Review: Patriots Day

Title: Patriots Day
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, John Goodman
Runtime: 2 hr 13 mins

What It Is: On one fateful spring day in April of 2013 everything was going as it should have. The streets of Boston were full of people and the annual marathon was about to begin. Little did all the innocent bystanders realize this will be a day that will change their lives. You see brothers Tamerlan (Themo Melikidze) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Alex Wolff) have a sinister plan. They’ve planted bombs at the finish line of the marathon. When this happens BPD officer Tommy Saunders (Wahlberg) responses to these blasts the manhunt will be on for the two cowards who committed this act of terrorism. 

What We Think: This is a pretty good thriller. Suspenseful and well directed. Peter Berg, of course, rallies his troops through yet another true life story. Couple this with the much better Deepwater Horizon and that’s a great year for Berg and his muse Wahlberg. John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and Michelle Monaghan flesh out this great cast. Here are some things I take issue with. First and foremost Tommy Saunders is not a real person. Berg and who also wrote the film could have focused on any number of true to life heroes, instead, they craft one? Big misstep! Likewise, there’s a distinct disdain for legal proceedings as well as laws for the sake of the narrative. It took me out of the film instead of building tension in one scene in particular.

Our Grade: B-, Still good but not as good as Berg’s other 2016 film. I found that story far more harrowing. All of the stakes felt bigger. Nonetheless, this is still a film I can recommend. It may be a difficult watch for some folks but anything that is true based on a real, and horrific event such as this always is. See it, but maybe keep this film away from that crazy racist uncle. It’ll do nothing but harm.