WHAT TO KNOW
Patriots Day offers a stirring, solidly crafted tribute to the heroes of a real-life American tragedy without straying into exploitative action thriller territory. Read critic reviews
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RATE AND REVIEW
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CAST & CREW
Patriots Day is a surprisingly steady retelling of a tragic event.
A taut, multi-stranded account of the Boston marathon bombing.
It’s not suspenseful so much as commemorative and even, in paying tribute to the resilient spirit of Boston and all of those caught up in this attack, celebratory. It’s a kind of civic tribute.
This movie chronicles the hours before the bombing and the manhunt over the days afterwards, often in forensic detail, combining traditional crime-thriller drama with real CCTV, news and mobile phone footage.
The strong narrative pulse overrides the irritation of Wahlberg’s blue-collar alpha-saint.
The hard-drive details of the day’s horror stay with you.
Patriots Day may tap into the emotional impetus of the intricate and complex investigation but, despite Berg’s good intentions, his highly-detailed production recreates a national tragedy perhaps too soon and without enough perspective.
Bergs work in this film should not be ignored as he not only provides a riveting film but a respectful re-telling of the events, which concludes with interviews of the real-life victims and heroes of the event ending on a poignant note.
In the end, I’m glad I saw the film even though the experience brought out raw emotions, causing me to have tears in my eyes practically the whole time.
The violence, especially an extended shootout on a residential street is not glamorized. It’s raw and tremendously tense.
We don’t have to wait till tragedy strikes before we stand together as one people, it’s our designed nature as humans to be compassionate and united.
Largely works because Berg didn’t task Wahlberg with carrying the film.
AUDIENCE REVIEWS FOR PATRIOTS DAY
May 31, 2018A streamlined thriller that could very easily have strayed into treacly Movie-of-the-Week territory in less assured hands, the efficient and effective Patriots Days gives filmgoers a moving account of true events that ultimately celebrates – not exploits – its human core. This R-rated drama based on real events presents the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible. The narrative moves laterally between the points of view of victims, policemen, federal agents, terrorists, and health providers but make no mistake about it–this is a detective story that ultimately hones in on one central character. Indeed, Patriots Day is a Who-Done-It with a true blue American tragedy at its center. Granted, the ‘true’ part is, at times, nebulous. Several real-life law enforcement figures featured in the book Boston Strong by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge get pared down into one All-American Hero, an earnest Boston patrolman with a bad knee and self-doubt. Truthfully, they had to give this character some flaws because he’s played by Mark Wahlberg, who has already played real-life people (All the Money in the World), All-American Heroes (Invincible), Bostonians (Ted), cops (We Own the Night), and sometimes a role that checks a good number of these boxes at one time (The Perfect Storm, The Fighter, The Departed). His casting alone could’ve earmarked Patriots Day as something boring, routine, or -worse – potentially pantomime, but Wahlberg’s character ultimately and believably becomes the audience’s eyes and ears because his performance doesn’t involve wearing a heart on his sleeve…not much, at least. In fact, the entire production – casting included – seems to be one controlled environment. Though the harrowing events depicted are very visceral, they come from straight-forwardness and not sentimentality. Emotions get stirred but it doesn’t feel like one’s strings are being pulled. Oh, there’s definitely string pulling happening, but it doesn’t feel like a blatant exercise. All involved mostly let the facts speak for themselves and that’s what makes Patriots Day stand out as an A-Grade ripped-from-the-headlines thriller. Sure, a very complex, weeks-spanning story gets boiled down into one two hour and fifteen-minute film but it is neither dull nor dismissive of the details. Peter Berg deserves much of the credit here. A reputable director able to turn out dark comedies (Very Bad Things), hard-hitting dramas (Friday Night Lights), and summer blockbusters (Hancock), his CV recently zeroed in on a specific bent: fact-based thrillers starring Mark Wahlberg. Thankfully, following the disappointingly unthrilling exercise known as Lone Survivor, their collaboration yielded the solid and suspenseful Deepwater Horizon. This paved the way for their most satisfying collaboration yet, Patriots Day. Sure, he stacks the deck with recognizable stars (J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin Bacon, and John Goodman are among the cast), but he never lets them get too showy aside from an occasionally arch line reading (at one point, Bacon’s G-Man states, “He needs to walk like them, talk like them…walk into a tornado and walk out the other side like it’s a gentle fucking breeze”). Thanks to Berg, the master string-puller behind the curtain, it all nonetheless works exceedingly well. To Sum It Up: Boston StrongJeff BSUPER REVIEWER
Feb 25, 2018Intense, exciting and terrifying account of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the hunt for the culprits in the days after. Even though the film sticks to the most important characters involved and follows events almost in the style of a documentary it does pack quite the emotional punch. Great cast and direction makes for a pretty emotional ride. Of course you gotta have the message of Bostonian unity in the end, but given the circumstances, that’s quite alright.Jens SSUPER REVIEWER
May 06, 2017Despite less-than-compelling performances and a lack of artistic perspective, “Patriot’s Day” packs an emotional punch on a visceral level. I found the time spent watching the film was rewarding.Christian CSUPER REVIEWER
Apr 29, 2017Berg & Wahlberg, once more, help shed light on a dark time in history. Patriots Day does well in depicting evenly the tragedy and drama behind the events from April 2013 while also highlighting the heart and captivating courage of those who were victims and those who responded; sending a heartfelt and respectful acknowledgment in the process. 4.5/5Eugene BSUPER REVIEWER
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