Movie trailers are starting to scare us a bit. Last week Lionsgate released a preview for “Freeheld” which made the gay rights drama look like a Lifetime movie. Today we have the first look at “Spotlight,” the new ensemble drama centered on The Boston Globe's investigation into child abuse by Catholic priests and the Church's subsequent cover-up. We're hoping the movie is better than the first preview.
The best news about “Spotlight” is that it brings a bunch of actors working at the height of their craft together. Mark Ruffalo has been pretty exceptional in everything he”s done since 2010's “The Kids Are All Right.” Michael Keaton is coming off his first Oscar nomination for “Birdman.” Rachel McAdams is hands down the best thing about “True Detective” season two. Across the cable dial Liev Schreiber's incredible work on “Ray Donovan” is making everyone forget about the bad movie roles he's landed recently. John Slattery just finished a masterful run on “Mad Men” and Billy Crudrup kills it in “The Stanford Prison Experiment” (now on VOD if you haven't seen it yet). And, honestly, does anyone turn more crap into gold than Stanley Tucci?
What's disconcerting is that the movie itself looks flat and predictable. There is a whiff of “we”ve seen this all before” and familiar plot threads in the material. That being said, “Spotlight” is premiering out of competition at the Venice Film Festival and also screening in Toronto less than a week later. The movie's screenplay also made the prestigious Black List in 2013 and distributor Open Road Films is letting it screen publicly two months before its national release (something many studios would feel very uncomfortable with). In theory, that should mean the mini-major and director Thomas McCarthy (let's forget about last year's “The Cobbler”) has something special on their hands. But, do they?
Watch the trailer embedded at the bottom of this post and share your thoughts in the comments section. Maybe you'll see something remarkable we don't…yet.
“Spotlight” opens nationwide on Nov. 6.