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Peter Berg
Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon
Writing Credits:
Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Joshua Zetumer

The story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-X
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
English DTS-X Headphone
English 2.0 Late Night Optimized
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 133 min.
Price: $42.99
Release Date: 3/28/2017

• “Boston Strong” Featurettes
• “The Boston Bond” Featurette
• “The Real Patriots” Featurette
• “The Cast Remembers” Featurette
• “Actors Meet Real-Life Counterparts” Featurettes
• “Researching the Day” Featurette
• Previews
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Patriots Day [4K UHD] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 17, 2023)

In the fall of 2016, director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg teamed up for Deepwater Horizon. Released barely three months later, they worked together again for early 2017’s Patriots Day.

Like Horizon, Patriots Day tells a story of real-life violence and tragedy. Set in April 2013, two homemade explosive devices detonate near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where these actions kill three and injury many more.

Law enforcement immediately goes into action to deal with the ramifications and to apprehend the culprits. We follow the collaboration among FBI members led by Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) and Boston cops headed by Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman) – with an emphasis on the efforts of Boston PD Officer Tommy Saunders (Wahlberg).

As my review of that film notes, I really enjoyed Deepwater Horizon, but I found myself with one semi-prominent complaint: the manner in which it threatened to trivialize the real-life drama. Deepwater provides an exciting popcorn movie that doesn’t offend, but it does lack the heft that should come with the knowledge that its events involved actual people.

That factor caused me some apprehension toward Patriots Day. While my enjoyment of Deepwater bought goodwill toward the Berg/Wahlberg team, I feared that history might repeat itself and Day would emphasize sizzle over substance.

Happily, that doesn’t prove to be the case, as Day turns into a wholly satisfying take on the events of mid-April 2013. Going into the movie, I wasn’t sure what its focus would be – would it stick simply with the day of the bombing or would it go past that?

Day takes the latter approach, as it follows law enforcement until they apprehend the culprits. The movie pursues these historical moments in a relentless fashion, as it rarely lets up to give the viewer a break from the tension.

Which I regard as a positive thing. The film manages to give us a fairly good look at the law enforcement perspective, and we follow events as they come, without much to leaven the action.

Day does introduce us to civilians impacted by the bombs, and they pop up occasionally. However, the pursuit of the terrorists remains at the fore, and the movie benefits from this.

Day really does provide a thrilling experience, though not one that gets into the same “popcorn” territory as Deepwater. The film provides a fairly breathless view of events and keeps us on edge – even if we know how the story played out in reality, the presentation ensures that we stay engrossed.

If I wanted, I could quibble that the cops throw out a few too many “action movie quips” – but I won’t. That’s partly because we don’t find all that many of them.

It’s also because in this circumstance, I can believe them. Bostonians boast a certain edge to them that I think allows us to buy the occasional wisecrack in the midst of danger. I don’t know if the real cops spoke like this, but I don’t think the jokes take us out of the action.

Day also manages to pack a real emotional punch. As mentioned, it doesn’t spend a ton of time with secondary characters or civilians, but it develops them sufficiently to endear them to us.

We know these personalities well enough to feel pain when something bad hits them, and the movie as a whole manages to connect. Crud, I even got teary-eyed by the end, and that doesn’t happen very often.

I can’t quite decide if the movie’s depiction of the Tsarnaev brothers – the men behind the bombings – does too little or goes too far. I’d probably opt for the former, as I think the movie could use a little more exploration of their roles, but I could also see arguments that Day should focus on “the good guys” and leave the culprits largely outside of its scope.

Either way, I think Day finds itself in a tough spot. In truth, an entire movie could be made about the Tsarnaevs – and probably will eventually – so the elements on display here seem insufficient.

But our views of the brothers do prove tantalizing, especially what little we get to know about younger sibling Dzhokar (Alex Wolff). As depicted here, he comes across like a fairly typical college student who suffers under the influence of his “true believer” brother Tamerlan (Themo Melikidze). Dzhokar rarely seems to understand the consequences of what the brothers do – he appears like he’d rather play videogames and smoke weed.

As the editors of Rolling Stone learned, kickback comes with attempts to “normalize” Dzhokar, and I suspect that may have tempered some aspects of the film. Still, I wish Day included more of pre-bombing life with the brothers, as I think their story – especially Dzhokar’s – could be fascinating.

Minor quibbles aside, Patriots Day provides a very satisfying drama. It captures its events in a dynamic, thrilling manner that still manages to convey the tragedy and emotion of the period. Day becomes a top-notch piece of work.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Patriots Day appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This became a good visual presentation.

Overall sharpness worked well, as the vast majority of the image seemed accurate and concise. The main exceptions came from “source photography”, footage of the actual 2013 events.

Given the inevitable drop in quality that would result from those elements, I was fine with these instances. Some dimly-lit interiors also veered a little soft, but not in a substantial manner.

Outside of those “source” shots, I saw no issues with jaggies or moiré effects, and the image lacked edge haloes. Print flaws remained absent.

As one would anticipate, the movie opted for a mainly teal palette, with splashes of orange on occasion. Despite the cliché nature of those choices, the image replicated the hues in a positive way.

HDR added good impact and range to the tones. Some early 4K discs went too crazy with HDR but this one used the technique in a subtle manner.

Blacks showed good depth and range, while shadows brought good clarity. Low-light shots managed to become smooth and well-defined. HDR brought extra punch to whites and contrast. Even with the “drop-off” from the 2013 video footage, this turned into a solid image.

Expect an action-packed DTS-X soundtrack from Patriots Day. Downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1 on my system, the audio broadened to fill out all the channels in a lively manner.

The movie consistently depicted a wide sense of atmosphere, so even subdued scenes still showed a nice feeling for settings and events. Obviously, louder sequences added more impact, and those fared well.

The initial bombing became the first impressive scene, and later sequences with violence used the spectrum in a dynamic manner as well. These instances helped flesh out the action in a compelling manner.

Audio quality was more than satisfactory. Music was full and rich, while dialogue appeared natural and concise. Effects offered excellent reproduction and delivered firm, rich bass when appropriate. The soundtrack suited the film and added to it.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Both came with identical audio.

As for the 4K’s visuals, it proved a little better defined and more dynamic than the Blu-ray. Given that the movie came from a 2K source, it didn’t blow away the Blu-ray, but the 4K offered a moderately superior presentation.

As we head to extras, we start with the three-part Boston Strong: . It fills a total of 21 minutes, 31 seconds and splits into “Dr. Jeffrey Kalish” (6:40), “Dun Meng” (7:33), and “Sgt. Jeff Pugliese” (7:18).

In these, we hear from the aforementioned people as well Boston Medical Center’s Dr. Peter Burke and Dr. Tracey Dechert, police commissioner Ed Davis, and 911 Call Center’s Joe Sullivan.

All of these folks relate their real-life experiences during the events depicted in the film. I always enjoy efforts that show the actual people behind cinematic adaptations, so these featurettes add value.

With The Boston Bond, we get a 21-minute, 43-second piece with comments from Davis, Pugliese, Meng, director/co-writer Peter Berg, producers Hutch Parker, Scott Stuber and Michael Radutzky, co-writer Joshua Zetumer, story writer Paul Tamasy, Boston resident Beth Veneto, production designer Tom Duffield, and actors Kevin Bacon, Jimmy O. Yang, Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, John Goodman, Christopher O’Shea, Rachel Brosnahan and JK Simmons.

“Bond” covers the project’s development, story/characters, working in Boston and recreating events, and the atmosphere in the city related to the film. “Bond” acts as a serviceable overview but not one with great depth.

Next comes The Real Patriots. It lasts 19 minutes, 48 seconds and features Berg, Parker, Davis, Goodman, Pugliese, Simmons, Meng, and Yang.

“Real” mixes notes about actual events with thoughts about cinematic recreations. It offers another moderately informative piece.

Under The Cast Remembers, we find a five-minute, 51-second piece with Yang, Goodman, Monaghan, Simmons, Bacon, Brosnahan, O’Shea, Wahlberg and actors Themo Melikidze and Alex Wolff.

Here the actors recall their memories of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. This seems a bit self-indulgent but it feels largely inoffensive.

The two-part Actors Meet Real-Life Counterparts fills a total of 18 minutes, 13 seconds. Part 1 features John Goodman and Ed Davis (8:10), while Part 2 boasts Jimmy O. Yang and Dun Meng (10:03).

As expected, the actors and their inspirations discuss the movie’s events and the performers’ approaches to their roles. The chats offer some charm due to their integrated nature, and Meng’s memories offer the best insights.

I must admit it drives me a little nuts that the disc constantly offers subtitles for Meng’s comments. His English is understandable enough that this move seems unnecessary and vaguely insulting.

Finally, Researching the Day goes for 11 minutes, 21 seconds and includes info from Berg, Parker, Stuber, Zetumer, Wahlberg, and FBI technical advisor Chris Whitcomb.

Like the title implies, this featurette relates notes about work done to get the facts behind the film. A few minor insights result, but much of the show exists to praise Berg and the movie team.

The include Blu-ray disc provides the same extras as the 4K. It also opens with ads for Deepwater Horizon, Hacksaw Ridge, Manchester By the Sea, Hell or High Water and John Wick Chapter 2. No trailer for Patriots appears here.

Involving and dramatic, Patriots Day covers the Boston Marathon bombing well. It brings us thrills along with emotion to become a satisfying exploration of the subject matter. The 4K UHD delivers solid picture and audio as well as a decent collection of bonus materials. Patriots Day turns into a terrific effort.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of PATRIOTS DAY

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main