Swanner: I remember watching TV and having the news break in about the Boston bombing. Everyone was focused on what had happened and, once again, the world had changed. It was in the later days that we’d only hear bits and pieces about what was happening. It was in less than four days that the bombers were either dead or under arrest, but the one thing obvious to me was that the city of Boston was not going to let this event make them change the way they lived their lives. They were Boston Strong and for those few days we were all from Boston.
Patriots Day follows Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), a Boston police officer who was at the finish line the day of the marathon, and remained involved in the investigation until the end. The FBI and Boston Police work together in a citywide manhunt trying to find the two men who orchestrated this act of terror. The film also stars John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, JK Simmons and Michelle Monaghan.
Director Peter Berg and writers Matt Cook, Joshua Zetumer and Berg have crafted a film that not only tells us the history of the event, but lets us know how it felt — the tension of the city, the fear of the residents, and the overwhelming dedication of the Boston Police. The film is also scary. I knew the details of the event and I was still on the edge of my seat. This is by far Berg’s best film. It’s highly emotional, and I dare you not to get pulled into what these people and the city of Boston went through.
Writing this, I still think about scenes and moments in the film that left me holding my breath and wiping away tears. The only problem I had with the film is that it follows the two terrorists along with the people trying to find them; building them up with dialogue fabricated to make us hate them more than we already do. Those scenes seemed out of place because this film is about how a city came together in tragedy, and not about the men who tried to blow it up.
Swanner: 3 ½ stars