Patriots Day

Critics Consensus

Patriots Day offers a stirring, solidly crafted tribute to the heroes of a real-life American tragedy without straying into exploitative action thriller territory.



Total Count: 229


Audience Score

User Ratings: 25,853
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Movie Info

An account of the Boston Marathon bombing, PATRIOTS DAY is the powerful story of a community's courage in the face of terror. In the aftermath of an unspeakable attack, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the bombers before they strike again. Weaving together the stories of Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) and nurse Carol Saunders (Michelle Monaghan) this visceral and unflinching chronicle captures the suspense of one of the most sophisticated manhunts in law enforcement history and celebrates the strength of the people of Boston.

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Mark Wahlberg
as Sgt. Tommy Saunders
J.K. Simmons
as Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese
John Goodman
as Ed Davis
Michelle Monaghan
as Carol Saunders
Kevin Bacon
as Richard DesLauriers
Jimmy O. Yang
as Dun Meng
Vincent Curatola
as Mayor Thomas Menino
Alex Wolff
as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Jake Picking
as Officer Sean Collier
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News & Interviews for Patriots Day

Critic Reviews for Patriots Day

All Critics (229) | Top Critics (46)

Audience Reviews for Patriots Day

  • May 31, 2018
    A streamlined thriller that could very easily have strayed into treacly Movie-of-the-Week territory in less assured hands, the efficient and effective Patriots Days gives filmgoers a moving account of true events that ultimately celebrates - not exploits - its human core. This R-rated drama based on real events presents the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible. The narrative moves laterally between the points of view of victims, policemen, federal agents, terrorists, and health providers but make no mistake about it--this is a detective story that ultimately hones in on one central character. Indeed, Patriots Day is a Who-Done-It with a true blue American tragedy at its center. Granted, the 'true' part is, at times, nebulous. Several real-life law enforcement figures featured in the book Boston Strong by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge get pared down into one All-American Hero, an earnest Boston patrolman with a bad knee and self-doubt. Truthfully, they had to give this character some flaws because he's played by Mark Wahlberg, who has already played real-life people (All the Money in the World), All-American Heroes (Invincible), Bostonians (Ted), cops (We Own the Night), and sometimes a role that checks a good number of these boxes at one time (The Perfect Storm, The Fighter, The Departed). His casting alone could've earmarked Patriots Day as something boring, routine, or -worse - potentially pantomime, but Wahlberg's character ultimately and believably becomes the audience's eyes and ears because his performance doesn't involve wearing a heart on his sleeve...not much, at least. In fact, the entire production - casting included - seems to be one controlled environment. Though the harrowing events depicted are very visceral, they come from straight-forwardness and not sentimentality. Emotions get stirred but it doesn't feel like one's strings are being pulled. Oh, there's definitely string pulling happening, but it doesn't feel like a blatant exercise. All involved mostly let the facts speak for themselves and that's what makes Patriots Day stand out as an A-Grade ripped-from-the-headlines thriller. Sure, a very complex, weeks-spanning story gets boiled down into one two hour and fifteen-minute film but it is neither dull nor dismissive of the details. Peter Berg deserves much of the credit here. A reputable director able to turn out dark comedies (Very Bad Things), hard-hitting dramas (Friday Night Lights), and summer blockbusters (Hancock), his CV recently zeroed in on a specific bent: fact-based thrillers starring Mark Wahlberg. Thankfully, following the disappointingly unthrilling exercise known as Lone Survivor, their collaboration yielded the solid and suspenseful Deepwater Horizon. This paved the way for their most satisfying collaboration yet, Patriots Day. Sure, he stacks the deck with recognizable stars (J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin Bacon, and John Goodman are among the cast), but he never lets them get too showy aside from an occasionally arch line reading (at one point, Bacon's G-Man states, "He needs to walk like them, talk like them...walk into a tornado and walk out the other side like it's a gentle fucking breeze"). Thanks to Berg, the master string-puller behind the curtain, it all nonetheless works exceedingly well. To Sum It Up: Boston Strong
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2018
    Intense, exciting and terrifying account of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the hunt for the culprits in the days after. Even though the film sticks to the most important characters involved and follows events almost in the style of a documentary it does pack quite the emotional punch. Great cast and direction makes for a pretty emotional ride. Of course you gotta have the message of Bostonian unity in the end, but given the circumstances, that's quite alright.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2017
    Despite less-than-compelling performances and a lack of artistic perspective, "Patriot's Day" packs an emotional punch on a visceral level. I found the time spent watching the film was rewarding.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2017
    Berg & Wahlberg, once more, help shed light on a dark time in history. Patriots Day does well in depicting evenly the tragedy and drama behind the events from April 2013 while also highlighting the heart and captivating courage of those who were victims and those who responded; sending a heartfelt and respectful acknowledgment in the process. 4.5/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer

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