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The Globe and Mail

Spotlight: Solid cast carries this year's better journalism drama

From left, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton and John Slattery star in Spotlight.

KERRY HAYES/Courtesy of eOne

3.5 out of 4 stars

Written by
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
Directed by
Tom McCarthy
Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams

Last year, Tom McCarthy delivered The Cobbler, a disastrous Adam Sandler comedy that was a baffling addition to the director's otherwise solid filmography (The Station Agent, The Visitor). Something must have snapped, as McCarthy is back in fine form with Spotlight, a remarkably assured and tight retelling of the Boston Globe's investigation into the Catholic Church's legacy of child abuse and cover-ups.

With one of the more solid casts in recent memory (Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery… the list goes on) and a near-perfect pace, Spotlight lives well up to its name. (It's even more impressive when you consider how this season's other crusading-journalist film, Truth, falls flat on its face.) Spotlight is not about fiery performances or thrilling set-pieces – it's simply a tight and captivating look at professionals who excel at their jobs, and who legitimately care about making a difference. Sometimes, that's more than enough.

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