Patriots Day Movie Review: Remembering the Boston Marathon Bombings
A film staring Mark Wahlberg, the Patriots Day movie has been praised as a good performance for the often-criticized actor. Alongside Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, and Michelle Monaghan. Based on the book Boston Strong by Dave Wedge and Casey Sherman. Patriots Day chronicles the events that surrounded the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing and the manhunt for the terrorists that followed. Directed by Peter Berg, it is the first big studio depiction of the events of the day.
What’s it about?
What’s the plot about? Mark Wahlberg is an on-duty police Boston sergeant, Tommy Saunders, who is at the Boston Marathon when two bombs are simultaneously detonated. The blast happens near the finish line and many people are immediately killed or maimed. He searches for evidence and tries to re-connect victims with their families as the chaos explodes around him.
Meanwhile, Kevin Bacon plays the FBI agent assigned to the case who is racing the clock to catch the terrorists as soon as possible and potentially prevent another attack. John Goodman also stars as the police commissioner while J.K. Simmons plays Waterton Police Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese. All three contribute to hunting down the Tsarnaev Brothers, the inevitable perpetrators of the bombings.
Why is it a great movie? The acting is stellar and the casting was spot on. The film does just enough pulling at your heart strings while providing you with action. (To cheer you up.) But the film also showcases how the people of Boston came together in the immediate aftermath. The humanity portrayed in the film has been described as spot on by Bostonians who lived through the attack. With a bad-ass soundtrack by none other than The Social Network’s Academy Award-winning score-writer, Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor. The score definitely adds to the suspense of the film in a similar way that Reznor blew us all away with The Social Network’s soundtrack.
The intense action sequences are very well-directed by Peter Berg, who directed Lone Survivor, Very Bad Things, and Hancock. The manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers feels so real, you can taste the intensity. The shootouts that occurred when the pair were caught was a realistic several minutes that left the audience trying to remind themselves of how the story ends in real life. The detective work of the three main characters seemed to flow at a perfect pace, whereas it can feel contrived in other action movies where an investigation is taking place.
This film is as much an ode to Boston and the people there as it is a nod to the American spirit of not giving up on your neighbors. There is a beautiful illustration throughout the film of the resilience of the American people and our ability to come together under times of crises. Based on true accounts of the day, Patriots Day could have taken an exploitative turn that it never did. It is a genuine, beautiful, at times, film exploring the details of a few dark days in our country. The film has been acclaimed by many viewers who lived through the attack as genuine and a realistic account of what occurred that day.
What else comes with it?
Patriots Day Blu-Ray edition contains lots of special features, including short documentaries Boston Strong: True Stories of Courage, The Boston Bond: Recounting the Tale, The Real Patriots: The Local Heroes’ Stories, The Cast Remembers, Actors Meet Real-Life Counterparts: A 2-part Series, and the Lionsgate featurette Researching the Day. The two-disc Blu-Ray comes in HD with 1080p resolution. The resolution and featurettes should be enough to entice audiences to add Patriots Day on Blu-Ray to their collection.
Most Americans remember one of the biggest terrorist attacks on our soil since 9/11. Patriots day is not just a movie that commemorates the survivors, victims, and lives lost in the Boston marathon bombings. It is a film that dives deep into the events of the day, the first responders and other heroes who saved lives’ stories finally shared. Patriot Day is a highly-acclaimed police drama action thriller that highlights human connections alongside acts of total selflessness. The will of the human spirit. And what it truly means to be an American.
Related: If you enjoyed Patriot’s Day, you may also enjoy The Shawshank Redemption.