Patriots Day is the third collaboration and second of 2016 between director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg- Deepwater Horizon is the other. At this point, these two have the market cornered on movies about American tragedies that effect every day working people. Where Horizon dealt with rig workers and the explosive BP oil spill, Patriots Day follows Boston Police officers and first responders on April 15th, 2013 during the Boston Marathon bombing. This lead to a citywide manhunt of the Tsarnaev brothers, who were responsible for one of the worst U.S. attacks since 9/11. Berg, has made another intense procedural drama, which succeeds at keeping audiences on the edge of their seats, but fails to build characters out of the multiple heroes involved in these horrific events.
It is hard to recommend A Monster Calls to audiences. It is a gentle, but powerful film, about a young boy who goes through the difficult stages of grief while his mother is battling for her life. You essentially have to tell the audience, “if you want a really good cry, then have I got a movie for you.” What I found to be impressive from director J.A. Bayona’s film, was how unconventional it was in teaching a lesson to children about loss. This is not a standard, “because you are different that makes you special” Disney movie. A Monster Calls is a unique film, in the sense that it is honest about life and the unfair difficulties that you go through as a child.