Film Preview: Patriots Day (2016)

Page Revisions:

(October 9, 2016) Original
(November 20, 2016) New Trailer (#2)
(December 18, 2016) New Posters (#2 & #3)
(January 8, 2017) New Posters (#4-#9)

Release Date:

December 21, 2016


From IMDb: “An account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’s actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it.”

Poster Rating: B / C / C- / C- (6) / C- / D +/ D

Review: (#1) A clever concept for sure, but does it tell us anything about the film itself? Somewhat. We know that there are shoelaces involved, which, if you know about the film makes sense, but if you don’t doesn’t.

(#2) Everyone just look incredibly serious for a serious poster. The problem is that the expressions aren’t particularly emotive and the dulled design color scheme just doesn’t work. (#3) A little more color than the prior effort and this one just doesn’t feel natural or authentic, a crucial thing for selling a film based on a true story.

(#4-#9) These six character posters are just movie stills overlaid by red or white filters. That doesn’t give the film much of a boost. (#10) The shoestring motif is back, but the dull primary image doesn’t give the motif room to feel inventive. (#11) Mark Wahlberg stoically standing against a hellish backdrop doesn’t really do much for the film itself unless you happen to be a fan of Wahlberg. (#12) The police line waving in the breeze, having been broken by some unknown force does not make for a creative overlay to a very dull primary image and backdrop.

Trailer Rating: B- / C

Review: (#1) This trailer might sell in the United States, but it will be a bust overseas. The rampant and overbearing nationalism becomes grating quickly. Had it been briefly done or interspersed with elements of the film’s plot, it might have been more effective. Strangely, when it hits its potent high mark about two-thirds of the way through, it collapses afterwards leaving the audience confused.

(#2) That the film was titled Partiots Day in the first place seems disingenuous, but this excessively patriotic trailer makes that feeling even worse. There’s no need to play on American sensibilities to get them interested in a film like this. It suggests that perhaps the film isn’t nearly as good as it wants people to believe it will be. Excessive expectations are a dangerous thing.

Oscar Prospects:

There’s plenty of buzz that this will be a major player this year, especially with its overbearing focus on patriotism, but Peter Berg hasn’t been an Oscar magnet before and while this could be his breakthrough in major categories, it would need a ton of support from critics and audiences to make it a key component in this year’s race.

Trailer #1

Trailer #2


Poster #1Poster #2Poster #3

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