The quartet of Boston Globe investigative journalists portrayed in Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight (A) are often speed-dining on vending machine snack crackers and black coffee, don’t always match their socks and constantly struggle with defective ballpoint pens. But in the year 2001 as major world news was erupting and traditional newspapers were fighting for their life in the digital era, this ragtag group of reporters cracks open one of the biggest scandals in our century about child abuse in the Catholic Church. Told with verve and urgency and impeccably acted, the film is a love letter to the importance of journalism and a crackling good story. Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton are standouts as they plot out the impact of taking the long game and breaking a scoop. It’s an important work and one of the year’s most vital films.