Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany in Stronger. Picture: Supplied

Stronger sees Jake Gyllenhaal transform into one of his most emotive roles to date as the Boston bombing survivor, Jeff Bauman.

Rating: 4/5

This is the second film, with the first being Patriots Day released last year, to highlight the experience of one of the 2013 Boston bombing survivors. 

While Patriots Day focused on the police officer who eventually solved the case, Stronger looks at one of the spectators, Jeff Bauman, who was supporting his girlfriend at the race and looks at his journey to recovery. 

Gyllenhaal is an underrated actor and when you watch Stronger it shows that he deserves more praise than he’s currently receiving. Kudos to the casting directors for casting this movie correctly.

The chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany (Erin Hurley) is evident from the beginning. 

Since most of the movie revolves around Bauman and Hurley, both actors make you believe in their love and relationship. 

The rest of the cast also give great performances with the stand-out being Bauman’s mother Patty played by Miranda Richardson. 

Director David Green does a stellar job of using the Boston bombing as a framing device for post-traumatic stress disorder, family relationships and how love sometimes isn’t enough for a successful relationship.

The screenplay written by John Pollono gives the actors a lot to work with. 


Gyllenhaal specifically, shines in the way he portrays Bauman. His character displays a range of emotions and shows true dimension. 

The characters feel and speak like real people and Pollono deserves a round of applause for making everyone feel authentic. 

Even the sprinkles of comic relief feel organic and come at the right times. 

Hurley also gives an amazing performance especially in the subtleties she uses when she and Gyllenhaal are on screen together. 

This is an emotionally heavy film and get ready to cry a lot. 

Watching a film with actual emotional weight is a rarity, though. Stronger does pluck at your emotional strings but in a good way. Specifically, at the end when you get a snapshot of the real-life couple.  

As our blockbuster summer movie season is fast approaching this comes as a heartfelt entry to cleanse your pallet from IT. 

It enables you to avoid some the horrible movies that are coming out – I’m looking at you, The Emoji Movie.