The “Spotlight” team of reporters at the Boston Globe uncover a decade long cover up in a story which leads to revelations from all around the world.
The opening shot shows the text: BASED ON ACTUAL EVENTS.
Boston, Massachusetts, 1974
At a police station, an older cop tells a younger one that the woman is hysterical, that she is divorced with four kids and that Father Geoghan was helping out. In an interview room, the Monsignor is talking to a distraught woman fingering rosary beads while her three children color with crayons. The young cop is told nobody can discuss this case with the papers and that the case isn’t going to be arraigned.
Boston. July, 2001
It is the Boston Globe newsroom. A reporter named Stewart is retiring to be replaced by a new editor. Robby Robinson (Michael Keaton) gives a playful speech about his departure. Another reporter, Mike (Mark Ruffalo) carries a piece of cake downstairs to the Spotlight department, a small office with only two others on staff — Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James). They are the investigative team for the Boston Globe, all working so hard on a story, they have to eat the cake for their lunch. They mention how sad it is to see Stewart go to a bigger paper and mention many others are leaving the company. The new boss that is coming on Monday is said to have cut a lot of people from the paper he ran in Miami; they worry he’s going to phase out Spotlight. Nobody has met him yet but Robby is going to have lunch with him.
We cut to that lunch meeting. Marty Baron (Liev Schrieber) is reading ‘The Curse of the Bambino’ while he waits for Robby. When Robby suggests Marty check out a Red Sox game, Marty explains he’s actually not a baseball fan but just trying to get a feel for his new city. He asks about Spotlight, which Robby explains is a four-person team that does investigative that reports to Ben Bradlee Jr. They just finished a story on a negligent construction site and are looking for a new story. Marty asks how long it takes and Robby says it can take weeks or up to a year because they don’t like to rush things. Marty asks what they are working on now but Robby tells him all their investigation has been on their new editor since everyone is concerned about losing their job. Marty notes this is understandable as the Internet is making classifieds obsolete and they’re losing revenue. Robby asks if this is why he asked about Spotlight but Marty tells him he had another reason.
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