Effective enough as a cautionary tale about willful ignorance and as a showcase for Will Smith...the film is let down by its confused and cliche-riddled screenplay, which struggles mightily to take a complex story and finesse it to fit story beats it was never meant to hit.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
A lack of pace and illuminating insight are what keep Concussion from lasting resonance, its flaws threatening to dull the issue for drama in a way that the NFL could only appreciate.
The tacky and loose means by which the platitudinous screenplay dances around what ails the story's football players is just one cog in a whirligig of pat representations.
Timely but dreary and dramatically inept.
Smith’s Omalu makes a compelling character, supported by his mentor Cyril Wecht (Albert Brooks) and former team doctor Julian Bailes (Alec Baldwin). But Concussion doesn’t crackle like the best whistleblower dramas.
Director Peter Landesman, who also helmed last year’s political thriller "Kill the Messenger", doesn’t color much outside the lines of conventional drama. But his straightforward telling actually serves the strong cast and taut script — and a story that would be deemed too outrageous to believe if it wasn’t true.
A harrowing subject for a film, then, but somehow Landesman – who also wrote the screenplay – never manages to turn it into a gripping movie.
Concussion is a good movie that could have been great without trying so hard to be great.
This film is vital in uncovering a hazard that was kept hidden for far too long. At last the secret is out, and Landesman and his fine cast will help to keep the conversation going.
Landesman’s film may not be scintillating drama, but it aches with muted anger, and his cast makes sure to keep the proceedings at a consistent simmering boil.