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Patriots Day


Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, J K Simmons, Michelle Monaghan. Alex Wolff, Melissa Benoist, Christopher O'Shea, Rachel Brosnahan, Themo Melikidze, Michael Beach

Director: Peter Berg

This meticulous re-staging of the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013 and the events that followed has an ending that will move you, but is really much too protracted, and has too few really interesting characters.

Despite some well-staged action, tension is notably lacking in key scenes, with Bacon handed the dullest role as the FBI agent who takes charge of the search for the bombers (Wolff, Melikidze). Wahlberg, who seems to take the lead in everything director Berg does these days, plays a fictional 'everyman' cop, who is in on all the main events, including the shootouts when the bombers are finally cornered, and he's just fine, even if his character is obviously there just to hold everything together.

The carnage was, of course, appalling - three were killed, others lost limbs - and the real-life aftermath is more affecting than the film itself. 'Tell me you have something for us,' Bacon is asked at one stage. Unfortunately, in director and co-writer Berg's case, the answer is not very much.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Technicolor.
133 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 19 Feb 2017