Concussion | Chicago Reader


An experienced investigative journalist, writer-director Peter Landesman (Parkland, Kill the Messenger) brings a responsible approach to his politically fraught stories, which comes in handy with this exposé of brain trauma in pro football. Based on a GQ article by Jeanne Marie Laskas, the film tells the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist in Pittsburgh who took on the National Football League with his 2005 paper asserting that legendary Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (brain degeneration caused by repeated blows to the head). Will Smith gives an ingratiating performance as the comically egotistical but passionately idealistic doctor, and there's strong work from Alec Baldwin as a former NFL physician counseling Omalu and the ever-reliable David Morse as Webster. Less impressive is Albert Brooks, whose dramatic performance as Omalu's supportive boss collapses under the weight of too many bad one-liners.



  • Peter Landesman


  • Will Smith
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw
  • Arliss Howard
  • Paul Reiser
  • Luke Wilson
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
  • David Morse
  • Matthew Willig
  • Albert Brooks
  • Richard Jones


  • Ridley Scott
  • Giannina Scott
  • David Wolthoff
  • Larry Shuman
  • Elizabeth Cantillon
  • Michael Schaefer
  • David Crockett
  • Ben Waisbren
  • Bruce Berman
  • Greg Basser

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