Mercer: ‘Spotlight’ – more than a great newspaper story

Richmond Times-Dispatch

By Marsha Mercer

One of the best movies of the year portrays an unlikely hero, a newspaper.

“Spotlight” is based on the true story of The Boston Globe’s painstaking investigation, starting in 2001, into child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Boston that was covered up for decades by local church leaders.

While not a documentary, the movie uses real names and works for verisimilitude. It keeps its focus on journalism and on how three hard-working reporters — Sacha Pfeiffer, Mike Rezendes and Matt Carroll — and editor Walter “Robby” Robinson doggedly pursued the truth and a story that was bigger than anyone imagined.

While it does not show abuse, “Spotlight” is rated R and contains what The New York Times review called “graphic descriptions of despicable acts; language not fit for print.”

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