In 2002, Boston Globe reporters broke a story that changed the city of Boston — and the entire Catholic church — forever. The Globe’s series of articles on child sexual abuse in the Boston diocese, and the extreme measures taken by the Catholic church to hide priests’ crimes, cracked open a massive scandal with global repercussions. Now, the story of those Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters (the newspaper’s “spotlight” team) is coming to the big screen in the movie Spotlight, starring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, and Michael Keaton. Watch the first trailer above.
“How do you say no to God?” an abuse victim asks the reporters, explaining how he and many other children saw the priests who took advantage of them. That quote sets up the daunting task that the film’s heroes face in bringing decades of hidden abuse to light. Ruffalo and McAdams play passionate reporters who pound the pavement, spend late nights in the library, and go head-to-head with church officials to get their story. Meanwhile, their editor (played by Keaton) takes on a high-powered lawyer who has settled abuse cases — but mysteriously, has no record of the settlements. “We’ve got two stories here: a story about degenerate clergy and a story about a bunch of lawyers turning child abuse into a cottage industry,” Keaton warns him. “Which story do you want us to write? Because we’re writing one of them.”
Even after getting their assignment, the spotlight team doesn’t realize the extent of the cover-up — until an anonymous tipster reveals that 6 percent of Boston clergy, or 90 priests, have a history of sexually abusing children. “They knew, and they let it happen!” seethes Ruffalo. “It could have been you, it could have been me, it could have been any of us!” Spotlight opens in theaters on Nov. 6.