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Plot: In Pittsburgh, accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play.
Runtime: 123 mins Release Date: 25 Dec 2015
I am a survivor of playing on high school concussions. I finally quit playing by so many positive family influences in my life. I grew up playing Texas football, the "American Dream". I received my final football concussion in 2000 and discontinued playing football. Troy Aikman was the only one anyone talked about at this time regarding concussions and everyone thought he was fine. What they didn't talk about which this movie does a great job is pointing out all the players that died or had violent disruptive behavior due to post conclusion syndrome. I rated this movie a 10 <more>
because there will be millions of dollars spent to make the movie go away. It's important for every parent in America to understand what football can do to your kids. Football is a great sport but their can be serious life consequences that can come from it. Football 2000 years later will be looked at as Roman Gladiators once were. I loved every minute of my experience with football growing up. But the reality is the overwhelming effects this sport causes to our brains. It was once said to me that if the brain injury could be seen on the outside of your body it wouldn't even be a question if football would still be a sport. However, it's not and that's why it's unspoken. I very much support this movie and I am glad that Sony Pictures only non nfl contract took the liberty to show people what this sport's health effects can have on young kids and adults. Hope you enjoy my real-life review. I feel lucky to be alive. Lucky that I was surrounded by people that could think there was more to life then the "American Dream". God Bless
This movie shows it is Time for Change, MUST SEE! (by chucksonspets)
I've played football at every level and nearly every professional football league possible for the last 20 years of my life and trust me when I say this movie is a MUST SEE!! After watching "Concussion" with my son on Christmas day I had an epic awakening of common sense. The movie hit home so hard for me that I will no longer support the game of football. I will not play, coach, or watch it again until overall awareness and change is set in place for the affects of playing the game to be accounted for in some kind of way on a large scale. I have played this game for the last 20 <more>
years of my life and have physically felt the affects of it more and more each year. If you have played this game you know the "SuperMan" like culture that comes with it. How it is a sin to get hurt or say "I have a headache". I will no longer turn a blind eye to the long term affects of ignoring the phrase. What the normal fan or anyone who hasn't played the game at a high level doesn't know is the stress and depression that comes with leaving the game. I'd equate it to being the same as losing a spouse of 30+ years but add 100 blows to the head every day of each year. You already feel lost and meaningless but you also have years of brain damage which inflates the process. I grew up with a love for football because of its culture, all the great things it taught me, and the qualities it brought out of me and my "brothers", my teammates. BUT all of that is not worth my life after football. The fact of the matter is we as a society have turned a blind eye to the long term affects of playing football and I refuse to be a part of the problem any longer. This movie is not as visually gripping as it could have been and it also doesn't expand anywhere near as far as it could have on the obvious occurrence of brain injuries throughout every level of the sport but it gets right to the point and it shines light on the facts. The sport isn't going anywhere safe until the NFL does and the NFL has not and probably will not because of money. If change in the sport is going to occur it has to start at the top. After watching this movie every parent has to question if they want their child to participate in this sport. For me and my children, it's a definite "No-Brainer".
#Concussion has made me see what athletes go through from a different angle and I'm saying that as a man who didn't grow up a fan of American football. CONCUSSION is a compelling David Vs. Goliath story, it's a true great American story, and it's Will Smith's best performance since 2006's "The Pursuit Of Happiness" Written and directed by Peter Landesman, based on the GQ article "Game Brain," you've all seen the trailer for CONCUSSION which has Will Smith playing real life accomplished forensic neuropathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered <more>
a disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy CTE which a progressive degenerative disease found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, and it's commonly found nowadays in pro-football player because they get repeated bows to the head every time they play, this is a heavy contact sport, as we all know.So the film is about this immigrant doctor with high ethical standards and he truly loves America and yet the America he loves seems to be trying to shut him up because he's basically going up against the sport Americans live and breath for and one of the biggest most capitalistic organizations in the country. When you're messing with a giant business because you've discovered a truth about them that they don't like or a truth that might hurt their profit-making, you're bound to get bullied by the giant.I had my worries at first, I thought Will Smith's attempt on Nigerian accent may distract or it may make him into a caricature instead of an embodiment but fortunately, that's not what happened. Will Smith's performance in this film really burns with convictions, he will have you take his side in a heartbeat. There's a bit of "A Few Good Men" 'tell me the truth you can't handle the truth' sorta moment mixed with Denzel Washington's 'love's gonna bust me out' moment in "Hurricane" so it's clear that over the years, Will has learned from his fellow masters and honed his skills or his artistry to perfection. Somebody told me once that Will is a big fan of the Philadelphia Eagles team, so it's interesting to see him play the role of a man who takes on the NFL.The film itself is set in a way that makes you feel like you're going on an uphill battle. I think writer/director Peter Landesman approached it in a way that doesn't demonize American football, but sheds a light on the truth about it, just like what the real Dr. Omalu did. It is also a story about immigrants, a fact which sadly a lot of Americans today seem to forget, that we are a nation of immigrants.CONCUSSION will surely give rise to discussions not just among NFL players and team owners but also among audiences and football fans. But will the discussion only last a dinner table's length and then be forgotten once Sunday game comes around again? I read up after watching the movie and found that the NFL still makes excuses in admitting the impact CTE has on their players. They've done settlements, they've paid millions of dollars to families, they've changed some things about the way the game is played but keep in mind that this is a big money-making business, so when money is at stake, unfortunately human lives get negotiated over.The way the NFL handles this reminds me of how right wing politicians try to repudiate climate change, by hiring their own scientists, some of whom may not even be experts on the field study, because those politicians have been bought by fossil fuel businesses. So point being, change in America can happen but it does not happen overnight, it's a slow and painful process as long as there's money involved.
I'm not a Smith fan or a football fan but this is a must see (by dv-12048)
The acting was Oscar worthy, the science behind the discovery was fascinating, and the fact that it's based on a true story is incredible. It's proof that one person can make a difference. What is more impressive is after watching the film I discovered that this movie was a watered-down version of the original script. Even though Sony tried to avoid legal issues with the NFL by softening the script, I still found it spellbinding.I will say that I think it's ironic Sony made a movie about a man taking a stand against the NFL yet Sony pictures, with all their resources, are too <more>
the best David vs Goliath story you will ever see (by wycherleyp-960-470658)
When you are going to make a film about a sensitive subject, the number one rule is you have to make sure its a dam good one! Peter Landsman i take my hat off to you as you have delivered a brilliant film in concussion, the story of Dr Bennett Omalu who uncovers the dark truth about brain injury sustained in American football and how Dr Bennett was persecuted and branded a liar by the NFL and its teams. It is a beautiful David vs goliath true story how a doctor will do whatever it takes for the truth he discovered the condition known as CTE to be taken seriously and to try save lives. Will <more>
Smith is inspirational and shows why he is one of the best actors around and when you have a supporting cast of Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks you have to be on top of your game and Will Smith nails it. I highly advise you to watch the gripping true story as not only will you learn something new but also have a new found respect for American football.
Tell the truth! A provocative and compelling drama that discovers a medical problem and it asks how will the biggest sports corporation contend with it? (by blanbrn)
If anyone is a die hard NFL fan like me and follows the game and the sports world and the news, you know that over the years the league has been facing the problem of how to deal with player concussions and how to protect them better, and what to do when the players retire. The film "Concussion" deals with that on going drama just fine as it follows the research and work of one real life pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu played in a tough strong performance manner from Will Smith . Set in Pittsburgh after the deaths of several star former Steeler players most notable that being hall of <more>
fame center Mike Webster in a gritty performance from David Morse who due to many hits to the head developed all kinds of problems like hearing voices, and loss of reality as he even had to live away from his family taking shelter in his own truck before falling to suicide by a head gunshot wound. The film is somewhat sad and emotional as you see the broken down players and hear the stories of their problems and passing. Dr. Omalu is one pathologist who's eager and willing to find out more and why and what drove these former players to young deaths by suicide, so thru his work he finds brain damage in these former players who suffered concussions and all would develop a new disease CTE. At first his medical news is doubted by others doctor's played well by Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks yet they are slowly broken in to believe yet the challenge to face the NFL with the news is the toughest, as the film states you are going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the week even over the church and of course that's Sunday as the NFL has risen to sports entertainment that's at the top of the mountain. Finally Dr. Omalu's voice and discovery does get the league's attention and many former players and current ones take the issue to capital hill and congress. Overall "Concussion" is one film that's an emotional drama of discovery and it searches for the truth wanting answers to a new NFL problem that has expanded.
Outstanding Performance by Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu (by Searsino)
The film Concussion describes the incredible journey by Nigerian Dr. Bennet Omalu wonderfully played by Will Smith who uncovered a shocking revelation about the damaging effects football collisions have on its players. More specifically, players whom often went misdiagnosed e.g. Alzheimer's disease . Dr. Omalu was the first to bring the issue of head-to-head collisions to light, addressing it as a very real problem in need of being fixed by the influential football organizations.This story of one man's remarkable strength and fortitude, sticking to what was right ultimately pushed <more>
the Nigerian doctor never to give up in the face of relentless attempts by the NFL to stifle such findings. What Dr. Omalu was able to do will undoubtedly go down in history books, to be read by training clinicians, aspiring lawyers, and many other professionals. A look deep into ethics, and how the "good guy" can also be the one to come out on top.If there was ever debate over Smith's talent, it surely could be disregarded after this performance. Many an actor/actress have accepted the daunting task of a role requiring the use of a foreign accent and very, VERY few can do so successfully. Will Smith will undoubtedly turn heads as this film continues to roll out across the nation.It is only a shame that the release of the film coincides with that of renowned director Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful 8" which will likely make this particular motion picture pass by unnoticed for many a mainstream viewer.The lead by Will Smith alone carries Concussion. Don't miss an opportunity to watch something beautiful on screen: an extremely talented actor achieving something which is beyond impressive. To encapsulate a Nigerian immigrant in such a way that comes across as so raw and valid... that is what made this film the powerhouse that it is.----- 8/10 STARS -------- Review by Searsino -----
Will Smith Delivers an Oscar Worthy Performance (by chicagopoetry)
I have to be honest. I haven't been a huge fan of Will Smith the actor. He always seems to be doing not much more than playing himself in his roles. Even in The Pursuit of Happiness it was hard for me to forget that the character I was watching was Will Smith instead of who it was suppose to be. This works well for him when he's doing comedy or action such as Men in Black or Bad Boys, but not so much when he's taking on something dramatic that requires a transformation into an actual role. To be fair, I can't seem to remember ever watching Ali and I suppose I should do that. <more>
Finally, though, after 25 years of trying, he's done it for me with Concussion. He truly captures the role of a Nigerian brain specialists and I almost immediately forget that he's Will Smith and I relate instead to the character he's playing. And he pulls it off with such grace that I do believe he deserves at least his third nomination for best actor if not the award itself.As for the film, I liked it a lot. The first half plays like a very taught thriller and had me on the edge of my seat. The second half gets a bit too melodramatic for my taste but not so much that I started squirming well, maybe just a little . I think if the second half was given a bit more editing, speeding it up, this could have been a ten star film but eight stars, which is what I give it, isn't anything to shake a stick at either.So there you have it--my take on Concussion.
A film that hits hard and bears lasting effects on the viewer (by StevePulaski)
It seems there is nothing more American than a corporation going against damn-near indisputable evidence of harm being done or being perpetuated by their silence. In the 1990's, it was tobacco tycoons like Philip Morris and R. J. Reynolds funneling countless money to lobbyists in effort to keep word from getting around that smoking cigarettes and cigars causes innumerable health problems to ones system, and in the modern day, it's the rampant denial of climate change by big oil companies like BP and the billionaire Koch brothers. Somewhere in between blowing the lid off of both the <more>
tobacco and the oil industry was a deeper, more human-centered issue that shocked a corporation that has gone on to own a day of the week.That issue is concussions and pervasive, crippling head trauma in the National Football League. In 2002, following the death of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, a Nigerian pathologist named Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered that repetitive head trauma, by way of thunderous and recurring blows to the head, winds up choking the brain, which sits inside the human skull in a bath of fluids disconnected from any part of the skull. Dr. Omalu's research discovered that Webster's bouts of dizziness, paranoia, and instability were results of taking thousands of blows to the head - the equivalent of more than 20,000 car accidents - while playing football. Omalu's research would seem outlandish if it didn't keep being proved, following the death of Steelers offensive tackle Justin Strzelczyk, who had suffered from chronic trauma encephalopathy CTE , and the suicides of Philadelphia Eagles safety Andre Waters and Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who wound up donating his brain to Omalu for research.Upon Omalu's findings being published and released to the public, he was met with widespread criticism for his lack of formal U.S. citizenship and his alleged efforts to take down or neuter one of America's most cherished sports. The NFL, including the newly appointed commissioner Roger Goodell, tried everything to silence Omalu, even going to great lengths by staging panels and press conferences that made the public look like the league was addressing the problem, when really, it was nothing more than a publicity stunt.Though it's difficult to go any Sunday without hearing something about concussions during a game, be it from a coach asserting that he's taking every step to prevent such matters, or a player experiencing concussion-like symptoms, Omalu's story is given the recognition it deserves in Peter Landesman's "Concussion." Landesman, who wrote and directed "Parkland," a film about the multitude of key people that witnessed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on the frontlines, molds "Concussion" into a tense, slowburn procedural with a strong central performance at its core.Omalu is played by Will Smith in what is a comeback role he was lucky to get. After the notorious financial and critical failure of "After Earth," Smith was sidelined as a movie star, barely earning a secondary mention in the forgotten 2014 "Winter's Tale." This was a role he needed in order to propel him back to the frontlines as one of America's strongest and most consistently impressive actors, and needless to say, he nails it. His performance as Omalu is understated and thoughtful, as he plays the softspoken, Nigerian pathologist with strong charisma, effectively depicting an almost meditative admiration for America as the homeland of God's people where anything is possible. Even certain scenes in the trailer, such as the famous "tell the truth" scene that came off as corny as a stand-alone moment, achieve fireworks here as Smith is back in his element.Right by Smith's side is Alec Baldwin, playing Dr. Julian Bales, an NFL-appointed doctor for teammates, who abandons his cozy, high-paying job for the greater good of mentally unstable football players that run the risk of dying under the same circumstances as Webster. Baldwin does a nice job of holding his own weight as a character in this film and not intruding on Smith's almost tour-de-force performance as Omalu.As an audience member, I can see from the montages of football games in the film and hear from the sound two helmets or skulls make on impact that that kind of repetitive trauma isn't good for the head, just from a logic standpoint. I can see from Webster's worn-face and addiction to painkillers as he lives in the back of his beater pickup truck that the effects of that kind of trauma are lasting. I don't need to be told in multiple different terms I cannot remember, let alone pronounce, how and what membranes are affected in the brain by that kind of brutality. Landesman thankfully recognizes this and makes "Concussion" about those who suffer from this kind of illness and Omalu's struggle to be honest and compassionate as he goes up against a money-hungry, corporate entity interested in protecting their own brand rather than the lives of those that make said brand what it is."Concussion" is a film that succeeds because it's a human-centered story, with two strong performances that work off of one another, yet stand alone in their own elements, in addition to having some seriously crisp, almost dreamlike cinematography done by Salvatore Totino, who also did the cinematography for "Changing Lanes" and "The Missing" . Some will complain it's not as critical of the NFL as it should be, and some will find the lack of explicit science deceptive in some way. For me, it's about all you can ask for a film that simply wants the truth and human-scale to prevail above all. It doesn't have the slickness nor the social relevance angle that this year's amazing "Spotlight" had, but it also serves as competent dramatic entertainment in addition to being the nudge we all need before we fall asleep from our wakeup on this issue.