Spotlight – BBC2

Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and others stand in the newsroom of the Boston Globe
(Image credit: © E1 Entertainment)

Riveting newsprint drama about child sex abuse in Boston's Catholic Church. 5/5 stars

Worthy to stand alongside All the President's Men as a great newspaper movie, the Oscar-winning Spotlight chronicles the dogged efforts in 2001/02 by a team of reporters from the Boston Globe to expose the Roman Catholic Church's cover-up of systemic child sex abuse by priests.

There's nothing flashy about the film, but its sober treatment of the story proves absolutely riveting. Director and co-writer Tom McCarthy handles the complex story with forensic clarity and he gets terrific ensemble performances from his cast, headed by Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams as three of the investigating journalists on the Globe's Spotlight team.

The Globe earned a Pulitzer Prize for its efforts and the filmmakers were similarly rewarded, winning Oscars for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.