Patriots Day: Patriotic Movie for All Americans

Patriots Day, starring Mark Wahlberg, relates the events 0f the Boston Marathon bombings.


This well-directed movie, by Peter Berg, which world premiered last night as the closer of the AFI Film Fest, will hit theater December 21.

“The reaction from the media was that the movie was too soon,” said Mark Wahlberg, an Boston native. “But my feeling was, because things like the bombing were happening around us all the time and because the message of the movie is so powerful — of people coming together and standing up for love — I thought it wasn’t soon enough.”

Patriots Day takes place in the aftermath of the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon, and tracks the subsequent investigation and manhunt to track down the suspects.


“As we were going through the process of trying to get the movie together, there were more instances like Boston happening all around the world, so we realized that this movie would be about a major theme of our time,” said producer Scott Stuber, reiterating Wahlberg’s point.

Because the real-life events that the feature drew from were still fresh in the minds of the country, especially the people of Boston, it was important to the production that the film be both accurate and feel authentic.


Producer Hutch Parker stressed, “It was important to Mark, as a son of Boston, to be unimpeachably accurate.”

Parker said that the script was never officially locked down, instead Wahlberg and director Peter Berg changed the story during production, as they spoke to the first responders and bystanders that were present on race day.

“Boston is a very small place but it is a very unique place, so I wanted him to understand the people and culture,” said Wahlberg.

Patriots Day is the third film that the director and star have worked on together in as many years. Lone Survivor (2013) and this September’s Deepwater Horizon were also based on real people and much-publicized events.


Wahlberg says that he would fight Berg on “the smallest thing” in order to ensure that Boston, its people and their stories were properly portrayed onscreen: “I needed it to be authentic and I was the one who was going to be responsible for that. I held him to the highest standard because I was going to be held accountable. ”

Kevin Bacon plays FBI agent Richard DesLauriers in the movie.


Many of the people on which the film’s principal characters are based were brought up on stage at the screening in the Grauman’s Chinese to a standing ovation from the audience.

“I am very proud that with this movie we are in support of police officers, of fire fighters, of EMT workers, of the citizens— black, white, Asian, Hispanic, male, female — who came together and took care of each other,” Berg said.

There are many elements of Patriots Day, from homeland security to the cooperation of federal agencies, that could take on new meaning in the wake of this year’s divisive election.

“One of the things that I liked about Patriots Day, and that I liked about Lone Survivor, is that these are not political movies,” said Berg, who emphasize a bi-partisan filmmaking approach.

The director hopes that the movie’s themes of universality and hope are the main takeaways for audiences: They are stories that should be able to reach out to anyone. If you love Hillary Clinton then there is a story for you here, if you voted for Donald Trump there is a story for you here.”