'Patriots Day' Screens at AFI to mostly positive response

"Patriots Day" might not win the critics awards, but it is a legit contender for a Best Picture nomination. That's at least the consensus that has come out of yesterday's closing night screening at the AFI Film Festival. I would take it all with some skepticism as it's too early to call this film a definite "contender."

Earlier in the year I wrote:

"If you can go past the "America rah rah" feel of the trailer, and quite possibly the whole movie, there is definite cause for interest. Look at that cast: Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, J.K. Simmons. From what I have been hearing this is more of a procedural film, looking for the bombers, than an actual day-of summary. I like that. Although after "Deepwater Horizon" I have a little more doubt about the final result. "Horizon" didn't delve into the big issues of the BP spill, instead focusing on action-packed mayhem. This movie should be more subtle, layered out and, maybe, hold off on the patriotism a bit, but the trailer is all about that."

"Berg's films have been, just like Clint Eastwood's of late, very much attuned to the conservative part of America. Blue-collar, middle class heroes on duty, to serve and protect this great nation of ours. "American Sniper" is a perfect example. I dug that film quite a bit, but there was a whole Left vs Right debate to that film about the heroic merits of its title character. Slightly adhering to the right is, in my books, not a problem and, in fact, very welcome, but the first image we see in this trailer is of an America flag waving at half-mast right down to Katherine Lee's stirring "America the Beautiful". Not subtle at all. Keep it a little down Mr. Berg, you might have a great movie here."