the delicate guiding hand of director Tom McCarthy. It miraculously manages to maintain a consistently welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere even while tackling truly horrific events without detracting from their unsettling nature in the slightest. ‘Spotlight’ is a powerful, phenomenal and indelible film that explores the unforgettable events that rocked much of the world and that I’m fairly confident the majority of our population is at least mildly familiar with.
Overall, ‘Spotlight’ is phenomenal and a nearly perfect film in every possible way. It never falters for a moment and will keep you enthralled throughout as the team leaves no rock unturned in their quest for the truth. Powerful, intense and occasionally unrelenting while complimented by a tremendous cast at their very best, I definitely give ‘Spotlight’ my highest recommendation. This is one truly amazing film that is not to be missed and easily one of the very best of 2015; undoubtedly worthy of receiving any (or all) of the numerous Oscars it’s currently nominated for.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Spotlight’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding, delivering a consistently sharp, detailed presentation that shines in every way and without any notable faults to be found within. Overall, this is a flawless high definition video presentation complimented by a more than sufficient bitrate that should easily please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack comes through in every way required of it, delivering the dialogue with a sharp detail and clarity, while occasionally utilizing all five available channels to surround the viewer with the score as well as general ambience including newsroom background chatter and more; never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Spotlight’ includes a few videos and Featurettes including interviews/comments with the cast and crew along with real life individuals related to the subject matter. The included videos/Featurettes are ‘Uncovering the Truth: A Spotlight Team Roundtable’ (running approximately 7 minutes in length), along with ‘Spotlight: A Look Inside’ (approximately 3 minutes), and ‘The State of Journalism’ (3 minutes).