(director/writer: Peter Berg; screenwriter: Matt Cook/Joshua Zetumer; cinematographer: Tobias A. Schliessler; editors: Gabriel Fleming, Colby Parker Jr.; music: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross; cast: Mark Wahlberg (Tommy Saunder), Kevin Bacon (Special Agent Richard DesLauriers), John Goodman (Commissioner Ed Davis), J.K. Simmons (Watertown Police SergeantJeffrey Pugliese), Michelle Monaghan (Carol Saunders), Alex Wolff (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ), Rick Burtt (boat owner), Themo Melikidze (Tamerlan Tsarnaev), James Colby (Superintendent Billy Evans), Michael Beach (Governor Deval Patrick ), Rachel Brosnahan (Jessica Kensky), Christopher O’Shea (Patrick Downes), Jake Picking (Officer Sean Collier), Jimmy O. Yang (Dun Meng), Vincent Curatola (Mayor Thomas Menino), Melissa Benoist (Katherine Russell), Khandi Alexander (Interrogator); Runtime: 130; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Scott Stuber, Mark Wahlberg, Hutch Parker, Dylan Clark, Stephen Levinson, Dorothy Aufiero, Michael Radutzky; CBS Films; 2016)
“The film serves us best as a shout out to Boston for remaining unified, calm and vigilant in its reaction to such evil.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A well-crafted recreation of the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon of April 2013, dramatically showing the timeline before and afterwards. Though a quality film, it adds nothing fresh to the news coverage of the incident. Peter Berg (“Lone Survivor”/”Deepwater Horizon“), in his third collaboration with the homeboy Boston star Mark Wahlberg, lucidly and accurately directs the tragic event as a character driven thriller. It’s written with emotional appeal by Berg, Matt Cook and Joshua Zetumer. Real archive footage is mixed in with the storytelling. The film stays with Boston Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) throughout to be the ‘voice of the people.’ He was assigned guard duty at the finish line when in the afternoon two pressure cooker bombs went off killing three and maiming over 200. He was also there a 100-hours later when the younger Chechen brother of the slain older one was arrested while hiding in a boat in a Watertown yard. The film conveys the feelings of law enforcement, the victims, first responders, the two terrorists (lone-wolf jihadists) and the Boston community to the tragedy. The most tense scene was when Dun Meng (Jimmy O. Yang), a Chinese app designer, was carjacked in his Mercedes Benz by the Tsarnaev brothers (Alex Wolff & Themo Melikidze). The most provocative scene was the hostile interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s uncooperative American-born Muslim convert wife Katherine Russell (Melissa Benoist), who openly lies about her involvement and has so far not been charged with any crime because of lack of proof. The film serves us best as a shout out to Boston for remaining unified, calm and vigilant in its reaction to such evil.
REVIEWED ON 1/14/2017 GRADE: B-