We conducted a combined experimental and numerical study of the spreading of insoluble surfactants on spatially confined thin liquid films. We found that the spreading dynamics can locally be represented by a power-law relation x∼t(α). We determine the time evolution of the liquid film thickness and the corresponding spreading exponents α both from experiments using interference microscopy and numerical finite element simulations. The lateral confinement induces non-uniform height- and surface velocity profiles, which manifest themselves in a pronounced transition of the evolving rivulet morphology. Excellent agreement between experimental and simulation results has been achieved.