Spotlight - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Spotlight Reviews

February 26, 2017
Ruffalo gets top billing in the movie, and he brings some wonderfully lived-in behavioral details to his performance -- the quick, terrier-like movements of the head and the bitten-off sentences.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 24, 2015
Don't miss this crackling - and deeply important - film about the power of the press.
November 20, 2015
Invigorating moviemaking in every way imaginable, "Spotlight" is spot-on.
Full Review | Original Score: A
November 19, 2015
"Spotlight" isn't quite as good as "All The President's Men," the gold standard of films about journalism. But it's close.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 15, 2015
This is why Spotlight's moral of humility is so powerful. There are so many things that we don't know, so many assumptions that we don't recognize as such, so many questions that we haven't even thought to ask.
November 14, 2015
If there was a Best Ensemble acting category, the cast of Spotlight would be a frontrunner. The film has no lead actor but there are five or six strong supporting performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 14, 2015
Like the story being reported within the film, Spotlight is simultaneously emotional and clear-eyed. It's an explosive yet necessary piece of journalism in and of itself. And it's easily one of the year's best.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 13, 2015
A touching ode to the old-fashioned notion that some things simply need reporting; never mind the effort, the expense, or the effect on circulation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 13, 2015
Spotlight is a mystery, a thriller and a human interest drama, but mostly it's a love letter to investigative journalism.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
November 13, 2015
A remarkably assured and tight retelling of the Boston Globe's investigation into the Catholic Church's legacy of child abuse and cover-ups.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 12, 2015
It's not a stretch to suggest that "Spotlight" is the finest newspaper movie of its era, joining "Citizen Kane" and "All the President's Men" in the pantheon of classics of the genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 12, 2015
Though "Spotlight" is definitely a reporter-as-hero story (and, along the way, a bittersweet love letter to the kind of investigative journalism that's increasingly disappearing), the film doesn't let its characters off the hook.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 12, 2015
Inspiring stuff, the stuff of Hollywood all the way back to Frank Capra and before: a story of scrappy underdogs, determined to get to the truth, and toppling the mighty in the process.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 12, 2015
It's one of the best movies I've ever seen about the art and the science of newspaper reporting
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 12, 2015
You don't need to be a news junkie to admire such sleek, adult entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 12, 2015
Spotlight doesn't wallow in the glory of old-media ethics or lament the ongoing death of newspapers, but the movie quietly celebrates the rigorous standards of journalism that are dissipating in this era of click-baiting and Twitter outrage.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 12, 2015
It's a great story about getting the story.
Full Review | Original Score: A
November 12, 2015
The movie finds drama, not in telling the audience what it doesn't know, but in showing us people finding out the scope and dimension of what we already know, and then letting us see them react with shock, horror and a firm sense of purpose.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 12, 2015
At the beginning of Spotlight, a title card proclaims "based on actual events," a tactic many films use to manufacture authenticity even if it's never earned. Here, it feels absolutely right.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
November 11, 2015
Let's cut to the chase: "Spotlight" is a flat-out great movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
November 11, 2015
One of the most accurate depictions of journalism put on film, perhaps even the finest example we've seen yet. It's easily one of 2015's best films.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 6, 2015
The film is often straightforward and hard-hitting. But it plays out all the usual tropes of the investigative-journalism genre -- the hot tips, the clandestine meetings, the hand-wringing about ethics, etc. -- without adding a jot of novelty.
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 6, 2015
Like any good reporting job, Spotlight slowly builds momentum from nothing, gathering disparate bits of information into an emotional juggernaut of a story.
November 5, 2015
No need to bury the lede: Spotlight is a masterpiece.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 5, 2015
It's the year's best movie so far, and a rarity among countless dramatizations that claim to be based on actual events. In this one the events ring consistently-and dramatically-true.
November 5, 2015
The movie's an ensemble piece, building up its characters slowly and carefully, giving each actor a chance to shine. More importantly, it's a movie that's invested in listening.
November 5, 2015
"Spotlight" is mightily impressive not only because of the importance of the story it tells but also because of how much effort and skill went into bringing it to the screen in the best possible way.
November 5, 2015
Every actor rises to the occasion.
November 5, 2015
This tautly directed, terrifically acted movie springs from a Boston Globe investigation a decade ago that led to hundreds of incidents of abuse - in reality, an entire perverted culture - being hauled out into the sanitizing glare of daylight.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
November 5, 2015
An emotional tour de force.
Top Critic
November 5, 2015
Like All The President's Men, it's a muckraker movie that celebrates the power of the press by actually showing journalists doing their job, pen and notebook in hand.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
November 5, 2015
The year is not over, but I've already seen my favorite film of 2015.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 5, 2015
"Spotlight" is a gripping detective story and a superlative newsroom drama, a solid procedural that tries to confront evil without sensationalism.
November 5, 2015
"Spotlight" is the kind of movie where a scene showing a group of reporters huddled over church directories, taking notes in silence, becomes a gripping sequence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 5, 2015
Once in a while a good movie about journalism comes along to remind you that behind every important news story stand the men and women who researched, interviewed, and fact-checked to make it that way.
November 4, 2015
A landmark film about investigative journalism and the year's most thrilling detective story. Keaton and Ruffalo lead a cast of exceptional actors who could not be better or more fully committed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 4, 2015
The film hums as a tense shoe-leather procedural and a heartbreaking morality play that handles personal stories respectfully without losing sight of the bigger, more damning picture.
Full Review | Original Score: A
November 3, 2015
Tom McCarthy's movie doesn't turn its journalists into heroes. It just lets them do their jobs, as tedious and critical as those are, with a realism that grips an audience almost in spite of itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 3, 2015
Unlike an ongoing investigation, we know the outcome here already. The trick of Spotlight is making the potentially unsexy "how they got there" into not only one of the best movies of the year, but one of the best journalism movies of all time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 3, 2015
Spotlight feels both timeless and modern, a dexterously crafted film that could have been made anytime but somehow feels perfect for right now.
November 2, 2015
McCarthy is tackling something more basic than paranoia-namely, pride of place, and the way in which it offers both an embrace and a choke hold.
October 26, 2015
At its heart, Spotlight is an argument against deference to authority, which informs so much great journalism.
October 22, 2015
This offers a potent reminder that investigative journalism is critical to a just society, and that we need it now more than ever.
September 19, 2015
One of the leanest, most purposeful dramas I've seen in a long time.
September 16, 2015
What the film gets brilliantly right is how journalists can get co-opted by the institutions they cover when their interests converge. And just how much courage it takes to pursue a story that may alienate many of your readers .
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
September 15, 2015
Good old-fashioned journalism makes for great drama in Thomas McCarthy's [Spotlight].
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 3, 2015
Where "Birdman" magnified Keaton's talent, "Spotlight" leans on it.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 3, 2015
It's that all-too-rare beast: a movie that's both important and engrossing.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
September 3, 2015
If Spotlight were merely about putting the pieces together to break a big news story, it would be interesting enough, but the film gracefully, without overplaying its hand, delves into many provocative ideas and subplots.
September 3, 2015
The capable main actors don't have much to do except chase leads around town and interview those willing to talk; there's no depth given to these reporters.
September 3, 2015
A superbly controlled and engrossingly detailed account of the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the widespread pedophilia scandals and subsequent cover-ups within the Catholic Church.