John Goodman Michael Beach, Mark Wahlberg costar in the drama about the Boston Marathon bombing
ALL CROPS: Kevin Bacon in exclusive 'Patriots Day' clip

Law enforcement officials had to make countless difficult decisions amid the chaos of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath, and one of the first was how to classify the deadly attack.

That moment is recounted in Patriots Day, CBS Films and Lionsgate’s cinematic account of the bombing and the citywide manhunt for the perpetrators, and EW has an exclusive look.

The scene begins as FBI agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) surveys the blast site alongside Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman) and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (Michael Beach).

“We’ve got to decide who’s running this,” Patrick says, “and we have to decide quickly.”

“If it’s terrorism, it’s yours,” Davis tells DesLauriers.

“The moment we label this terrorism, everything changes,” DesLauriers replies. “It’s not about Boston anymore, it’s not a local investigation. It’s Wolf Blitzer, it’s stock markets, it’s politicians, knee-jerk reactions, anti-Muslim backlash. And what if we’re wrong?”

“If we don’t call it what we already know it is, and a cell is activated and they hit Chicago or New York or Washington, what happens then?” Davis asks.

DesLauriers knows their actions will be scrutinized no matter how they proceed. But as he kneels among the wreckage and finds ball bearings covered in blood, he knows what he has to do.

“It’s terrorism,” he says. “We’ll take it.”

Patriots Day will open in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston on Dec. 21 before going nationwide on Jan. 13. Directed by Peter Berg, the movie also stars Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, Melissa Benoist, and J.K. Simmons.

Watch the exclusive clip above.

Patriots Day
  • Movie
  • 133 minutes