THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

CONCUSSION (2015)


#129 of the movie countdown is the brand new Concussion which features Will Smith (who is excellent) as Nigerian-born pathologist Bennett Omalu. While performing an autopsy on the late Steelers Hall of Fame center Mike Webster (David Morse, also good), he can't figure out why Webster has lost his mind and his life at such a young age. He digs deeper, paying for the tests himself, and eventually discovers what we now know as CTE, caused by the thousands of head shots football players endure while playing the game. He presents his findings, but he is threatened with disgrace and loss of career if he doesn't retract them. The NFL is the worst of the bad guys here, covering up what they already know about head injuries and attacking the research. Some other really nefarious things are hinted at but not confirmed. Writer-director Peter Landesman chooses to make this the life story of Omalu instead of a "Spotlight"-like ensemble piece of how CTE was discovered and the battle to force the NFL and organized football to recognize its existence. The pieces are there - Albert Brooks is strong as Omalu's boss Cyril Wecht and Alec Baldwin equally good as a former Steelers team doctor. Because when the film morphs into one man against the system it is standard biopic stuff and not nearly as compelling as the rest of the film. It's good, but could have been better. Still worth your time.

TLA one-word review: thought-provoking