Patriots Day – ‘The Film America Needs Right Now’, but does the UK?

The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing left 3 dead, 264 injured and a nation shocked. Mark Wahlberg (one of the producers of this movie), who a hails from Boston, felt compelled to put a camera in front of the story of the events before, during and after the bombs went off, including the mammoth manhunt for the terrorists.

Wahlberg plays a Sergeant Tom Saunders – a fictional addition in this retelling. Apparently his character is an amalgamation of the different officers that responded to the tragedy on 15th April, 2013.


The movie is actually based upon the book Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy and follows the actions of Police Commissioner, Ed Harris (played by John Goodman), leading to the eventual capture of the younger brother of the bomber.

Kevin ‘shed-load-of-data’ Bacon fills the polished shoes of FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers – a key figure in the frantic and incredibly complex investigation to find and stop the bomber.

As we’ve come to know, when a tragedy hits America, America responds with a movie to tell everyone how shit went down. A biographical movie in nature, it feels like though Hollywood has mostly kept to the drama and the personal stories of those involved, rather than all too easily emphasising the ‘action’.


There is much talk of love being the ultimate defensive and victor in the war against terrorism – possibility an underlying theme and message to America (and the world). In it’s own Americanised way, a meaningful point.

I’m sure this will go down as a heartfelt and juicily insightful hit here in the UK however the cynics, and certainly the cynic in me will be left wondering how an added fictional character manages to be at all the pivotal scenes from Marathon to Manhunt. The strength of this movie though will be the intense reenactment of what saw Boston as a city — a community — draw closer together in a time of disaster, and the amazing coordination of enforcement that prevented further terror.

Patriots Days is released in UK on 23rd February (geek fact: apparently the same day that Boston was incorporated as a city in 1822).

Written by @Adawris


One comment

  1. I love Peter Berg, the director/actor. I first saw him as an actor in an indie film with Linda Fiorentino and Bill Pullman called “The Last Seduction” directed by Ray Donovan director John Dahl. So Berg was apparently in Chicago Hope and then transitioned to directing. I love his Friday Night Lights franchise and the new Miami NFL themed “Ballers.” Berg really understands how the stakes are high in different ways, depending on where you are, geographically. His casting of Kyle Chandler as the Friday Night Lights (tv version) coach and Connie Britton was nothing short of genius. I’ll go see whatever movie he directs and hope he plays a small role too, even if it’s just a cameo.


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