The Sanity Clause

Spotlight Poster“Spotlight” may be the only journalism movie actually about journalism. “All the President’s Men”, this film’s closest companion, is about seeing in the dark and finding the needle in the haystack. “Ace in the Hole” is about escaping a trap through sketchy ethics and deceit. “Sweet Smell of Success” is about power achieved through words, wit and gossip. “Citizen Kane”? Well, that’s about a lot of things.

Thomas McCarthy’s film is not a thriller, a caper, a neo-noir or a melodrama. It does not have an ominous villain, a series of disturbing threats as the conspiracy unravels, or any suspense set pieces. Like “All the President’s Men”, “Spotlight” is a movie of hunches, discovery, research and hard work. The film embodies the philosophy of slow journalism, and it endlessly piles and escalates its stakes until finally both the journalists and us have a real story. A good journalist knows there’s…

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