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A team of investigative reporters uncover the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic church that rocked the world.

Genre: Drama

Viewer Appeal: Mature teens and adults.

Spotlight took home the 2016 Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Picture, and added on Best Original Screenplay to boot. Why? Because Spotlight is a movie that makes you want to cry. To shake your fist and rage against the injustices and immoral and unethical behaviors that hurt the innocent of our world. But it also makes you want to cheer. For those who finally stand up and have the courage to turn on the light, so what’s done in the dark will be revealed.

If you’re above a certain age you remember when the Catholic Church scandal broke in 2002.

It was uncovered that priests had been molesting children for years. For decades. And no one did anything about it. It was brushed under the rug. Spotlight tells how the rug got pulled back and the dirt exposed.

The Boston Globe has a section in it’s paper called Spotlight. The purpose of Spotlight is to deeply investigate stories and tell the truth people will be interested in. These stories can take months to research. So when Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) becomes the new editor of the Globe, everyone is concerned he’s going to cut jobs that aren’t regularly producing for the paper. But Baron has recently read a short article about a priest who’s been accused of molesting a handful of young boys, and while no one else is hopeful about taking on the Catholic Church, Baron gives the story to the reporters on Spotlight with the charge to look into it.

Reluctantly, Robbie Robinson (Michael Keaton) and his team, Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) begin to poke around. It doesn’t take them long to realize they have a huge story that no one has wanted to tell. No one has had the courage to tell. As they talk with victims and lawyers, these journalists begin to realize how massive the cover-up is. It doesn’t just include a few local priests, but dozens and dozens; implicating Cardinal Law (Len Cariou) himself as complicit in the cover-up.

What makes this movie so heart-wrenching is its truth, and the far reaching arms of this scandal.

Boston wasn’t the only city affected, but it was happening across the globe, with hundreds of priests eventually being found out and thousands of children effected. Understandably, this a painful topic for millions of Catholics and Protestants alike, who feel the sting when their pastors are discovered participating in shameful and God-less activities. It’s certainly not something that glorifies or exemplifies the God they have vowed to serve.

Spotlight was nominated for six Academy Awards, and each was clearly deserved. Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams were nominated in Supporting Actor/Actress categories, with Tom McCarthy for Directing and Original Screenplay (along with screenwriter Josh Singer).

This is a fascinating, well-written movie that will take you on an emotional journey worth talking about afterward. You won’t want to miss it.

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

• In a time when people are leaving the church, how can this movie be used to bridge the gap between the church and its parishioners?

• Mitch Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) observed that it took a Jew (an outsider) to push into this scandal. Have you ever been blind to something in your own life and needed someone else to help you see it? Explain.

• Why do you think the Catholic Church protected its priests in the way it did, instead of allowing them to face the consequences of their actions? What can we, as parents, learn from this?


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