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Spotlight (2015)
Crime, Drama, History

Spotlight (2015)

When the Boston Globe's tenacious "Spotlight" team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. (Read More)

Themes:guilt, conspiracy
Characters:catholic, jew, lawyer, boy, homosexual
Story:catholic church, newspaper reporter, investigative journalism, sexual abuse, child molestation, investigation, newspaper editor, investigative reporter, child abuse, telephone call, portuguese american, hockey coach, archdiocese, complicity, megalomania, broken family, newsroom, pulitzer prize source, sex offender, year 1976

State Of Play (2009)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

State Of Play (2009)

A petty thief is gunned down in an alley and a Congressman's assistant falls in front of a subway - two seemingly unrelated deaths. But not to wisecracking, brash newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey who spies a conspiracy waiting to be uncovered. With a turbulent past connected to the Congressman and the aid of ambitious young rookie writer Della Frye, Cal begins uprooting clues that lead him to a corporate cover-up full of insiders, informants, and assassins. But as he draws closer to the truth, the relentless journalist must decide if it's worth risking his life and selling his soul to get the ultimate story. (Read More)

Themes:conspiracy
Story:newspaper reporter, investigative journalism, newspaper editor, investigative reporter, journalist, newspaper, newsroom, journalism, scandal, no opening credits, reporter, husband wife relationship

Zodiac (2007)
Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller

Zodiac (2007)

A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970's case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith's book, the movie's focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. (Read More)

Characters:lawyer, boy
Story:child abuse, telephone call, sex offender, pedophilia, marital separation, pedophile, prologue, flash forward, journalist, newspaper, reporter, cafe, investigation, based on true story, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, one word title, interview

Cloud Atlas (2012)
Action, Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi

Cloud Atlas (2012)

Everything is connected: an 1849 diary of an ocean voyage across the Pacific; letters from a composer to his lover; a thriller about a conspiracy at a nuclear power plant; a farce about a publisher in a nursing home; a rebellious clone in futuristic Korea; and the tale of a tribe living on post-apocalyptic Hawaii far in the future. (Read More)

Themes:guilt, conspiracy
Characters:jew, lawyer, boy, homosexual
Story:telephone call, distrust, ensemble cast, trust, prologue, flash forward, no opening credits, journalist, newspaper, f word, reporter, telephone, cafe, reference to god, secret, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, interview

Doubt (2008) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Drama, Mystery

Doubt (2008)

It's 1964, St. Nicholas in the Bronx. A charismatic priest, Father Flynn, is trying to upend the school's strict customs, which have long been fiercely guarded by Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the iron-gloved Principal who believes in the power of fear-based discipline. The winds of political change are sweeping through the community, and indeed, the school has just accepted its first black student, Donald Miller. But when Sister James, a hopeful innocent, shares with Sister Aloysius her guilt-inducing suspicion that Father Flynn is paying too much personal attention to Donald, Sister Aloysius sets off on a personal crusade to unearth the truth and to expunge Flynn from the school. Now, without a shard of proof besides her moral certainty, Sister Aloysius locks into a battle of wills with Father Flynn which threatens to tear apart the community with irrevocable consequences. (Read More)

Themes:guilt
Characters:catholic, boy, homosexual
Story:catholic church, telephone call, pulitzer prize source, pedophilia, pedophile, innocence, trust, cover up, prologue, child, title spoken by character, husband wife relationship, one word title

Sleepers (1996)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

Sleepers (1996)

As children, Lorenzo Carcaterra - Shakes to his friends - Michael Sullivan, Tommy Marcano, and John Reilly were inseparable. They grew up in Hell's Kitchen, a far from perfect neighborhood, one filled as Shakes says with scams and shake downs, but one where the rules were known by its residents. The one adult who they admired was Father Bobby Carelli, who understood them as kids more than most adults and more than he himself would like to admit. In 1967, their lives would change forever when a typical teenage prank went wrong which led to the four of them being sentenced to various terms at Wilkinson Home for Boys, a reformatory. There, they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused primarily by Sean Nokes, the head guard of their cell block, and fellow guards Ralph Ferguson, Henry Addison, and Adam Styler, although there were other caring figures of authority at the home including other guards. Their time at the home affected the four, not all who were able to emerge from the experience to regroup their lives. In their want to forget about the experience, they made a vow not to talk about it either between themselves or with others. Fast forward thirteen years, with Tommy and Johnny being career criminals, Michael an assistant district attorney and Shakes a newspaper writer, their friendship on the surface more loose than it was when they were children. When Tommy and John spot Nokes, it leads to Shakes and Michael banding together to exact revenge not only on Nokes but all four of the guards who abused them. Michael had long mapped out a plan even before Tommy and John saw Nokes, but that sighting and its aftermath alters the plan. Beyond the precarious position Tommy and John place themselves into, Michael has the most to lose even if the plan succeeds. Most of the plan implementation is left to Shakes who has to enlist the machine of Hell's Kitchen, including mob boss King Benny, and their childhood friend, social worker Carol Martinez, who currently is John's girlfriend. Beyond co-opting aging lawyer Danny Snyder, who admits he may not be the best choice as an alcoholic who is no longer near the top of his game, the plan is threatened by a key piece, the need for an unreproachable figure to perjure him or herself, that person who Michael and Shakes hopes will be Father Bobby. Father Bobby, even if he knew of the abuse, may not be able to do his friends this enormous favor of an illegal nature, he who has to balance the morality of the situation in his own mind in deciding what to do. This is why Sleepers (1996) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015). (Read More)

Characters:catholic, lawyer, boy
Story:catholic church, child abuse, telephone call, hot dog, pedophilia, pedophile, innocence, sexual abuse, flash forward, newspaper, reporter, cafe, title spoken by character, husband wife relationship, one word title

Mystic River (2003)
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Mystic River (2003)

In the summer of 1975 in a neighborhood in Boston, 3 kids, Dave Boyle and two of his friends, Jimmy and Sean, are playing on the sidewalk when Dave gets abducted by two men and endures several days of sexual abuse. Eventually, Dave escapes traumatized throughout adulthood. Jimmy is an ex-con and a father of three, whose daughter Katie, is found dead and Dave becomes the number one suspect. Sean is a homicide detective, investigating Katie's murder, ends up finding himself faced with past and present demons as more is uncovered about Katie's murder. Learning Katie had a boyfriend, ballistics later turn up a gun belonging to the father, which then puts her boyfriend as the suspect. Will Sean find out who killed Katie? Will Jimmy make it through the investigation? And will Dave ever find out what really happened when he was abducted? (Read More)

Characters:catholic
Story:sexual abuse, child molestation, catholic church, child abuse, pedophilia, marital separation, boston massachusetts, victim, prologue, flash forward, investigation, father daughter relationship

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)
Drama, Horror, Thriller

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

When a younger girl called Emily Rose dies, everyone puts blame on the exorcism which was performed on her by Father Moore prior to her death. The priest is arrested on suspicion of murder. The trail begins with lawyer Erin Bruner representing Moore, but it is not going to be easy, as no one wants to believe what Father Moore says is true. (Read More)

Characters:lawyer, catholic
Story:telephone call, archdiocese, catholicism, scandal, cafe, investigation, based on true story, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship

Superman (1978) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi

Superman (1978)

Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, young Clark discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor, while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane (Read More)

Story:reporter, newspaper reporter, newspaper editor, innocence, journalism, prologue, child, newspaper, title spoken by character, one word title, interview

Almost Famous (2000)
Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Music

Almost Famous (2000)

William Miller is a 15-year-old kid hired by Rolling Stone magazine to tour with and write about Stillwater, an up and coming rock band. This wonderfully witty coming-of-age film follows William as he falls face first to confront life, love, and lingo.

Themes:guilt
Characters:boy, homosexual
Story:telephone call, boston massachusetts, journalism, prologue, journalist, f word, telephone, secret, based on true story, interview

Black Mass (2015)
Biography, Crime, Drama, History

Black Mass (2015)

Based on a true story of James "Whitey" Bulger, an Irish Mob godfather and FBI informant who had a "secret trading" deal with his brother, William "Billy" Bulger, a state senator and a Boston public figure, and John Connolly, an FBI agent. They planned to take down the Italian mob and mafia in Boston, which went awry and things turned massively violent. When the credence for each other began fading out, drug dealing, murders, and extortion started to rise, and forced the FBI's Boston office to confirm that Whitey Bulger was one of the most notorious criminals in US history and also one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List criminals. This is why Black Mass (2015) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015). (Read More)

Themes:conspiracy
Characters:catholic, lawyer
Story:complicity, ensemble cast, boston massachusetts, cover up, no opening credits, journalist, newspaper, f word, reporter, secret, investigation, based on true story, husband wife relationship

Man Som Hatar Kvinnor (2009)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Man Som Hatar Kvinnor (2009)

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle suspects murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history; but, the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves. (Read More)

Characters:lawyer, boy
Story:journalist, investigative journalism, child abuse, telephone call, year 2002, scandal, trust, newspaper, reporter, secret, investigation, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Drama, Romance

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)

Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world. (Read More)

Themes:guilt
Characters:catholic, boy, homosexual
Story:child molestation, catholic church, child abuse, telephone call, innocence, ice cream, sexual abuse, trust, flash forward, f word, telephone, cafe, reference to god, secret, husband wife relationship

The Insider (1999)
Biography, Drama, Thriller

The Insider (1999)

Balls-out "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman sniffs a story when a former research biologist for Brown & Williamson, Jeff Wigand, won't talk to him. When the company leans hard on Wigand to honor a confidentiality agreement, he gets his back up. Trusting Bergman and despite a crumbling marriage, he goes on camera for a Mike Wallace interview and risks arrest for contempt of court. Westinghouse is negotiating to buy CBS, so CBS attorneys advise CBS News to shelve the interview and avoid a lawsuit. "60 Minutes" and CBS News bosses cave, Wigand is hung out to dry, Bergman is compromised, and the CEOs of Big Tobacco may get away with perjury. Will the truth come out? (Read More)

Themes:conspiracy
Characters:lawyer
Story:telephone call, expose, marital separation, journalism, cover up, prologue, journalist, reporter, reference to god, investigation, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, interview

Legend (2015)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Legend (2015)

The true story of London's most notorious gangsters, twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray. As the brothers rise through the criminal underworld, Ronnie advances the family business with violence and intimidation while Reggie struggles to go legitimate for local girl Frances Shea. In and out of prison, Ronnie's unpredictable tendencies and the slow disintegration of Reggie's marriage threaten to bring the brothers' empire tumbling to the ground. (Read More)

Themes:guilt
Characters:homosexual
Story:distrust, innocence, scandal, trust, cover up, prologue, no opening credits, newspaper, f word, reference to god, investigation, husband wife relationship, one word title

Citizen Kane (1941)
Drama, Mystery

Citizen Kane (1941)

A group of reporters are trying to decipher the last word ever spoken by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud." The film begins with a news reel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, we are shown flashbacks from Kane's life. As the reporters investigate further, the viewers see a display of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually fell off the top of the world. This is why Citizen Kane (1941) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015). (Read More)

Story:newspaper, newspaper reporter, reporter, newspaper editor, journalism, scandal, trust, no opening credits, child, journalist, investigation, husband wife relationship

Changeling (2008) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller

Changeling (2008)

Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he's her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he's not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical. When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who's without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There's redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power? (Read More)

Themes:conspiracy
Characters:boy, lawyer
Story:telephone, telephone call, pedophilia, pedophile, no opening credits, child, newspaper, reporter, cafe, investigation, based on true story, husband wife relationship, one word title

The Godfather: Part III (1990)
Crime, Drama

The Godfather: Part III (1990)

In the final instalment of the Godfather Trilogy, an aging Don Michael Corleone seeks to legitimize his crime family's interests and remove himself from the violent underworld but is kept back by the ambitions of the young. While he attempts to link the Corleone's finances with the Vatican, Michael must deal with the machinations of a hungrier gangster seeking to upset the existing Mafioso order and a young protoge's love affair with his daughter. (Read More)

Themes:guilt
Characters:catholic, lawyer
Story:catholic church, cardinal the priest, no opening credits, reporter, father daughter relationship

The Boondock Saints (1999)
Action, Crime, Thriller

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Two Irish brothers accidentally kill mafia thugs. They turn themselves in and are released as heroes. They then see it as a calling by God and start knocking off mafia gang members one by one. Willem Dafoe plays the detective trying to figure out the killings, but the closer he comes to catching the Irish brothers, the more he thinks the brothers are doing the right thing. (Read More)

Characters:catholic, homosexual
Story:catholic church, telephone call, catholicism, boston massachusetts, prologue, flash forward, newspaper, f word, reporter, cafe, investigation, husband wife relationship, interview

Erin Brockovich (2000)
Biography, Drama

Erin Brockovich (2000)

'Erin Brockovich-Ellis' (qv) is an unemployed single mother, desperate to find a job, but is having no luck. This losing streak even extends to a failed lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in. With no alternative, she successfully browbeats her lawyer to give her a job in compensation for the loss. While no one takes her seriously, with her trashy clothes and earthy manners, that soon changes when she begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area. As she digs deeper, Erin finds herself leading point in a series of events that would involve her law firm in one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation. (Read More)

Characters:lawyer
Story:telephone call, trust, prologue, flash forward, child, newspaper, cafe, investigation, based on true story, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship

Gone Baby Gone (2007) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

When 4 year old Amanda McCready disappears from her home and the police make little headway in solving the case, the girl's aunt Beatrice McCready hires two private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. The detectives freely admit that they have little experience with this type of case, but the family wants them for two reasons - they're not cops and they know the tough Boston neighborhood in which they all live. As the case progresses, Kenzie and Gennaro face drug dealers, gangs and pedophiles. When they are about to solve their case, they are faced with a moral dilemma that could tear them apart. This is why Gone Baby Gone (2007) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015). (Read More)

Themes:guilt, conspiracy
Characters:catholic
Story:child molestation, child, child abuse, investigation, pedophile, boston massachusetts, f word, cafe, title spoken by character, husband wife relationship

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (2008)
Drama, War

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (2008)

Young Bruno lives a wealthy lifestyle in prewar Germany along with his mother, elder sister, and SS Commandant father. The family relocates to the countryside where his father is assigned to take command a prison camp. A few days later, Bruno befriends another youth, strangely dressed in striped pajamas, named Shmuel who lives behind an electrified fence. Bruno will soon find out that he is not permitted to befriend his new friend as he is a Jew, and that the neighboring yard is actually a prison camp for Jews awaiting extermination. (Read More)

Characters:jew, boy
Story:telephone call, child, newspaper, secret, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship

Oldeuboi (2003)
Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Oldeuboi (2003)

Abducted on a rainy night in 1988, the obnoxious drunk, Oh Dae-Su, much to his surprise, wakes up locked in a windowless and dilapidated hotel room, for an unknown reason. There, his invisible and pitiless captors will feed him, clothe him and sedate him to avoid committing suicide, and as his only companion and a window to the world is the TV in his stark cell, the only thing that helps Oh Dae-Su keep going is his daily journal. But then, unexpectedly, after fifteen long years in captivity, the perplexed prisoner is deliberately released, encouraged to track down his tormentor to finally get his retribution. Nevertheless, who would hate Oh Dae-Su so much he would deny him of a quick and clean death? (Read More)

Themes:guilt, conspiracy
Characters:catholic
Story:telephone call, innocence, trust, prologue, flash forward, newspaper, cafe, secret, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, one word title

21 Grams (2003)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

21 Grams (2003)

This is the story of three well-meaning but flawed people: Paul Rivers, an ailing mathematician lovelessly married to an English emigre; Christina Peck, an upper-middle-class suburban housewife, happily married homemaker with two young daughters, with hiding a secret past; and Jack Jordan, an ex-convict who has found in his Christian faith the strength to live a law-abiding life and raise a family. They will be brought together by a terrible accident that will change their lives. By the final frame, none of them will be the same as they will have learnt harsh truths about love, faith, courage, desire and guilt, and how chance can change our worlds irretrievably, forever. (Read More)

Themes:guilt
Characters:lawyer, boy
Story:telephone call, marital separation, flash forward, cafe, reference to god, secret, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship

Body Of Lies (2008) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller, War

Body Of Lies (2008)

Roger Ferris is a CIA operative in the Middle East; Ed Hoffman is his control at Langley. Cynicism is everywhere. In Amman, Roger works with Hani Salaam, Jordan's head of security, whose only dictum is "Don't lie to me." The Americans are in pursuit of a cleric who leads a group placing bombs all over Europe. When Hani rebukes Ed's demand that Jordan allow the Americans to use one of Jordan's double agents, Roger and Ed hatch a plan to bring the cleric to them. The plan is complicated by its being a secret from Hani and by Roger's attraction to a local nurse. Satellites and cell phones, bodies and lies: modern warfare. (Read More)

Characters:lawyer, boy
Story:telephone call, trust, prologue, no opening credits, newspaper, f word, telephone, cafe, reference to god, secret, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship

Thank You For Smoking (2005)
Comedy, Drama

Thank You For Smoking (2005)

The chief spokesperson and lobbyist Nick Naylor is the Vice-President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. He is talented in speaking and spins argument to defend the cigarette industry in the most difficult situations. His best friends are Polly Bailey that works in the Moderation Council in alcohol business, and Bobby Jay Bliss of the gun business own advisory group SAFETY. They frequently meet each other in a bar and they self-entitle the Mod Squad a.k.a. Merchants of Death, disputing which industry has killed more people. Nick's greatest enemy is Vermont's Senator Ortolan Finistirre, who defends in the Senate the use a skull and crossed bones in the cigarette packs. Nick's son Joey Naylor lives with his mother, and has the chance to know his father in a business trip. When the ambitious reporter Heather Holloway betrays Nick disclosing confidences he had in bed with her, his life turns upside-down. But Nick is good in what he does for the mortgage. This is why Thank You For Smoking (2005) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015). (Read More)

Themes:guilt
Characters:lawyer, boy
Story:reporter, telephone call, expose, ice cream, trust, newspaper, f word, cafe, reference to god, husband wife relationship, interview

Now You See Me 2 (2016)
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Now You See Me 2 (2016)

One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public's adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry, a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all. (Read More)

Themes:conspiracy
Story:telephone call, expose, prologue, flash forward, no opening credits, reporter, telephone, investigation

The Tree Of Life (2011)
Drama, Fantasy

The Tree Of Life (2011)

The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father ('Brad Pitt' (qv)). Jack (played as an adult by 'Sean Penn (I)' (qv)) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. (Read More)

Themes:guilt
Characters:catholic, boy
Story:child abuse, telephone call, distrust, innocence, trust, flash forward, newspaper, cafe, reference to god, husband wife relationship

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Biography, Comedy, Crime, Drama

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

Jordan Belfort is a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 22 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scam that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including shoe designer Steve Madden.

Themes:guilt, conspiracy
Characters:lawyer
Story:telephone call, victim, no opening credits, newspaper, f word, reporter, telephone, cafe, reference to god, investigation, based on true story, title spoken by character, husband wife relationship, interview

The Spectacular Now (2013)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

The Spectacular Now (2013)

Sutter Keely lives in the now. It's a good place for him. A high school senior, charming and self-possessed, he's the life of the party, loves his job at a men's clothing store, and has no plans for the future. A budding alcoholic, he's never far from his supersized, whiskey-fortified thirst-master cup. But after being dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter gets drunk and wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finecky hovering over him. She's different: the "nice girl" who reads science fiction and doesn't have a boyfriend. While Aimee has dreams of a future, Sutter lives in the impressive delusion of a spectacular now, yet somehow, they're drawn together. (Read More)

Story:telephone call, trust, prologue, flash forward, f word, telephone, reference to god, secret, husband wife relationship

Natural Born Killers (1994)
Crime, Drama

Natural Born Killers (1994)

Mickey Knox and Mallory Wilson aren't your typical lovers - after killing her abusive father, they go on a road trip where, every time they stop somewhere, they kill pretty well everyone around them. They do however leave one person alive at every shootout to tell the story and they soon become a media sensation thanks to sensationalized reporting. Told in a highly visual style. This is why Natural Born Killers (1994) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015). (Read More)

Characters:boy
Story:child abuse, expose, journalism, sexual abuse, prologue, flash forward, journalist, f word, reporter, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, interview

Brooklyn (2015)
Drama, Romance

Brooklyn (2015)

In late 1951, Eilis Lacey, a young Irish girl, emigrates to Brooklyn. Sponsored by Father Flood, a priest from her native town Enniscorthy, she is assured to find a full-time job there. But the early days are tough, seasickness being soon replaced by loneliness and homesickness, two feelings all the more acutely felt by Eilis for having had to leave behind her widowed mother and her dear sister Rose. She nevertheless little by little manages to find her footing by adapting to her job as a salesgirl, by studying bookkeeping at Brooklyn College as well as with a little help from both Father Flood and Mrs. Kehoe, the owner of the boarding school she now lives in. And not only does graduation follow but love shows its face in Tony, an Italian-American plumber, full of adoration and respect for her. They end up marrying, although keeping the thing secret. It is at that point that tragedy strikes inciting Eilis to return to Enniscorthy to support her mother morally. And there a strange thing happens : she gradually gets lured by the charms of her native place, going far as to let herself be wooed by Jim Farrell, a young local. (Read More)

Characters:catholic
Story:catholic church, telephone call, anguish, prologue, f word, telephone, reference to god, secret, title spoken by character, husband wife relationship, one word title

Side Effects (2013) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

Side Effects (2013)

Emily Taylor, despite being reunited with her husband from prison, becomes severely depressed with emotional episodes and suicide attempts. Her psychiatrist, Jonathan Banks, after conferring with her previous doctor, eventually prescribes an experimental new medication called Ablixa. The plot thickens when the side effects of the drug lead to Emily killing her husband in a "sleepwalking" state. With Emily plea-bargained into mental hospital confinement and Dr. Banks' practice crumbling around him, the case seems closed. However, Dr. Banks cannot accept full responsibility and investigates to clear his name. What follows is a dark quest that threatens to tear what's left of his life apart even as he discovers the diabolical truth of this tragedy. (Read More)

Themes:guilt, conspiracy
Characters:lawyer, boy
Story:marital separation, newspaper, f word, reporter, cafe, reference to god, investigation, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship

The Lovely Bones (2009)
Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

The Lovely Bones (2009)

A 14-year-old girl in suburban 1970's Pennsylvania is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from the place between Heaven and Earth, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body.

Story:victim, child molestation, telephone call, pedophilia, pedophile, flash forward, no opening credits, investigation, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship

Dogville (2003)
Crime, Drama

Dogville (2003)

Late one night, a beautiful and well-dressed young woman, Grace, arrives in the mountainous old mining town of Dogville as a fugitive; following the sound of gunshots in the distance which have been heard by Tom, the self-appointed moral spokesman for the town. Persuaded by Tom, the town agree to hide Grace, and in return she freely helps the locals. However, when the Sheriff from a neighbouring town posts a Missing notice, advertising a reward for revealing her whereabouts, the townsfolk require a better deal from Grace, in return for their silence; and when the Sheriff returns some weeks later with a Wanted poster, even though the citizens know her to be innocent of the false charges against her, the town's sense of goodness takes a sinister turn and the price of Grace's freedom becomes a workload and treatment akin to that of a slave. But Grace has a deadly secret that the townsfolk will eventually encounter. (Read More)

Characters:boy
Story:child abuse, secret, telephone call, victim, trust, prologue, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, one word title

Chinatown (1974)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Chinatown (1974)

JJ 'Jake' Gittes is a private detective who seems to specialize in matrimonial cases. He is hired by Evelyn Mulwray when she suspects her husband Hollis, builder of the city's water supply system, of having an affair. Gittes does what he does best and photographs him with a young girl but in the ensuing scandal, it seems he was hired by an impersonator and not the real Mrs. Mulwray. When Mr. Mulwray is found dead, Jake is plunged into a complex web of deceit involving murder, incest, and municipal corruption all related to the city's water supply. This is why Chinatown (1974) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015). (Read More)

Themes:conspiracy
Characters:lawyer
Story:investigation, telephone call, expose, distrust, scandal, cover up, telephone, secret, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, one word title

Primal Fear (1996) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Primal Fear (1996)

Courtroom thriller about a slick, hotshot lawyer who takes the seemingly unwinnable case of a young altar boy accused of murdering an eminent catholic priest.

Characters:lawyer, boy, catholic
Story:child abuse, scandal, cover up, f word, reporter, investigation, interview

Milk (2008)
Biography, Drama, History, Romance

Milk (2008)

Using flashbacks from a statement recorded late in life and archival footage for atmosphere, this film traces Harvey Milk's career from his 40th birthday to his death. He leaves the closet and New York, opens a camera shop that becomes the salon for San Francisco's growing gay community, and organizes gays' purchasing power to build political alliances. He runs for office with lover Scott Smith as his campaign manager. Victory finally comes on the same day Dan White wins in the city's conservative district. The rest of the film sketches Milk's relationship with White and the 1978 fight against a statewide initiative to bar gays and their supporters from public school jobs. (Read More)

Characters:jew, lawyer, homosexual
Story:catholic church, telephone call, year 1976, ice cream, newspaper, cafe, reference to god, one word title, interview

Insomnia (2002)
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Insomnia (2002)

Sent from the city to investigate the murder of a teenage girl in a small Alaska town, a police detective (Pacino) accidentally shoots his own partner while trying to apprehend a suspect. Instead of admitting his guilt, the detective is given an unexpected alibi, but this "solution" only multiplies the emotional complexity and guilt over his partner's death. He's also still got a murder to solve, in addition to the blackmail and framing of an innocent bystander being orchestrated by the man they were chasing. There's also a local detective (Swank) who is conducting her own personal investigation... of his partner's death. Will it all come crashing down on him? (Read More)

Themes:guilt
Characters:boy
Story:investigation, telephone call, pedophile, cover up, telephone, secret

Das Leben Der Anderen (2006)
Drama, Thriller

Das Leben Der Anderen (2006)

Gerd Wiesler is an officer with the Stasi, the East German secret police. The film begins in 1984 when Wiesler attends a play written by Georg Dreyman, who is considered by many to be the ultimate example of the loyal citizen. Wiesler has a gut feeling that Dreyman can't be as ideal as he seems, and believes surveillance is called for. The Minister of Culture agrees but only later does Wiesler learn that the Minister sees Dreyman as a rival and lusts after his partner Christa-Maria. The more time he spends listening in on them, the more he comes to care about them. The once rigid Stasi officer begins to intervene in their lives, in a positive way, protecting them whenever possible. Eventually, Wiesler's activities catch up to him and while there is no proof of wrongdoing, he finds himself in menial jobs - until the unbelievable happens. (Read More)

Themes:guilt, conspiracy
Story:secret, telephone call, innocence, trust, flash forward, no opening credits, newspaper

Hugo (2011) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Hugo (2011)

Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. He learned to fix clocks and other gadgets from his father and uncle which he puts to use keeping the train station clocks running. The only thing that he has left that connects him to his dead father is an automaton (mechanical man) that doesn't work without a special key. Hugo needs to find the key to unlock the secret he believes it contains. On his adventures, he meets George Melies, a shopkeeper, who works in the train station, and his adventure-seeking god-daughter. Hugo finds that they have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton, and he discovers it unlocks some memories the old man has buried inside regarding his past. This is why Hugo (2011) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015). (Read More)

Characters:boy
Story:secret, telephone call, trust, prologue, no opening credits, child, newspaper, telephone, cafe, husband wife relationship, one word title

Capote (2005)
Biography, Crime, Drama, History

Capote (2005)

Famed writer 'Truman Capote' (qv), southern born and bred but now part of the New York City social circle, is growing weary of his current assignment of writing autobiographical type pieces for the New Yorker. After reading a newspaper article about the just occurred November 14, 1959 cold blooded murders of the Clutter family in their rural Kansas home, Truman feels compelled to write about that event as his next article. So he and his personal assistant Nelle 'Harper Lee (I)' (qv), also a southern born New Yorker and an aspiring writer of her own, head to Kansas to research the story first-hand. Truman hopes to use his celebrity status to gain access to whomever he needs, such as to Laura Kinney, a friend of the Clutter daughter she who discovered the bodies, and to Alvin Dewey, the lead police investigator and also a Clutter family friend. If his celebrity doesn't work, Truman will grease the wheels by whatever means necessary. When the police eventually charge suspects, two young men named Dick Hickcock and Perry Smith, Truman uses those same tactics to gain access to them. Truman's fascination with the story makes him believe that he can revolutionize writing by expanding the germ of the article into what he calls a non-fiction novel. His personal involvement also changes as he grows emotionally attached to Perry, the seemingly sensitive and thus probable submissive in the criminal pairing, thus Truman becoming part of the story itself. Article or non-fiction novel, Truman knows that he has to take it to its natural conclusion, something which he cannot force. But also missing are the details of the November 14, 1959 event itself, something that neither Dick or Perry have divulged even in testimony. (Read More)

Characters:lawyer, boy, homosexual
Story:telephone call, journalism, trust, newspaper, reporter, cafe, investigation, title spoken by character, husband wife relationship, one word title, interview

Munich (2005)
Crime, Drama, History, Thriller

Munich (2005)

After Black September's assassination of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, Prime Minister Golda Meir okays a black-box operation to hunt down and kill all involved. A team of five gathers in Switzerland led by Avner, a low-level Mossad techie whose father was a war hero and whose wife is pregnant. It's an expendable team, but relying on paid informants, they track and kill several in Europe and Lebanon. They must constantly look over their shoulders for the CIA, KGB, PLO, and their own sources. As the body count mounts -- with retribution following retribution -- so do questions, doubts, and sleepless nights. Loyalties blur. What does it mean to be a Jew? (Read More)

Characters:catholic, jew, boy
Story:telephone call, no opening credits, journalist, telephone, cafe, reference to god, secret, based on true story, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, one word title

Green Zone (2010)
Action, Drama, Thriller, War

Green Zone (2010)

Following the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller and his men are charged with finding the so-called weapons of mass destruction, whose existence justified American involvement, according to the Pentagon and their man in Baghdad, Poundstone. Veteran CIA operative Marty tells Miller that there are no weapons, it is a deception to allow the Americans to take over the country and install a puppet leader. Also suspicious of Poundstone is Wall Street Journal reporter Lawrie Dayne, who lets slip to Miller that Poundstone told her he had secret talks in Jordan with an important Iraqi, code-named Magellan, who told him about the weapons, though it now seems likely Magellan's true information was to the contrary. So begins a hunt for the truth. Who's playing whom? (Read More)

Story:newspaper reporter, expose, journalist, reporter, secret, based on true story, title spoken by character

The Constant Gardener (2005) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Drama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

The Constant Gardener (2005)

In a remote area of Northern Kenya, activist Tessa Quayle is found brutally murdered. Tessa's companion, a doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Members of the British High Commission in Nairobi assume that Tessa's widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle, will leave the matter to them. They could not be more wrong. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumors of his late wife's infidelities, Quayle surprises everyone by embarking on a personal odyssey that will take him across three continents. Using his privileged access to diplomatic secrets, he will risk his own life, stopping at nothing to uncover and expose the truth - a conspiracy more far-reaching and deadly than Quayle could ever have imagined. (Read More)

Themes:conspiracy
Characters:boy, homosexual
Story:expose, scandal, cover up, flash forward, no opening credits, cafe, investigation, husband wife relationship

Marley & Me (2008)
Comedy, Drama, Family

Marley & Me (2008)

After their wedding, newspaper writers John and Jennifer Grogan move to Florida. In an attempt to stall Jennifer's "biological clock", John gives her a puppy. While the puppy Marley grows into a 100 pound dog, he loses none of his puppy energy or rambunctiousness. Meanwhile, Marley gains no self-discipline. Marley's antics give John rich material for his newspaper column. As the Grogans mature and have children of their own, Marley continues to test everyone's patience by acting like the world's most impulsive dog. This is why Marley & Me (2008) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015). (Read More)

Story:newspaper reporter, newspaper editor, journalist, newspaper, based on true story

L.a. Confidential (1997)
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

L.a. Confidential (1997)

1950's Los Angeles is the seedy backdrop for this intricate noir-ish tale of police corruption and Hollywood sleaze. Three very different cops are all after the truth, each in their own style: Ed Exley, the golden boy of the police force, willing to do almost anything to get ahead, except sell out; Bud White, ready to break the rules to seek justice, but barely able to keep his raging violence under control; and Jack Vincennes, always looking for celebrity and a quick buck until his conscience drives him to join Exley and White down the one-way path to find the truth behind the dark world of L.A. crime. (Read More)

Themes:conspiracy
Characters:boy
Story:ensemble cast, scandal, prologue, journalist, f word, reporter, secret

The Nice Guys (2016)
Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

The Nice Guys (2016)

Set against the backdrop of 1977 Los Angeles, The Nice Guys opens when single father and licensed PI Holland March (Gosling) is hired to investigate the apparent suicide of famous porn star Misty Mountains. As the trail leads him to track down a girl named Amelia (Qualley), he encounters less licensed and less hands-off private eye Jackson Healey (Russell Crowe) and his brass knuckles, both hired by the young hippie. However, the situation takes a turn for the worse when Amelia vanishes and it becomes apparent that March wasn't the only party interested. As both men are forced to team up, they'll have to take on a world filled with eccentric goons, strippers dressed as mermaids and even a possible government conspiracy. (Read More)

Themes:conspiracy
Characters:lawyer
Story:distrust, cover up, prologue, flash forward, f word, telephone, investigation, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship

Allied (2016) is one of the best movies like Spotlight (2015)
Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller, War

Allied (2016)

In the middle of World War II, in turbulent 1942, a plane flies over Morocco and drops a Royal Canadian Air Force paratrooper who comes in to land on a drop zone, somewhere in the desert dunes outside Casablanca. Just in time before anyone notices him, the fearless Wing Commander Max Vatan gets in a car and heads to the town with orders to meet Parisian Marianne Beausejour, a skillful member of the French Resistance. On a mission to assassinate the German Ambassador in Casablanca, the two operatives must convince every one of their true feelings as a married couple, while in the background, they need to make the necessary preparations for the critical soiree. Without delay, after the success of this suicide mission, Max and Marianne flee together to England with plans on marrying and making a family, regardless of the war. Instead, heavy clouds of distrust and suspicion threaten their relationship, when Max receives a call from the Secret Service Division to inform him that his beloved wife is actually an impostor. In disbelief, with a terrible task in his hands and crushed under a devastating dilemma, Max must find the courage to seek for answers in the perilous streets of bombarded London, regardless of the outcome. In the end, amid duty and love, who shall live and who shall die? (Read More)

Story:secret, telephone call, distrust, flash forward, no opening credits, f word, telephone, cafe, investigation, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, one word title

Monster (2003)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Monster (2003)

The true story of serial killer Aileen Wuernos who was convicted of luring men to their death and eventually executed in 2002. In 1989, she was working as a prostitute and finally makes a friend when she meets and begins a relationship with a young woman, Selby. Determined to straighten out her life, she tries to find legitimate work but with little education and limited social skills, she fails at every turn. She starts working as a hooker hitching rides along the local interstate highway and after robbing a few clients has an encounter with a vicious client whom she kills in self-defense. After that however she just takes to killing clients taking their money and car. Once arrested she claims self-defense but is eventually convicted. (Read More)

Characters:lawyer, homosexual
Story:child abuse, pedophile, sexual abuse, telephone, reference to god, based on true story, title spoken by character, father daughter relationship, husband wife relationship, one word title

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