Critics Consensus

Concussion lands a solid, well-acted hit on its impressively timely subject matter, even if its traditional sports drama structure is a little too safe to deserve a full-on dance in the end zone.



Reviews Counted: 196

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 32,705


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

Based on the true story of the doctor who discovered CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in football players, and the uphill battle he faced in bringing the information to the public.

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Will Smith
as Dr. Bennet Omalu
Alec Baldwin
as Dr. Julian Bailes
Albert Brooks
as Dr. Cyril Wecht
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
as Prema Mutiso
Stephen Moyer
as Dr. Ron Hamilton
Eddie Marsan
as Dr. Steven DeKosky
Luke Wilson
as Roger Goodell
David Morse
as Mike Webster
Matthew Willig
as Justin Strezelczyk
Paul Reiser
as Dr. Elliot Pellman
Arliss Howard
as Dr. Joseph Maroon
Mike O'Malley
as Daniel Sullivan
Hill Harper
as Spellman Jones
Elizabeth Tulloch
as Keana Strezelczyk
Richard T. Jones
as Andre Waters
Kevin Jiggets
as FBI Agent
Gary Grubbs
as FBI Agent
Randy Kovitz
as Deputy Mayor
L. Scott Caldwell
as Waters' Mother
Dan Ziskie
as Paul Tagliabue
Larry John Meyers
as Father D'Amico
Joni Bovill
as Mrs. Scott
Jason A. Davis
as Defense Attorney
Dan Anders
as College Coach
Jeb Keller
as High School Coach
Joshua Elijah Reese
as Graveyard Tech
Holt McCallany
as Angry Neurologist
Mike Clark
as TV Reporter (Interview)
Jackie Schafer
as TV Reporter (Webster Site)
David Flick
as Hospital Security Guard
Scott Conner
as ER Doctor
Kelley Davis
as Assistant
Alison Moir
as Colleen Bailes
Samara Lee
as Strzelczyk's Daughter
Nathan Hollabaugh
as Young Reporter
Michael Schaich
as Security Guard
Dino Rende
as Strzelczyk's Son
Hennessey Joseph
as NFL Employee
Lisa Earley
as Lodi Morgue Tech
Dihlon McManne
as Reporter at Westin
Cindy Jackson
as Paramedic
Britanni Johnson
as Rachel Green
Scott Miller
as Contractor
Antonia Long
as Piano Player
Britanni D. Johnson
as Rachel Green
Dawn Vocke
as Nurse In Bailes Office
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News & Interviews for Concussion

Critic Reviews for Concussion

All Critics (196) | Top Critics (37)

  • The script also knows how to pull back when sentimentality threatens. The film's salutary ending shows just how it's done.

    Mar 4, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Smith takes on Omalu's Nigerian accent and too-perfect grammar with confidence, as this man with eight university degrees and an iron respect for science finds his research being crushed by the dollar-rolling might of the NFL machine -- and even the FBI.

    Feb 11, 2016 | Rating: 3/5

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Smith's performance is shallow, conceited and bland.

    Feb 11, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie murmurs, when it - and others - should be shouting.

    Dec 29, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A melodramatic but compelling enough lab-coat drama about football players and the pathological implications of too many blows to their heads ...

    Dec 25, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Just in time for the NFL playoffs, here comes "Concussion," a movie that will hopefully give many serious pause about our nation's most popular sport.

    Dec 25, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Concussion

A solid performance from Smith with an exploitative look on a recurring problem. Concussion is a splendid and structured story that hits its dramatic strides even with the cautious take. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Dr. Bennet Omalu exposes the epidemic of CTE among football players, resisting the NFL's formidable influence. Director Peter Landesman's film is stuck halfway between two common docudrama pitfalls: it's half-profile, half-story. If the story is about Omalu's fight with the NFL, then much of the first act is unnecessary, and with all due respect to Omalu himself, his character is not interesting enough (as portrayed in the film) to satisfy a two-hour film exploring his depths, especially considering that his patriotism comes off as optimism too doe-eyed to be compelling. Nevertheless, Wil Smith acts really hard, but he occasionally relaxes enough to be good. Overall, it's good that Concussion got made so CTE gets the attention it deserves, but it's still a flawed film.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


A doctor has a little bit of a problem getting the NFL to admit that American football is dangerous to the participants. It nearly reads like a comic parody written out plain like that and yet that is exactly what happened (Duhhh, its still happening). That the doctor is an immigrant is an interesting side story in this, and the star very nearly visibly nods towards the Oscar nomination in practically every scene. But the work could use some teeth. Or an actual headbutt. Anything to kick start this thing into some semblance of vitality.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


I really wanted to love this movie. Concussion has the best intentions. It dramatizes a serious story that needs to be told. At the heart of this biography is a compelling performance by Will Smith. Historically he has often had a difficult time disappearing into the persona of another person. We see mega celebrity Will Smith - the brash movie star, not an actor fading within a role. Here however, he manages to convincingly present a different personality - accent and demeanor included. It's his most impressive achievement since The Pursuit of Happyness. Unfortunately, the diffuse narrative spends way too much time on tedious details involving his personal life which includes love interest and eventual wife, Prema Mutiso (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). She is far too great an actress to be saddled with this expendable role. Concussion is at its best when it's delving into the science of Omalu's work, chronicling his study and the ensuing struggle to get his important research acknowledged. The production ends unresolved. According to the film, his research still has yet to be taken seriously by the NFL. Although some concessions have been made, very little about the sport has changed. Apparently the issue is far from over. Stay tuned.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

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