If his recent films are any indication, there's a battle raging within Peter Berg's soul. Ambling up one hill on this metaphoric battlefield is an army of beer-guzzling, macho jagoffs whose greatest weapon is turning off their brains at will; charging them is a battalion of skilled and equally dangerous craftspeople who see movies as a vehicle for both entertainment and awakening. The clash is bloody and ongoing, and explains Patriots Day, a reverent, methodical recreation of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that is only occasionally undermined by Mark Wahlberg's blue-collar Beantown buffoonery. If Berg can (or even wants to) shake the last vestiges of Michael Bay-style popcorn cuteness, he'll establish himself as a filmmaker to be respected for more than just his ability to draw a crowd. Patriots Day is both thrilling and tasteful, thought-provoking and dramatically satisfying. Sure, it may be unnecessary, but it demands to be seen.