DUELING REVIEWS!

We’re testing a new occasional format here at The Parsing Haus, the Doubleheader — pitting two fearless reviewers against one other in a steel cage showdown of bon mots and savvy! (Or not. Sometimes, we might even agree.) Here’s the deal: CLGJr and Haus both saw the upcoming film Patriots Day, both penned reviews, and only once they’d finished did each see the other’s. Behold, the result. Suffice to say we didn’t see eye to eye this time.

You can read both, starting with CLGJr’s Slam below, or jump straight to Haus’s Praise and circle back.

Patriots Day [Review by CLGJr]

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts officially designates the third Monday of every April as Patriots’ Day. (For some reason, its northern neighbors in Maine prefer the singular possessive.) Bostonians host their storied marathon on that same day each spring, as they have for almost 120 years. The morning of April 13, 2013—not unlike the early hours of September 11, 2001—was by all accounts unremarkable. And then tragedy struck. Bombs placed at two sites along the finish line detonated, killing three and horrifically injuring hundreds more. “Patriots Day” recounts those events and the weeklong investigation without the nuance, focus, and skill warranted. It’s bluntly a mess of a movie, a depressing and borderline exploitative endeavor.

The narrative, known to any sentient person, first crisscrosses the pre-Marathon preparations of an unwieldy stable of characters.

We then witness the bombing More >