Skip to main content

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.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Barry Hertz is the deputy arts editor and film editor for The Globe and Mail. He previously served as the Executive Producer of Features for the National Post, and was a manager and writer at Maclean’s before that. His arts and culture writing has also been featured in several publications, including Reader’s Digest and NOW Magazine. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at