Patriots Day

Patriots Day

(2016)

The inside story of the world's greatest manhunt.

Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Kevin Bacon (X-Men: First Class), John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane) and Oscar-winner JK Simmons (Whiplash) lead this true story drama based on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Directed by Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon) with a score composed by Oscar-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network).... More

In the aftermath of an unspeakable act of terror, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Wahlberg) joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the bombers before they strike again. Weaving together the stories of Special Agent Richard Deslauriers (Bacon), Police Commissioner Ed Davis (Goodman), Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (Simmons) and nurse Carol Saunders (Monaghan) this chronicle captures the suspense of the most sophisticated manhunt in law enforcement history and the strength of the people of Boston.Hide

Flicks Review

Hopefully it’s just a bizarre coincidence, rather than a sign of things to come, that the release of Boston Marathon Bombing pic Patriots Day coincided with President Trump’s ugly, un-American, anti-Muslim travel ban this week. Then again, as Peter Berg’s depiction of 2013’s domestic terror attack slides uncomfortably close to liberal propaganda in closing minutes, perhaps he saw this sort of unpleasantness coming, this being somewhat of an over-reaction.... More

Berg’s true story ensemble thriller follows victims, perpetrators, and their pursuers on the day of the tragic attack and the tense hours that followed. It’s a fairly comfortable juggle of multiple narrative threads that wisely does more than outline the cat-and-mouse basics. As the film goes on to show, the Tsarnaev brothers’ motivations remain muddy, and the effort to identify and apprehend them more reliant on everyday citizens and patrolmen than the United States’ vaunted security apparatus - this not being a film that fetishises data-mining, gadgets, and interrogations.

Patriots Day is more concerned with showing Boston reacting to, and defeating, the threat posed by two disconnected, radicalised young men. Mark Wahlberg, once again our wide-eyed everyman connection to bewildering events, is so at home as a strongly-accented Police Sergeant here that you almost expect a talking teddy bear to turn up. Kevin Bacon and John Goodman are among the no-nonsense cast leading the city’s response, with solid, unshowy performances, and J.K. Simmons takes centre-stage in the film’s most heart-stopping showdown.

Wisely never sliding into full action-movie mode, despite the presence of serious gunplay and vehicular action, Berg shows respect for the Tsarnaevs' victims, while demonstrating his knack for the chaos of urban carnage and combat. It’s chilling in places, even knowing how it all plays out, but in over-tugging heartstrings, Patriots Day underestimates its audience, ending weakly.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 4 ratings, 2 reviews
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BY cinemusefilm superstar

The disaster movie is one of the oldest film genres and has a special role in public information. This is especially true in the era of global terrorism. It’s a box-office judgement call how far a movie should go in embellishing the facts with dramatization rather than staying close to what really happened. The film Patriots Day (2016) made a high-risk call by creating two competing stories where one would have been more than enough.

The basic facts are on the public record. On 15 April 2013... More two bombs were detonated by Chechen-American brothers during the closing stages of the famous Boston Marathon. Several people were killed and hundreds were injured. A manhunt of unprecedented scale followed, the city went into lockdown, and over the next few days one brother was killed and the other captured. Woven around these facts is a thriller-drama focused on fictitious Police Sgt Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) who is assigned to patrol the race finishing-line area. Through his eyes we see the chaotic aftermath and carnage caused by the explosions. We follow the first and second wave-responders onto the scene, see the FBI take command when it is declared a terrorist attack investigation, and witness key stages in the investigation through to its climactic moments.
With real-world material like this, Patriots Day should have been brilliant but it is not. The fast-moving core narrative, the archival footage, and excellent filming, editing and directing, are all the ingredients needed for a top-shelf docu-drama. Although we learn very little about the terrorists’ motivations and background, the big picture is informative. However, the multiple storyline digressions into lesser melodrama dilute the film’s achievements. Using a Sgt Saunders as an avatar for all emergency responders is not a bad idea, it is just that the character is poorly developed and his tantrum-prone small personality is out of place in the context of such a major disaster. There are several references to his suspension for an unspecified misdemeanour, but the director leaves it as a loose end.

The narrative logic of such a strong focus on Saunders is undeveloped and there are too many melodramatic diversions. In the huge warehouse where the FBI reconstructs the crime scene, he walks the layout like a mystical wizard providing key clues that single-handedly identify the terrorists, and he just happens to be everywhere in Boston where the terrorists are fleeing. Really? Logic takes more strain when he sermonizes that the dead and injured not be called victims but peace ambassadors. It’s human nature to re-define tragedy as triumph, but such shallow grandstanding casts a propaganda pall over the film.

Despite its limitations, this is an important film with much to commend it. For the most part, it is a fast-paced gripping drama made more so by the knowledge that the events really happened. For audiences around the world, this film goes beyond the reported facts to provide the back story with a high level of realism. The fictionalised story is disappointing and distracting. The true story is informative and shows how quickly and compassionately real people become real heroes in the midst of tragedy. Whether the film honours heroes and victims or exploits them is your call.Hide


BY JackWallace superstar

Peter Berg's Patriots Day is based on the 2013 Boston Marathon and the aftermath. Berg is like the smarter Michael Bay that makes decent films. It has a great ensemble cast. I liked Mark Wahlberg's performance. John Goodman raging out is a thing of beauty, and J.K. Simmons, what a badass. They're some of my favourite actors. Peter Berg shows that's he's an excellent action director. The gunplay and explosions are fantastic. When sh*t goes down, it's intense. But Patriots Day isn't really an... More action movie. It's more of a dramatic thriller like Zero Dark Thirty. I enjoyed this more than Deepwater Horizon but not as much as Lone Survivor. Grade: B-Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • Whether they are celebrated filmmakers or ordinary folks, tragedy can bring out the best in people, and "Patriots Day" is the latest example of both sides of the equation. Full Review

  • "Patriots Day" works so well on a dramatic level that my qualms were silenced almost entirely from the start. Full Review

  • Like the heroic Bostonians it celebrates, civilians and law enforcement both, Peter Berg's Patriots Day gets the job done. Full Review

  • The tension that slowly builds as the inevitable finally happens is brilliantly wrought, with the score - provided by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - proving a swelling drone which creeps up and peaks in all the right places. Full Review

  • An intense, jittery re-creation of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the four-day manhunt that followed, "Patriots Day" is the movie CBS Films was put on this earth to produce. Full Review

  • Balancing the perspectives of perpetrators, policemen and victims with wiry tension and tender human interest, it's not entirely the rah-rah flag-waving exercise the title promises. Full Review

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