Patriots Day – Movie Review

Patriots Day director Peter Berg has really found his rhythm in the last couple of years, delivering some great films in Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon, his collaborations with Mark Wahlberg. Now he has teamed up with Wahlberg once again to bring us the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing and the ensuing manhunt.

So, is it any good?I had very little knowledge of the real-life events that inspired this movie, apart from the bare bones that two explosions had occurred at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I knew nothing of the manhunt the following five days for the bombers, played chillingly real and frightening by Alex Wolff and Themo Melikidze. 

All this and more is brought beautifully to the screen with fantastic direction by Berg.Berg utilizes real video footage of events spliced seamlessly into Patriot’s Day. It adds another layer of realism that sends chills down your spine. The film uplifts you as it explores themes of the human spirit, the camaraderie and determination of both the victims, the first responders and investigators of the bombing.

The performances by all involved – from lead FBI Investigator DesLauriers played by Kevin Bacon to J.K. Simmonsgrizzled police Sergeant Pugliese – are superb. No character feels small or unimportant and everyone involved feels so incredibly real and genuine. These are real people. These events really happened.Mark Wahlberg’s character, while fictitious and stands out some, can be seen as representative of all those involved. Composited into his character are the law enforcement officials, paramedics, and marathon runners who rushed to help those hurt.

The direction, the cast, the story and the incredible score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, all comes together to make a truly heartfelt experience, one that will tear you down but build you back up stronger than you were before.

PATRIOTS DAY is in cinemas now.