Stronger

Cert 15, 116 min­utes, in cin­e­mas 8 De­cem­ber

Heat (UK) - - The Unmissables - charles gant

The plot: Costco em­ployee Jeff Bau­man (Gyl­len­haal) hopes to win back his ex-girl­friend Erin (Maslany) by cheer­ing on her Bos­ton Marathon run. When his legs are blown off in a ter­ror at­tack, he be­comes a re­luc­tant sym­bol of the city’s for­ti­tude.

What’s right With it? Pow­ered by a wrench­ing turn from a grungy­look­ing Gyl­len­haal, Stronger brings Bau­man’s jour­ney vividly to life, as he tries – and of­ten fails – to be the hero Bos­ton wants him to be.

What’s Wrong With it? The de­pic­tion of Jeff’s lime­light-court­ing ex­tended fam­ily and es­pe­cially his booz­ing mother (an un­recog­nis­able Mi­randa Richard­son) may be ac­cu­rate, but also feels a tad cruel.

Ver­dict: The sec­ond major film about the 2013 Bos­ton Marathon blast fol­low­ing Pa­tri­ots Day, star­ring Mark Wahlberg. Stronger avoids easy sen­ti­men­tal­ity in its cel­e­bra­tion of an or­di­nary man thrust into an ex­tra­or­di­nary sit­u­a­tion.

“Mmm, minty breath”

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