Film Review: Boston is Strong Again in Reliable ‘Patriots Day’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – In the context of history, and the way information is consumed these days, the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013 seems both like yesterday and a long time ago. Director Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day” is the first film account of that horrid week, and features Mark Wahlberg. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Wahlberg, along with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, are the unofficial show biz mayors of Boston, and inspired a wicked parody by Seth Meyers called “Boston Accents.” The subject matter of “Patriot Days” creates an immunity towards commentary on the Boston accents in the movie, but there are still a few moments that are reminders (seriously, download that sketch on YouTube). Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights”) is a yeoman director who tells a straightforward story, and succeeds in re-creating the events of that week without too much hyperbole. It was a frightening time for Boston and the country, but the results of many people doing incredible work wrapped up the case quickly and effectively – the film is a tribute to them.

Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) is a Boston police homicide detective working on a suspension, and as part of his penance is assigned a uniform task (“I look like a crossing guard”) monitoring the finish line at the 2013 Boston Marathon. The infamous explosion occurs, and Tommy is right in the midst of it. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman) is soon on the scene.

So begins the investigation of who did it, and the phone pictures and security camera images of the day are helpful in mobilizing the FBI, headed up by Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), with oversight by Governor Deval Patrick (Michael Beach), and aided nearby through Watertown police officer Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons). It becomes apparent that it was two brothers who caused the bombings, Tamerian (Themo Melikidze) and Dzhokhar (Alex Wolff) Tsaraev.

”Patriots Day” opens everywhere on January 13th. Featuring Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, Jake Picking, Michelle Monaghan, Jimmy O. Yang, Kevin Bacon, Themo Melikidze, Alex Wolff and Michael Beach. Screenplay by Peter Berg, Matt Cook and Joshua Zetumer. Directed by Peter Berg. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Patriots Day”

Officer Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) in ‘Patriots Day’
Photo credit: CBS Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Patriots Day”

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions