Patriots Day” is a respectful, intimate look into the events that unfolded during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Though some critics have chastised the film as being untimely, the film provides catharsis for the unanswered questions that arose from another terrorist attack committed on American soil.
After the explosions, Police Sgt. Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) coordinates emergency transport and details a timeline of events and possible locations.
FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) leads the interagency investigation with Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman) and Watertown Police Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons).
Once analysts discover the “white hat” suspect, DesLauriers reluctantly releases the suspects’ photographs to the public with Davis’ urging. This becomes the turning point in the case that closes an intense manhunt in less than seven days.
Combined with actual footage, the film’s plot amazingly holds true to the publicized account of events. Director Peter Berg is masterful at teasing out emotions that raise the viewer’s empathy for the characters and events in certain scenes, such as when an officer tearfully holds vigil over the body of 8-year-old Martin Richard, a tired analyst’s widening eyes when he realizes that he’s found one of the suspects, and an officer screaming an insulting greeting to him.
The audience shares a racing heart as officers pull up behind the suspects and a violent gun and grenade battle ensues.
However, like most films of this nature, there is little insight into the motivations of those who committed these acts. Five lives were lost and over 200 were injured, including several victims who had limbs amputated.
The patriotism of the survivors, law enforcement, and emergency medical personnel are displayed in an ending montage that includes interviews with Davis, DesLauriers, and Pugliese.
4 out of 5 Miners