Spotlight is a Tom McCarthy (director of The Station Agent) film with an ensemble cast of seasoned Hollywood actors. Though not passing the Bechdel test, the presence of Rachel McAdams in the reporting team helped balance out what would otherwise be a throughly male-dominated environment.
This movie seems like the logical, fictional successor to the 2006 documentary Deliver Us from Evil. Both look at systemic abuse of children in the Catholic church, but present a different approach and structure. In the case of Spotlight, the subject matter is explored through the actions of a team of investigative reporters from the Boston Globe newspaper.
There are a lot of scenes with members of the reporting team: a group of lapsed Catholics, talking about the challenges of faith when they look at a system of organised religion that let them down. While not showing actual abuse in the film, the ideas of abuse of children are discussed in significant detail – if this is something you find upsetting, you’ll want to skip this one.
Otherwise, it’s a well-made feature with a compelling story, and impressive performances from a range of actors.