Patriots Day

From Peter Berg who directed 2013’s Lone Survivor and 2016’s Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day is a well done procedural drama that follows the events of the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 and provides insight into the many men and women who were victims as well as those investigating and capturing the culprits. The events leading up to, during, and after the terrorist attack are shown from the perspective of the fictional Boston Police Department Sergeant Tommy Saunders, portrayed by Boston native Mark Wahlberg. The movie captures the Boston Strong attitude when all of Boston came together during an especially trying time, and one way the filmmaker does this is by casting real Bostonians as extras. Much of the movie revolves around finding out what happened and how to pursue the bombers. The local officials, including the Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis portrayed by John Goodman, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, have initial investigative differences, typical of most Hollywood depictions, with the federal government represented by FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers, played by Kevin Bacon. Underscoring patriotism and the desire to seek justice, the filmmaker shows many of these characters working together to arrest and capture the Tsarnaev brothers whose free reign terrorizes the entire city of Boston. Free of excessively gruesome imagery of the actual attacks, the film attempts to focus on the emotional aftermath and vividly retrace what happens over the course of the days that follow until those responsible are no longer a threat. The power of the movie is visualizing the events for the viewer even though most Americans already know many of the details. Overall, I found it to an effectively somber and emotional film that shines a light on terrorism and how authorities are able to tackle such a timely issue in a humane and thorough manner.

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