PATRIOTS DAY, which opens nationwide today, proves a pretty good example of what a docu-drama can accomplish when it is written with some flair, filmed smartly and acted well, This one, directed and co-written (with four other writers) by Peter Berg (shown below) takes us back a few years to the 2013 Boston Marathon and the sudden bombings that rendered the event what is now referred to -- as with every act of (so often) homegrown terrorism -- as a national "tragedy." I would call the recent and rigged election of Donald Trump far more tragic for America than any of these murderous events, but the dreadful results of this election on everyone except the wealthy are only beginning to unfurl.
Mark Wahlberg (above and below, center), who gives a perfectly OK, if occasionally heavy-handed performance as the Boston cop who holds the movie together and becomes its focal point. This character does not even exist in reality, so basing the movie around him seems much too easy a way to earn questionable emotions via short-cut storytelling. (That's Michelle Monaghan, two photos below and at bottom, who has the thankless role of the made-up wife of this made-up character.)
John Goodman, above, center, as the police commissioner, and Kevin Bacon, below, as the FBI guy in charge of the case.)
CBS Films, Patriots Day opens wide today, Friday, January 13. To find a theater near you, simply click here and then scroll down, type your zip code into the proper slot, and press ENTER.