There is a long-standing love affair between Hollywood and the world of investigative journalism - something that is probably most strongly epitomized in All the President's Men which told the story of the Watergate investigation. Spotlight tells the story of a small team of journalists on the Boston Globe who uncovered the scale of abuse committed by Catholic Priests in their city over a period of decades.
Is it a film that is going to enter the hall of fame of journalism movies? Quite possibly.
The strength of the movie is in both the writing and the acting. It has already been nominated and won several awards for both - and it clear to see why. Michael Keaton gives one of the best performances of his career as the head of the Spotlight investigative team. His face tells more stories than his words ever could - it is a very controlled and natural piece of acting.
The rest of the ensemble is equally strong. Stanley Tucci is unrecognizable as the campaigning lawyer determined to get justice for all those wronged. Mark Ruffalo's character's passion and commitment brings tears to the eyes.
The writing by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer is taut and builds the drama very effectively - it would not be a surprise to see them carry off the Oscar for this. Their commitment to the story is what sets this apart from similar scripts. It is a real celebration of the journalistic obsession with truth.
However for all the strengths of the story telling and performances, it is a film that doesn't quite take flight as a piece of cinema. The narrative is hard-hitting and very much a story that needs to be told but it does not seem to exploit the power that the big screen can give to a piece. It is controlled, tight but ultimately, I suspect, seeing it on a TV screen would be just as powerful as in the cinema.
Having said that, it was clear from the audience reaction that the film does still hit home. When the full extent of the abuse scandal is revealed in the final credits, the gasps of horror and sadness were heard coming from all round me. I know tears were shed.
So overall, a good film with great writing and great performances but perhaps not a cinematic masterpiece. But they serve an important story with sincerity, honesty and great passion - it is worth seeing.