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April 21, 2017

Patriots Day (2016) --- "This Film Will Restore Your Faith In Patriotism In An Explosive Way."

Plot Summary
On April 15th, 2013, Boston, Massachusetts, Police Sgt, Tommy Saunders Wal (Mark Wahlberg) is pulling security duty on the annual Boston Marathon when the Tsarnaev brothers strike with their homemade bombs in an act of terrorism. In the resulting chaos as the wounded are cared for, Saunders and his comrades join forces with the FBI to get to the bottom of this attack. As the investigation continues, the Tsarnaev brothers realize that the authorities are close to identifying them and attempt to flee the city to continue their fanatical mayhem. To stop them, a police manhunt is performed that would have bloody confrontations and a massive dragnet shutting down the City of Boston to make sure there is no escape from the law. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     I was excited to see this film because I am a sucker for true story based movies. Patriots Day commensurately tells the story of the police involved in the 2013 Boston marathon bombing, focusing in on Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), a fictional character who exists as an amalgamation of many cops involved in the case. It also focuses on the bombers themselves (Themo Melikidze, Alex Wolff), as they attack Boston in an act of terror, and then try to escape to New York City for another attack. Law enforcement agencies work quickly and effectively in identifying the bombers, while the citizens of Boston – although in shock and hurt - rallied together in helping support law enforcement capture of the suspects; this is how they earned the title ‘Boston Strong.’
     Looking back I and so many others were made aware of the Boston bombings but we were not made aware too much of what happened after the bombings. This movie did a wonderful job of showing both the events leading up to the bombing and the events afterward. I also appreciate that they did not go all-gore-out with the carnage because we all know that the real events were much worse. Patriots Day does not sugar coat the truth of what happened nor does it fail to mention the devastating impact that the events had on everyone; citizens and law enforcement. The direction that Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor) takes is extraordinary. He used the actual security feeds from that fateful day to create a realistic account of the brother's actions post-bombing, and he filmed the bombing scenes in gritty, sickening, realistic ways to give viewers a sense that they were actually there. 
     The actors all had a difficult, emotional job to do. They each performed fantastically. The main 3 characters to pay attention to in this are Mark Wahlberg, Alex Wolff and Themo Melikidze as the bombers. Wahlberg gives his all in one of the best performances of his career. The rage he feels is real, the tears he cries are real, and the anger he feels is most certainly real. Wahlberg portrayed the toll an event such as this can have on a person and a community both physically and emotionally. Wolff’s and Melikidze’s portrayal as the bombers was frightening, to say the least. The lack of empathy that they are able to portray makes you hate them for what they did and felt sad for their lives, which have been wasted. One supporting character to pay attention to is J.K. Simmons as Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese. Simmons is a phenomenal actor (Spider-Man, The Closer) who had the opportunity of playing the real-life Watertown, Mass., police officer. While it may have seemed like he was on the sidelines following what happened after the bombings, once a ‘call-to-arms’ was announced he managed to show up at the moment when we most needed him to.
     Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg have created not only a great film but a respectable one that holds it still holds a great deal of reality to it all. It is far cry from the lone hero all-out gory action film everyone expected it to be, there are no single-handed hero moments despite Wahlberg being one of the main characters. It is Peter Berg’s masterpiece, this is him at his best. The film is every bit as thrilling and gut-wrenching as it is heartbreaking and uplifting. Peter Berg has done his due diligence in uncovering the truth behind how an event such as this can do to a community and what they are willing to do to overcome it.
     Overall, Patriots Day is an intense and heart racing story grounded in realism and considering it has only been a few years since the event, the pressure to get it right was high; it did not disappoint. It will have you crying, gasping for air, and gripping your arm rest; sometimes all at once. Peter Berg delivers an excellent film with Mark Wahlberg giving the most honest performance of his career.

“I seriously have to quit smoking!”
- Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4.8 of 5 stars
Worth Buying:  4.8 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
American Sniper (2015)  
Deepwater Horizon (2016)
The Hurt Locker (2009)
Lone Survivor (2013)
Sully (2016)
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Peter Berg  

Writing Credits by:

   (Screenplay) Peter Berg, Matt Cook, and Joshua Zetumer.


Produced by:  

   Dorothy Aufiero            --- producer
   Dylan Clark                    --- producer
   Lauren Downey             --- associate producer
   Louis G. Friedman        --- executive producer
   Eric Johnson                  --- executive producer
   Daphne Lambrinou      --- associate producer
   Stephen Levinson         --- producer
   Joseph J. Micucci          --- associate producer
   Nicholas David Nesbitt       ---   executive producer
   Hutch Parker                 --- producer
   John Logan Pierson     --- executive producer
   Michael Radutzky         --- producer
   Bo Shen                           --- associate co-producer
   Stephen Stapinski         --- associate producer
   Scott Stuber                   --- producer
   Paul Tamasy                   --- executive producer
   Mark Wahlberg             --- producer
   Dan Wilson                    --- executive producer
   Shixing Zhou                 --- associate co-producer


Cast: (to name a few)

   Mark Wahlberg --- Tommy Saunders
   Rhet Kidd --- Harrold
   John Goodman --- Commissioner Ed Davis
   Christopher O'Shea --- Patrick Downes
   Rachel Brosnahan --- Jessica Kensky
   Jake Picking --- Officer Sean Collier
   Lana Condor --- Li
   Michelle Monaghan --- Carol Saunders
   Jimmy O. Yang --- Dun Meng
   Melissa Benoist --- Katherine Russell
   Alex Wolff --- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
   Themo Melikidze --- Tamerlan Tsarnaev
   J.K. Simmons --- Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese
   Pamela Amicy --- Tiesha
   James Colby --- Superintendent Billy Evans
   Michael Beach --- Governor Deval Patrick
   Brandon Wahlberg --- Officer Travis Dixon
   Kelby Turner Akin --- Officer Dic Donohue
   Kevin Bacon  --- Special Agent Richard DesLauriers
   Dustin Tucker --- Steve Woolfenden
   Lucas Thor Kelley --- Leo Woolfenden

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