The team behind Deepwater Horizon tackle another real-life tragedy with the same taut and immersive intensity, offering a multifaceted account of the Boston marathon bombings of 2013 and the subsequent city-wide hunt to find the perpetrators. Presented in three acts, each more thrilling than the last, the film delivers a documentary style account of the initial attack, moving on to a forensic race-against-time to track down the terrorists, before an explosive, nerve-shredding showdown on the streets of Boston as the net closes in.
While positing Mark Wahlberg as the everyman hero at the centre of the action, as with Deepwater Horizon, the strength of the supporting cast is one of the keys joys and J. K. Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and Michelle Monaghan all add a touch of class. Following Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon, director Peter Berg has really honed his aptitude for reality-based thrillers; each film markedly improving on the template. While the raw and recent nature of the subject matter necessarily entails the occasional, obligatory moments of bombast and emotional release, it’s Berg’s restraint, realism and procedural rigour that really stand out, resulting in a work that stands among the modern high-points of its genre such as Zero Dark Thirty and United 93.