American football is currently in the midst of an existential crisis. Awareness of the impact of head injuries casts an increasingly long shadow on America's most popular sport. What it means to play or support the game is an increasingly morally fraught question. Concussion wades into this conversation scared to say too much of anything. Starring Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian-born Pittsburgh coroner who first put the puzzle pieces together on the impact that football has on the brain, Concussion follows his journey to convince the world of the hazards that the aggregation of routine football plays can pose to its players.

Aside from whom the film chooses to give a voice to, the best thing that can be said about Concussion is that it fails as entertainment. Almost subversively so. I walked out of this movie unsatisfied, wanting to know more. The film never transcends its source material, Jeanne Marie Laskas's profile on Bennet Omalu, but it left a lingering bad taste in my mouth that pushed me to reread the story. I highly recommend it. It's a well-told take on this important question. Concussion, sadly, is not.

Read Spike Friedman's full review
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Peter Landesman
Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

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