Director: Peter Berg
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman
Release Date: March 28, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Based upon the dramatic real-life manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers, this powerful action-thriller follows Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) as he joins brave survivors, first responders, and investigators in a race against time to find the bombers before they strike again. Directed by Peter Berg and featuring a stellar cast, Patriots Day is a stirring tribute to the Boston community’s strength and courage in the face of adversity.
Based on the shocking true events that rocked the nation, ‘Patriots Day’ tells the real life story of the infamous Boston Marathon Bombing and the city that came together in order to stay strong and see justice done during a truly terrifying time. Told largely from the perspective of Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Wahlberg) who was on site during the blast and along with his fellow officers braved the threat and terror in order to help all he could, and also accompanying Saunders through the course of the subsequent investigation and manhunt for the individuals responsible which he, along with the FBI and other key individuals played a crucial part in.
Directed by Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor) from a screenplay he also co-wrote along with Matt Cook (Triple 9) and Joshua Zetumer (Robocop 2014), Berg does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Patriots Day’ and his experience with similar reality based films is obvious with his careful and honoring guidance in each sequence. The film also owes a good share of the credit to the noteworthy cast which is comprised of numerous talented individuals including Mark Wahlberg (Deepwater Horizon), Kevin Bacon (Cop Car), John Goodman (Red State), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Michelle Monaghan (Gone Baby Gone), and a number more, nearly all delivering highly capable performances in each of their respective roles and as a result allowing the film to truly work as well as it does.
‘Patriots Day’ tells the terrifying, riveting and powerful true story of the unforgettable Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent strength and unity one city displayed during the most trying of times. The film does a fantastic job capturing the strength, heart and the terror of the real events that won’t be forgotten anytime soon, showcasing the courage and unimaginable bravery that so many displayed during the crisis; allowing for a number of intense moments, never shying away from the unsetting imagery following the blast, and offering a number of somewhat action packed sequences throughout its course while never making the mistake of stepping into action or spectacle movie territory, always keeping things real and rarely exaggerating the action (at least to the best of my knowledge) in favor of entertainment over truth which is a crucial element that helps tremendously. Once again reteaming director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg (the two previously worked together on both ‘Lone Survivor’ and ‘Deepwater Horizon’), Berg does a solid job guiding the tense and emotional real life story along and Wahlberg along with the other talented folks that comprise the cast help to really make things work as spectacularly as they do. I would strongly urge fans of Berg and Wahlberg’s previous collaborations, and anyone who appreciates a well constructed true story that always keeps the true events honest and raw to make a point of giving ‘Patriots Day’ a whirl when you have the opportunity to do so, chances are you’ll be thrilled that you did.
Overall, ‘Patriots Day’ is a well crafted and executed true life story about terror and struggle, but also impressive courage and unity that keeps things consistently thrilling without ever exaggerating or overdoing the violence simply for spectacle, always keeping such elements uncompromisingly realistic, yet never glorified. Director Peter Berg once again does an outstanding job guiding this powerful true story along and his capable guidance is only boosted all the more by solid performances from the talented cast led by Mark Wahlberg. ‘Patriots Day’ definitely comes recommended, particularly for fans of the previous true story collaborations with Berg and Wahlberg (Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor) and anyone who enjoys a well done thriller based on unforgettable true events that is brimming with heart and respect for those involved. It should be more than worth the cost of a rental for anyone at all interested in checking it out yet understandably hesitant to drop the funds on a blind purchase.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Patriots Day’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole and provides a sharp, detailed and nearly flawless presentation from start to finish. It holds up impressively even during the fast paced and/or darkly lit sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation from Lionsgate that should have no trouble satisfying the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a DTS: X (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio presentation. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and often notably aggressive audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send the score, along with bullets, debris, explosions, crowd chatter and plenty more throughout the various channels with regularity, and never causing any dialogue that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is an outstanding DTS: X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that compliments that film perfectly and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Patriots Day’ includes a number of enjoyable and informative Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing the film to life and the real story and individuals that inspired it. The included Featurettes are: ‘Boston Strong: 3 True Stories of Courage’ (running approximately 22 minutes in length altogether), ‘The Boston Bond: Recounting the Tale’ (running approximately 22 minutes), ‘The Real Patriots: The Local Heroes’ Stories’ (approximately 20 minutes), ‘The Cast Remembers’ (6 minutes), ‘Researching the Day’ (11 minutes), and ‘Actors Meet Real-Life Counterparts’, a 2-part series that includes ‘John Goodman & Ed Davis’ (8 minutes), and ‘Jimmy O. Yang & Dun Meng’ (10 minutes).