Netflix users only have a month to watch one of the most acclaimed movies of the past decade. Spotlight, which won the 2015 Best Picture Oscar, is leaving the streaming platform on July 30. The film follows the Boston Globe's Spotlight team of journalists as they investigate the widespread child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Boston.
Spotlight features a brilliant ensemble cast, headlined by Michael Keaton as Walter "Robby" Robinson. Mark Ruffalo earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for playing Michael Rezendes, while Rachel McAdams earned her first Oscar nomination for playing Sacha Pfeiffer. Brian D'arcy James also played Matt Carroll, while Liev Schreiber starred as Marty Baron and John Slattery played Ben Bradley Jr. The supporting cast is sprinkled with more top-shelf talent, including Billy Crudup, Jamey Sheridan, Stanley Tucci, Len Cariou and Paul Guilfoyle.
The film was written by director Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, who won the Best Original Screenplay, the film's only other win during the 88th Academy Awards. McCarthy and Singer's script was praised for meticulously showing how investigative journalism works and the tightrope the team had to walk to make sure they didn't make any mistakes. Their investigation began in 2001 when Baron asked the Spotlight team to investigate allegations from a lawyer who claimed Cardinal Bernard Law knew about Father John Geoghan's sexual abuse of children. The team eventually discovered that the church knew about multiple priests who sexually abused children in the Boston area.
McCarthy was also nominated for Best Director, while Tom McArdle earned a nomination for Best Film Editing. Although the film won the least number of Oscars for a Best Picture winner since The Greatest Show on Earth also only won two in 1953, Spotlight is already regarded as one of the best recent Best Picture winners. The film also won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, while the script also won Best Original Screenplay at the Writers Guild Awards. Although the script is considered original, the Boston Globe's exhaustive investigation was re-published in book form as Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church around the time Spotlight was released.
Since making Spotlight, McCarthy has completed two other films. He directed the Disney+ film Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made and the upcoming Stillwater starring Matt Damon. Focus Features plans to release Stillwater on July 30. McCarthy's other credits include the excellent Win Win (2011) and The Station Agent (2003), the Oscar-nominated The Visitor (2007), and Adam Sandler's The Cobbler (2014).