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Variety Film Review: ‘Concussion’

Variety:
Perhaps the most important thing to note about Peter Landesman’s “Concussion” is that, despite some pre-release hand-wringing, worries that it would represent a whitewash of professional football’s concussion epidemic are completely unfounded. Unfortunately, pre-release hopes that it would do for crusading forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu what Michael Mann’s “The Insider” did for big tobacco whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand are equally unfounded, as the film’s attempt to marry an earnest public-health expose with a corporate-malfeasance thriller and a sweet immigrant love story never comes together in a satisfying way. Effective enough as a cautionary tale about willful ignorance and as a showcase for Will Smith — delivering a fine, understated performance as Omalu, the doctor who discovered CTE in former NFL players — 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.

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