Christian Living


Spotlight: Movie Review

Spotlight movie
Star Rating

Movie Info


R for some language including sexual references


Drama, Biography, History


November 6, 2015


Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d'Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup


Tom McCarthy


Open Road Films

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

In the midst of the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, a small group of journalists tucked downstairs at The Boston Globe sat on the biggest story of their careers. Spotlight tells the true story of that four-person investigative reporting team who uncovered the biggest sex abuse scandal to ever rock the New England town.

Director and co-screenwriter Tom McCarthy tackles this tough, yet significant history, leaning on the acting talent of Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers, Foxcatcher), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Rachel McAdams (Midnight in Paris, Sherlock Holmes), Brian d'Arcy James (Smash), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan, Salt), John Slattery (Mad Men), and Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games). Please note, Spotlight is rated R. Extreme caution is advised.


New editor-in-chief Marty Baron (Schreiber) shakes things up at The Boston Globe when he re-assigns the paper's "Spotlight" team to dig up an old story. Led by editor Walter "Robby" Robinson (Keaton), dogged reporters Mike Rezendes (Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James) uncover a massive child molestation scandal within the city's Catholic Churches.


Spotlight is a revelation. Reminiscent of Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman's All the President's Men, Spotlight delicately balances its focus on the journalists who uncover the shameful scandal, giving the story room to breathe and the survivors their voice. The film doesn't bash faith; rather it examines the possibility of belief even in the face of such wickedness. Moviegoers are advised to pay close attention from the very beginning. The story gets going quickly; and there are a lot of names to keep straight as it unfolds.

It boggles the mind to watch as these reporters uncover the deep roots of the sexual (and spiritual) abuse that more than 70 Boston-area priests perpetrated upon the most vulnerable among them – the low-income, absentee-fathered children of their parishes. The film indicates that these predators preyed on an estimated 1,000 children.

Rated R for some language including sexual references, Spotlight is appropriate only for mature audiences. Foul language is common and the subject matter may be difficult for some to watch. However, Spotlight is not overly graphic. It does well to share the reality of what happened without going too far.


Spotlight wraps up with a moving scene showing the "Spotlight" team responding to phone calls, hours after the story went to press. That leads to takeaway, pre-credit facts that appear on screen, including the listing of cities around the world where similar sex abuse cases in the Catholic Church were discovered as a result of The Boston Globe story. It's a sobering end to a deeply affecting film.

Loading Webform

Can We Pray For You?

Error: There was an internal error submitting your form. Please check your information and try again or call us at 1-800-759-0700

Get FREE "He Cares for You" teaching sheet

Build up your faith as you meditate on inspiring Scripture verses of how much God loves you

Get more than a Sunday sermon. Get to know others seeking God’s guidance and wisdom for life.
We are here to help and encourage you! Send a prayer request now, or call 1‑800‑700‑7000
Can God change your life? God made it possible for you to know. Discover God's peace now.
Download the free myCBN app. Share your prayer requests, receive prayer and pray for others!
Living the Christian life is a journey. Discover steps to bring you closer to Christ.
Get Email Updates
Give Now