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.

Director:

Peter Landesman

Writers:

Peter Landesman, Jeanne Marie Laskas (based on the GQ article "Game Brain" by)
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Popularity
4,162 ( 319)
4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith ... Dr. Bennet Omalu
Alec Baldwin ... Dr. Julian Bailes
Albert Brooks ... Dr. Cyril Wecht
Gugu Mbatha-Raw ... Prema Mutiso
David Morse ... Mike Webster
Arliss Howard ... Dr. Joseph Maroon
Mike O'Malley ... Daniel Sullivan
Eddie Marsan ... Dr. Steven DeKosky
Hill Harper ... Christopher Jones
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ... Dave Duerson
Stephen Moyer ... Dr. Ron Hamilton
Richard T. Jones ... Andre Waters
Paul Reiser ... Dr. Elliot Pellman
Luke Wilson ... Roger Goodell
Sara Lindsey ... Gracie
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Storyline

Will Smith stars in Concussion, a dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalu's emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He will stop at nothing to expose the truth. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material including some disturbing images, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr. Bennet Omalu makes a reference to the popular series Friends (1994), when he starts his first autopsy on a woman named Rachel Green. See more »

Goofs

The film implies Cyril Wecht's prosecution was initiated to pressure Omalu to drop his research. Wecht was actually indicted three months before Omalu first published his findings. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Julian Bailes: I just kept sending them back out there.
Dr. Cyril Wecht: What the hell were you thinking?
Dr. Julian Bailes: You've got to be a part of it. You've got to be on the sidelines with them to understand. Whatever it takes to keep them in the game, to keep the whole thing going. Tape, needles, Vicodin, Toradol, Lidocaine, Percocet, Lexapro, Zoloft... have I left anything out? It's tires and oil. Just mechanics trying to keep the cars on the racetrack.
Dr. Cyril Wecht: Yeah, well, it's not medicine. I don't know what it is.
Dr. Julian Bailes: It's business.
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Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 9 December 2015 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

So Long
Written by Leon Bridges, Josh Block, Austin Jenkins and Chris Vivion
Produced by Niles City Sound
Performed by Leon Bridges
Leon Bridges appears courtesy of Columbia Records
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User Reviews

 
Will Smith Steps Up to the Plate, Script Falters
11 November 2015 | by ClaytonDavisSee all my reviews

Read more @ The Awards Circuit (http://www.awardscircuit.com)

An inspiring, academic by the name of Dr. Bennet Omalu takes on the titan of Sundays, the NFL, in order to prove a direct link from head trauma during football games to CTE, a football related injury that occurs. Writer/director Peter Landesman takes on the very detailed, and dramatic thriller "Concussion," with an insightful amount of control in direction, mostly thanks to Academy Award winning editor William Goldenberg, who keeps most of the film at a decent pace. However, with a clichéd script that brings the eye-rolling effect to a fever pitch, you can't help but wish that the material was more rendered and secure in its delivery. Surely to bring on an inner rage as we watch these men, so revered by Americans on a weekly basis, beg for absolution as they lose sight of themselves as time progresses. What doesn't work in "Concussion's" favor is the glossing over the real human condition that is so desperately apparent in each frame the film attempts to show.

Starring two-time Academy Award nominee Will Smith as Omalu, he delivers one of his strongest performances ever. An impeccable capture of a man from Africa, soulfully searching for acceptance in America, Smith brings a visible intensity in each line spoken. Settling into a role that calls for the best parts of Smith's charisma, which he has demonstrated effortlessly throughout his career, he handles it with an equally emotional heft that garners most of the film's best moments. This is a performance that deserves to be considered for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Landesman also constructs a decent cast with Alec Baldwin (not totally owning his own southern-ish accent in his exchanges), Gugu Mbatha- Raw (beautiful but utterly wasted in under developed scenes), and David Morse (who deserves much more roles and is quite effective in his limited screen time). Of all the supporting players, Albert Brooks delivers as the vulgar Dr. Cyril Wecht. It'll call back to his beloved turn in "Drive" just a few years back (minus villainous murders). As a distracting entity, Luke Wilson cast as Roger Goodell is a poor choice by the filmmakers, serving nothing more as celebrity wallpaper.

Composer James Newton Howard puts his horns on overload, sweeping into scenes that work well in films like "The Village" but with a film such as "Concussion," it begins to grate on the ears at times.

At 123 minutes, the film bloats like you over indulged at dinner time. In some bizarre, and almost "too try hard" choices, Landesman attempts to focus on some of the more "human" and "natural" elements of Dr. Omalu's life. As we find ourselves more interested in the case at hand, the writer/director almost sets out to make his version of "The Insider," which would be fine if he got a better grasp on which elements he should focus on.

"Concussion" isn't a complete failure, delivering at times with a grandiose turn from Will Smith. If anything, he's more than worth the admission ticket but I believe most of all, the film does successfully place a spotlight on an issue that is in desperate need of change. The final title cards will prove the NFL's power, and even deepen your frustration and anger. I think that it'll at least offer up a discussion point. That's success on its own.


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Details

Country:

UK | Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Game Brain See more »

Filming Locations:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,513,749, 27 December 2015

Gross USA:

$34,542,474

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,623,572
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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