Spotlight ****

The reviews are in, and Spotlight, the movie about the Boston Globe’s coverage of the pedophile priest scandal, is a hit with critics. Of 67 reviews of the movie on the website Rotten Tomatoes, 64 are positive.

The Boston Herald couldn’t bring itself to having its reviewer write about a movie that glorifies its crosstown rival, so it ran an Associated Press review on its website. The AP review described Spotlight as “not only one of the best movies of the year, but one of the best journalism movies of all time.”

And that is one of the less enthusiastic reviews. Rex Reed, a critic for the New York Observer, said thinking people everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to the film and the real-life reporting team that made it possible. “The year is not over, but I’ve already seen my favorite film of 2015,” Reed writes. Brian Truitt of USA Today calls the movie a “masterpiece.” Ed Siegel, WBUR’s critic and a former Globie, said the movie made him proud of his profession.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone and A.O. Scott of the New York Times must have been sitting next to each other at the theater and comparing notes. “Journalists on film are usually portrayed as idealists or cynics, crusaders or parasites,” writes Scott. “The reality is much grayer, and more than just about any other film I can think of, Spotlight gets it right.” Travers’s assessment? “Spotlight gets it right,” he writes in his review.

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gives an enthusiastic thumbs up to the movie and director Tom McCarthy for doing what many people, including the journalists depicted, thought was impossible, turning a complicated process story into a riveting drama. He also praises McCarthy for being honest enough to zing the Globe for neglecting the story for years.

Spotlight is both damning and inspiring, depressing and heartening,” writes Turan. “Though it’s set more than a decade in the past, it’s the All the President’s Men for our time, and, boy, do we need it now.”

For those who know the reporters and editors at the Globe who are featured in the movie, the reviews are a kick to read. Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal, who calls Spotlight “the year’s best movie so far,” praises Liev Schreiber’s portrayal of Marty Baron, the Jewish newcomer to the Globe who decided the newspaper would pursue the story. Morgenstern says Schreiber’s Baron comes across “as a charm-free introvert, ill at ease and remote in social situations, yet he does it so deftly that Baron comes off as strangely charming — not to mention smart and admirable — all the same.”

I’d say that’s spot-on.

BRUCE MOHL

 

BEACON HILL

Lowell Sun columnist Peter Lucas says US Attorney Carmen Ortiz and the Boston Globe are mounting a smear campaign against House Speaker Robert DeLeo. Lucas says DeLeo and his fellow lawmakers may have engaged in “patronage run amuck,” but that’s not a crime.

The Massachusetts Senate passes legislation regulating “re-homing,” the practice of adopting a child and, when things don’t work out, passing the kid along to someone else. (Associated Press)

The lawmakers who approved a cap on MBTA fare hikes in 2013 can’t agree on what they agreed to. Was it a 5 or 10 percent cap? (State House News)

The state’s district attorneys back Gov. Charlie Baker’s opioid bill. (State House News) Baker spotlights the toll of addiction among veterans. (Boston Globe)

The announcement by Sen. Daniel Wolf that he doesn’t plan to seek reelection sets off a stampede for his Cape Cod seat. (Cape Cod Times)

A Boston Herald editorial pans the idea of the state lottery trying to muscle its way into the sports fantasy market.

Frank Phillips tries to unpack the hidden agendas and ancient grievances that may have shaped the recent state funding dust-up between Senate President Stan Rosenberg and UMass president Marty Meehan. (Boston Globe)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Hingham police spent $40,000 investigating who sent an anonymous letter to selectmen last spring charging misdeeds by two of the police chief candidates. (CommonWealth) Town officials give the Patriot Ledger a summary of the investigative report.

Annissa Essaibi George, who ousted Boston City Councilor Steve Murphy on Tuesday, says she won’t accept the pay increase the council voted itself last week. Andrea Campbell, who defeated veteran City Councilor Charles Yancey, said she will take the increased salary even though she opposed the idea of it. (Boston Herald)

Scituate (aka the “Irish Riviera”) may no longer hold its traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade as the Scituate Chamber of Commerce, the parade’s sponsor, says the costs have become prohibitive. (Patriot Ledger)

A study by UMass Dartmouth finds that just 31 percent of elected municipal and county offices in Bristol County are held by women. (Standard-Times)

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera blocks, at least temporarily, one of the two efforts to recall him. (Eagle-Tribune)

CASINOS

Members of the state’s Gaming Commission grilled developers of a proposed Brockton casino on their application for the final state casino license and asked why they think they can succeed where the backers of a New Bedford casino pulled out because of the prospect of the Mashpee Wampanoag facility in Taunton. (The Enterprise)

Gaming Commission members plan to meet with fantasy sports industry officials to hear their point of view. (Masslive)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

US Sen. Elizabeth Warren outlines her Robin Hood Social Security strategy. (CommonWealth)

Despite the transportation funding bill moving through Congress, officials say aging infrastructure beyond just roads and bridges is posing a public safety threat and much more money is needed. (New York Times)

ELECTIONS

James Carville says unless the Republicans “got Romney in or something,” Marco Rubio will have to do if they want to get 45 percent of the vote in 2016. (Real Clear Politics)

Jeb Bush tells the Globe, “I’ve just got to learn to toot my own horn a little better.”

The biggest factor currently influencing the fortunes of candidates in the GOP field, writes the Globe‘s James Pindell, is “its sheer size.”

Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee get tossed off the main Republican debate stage and sent to the kids’ table. (CNN Money)

Hillary Clinton is betting big on gun control. (Time)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Another day, another high-end housing project announced for Boston, this one for 700 units in the South End. (Boston Globe) Here’s an overview of the $7 billion in construction taking place across the city. (Boston Globe)

The Boston Business Journal ranks the poorest cities in the Bay State: Chelsea holds the first slot.

EDUCATION

UMass Lowell and Salem State University join the test-optional admissions trend. (Boston Globe) Last year, CommonWealth looked at the growing move to de-emphasize SAT scores in college admission.

UMass Dartmouth officials canceled a planned promotional visit by the Miller Lite Girls on campus after a group of students protested that the scantily clad models pushing beer sexualized women and, because the appearance was aimed at male students, discriminates against half the student population. (Standard-Times)

A dorm boost for Boston’s Emmanuel College. (Boston Herald)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Can you believe it? A Beverly woman goes to the hospital complaining of abdominal pain and discovers she’s pregnant and about to give birth to a baby girl. (Salem News)

The number of major foodborne illness outbreaks has tripled over the last 20 years. (Washington Post)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The New York Attorney General has launched an investigation into Exxon Mobil to determine if the energy giant lied about the impact of climate change on its bottom line and on the public. (New York Times)

The region’s demand for electricity is expected to be flat for the next 10 years, although the summer peak demand will keep rising slightly each year. (CommonWealth)

Kinder Morgan briefs the public on its natural gas pipeline project at a Dracut meeting, but not everyone liked the format. (The Sun)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Former state senator James Marzilli is allowed to travel abroad even while he’s on probation. (NECN)

Attorney General Maura Healey cracks down on a market in Peabody where a worker put in about 100 hours a week and was paid primarily with lodging in a broken-down freezer. (Salem News)

Boston police officials say two officers face disciplinary action after removing a man from a Hyde Park apartment following a call from a woman there but not checking to confirm her claim that she had a restraining order against him. She was murdered the next day and the man is now facing charges that he did it. (Boston Globe)

Greater Boston takes a look at what life behind bars is like for women in light of the fact most of the 6,000 federal prisoners being released under new sentencing guidelines are men.

MEDIA

The Boston Globe is a new adherent to sponsored content advertising. (Poynter)

Fast forward used to get you to a new spot on a recording; now it’s becoming a way of digital life. (Boston Globe)