This exceptional movie earns the 5-Icee rating (out of 5). Now perhaps I am still a bit overcome by just watching the movie, but this movie was very emotional. It was exceptionally done and I don’t know how much dramatic license was taken, but I also don’t care. It was that good.

The director of this movie (Peter Berg) and Mark Wahlberg teamed up again for an exceptional telling of a true story. They have done this twice before with The Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon. I never saw the former but truly thought the latter was one of the best movies of 2016.  They spent quite a bit of time setting things up and normally I don’t like that but in this case it was done so well that I didn’t mind at all. There are even a couple of really cute scenes where a man is trying to teach his non-Bostonian wife how to speak like a native.

They introduced characters early that weren’t actually at the bombing site, and then later you see why. That was some great storytelling right there, and worked seamlessly. Another thing this film did that I thought was great was they incorporated actual footage, both from the bombings and various bits of security footage afterwards.  That was a constant reminder to me that this wasn’t just a movie, but it was a movie based on actual events.

The supporting actors for this movie all did very well. They brought in experienced actors that even (to a point) resembled the real people involved in the event.  John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, and Melissa Benoist all portrayed their characters with strength. Speaking of Melissa Benoist. You may recognize her as Supergirl, but trust me, in this movie she is no hero. She plays the wife of one of the bombers and does so with such a cold demeanor that she may have just earned herself some better roles in the future. The only flaw was the Boston accents for some of them.

The character that Mark Wahlberg plays is fictional. I’ve read somewhere that it’s sort of a compilation of Boston people. There was a couple of minor issues I had with his character, but to discuss them here would qualify as a spoiler. I just look at his character as one that keeps the story moving along and ties things together as smoothly as it can.

There are no scenes after the credits, but at the very end of the movie several people that were actually there (and portrayed in the film) speak briefly, and it is a really nice touch.

One word of warning. This is not for children. Not because of the language (and there is a good amount of it), but because of the graphic nature of the events right after the bombs went off. Obviously it is Hollywood blood and stuff, but it appeared very realistic to me and so I thought you should be aware.