Did you see the previews for this and think, wow, what an A+ cast for this movie that will definitely be marking the beginning of an era of award-winning movies about print media? Did you see Spotlight and add “newspapers standing up to an establishment” to your list of movie genres to always check out? Then, sigh, maybe find a book about this or something.
This movie was very proud of itself. It knew it could be so good.
The topic was spot on, coming at the right time. A clean message of the power of the press and their needing to do the right thing and protect speech and all that jazz. It almost seems implausible, a president who tries to legally gag the media when they publish things he doesn’t like. Ha, good thing we learned out lesson. IS THE VERY OVERT MESSAGE THEY RAM DOWN OUR THROATS.
I wanted to engage with the characters, I really did. I mean, that cast was really expensive and nobody failed to perform but every character is a blatant parable or allegory or some literature term I memorized for a AP exam and promptly forgot. It definitely likes us to remember that it did a completely okay job utilizing the powerhouses, Hanks and Streep, who you can’t forget are in it because their names are literally larger and more prominent on the poster than the name of the movie.
Look, the movie wasn’t bad and when your grandma wants to watch a movie this is 100% safe. It has a good plot that is very interesting to think about. It’s a completely acceptable movie to see for free when you have to kill time that banks heavily on the success of previous movies in this vein and the cast is pulled together from a list that must have been called “most likely to please my grandmother”.
Really, my only issue was that it felt like a movie congratulating itself on making a movie about a newspaper congratulating itself on being so good. If you read a lot of my reviews you’ll notice that I have a high tolerance for poor writing but none at all for writing that doesn’t trust me to be smart enough to get there. And this came off like they thought they were so much smarter than me that they had to spoon feed me their main thesis.
Verdict: There is a reason Spotlight won awards and this did not. I firmly believe the only reason it has such good reviews and ratings is because people like to seem smart and informed and this was billed as one of those movies. Honestly, if you just read the synopsis and tell people you saw it you’ll be just as well off.