Head Games - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Head Games Reviews

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Top Critic
Michael Nordine
Village Voice
September 19, 2012
While Head Games does feature a number of articulate and consistently intelligent talking-head interviews, it's ultimately not a satisfying advocacy doc.
Jesse Cataldo
Slant Magazine
September 16, 2012
While Steve James's doc is persuasive on an informational level, it doesn't do enough to explore the human side of its subject matter.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
September 20, 2012
It hides more than it shows, and makes a cloudy story into something way too simple.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
September 20, 2012
James has a worthy message, but never makes the case that he needs an entire documentary to deliver it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Adam Litovitz
Globe and Mail
September 21, 2012
Finally, there's a sports movie for people who are caught between admiration and fear of athleticism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jake Mulligan
Boston Phoenix
October 2, 2012
Seeing former NHL star Keith Primeau's teenage son light up to talk about how fighting is "pretty fun" gives us the conclusion the statistics can't yet provide: before the games can change, we need to.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 27, 2012
The documentary by Steve James paints a devastating picture of the long-term consequences of head injuries among pro NFL players.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
September 28, 2012
It's solid and interesting work in the main, but Head Games can't help but feel like a come-down after The Interrupters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Scott Weinberg
TwitchFilm
September 19, 2012
Required viewing for parents of children who play "hard-contact" sports, to say nothing of those kids themselves.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
December 13, 2012
The film paints a dire picture that will strike fear into the hearts of many parents. How many concussions are too many? The documentary suggests the magic number might be one.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl
October 16, 2012
It's exciting to watch big, powerful guys bash into each other, and a well-executed hit makes an excellent addition to any highlight reel. The problem is that the human brain is not designed to absorb repeated impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
November 16, 2012
A bit more palatable than most "let me teach you a lesson"-style non-fiction films.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Brian Tallerico
HollywoodChicago.com
September 28, 2012
I have two young boys, and when they express interest in playing sports, it will be impossible not to remember what I learned from this film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5.0
Perry Seibert
TV Guide's Movie Guide
September 24, 2012
[Head Games] owes more to Michael Moore's advocacy work than D.A. Pennebaker's cinema verite style, but in its own way, it's just as powerful a portrait of what sports mean to the people who play them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Matt Pais
RedEye
September 27, 2012
Asserts this as a problem that isn't going away and, especially for those who suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is virtually guaranteed to get worse.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Brent Simon
Shockya.com
October 14, 2012
There may not be a more important documentary release this year for the general health of (especially sports-playing) American kids than Head Games, an impactful look at the trauma inflicted by repeated concussions.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Betty Jo Tucker
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
September 22, 2012
This hard-hitting documentary issues a wake-up call for safety improvements in all sports where head injuries are common.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
September 20, 2012
"Head Games" gains credibility and power from compassion for athletes and respect for their accomplishments. But it also tries to open the eyes of sports lovers to dangers that have too often been minimized and too seldom fully understood.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Variety
September 21, 2012
One of the more fascinating aspects of a thoroughly entertaining movie is how incomprehensible James' proposed changes are in a country where many would list their necessities as food, shelter and Monday Night Football.
Top Critic
Matt Singer
Time Out
September 19, 2012
The results are, cinematically speaking, a little diffuse, but any parent who's contemplating whether they should sign their kids up for Pop Warner this fall may want to watch this first.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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