Saturday, April 2, 2016


Plot: Pittsburgh Medical Examiner Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) does autopsies on two Pittsburgh Steelers players, and finds an unusual brain disease that he attributes to head trauma while playing football.  Meanwhile Bennet marries his wife Pema (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and together they experience harressment from the NFL and fans. In the second half of the movie he meets physician Julian Bailes and together they battle the NFL. ([imdb]    [photos]

Review: It starts with personal stories of the players and their minds slipping away. This is linked with the sympathetic Dr Omalu discovering the problem. Will Smith and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are great. Will Smith disappears into the character. Early on the dialog is wonderful and the photography is dramatic. I loved it.

Then it changes from a medical movie to a legal movie. Oh, the NFL -- so bad. Oh, just like the tobacco companies. This part of the movie should have been compressed to 15 minutes. 

Cast: Will Smith, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin

Directed by:
Peter Landesman

Written by:  
Peter Landesman based on the article in GQ called Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas

The Music:
Solid early. What the heck was the country tune at the end credits? 

The Visuals:
Some well staged and dramatic shots. 

3.0 stars: Half a good movie, kicked up for great performances by Will Smith and Mbatha-Raw, and because the story has a social valence. 

More: Here is photo of the real Dr Omalu.

Even More: .